The top 7 benefits of user generated content for your mobile app
Genuine connection is the heart of successful and long-lasting businesses. By giving users a platform to voice their opinions about your business, you’re opening yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.
Time and time again, a strong user community has proven to be a game-changing marketing factor. Over 80% of consumers admit that word-of-mouth is arguably the most influential way a business can advertise its products. In addition to that, 85% of businesses report a positive change to their operations after having incorporated a user-driven community into their marketing strategy.
If it isn’t evident by now, building a strong community of users should be the key target for any marketing strategy. These are the people who have first-hand experience with your products and the use they get out of them. As a result, they’re a resource that can’t be underestimated!
What is UGC and why does it matter?
User-generated content comes in many forms: reviews, testimonials, social media content, blog posts, case studies, surveys, and more. They aren’t always text-based—they can include photos, videos, and even audio clips.
Even the most simple forms of UGC can have major impacts on an app’s marketing trajectory. Around 30% of millennials report that a vast majority of the content they consume is UGC-based, and nearly half of all consumers report that it’s one of the most convenient and memorable ways to discover new products and brands.
How UGC adds value to your brand
User-generated content (UGC) adds value to your mobile app in more than one way, as it can be used to fill the areas that may be overlooked or out of budget for your marketing campaigns or operations.
If you haven’t yet, consider these seven reasons to set the stage for UGC:
1 - It increases user-user and customer-brand engagement
Social features give mobile app users a space to talk about the products and services. As long as there is meaningful conversation, you benefit from greater organic interactions and traffic.
People can talk about the products and services, as well as promote organic interactions and traffic. This forms the foundation for future business operations and marketing strategies, as many essential marketing goals require user engagement: tracking metrics, minimizing churn rates, driving sales, and encouraging repeated patronage.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of customer-brand relationships. There’s a reason why CRM tools are a cornerstone of business; they help to collect, manage, and organize crucial data that shows how people interact with your brand.
2 - It involves users in your brand journey
The goal of app development should always be to keep users’ needs front and center. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. As your product develops, there will be many concerns raised by the community, some of which may conflict with one another.
To ensure the highest levels of user satisfaction, you need to know what the majority of your user base wants and needs. UGC platforms let your customers take center stage and be personally involved with the direction of your app.
Monitoring feedback may reveal that early adopters of the apps may prefer to keep certain features while new users have recommendations to improve upon what’s already built. UGC platforms create a space for these discussions to take place, allowing the users to be actively engaged in the development process. This leads us to our next point:
3 - It creates opportunities for qualitative data collection
In addition to quantitative data—the raw numbers and hard metrics—UGC platforms also allow developers to collect qualitative data to improve your app. While the numbers are important, they don’t paint the full picture. Ratings and statistics only tell you how people use your product, and not why they choose to use it that way.
If your metrics show a decrease in app performance, user feedback will allow you to do quick investigative work into the cause behind the decline. You may find that a fair number of users are finding your app to be slow after an update, resulting in shorter session lengths and lower conversion rates.
The opposite is also true; if you want to replicate a successful change to your app, you will need to understand the users’ opinions and why they see it as a positive. These little things go a long way toward building a positive brand perception.
4 - It improves conversion & retention rates
People are more likely to do business with brands that listen to their client base. A platform for user-generated content will help clients to feel like they have a better grasp on the products and services that are being provided. A transparent, unbiased information base helps to alleviate the stress from the selection process, urging leads further down the sales funnel.
Retention is another benefit that comes with a high-quality UGC platform. Having a community allows users to spend time discussing your products, events, and services, as well as communicating with other users and representatives of your company.
A business that’s eager to converse with its user base is more likely to have lower churn rates.
And it’s good for influencers too, as evident in the popularity of content such as product reviews, which are practically high-conversion, free advertisements for your brand. According to the Pareto principle, 80% of the expected marketing results come from 20% of the audience. It’s imperative that you invest in the right one!
5 - It creates market trends
As a brand, we often spend an excessive amount of time trying to chase and understand market trends that shift all the time, but nevertheless, it’s still an essential part of the business.
Pursuing trends can feel like a fool’s errand. By the time you think you have a firm grasp on what the market wants, a new thing comes around that you have to address. UGC provides more context and allows trends to be set right on your app, without the need to run after them.
Users are almost always the first people to notice new trends, as they are the people involved in related communities. They pick up on new terms or style of content that is being produced as they go, and they apply it to their own usage.
With active UGC platforms like public blogs and video sharing features, you’re allowing your users to form cultures and trends within your site which you can use as a guide for your own content strategies.
6 - It encourages the creation & use of social proof
Using social features to encourage UGC can help social-proof-based content circulate and proliferate quickly. This achieves two things: minimizing your marketing budget and increasing real brand loyalty and satisfaction through the customers’ own autonomous learning of the brand and products.
For example, you can increase awareness of your app through external platforms like Instagram with tag posts and hashtags. Hosting a video challenge or engaging in forum discussions can boost engagement on your app. As these start to catch on, more and more content of similar style will be produced and consumed, making the effects of the content compound on itself. The most interactive users are the heart of all online communities, so it’s always a good idea to lift up those who are committed to improving your services through some sort of reward or gamification.
The cost and complications of developing features for UGC can be a concern for resource-strapped product teams, which is where social SDKs come in. These help to ease the process of implementing these features to your app while minimizing the technical requirements on the developer’s part.
7 - It builds authority
Being the first brand people think of in a niche naturally translates into becoming an industry leader with a significant market share. Regardless of the industry, it pays to be a big player in the game. After all, the natural circulation of a brand’s name is an indication of some level of authority.
Although a business can control how they want to appear to the public through their marketing campaigns, it is inevitably the consumers who decide the identity of the brand. Your users decide how to make the most use of the products, share ideas, and form connections between each other and the brand. This will all amalgamate into a consensus between the users and the brand, leading to a more positive brand experience, and in turn, giving your brand more authority.
Because what’s more believable? A company telling you that their products are good or real people saying what’s good about them?
However, it is important to note that, when you let people freely discuss your app, there’s always a risk of receiving negative reviews about your business from your own users. You will need to be proactive about addressing raised concerns, optimizing your products and services, and resolving issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Being a well-regarded industry leader is not being free of mistakes, but rather addressing them wisely.
Create a culture of conversation using UGC
Your user community is who you need to go to when looking to improve and expand your app. But one thing to keep in mind when building a user-oriented strategy is that UGC platforms are not created equal.
For apps that are looking to encourage high rates of user interaction, community group chats and personalized content feeds are invaluable. Features such as in-app live streaming with real-time chat and partner groups where influencers can seek to better monetize their content could also serve to improve the overall UX of the app.
If you’re willing to let your users explore what they can do with your product, they can and will open new avenues for your business that you never knew existed. Trust the creativity of your user base and help them help you grow!