It’s 2017 and by now everyone who is anyone knows that user-generated content is important. If you have a blog, a website or an online store, you are probably pretty focused on getting good reviews, replying to customer feedback and making sure you engage with your customers (and if you aren’t then its time you start!). But while UGC is a clear backbone to any modern day business it is also a tool that continues to change and evolve alongside the digital landscape. So what’s next for UGC?
Time to own UGC?
Today the majority of UGC is owned by social media networks. This means while brands are winning short term with hashtag campaigns or viral content, the social media networks like SnapChat and Twitter are the real winners. The future is likely to change this and delves deeper into UGC – meaning companies will spend more time and resources capturing metadata and leveraging UGC beyond individual short terms campaigns and into the realms of long-term meaningful customer relationships.
If UGC is a huge trend already, it looks set to grow even bigger and hasn’t even come close to its peak. We can be sure that brands will continue to invest efforts in encouraging, nurturing and fostering the right kind of UGC (because unlike other marketing channels you can’t completely control it unless you fake it and that basically destroys its nature). UGC is an organic concept that needs to be grown in the right ways and in the right environment. But once you succeed in growing it, how do you harvest what you have? In order for brands to really harness the amount of UGC they need to stand out, it looks likely that aggregation apps and platforms will gain popularity. Collecting the right UGC is an extremely powerful marketing tool.
UGC moves to other mediums
For a long time UGC has been almost exclusively focused on text. Though it has branched out into the worlds of video and images, there is still a long way to go. The future looks set to take UGC into totally new territory like VR. So how can UGC go together with virtual reality? Well, the future will be increasingly about a co-experiential approach where UGC and interactions are encouraged, shared across and leveraged through different mediums. As content moves over to VR and AR so do user interactions (or at least some of them).
But if VR-based UGC still seems a long way off there are more approachable technologies that are already available to give your business the kick it needs. UGC can be the most mundane thing in the world, but it can also be your biggest asset. Moving away from text to new technologies like voice tech can help to increase user engagement and create an environment of interactions that is more personal, more meaningful and easier to access than simply sitting and typing out a really long comment or message.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, click here.