Divya Haritwal

Success Stories
Strategy
March 14, 2024

Divya Haritwal

March 14, 2024
Success Stories
Strategy

How UGC led to the creation of India's biggest platform for Doctors

Learn how to drive in-app engagement with User Generated Content (UGC) and build a unique advantage in a crowded mobile app market.

Understand key pillars of a strategy that led to the creation of India’s biggest mobile app for doctors to discuss their cases and the latest developments in medical science.

The Product and the Community Use Case

Curofy was founded by 3 IIT-D graduates, one of India's oldest and most prestigious institutes. The mobile-first startup served as a key platform for doctors to connect with other doctors, seek medical advice, take second opinions, post their requirements, and read and share the latest news related to medical developments revolutionizing the whole industry.

Within 3 years, over 50% of doctors in India used the app. At one point, there were:

  • 500 new cases were uploaded on the platform every day
  • Cases of over 100+ common as well as very niche specialties were discussed
  • Doctors from over 1500 cities used the platform to discuss the latest developments in the medical field, share resources, participate in QnAs around real-life cases, attend webinars, and more.

In this blog, we’ll explore how the brand used the 3 pillars of Product, Content, and Community to become the biggest app in its industry.

The Community-Led Product Strategy: Breakdown

A lot of products are never able to unlock community-led growth, some of the reasons being - building community as an afterthought, not understanding the use case properly, not designing the architecture well, and the list goes on. Here is how you can avoid these pitfalls for your app by building features such as Resource Feed and QnA Feed.

The Product Strategy

Apps with the highest retention have one thing in common - the community is baked into the product. The community use case is well defined and every aspect of product design be it the flow, the copy, or the CTAs is designed with that in mind. Building the community use case in the app the way you build any other feature will ensure that you can design the product and specific actions that users have to take to support the community objectives.

How Curofy did it?

The product design took into account everything including psychological cues. Instead of the CTA button saying “create post” it said, “Share a Case”. This clear focus created by the copywriting style helped the product street the user in the intended direction.

They also made it mandatory to tag a specialty when making any post. This led to a well-curated resource feed over time.

As the business scaled, they also started using algorithms and trained them to prioritize “good content” in the resource feed, especially when onboarding new users. This helped in creating a better first experience for the new user which further fed the feedback loop of content creation and curation.

The Content Strategy

You reap what you sow or in the case of a product community - you reap what you seed. Many people have misconceptions about content seeding and assume that it’s equivalent to fake content.

However, content seeding is simply a function of identifying the power users among the early adopters and encouraging them to create content that is directed toward and relevant to the community objectives.

Another key important aspect of content strategy is to curate. What does that mean? Set clear guidelines for what is and isn’t allowed on the platform. Create posts as a business that can serve as inspiration for the kind of User Generated Content you’d like the members of the community to share. Provide frameworks and formats wherever possible to make it easier for members to create content that goes with the guidelines.

How Curofy did it?

Limited access for content creators: in the early days, when the brand was trying to seed a specific behavior, they gave access to create content only to a limited number of handpicked users.

This simple strategy helped them in many ways. First, it helped in ensuring that only the members with a deep knowledge and knack for content creation were creating the content. It also helped create a sense of acknowledgment and appreciation for the superusers of the community.

Lastly, all the members who were given content creation access at later stages had a fair understanding of guidelines and expectations in the form of existing content. This made it easier to implement the community rules without being tight-fisted about it.

Active moderation: The brand really focused on ensuring that the content is moderated well. Anything that wasn’t relevant for the community in the long term was removed. This included any kind of discussions beyond the medical community or generic discussions that didn’t add value to the members at large. This helped in creating a resource feed and QnA segment that was highly searchable (due to the mandatory tagging feature in the product and content strategy) without getting cluttered.

The Community Strategy

A sign of a well-integrated community strategy is that it will have high overlaps with product and content strategy. This means that the primary objective of community strategy is to define a clear use case for the community and then help the product team design the features to enable product as well as community goals. Since content creation and curation including UGC are part of the strategy for community teams as well, we will not discuss them separately.

How Curofy did it?

Identify a clear use case. For Curofy, it was to “enable P2P discussions around patient case studies among doctors”. Going back to the discussion earlier, the use case ties in clearly to the product design and content strategy.

Set the direction from the beginning: The team added small and big intentional steps such as focused copy for each CTA, along with other things such as

  • Creating dedicated space for different types of discussions such as case studies, medical jobs, medical news, etc.
  • Defined Single User Value Proposition: As shared by Nipun Goyal - a single-user value prop is a value that your product gives to a user without the viral element. The team did a lot of rigorous A/B testing and data analysis, especially in the early days before the network effect kicked in and moved in a data-led direction.
  • Closed Loop Systems: Closed loop systems that are built on top of single user value prop rely heavily on segmentation and data analysis. The idea is to ensure that a user while experiencing single-user value also gets to interact and engage with other users to expand their social footprint and have more touch points and social nodes. This is essentially where you start to see the community shape up.
  • Virality and Network Effect: The point in time when the users have seen the true potential of the value you promised to offer and have now delivered on it. This is the time when the users start bringing in more users not only because of a referral or other kind of attached reward but also because they have used your product enough to want to bring their social network from outside to your ecosystem.
    Once the network effect kicks in you can be sure of the PMF and now you can focus on refining the experience to make it even better.

Why to Incorporate UGC in Your Community Strategy

If you have read till here, you are for the most part convinced about UGC as part of a community-led product strategy but what kind of benefits you can expect from this specific approach in your community strategy? Let’s look at some of the advantages of UGC

Increases Engagement

UGC encourages active participation from community members, leading to higher engagement rates. When users see that their contributions are valued and featured, they're more likely to stay active, participate more, and engage with others.

Enhances Authenticity

Content created by users is often seen as more genuine and trustworthy than brand-generated content. This authenticity can help build trust and loyalty within the community, as members feel a stronger connection to the brand and each other.

Boosts Variety in Content

With members contributing content, you'll have a wider variety of perspectives, ideas, and creativity. This diversity can make your community more interesting and appealing to a broader audience.

Creates Social Proof

UGC acts as social proof, showcasing real-life experiences, testimonials, and endorsements from community members. This can be incredibly persuasive for prospective members or customers, as they see the value your community provides through the eyes of their peers.

Encourages Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Happy community members who create and share content about your brand can drive word-of-mouth marketing. Their networks may see this content, increasing your brand's reach and potentially bringing new members into the community.

Reduces Content Creation Burden

Relying on community members for content generation can lessen the workload on your team, allowing you to focus resources on other strategic areas of community management and development.

Provides Valuable Insights

UGC can offer insights into what your community values, their needs, and preferences. This feedback is invaluable for tailoring your products, services, and content to better meet the needs of your audience.

Supercharges Your SEO

Fresh, relevant content can improve your search engine optimization (SEO). UGC, especially when it includes keywords related to your brand or community, can help improve your site's visibility in search engine results. Quora and Reddit are perfect examples of this strategy.

Strengthens Community Bonds

Sharing stories, experiences, and content fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity among community members. This can strengthen the bonds within your community, creating a more cohesive and supportive environment.

This also relates to the 3 part strategy of single-user value, closed loops, and network effect that we discussed earlier in the article.

How To Design UGC-Led Strategy For Your App

Even though we have discussed everything in detail, including examples and benefits, it is crucial to remember that the specifics of the strategy will depend heavily on the use case for your community.

If your community is serving as an extension of custom support for your product then focusing more on well designed QnA feed will be more beneficial where UGC can act as a channel for identifying and answering FAQs, creating product manuals, and getting feedback on the product.

If your community is focused more on user experience than having a mix of resources, QnA and Chat feed can really boost the user experience by way of providing tips, tricks, and hacks for other users to get the most value for the bucks spent. This in turn can boost your retention and acquisition funnel as well as social proof and authentic reviews that can be shared across channels.

Understand what’s best for your use case and incorporate Feed and Chat Features in less than 15 minutes.

Supercharge your retention with in-app social features

Deploy customised features on top of chat and feed in 15 minutes using LikeMinds SDK.

Contact us to schedule a demo!
Image showing Resource Library, which is a inApp feed usecase.

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How UGC led to the creation of India's biggest platform for Doctors

Divya Haritwal
/
March 14, 2024
/

Learn how to drive in-app engagement with User Generated Content (UGC) and build a unique advantage in a crowded mobile app market.

Understand key pillars of a strategy that led to the creation of India’s biggest mobile app for doctors to discuss their cases and the latest developments in medical science.

The Product and the Community Use Case

Curofy was founded by 3 IIT-D graduates, one of India's oldest and most prestigious institutes. The mobile-first startup served as a key platform for doctors to connect with other doctors, seek medical advice, take second opinions, post their requirements, and read and share the latest news related to medical developments revolutionizing the whole industry.

Within 3 years, over 50% of doctors in India used the app. At one point, there were:

  • 500 new cases were uploaded on the platform every day
  • Cases of over 100+ common as well as very niche specialties were discussed
  • Doctors from over 1500 cities used the platform to discuss the latest developments in the medical field, share resources, participate in QnAs around real-life cases, attend webinars, and more.

In this blog, we’ll explore how the brand used the 3 pillars of Product, Content, and Community to become the biggest app in its industry.

The Community-Led Product Strategy: Breakdown

A lot of products are never able to unlock community-led growth, some of the reasons being - building community as an afterthought, not understanding the use case properly, not designing the architecture well, and the list goes on. Here is how you can avoid these pitfalls for your app by building features such as Resource Feed and QnA Feed.

The Product Strategy

Apps with the highest retention have one thing in common - the community is baked into the product. The community use case is well defined and every aspect of product design be it the flow, the copy, or the CTAs is designed with that in mind. Building the community use case in the app the way you build any other feature will ensure that you can design the product and specific actions that users have to take to support the community objectives.

How Curofy did it?

The product design took into account everything including psychological cues. Instead of the CTA button saying “create post” it said, “Share a Case”. This clear focus created by the copywriting style helped the product street the user in the intended direction.

They also made it mandatory to tag a specialty when making any post. This led to a well-curated resource feed over time.

As the business scaled, they also started using algorithms and trained them to prioritize “good content” in the resource feed, especially when onboarding new users. This helped in creating a better first experience for the new user which further fed the feedback loop of content creation and curation.

The Content Strategy

You reap what you sow or in the case of a product community - you reap what you seed. Many people have misconceptions about content seeding and assume that it’s equivalent to fake content.

However, content seeding is simply a function of identifying the power users among the early adopters and encouraging them to create content that is directed toward and relevant to the community objectives.

Another key important aspect of content strategy is to curate. What does that mean? Set clear guidelines for what is and isn’t allowed on the platform. Create posts as a business that can serve as inspiration for the kind of User Generated Content you’d like the members of the community to share. Provide frameworks and formats wherever possible to make it easier for members to create content that goes with the guidelines.

How Curofy did it?

Limited access for content creators: in the early days, when the brand was trying to seed a specific behavior, they gave access to create content only to a limited number of handpicked users.

This simple strategy helped them in many ways. First, it helped in ensuring that only the members with a deep knowledge and knack for content creation were creating the content. It also helped create a sense of acknowledgment and appreciation for the superusers of the community.

Lastly, all the members who were given content creation access at later stages had a fair understanding of guidelines and expectations in the form of existing content. This made it easier to implement the community rules without being tight-fisted about it.

Active moderation: The brand really focused on ensuring that the content is moderated well. Anything that wasn’t relevant for the community in the long term was removed. This included any kind of discussions beyond the medical community or generic discussions that didn’t add value to the members at large. This helped in creating a resource feed and QnA segment that was highly searchable (due to the mandatory tagging feature in the product and content strategy) without getting cluttered.

The Community Strategy

A sign of a well-integrated community strategy is that it will have high overlaps with product and content strategy. This means that the primary objective of community strategy is to define a clear use case for the community and then help the product team design the features to enable product as well as community goals. Since content creation and curation including UGC are part of the strategy for community teams as well, we will not discuss them separately.

How Curofy did it?

Identify a clear use case. For Curofy, it was to “enable P2P discussions around patient case studies among doctors”. Going back to the discussion earlier, the use case ties in clearly to the product design and content strategy.

Set the direction from the beginning: The team added small and big intentional steps such as focused copy for each CTA, along with other things such as

  • Creating dedicated space for different types of discussions such as case studies, medical jobs, medical news, etc.
  • Defined Single User Value Proposition: As shared by Nipun Goyal - a single-user value prop is a value that your product gives to a user without the viral element. The team did a lot of rigorous A/B testing and data analysis, especially in the early days before the network effect kicked in and moved in a data-led direction.
  • Closed Loop Systems: Closed loop systems that are built on top of single user value prop rely heavily on segmentation and data analysis. The idea is to ensure that a user while experiencing single-user value also gets to interact and engage with other users to expand their social footprint and have more touch points and social nodes. This is essentially where you start to see the community shape up.
  • Virality and Network Effect: The point in time when the users have seen the true potential of the value you promised to offer and have now delivered on it. This is the time when the users start bringing in more users not only because of a referral or other kind of attached reward but also because they have used your product enough to want to bring their social network from outside to your ecosystem.
    Once the network effect kicks in you can be sure of the PMF and now you can focus on refining the experience to make it even better.

Why to Incorporate UGC in Your Community Strategy

If you have read till here, you are for the most part convinced about UGC as part of a community-led product strategy but what kind of benefits you can expect from this specific approach in your community strategy? Let’s look at some of the advantages of UGC

Increases Engagement

UGC encourages active participation from community members, leading to higher engagement rates. When users see that their contributions are valued and featured, they're more likely to stay active, participate more, and engage with others.

Enhances Authenticity

Content created by users is often seen as more genuine and trustworthy than brand-generated content. This authenticity can help build trust and loyalty within the community, as members feel a stronger connection to the brand and each other.

Boosts Variety in Content

With members contributing content, you'll have a wider variety of perspectives, ideas, and creativity. This diversity can make your community more interesting and appealing to a broader audience.

Creates Social Proof

UGC acts as social proof, showcasing real-life experiences, testimonials, and endorsements from community members. This can be incredibly persuasive for prospective members or customers, as they see the value your community provides through the eyes of their peers.

Encourages Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Happy community members who create and share content about your brand can drive word-of-mouth marketing. Their networks may see this content, increasing your brand's reach and potentially bringing new members into the community.

Reduces Content Creation Burden

Relying on community members for content generation can lessen the workload on your team, allowing you to focus resources on other strategic areas of community management and development.

Provides Valuable Insights

UGC can offer insights into what your community values, their needs, and preferences. This feedback is invaluable for tailoring your products, services, and content to better meet the needs of your audience.

Supercharges Your SEO

Fresh, relevant content can improve your search engine optimization (SEO). UGC, especially when it includes keywords related to your brand or community, can help improve your site's visibility in search engine results. Quora and Reddit are perfect examples of this strategy.

Strengthens Community Bonds

Sharing stories, experiences, and content fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity among community members. This can strengthen the bonds within your community, creating a more cohesive and supportive environment.

This also relates to the 3 part strategy of single-user value, closed loops, and network effect that we discussed earlier in the article.

How To Design UGC-Led Strategy For Your App

Even though we have discussed everything in detail, including examples and benefits, it is crucial to remember that the specifics of the strategy will depend heavily on the use case for your community.

If your community is serving as an extension of custom support for your product then focusing more on well designed QnA feed will be more beneficial where UGC can act as a channel for identifying and answering FAQs, creating product manuals, and getting feedback on the product.

If your community is focused more on user experience than having a mix of resources, QnA and Chat feed can really boost the user experience by way of providing tips, tricks, and hacks for other users to get the most value for the bucks spent. This in turn can boost your retention and acquisition funnel as well as social proof and authentic reviews that can be shared across channels.

Understand what’s best for your use case and incorporate Feed and Chat Features in less than 15 minutes.

Supercharge your retention with in-app social features

Deploy customised features on top of chat and feed in 15 minutes using LikeMinds SDK.

Let's start!