How can businesses leverage user-generated content?

16 June 2020 By Gyana

From social media feeds to product reviews and customer support interactions to blogs, user-generated content is abundant. But how is it being underused? 

User-generated content (UGC) is any content, like text, reviews, blog posts, videos, or images, created by people. It’s omnipresent nowadays, given there are more ways than ever before for people to create it themselves. 

Normally, businesses might harness UGC to boost engagement on social media, drive traffic to their site or for marketing campaigns. Most companies are only too willing to show off positive UGC, and why wouldn’t they? Consumers place their trust in products validated authentically.

If you’ve shopped online, there’s a good chance you’ve made a decision based on a review—this is one type of user-generated content.

But if you look beyond its use as an authentic form of social proof, user-generated content can be so much more than a marketing tool. Sadly, it is woefully underused by small to mid-sized businesses. Why?

The importance of leveraging user-generated content

User-generated content provides valuable information that can help inform decision-makers in many, many ways, but most businesses are only scratching the surface. In its raw state, user-generated content can only go so far. 

This is why businesses must look beyond the star rating, transcend the thumbs or thumbs down, and look deeper.

Behind every review is an experience or a feeling, and those experiences and feelings are a potential goldmine holding a wealth of insights…if you know how to mine them with text analysis, that is. 

Text analysis can unlock a wealth of insight

Let’s focus solely on text-based product reviews for a moment.

Sometimes, making heads and tails of vast amounts of text reviews can be an insurmountable task. This may be one reason why businesses aren’t analyzing UGC correctly.

Businesses receiving thousands of product reviews might not have the capability to review each one, so they might opt to handpick a few.

While those might tell businesses something they can use to their advantage, the process is time-consuming and subject to both bias and human error. Also, disregarding the majority of UGC content is a crucial error. 

Some tools make it easy to run large amounts of data at the click of a button

So what can businesses do? Manually handling all that data is definitely not the answer, and rarely will it present a business with enough information to make informed decisions that make a lasting impact.

Identifying and analyzing drivers is key to business success, so businesses must find a solution that allows them to analyze all of its data.

Simply put, leading businesses can’t afford to miss out on the opportunity presented in text analysis.

How can businesses harness text analysis?

Assuming that reviews are rolling in, customer interactions are taking place, and user feedback is being collected, businesses already have a strong foundation to work from.

After a business has identified the UGC it wants to analyze, it’s time to “listen” so it can tailor products and services to meet the wants and needs of its customers. One way for businesses to “listen” to the data is by using text analysis. 

Two powerful types of text analysis are:

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is the classification and interpretation of emotions hidden within a text. Sentiment analysis affords businesses the ability to understand customer sentiment, or how a customer feels about a product, service, or brand, whether it’s positive, neutral or negative. 

Topic Analysis

Topic analysis is a technique that gives businesses the potential to extract meaning from texts. It is able to identify recurring topics and themes, arming businesses with enough solid insight to make long-lasting decisions. Topic analysis can spot words or phrases, how often they appear, and the overall opinion surrounding those words.

Looking at user-generated content for topic sentiment
A typical topic analysis, showing frequency of key words and their sentiment – Made in Vayu

Combined, the two make a formidable team, unearthing a rich vein of insight that can be used to improve almost any product, service or business in near-enough every sector.

These data sources normally remain untapped, because the handling of unstructured data usually requires a considerable investment in time, personnel and resources.

Typically, sentiment and topic analyses are only achievable with expensive software and highly-trained data scientists. Until now.

How are no-code platforms the solution?

Nowadays, some platforms make it easy, self-serve and on-demand, meaning that there should be no reason why a business isn’t harnessing the power of text analysis.

With no-code platforms like VAYU, businesses can take their unstructured data and have insight in minutes, answering the following questions, and more:

  • What do our customers think of our brand?
  • When should we launch a new product?
  • How can we improve or refine our services?
  • Where do our customers find the most value? 
  • Who should we target in our next marketing campaign?
  • Is our product too expensive or too cheap?
  • How frequently are users facing error messages? 

Doing away with the expensive data talent, complex software and time-consuming workflows, businesses can easily answer these questions and positively improve their product or service.

To learn how to turn your data into insight and make impactful, data-driven decisions, speak to us for a demo.

We’re on hand to show you how you can perform text analysis in clicks, with no coding, no complex software and no access to data talent.

Gyana

The Gyana team post business insight, product demos, team interviews and resources.