Using user-generated content in your app marketing

Gilad Bechar, CEO at Moburst, argues that user-generated content (UGC) is made for app marketing.

Imagine you need to decide on an app to download, say for planning a big family event. Your choice is between an app you saw advertised on social media, which lists the features and benefits of the app – and an app you saw recommended by a real user, who raved about how much the app has changed their life. Which one would you choose?

For most people, the second one is a winner almost every time. This is the magic of User Generated Content, or UGC. When leveraged correctly, it can be one of the most powerful forces for your brand, shooting the lights out when it comes to key metrics and KPIs.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at how you can benefit from user generated content in your app marketing.

What is user-generated content?
User-generated content is any brand-related content that is created by a non-official representative of the brand. This could include social media posts, reviews, videos, or any other type of media.

A great example of this would be a user who loves a specific product and then posts about this product on social media. The brand would then repost the user’s original post – and would garner much better reactions than a “regular” brand post that’s created by the company itself.

This process doesn’t always have to be organic. Brands have always been happy to pay a premium to have real users review their products. And today with social media being so ubiquitous, this is more accessible – and more important – than ever. 

The importance of user-generated content
A typical person connects better with people than with brands. This makes sense, as we’re programmed to connect to people we’re similar to or aspire to be like. We also see this in social media, for example. Posts from individuals usually get a lot more traction than posts from brands.

For app marketers, this is especially important. We can demonstrate features and post about our mission, which is important of course, but having real people reviewing the app, using it, demonstrating it, and sharing how much they love it? Well, this is almost priceless.

User-generated content has the following key benefits, especially for app marketers:

  • Increase connection with the target audience
  • Show the app in action
  • Demonstrate features and benefits in a natural setting
  • Build authenticity around the connection with users and potential users
  • Increase reach
  • Achieve KPIs quicker
  • Provide social proof

Even when it comes to user generated content that’s paid for, we can quickly forget that we’re essentially watching an ad, as we reach for our phones and head to the app store.

User-generated content in app marketing: areas of opportunity
What follows are ways that you can leverage user generated content in your app marketing strategy:

Ratings and reviews
These are a critical part of any app’s user generated content strategy. One of the first things a user does when checking out an app is look at their ratings and reviews. Great ratings? You’re a shoo-in. Bad ratings? You’re going to struggle to get downloads, despite all your efforts further up the funnel.

It goes without saying that this needs to be a critical part of any app marketing strategy. Many app marketers make the mistake of thinking that this is a product issue. It may be partly Product’s responsibility, but app marketers can do a ton to encourage positive reviews and feedback, and showcase this feedback.

This can be through email campaigns sent to highly engaged users, or segmenting users and running specific campaigns tailored to feedback from each user type. It can also include highlighting specific user feedback across different asset types, which in turn can encourage even more positive feedback.

User-generated content on social media
How will users discover your app? There’s a high chance it will be through user generated content. The low-hanging fruit here is content that users of your app have posted of their own volition. This should be maximized, shared, reposted, and celebrated.

Next is rewarded user-generated content. In this case, it could be rewards for existing users sharing content and can include anything from a full rewards program, to in-app perks.

Paying non-users to promote your app, especially when it comes to people with a significant social media following, is influencer marketing, which needs to be approached with a completely different strategy.

How you share user-generated content is also important. This could be as simple as a repost with a comment of encouragement, or as complex as an entire campaign built around real quotes and reviews from users.

Build a community
A community around a brand is a very special thing, and is something that the most successful brands on social media have succeeded in creating. Think Lululemon, or Lego.

By getting users to join this community and contribute to it – for example, through a unique hashtag – you can create an exciting space for people to connect to your brand while simultaneously connecting to each other. Such a community is a hive of user generated content, and after a tipping point is reached it actually builds itself.

Stand out
User-generated content can be used effectively to stand out from the crowd. There have been some incredibly creative user generated content campaigns that have put the brand front and center, while highlighting users’ love of the brand and product.

Be wise with your UGC usage
User-generated content has tremendous benefits, and can be used in multiple ways. There is no doubt about the power that UGC has in turning users into massive fans, and turbocharging app marketers’ key metrics.

If you want to take your app marketing to the next level, and believe in the power of user generated content done right, speak to a Moburst expert today.