When consumers have pain points, their first destination is often the web as they seek products to help solve their problems. A few easy clicks, and they have massive amounts of user-generated content (UGC)–everything from customer review sites like Yelp to forums and social media posts. Not only do they read this information but they also allow it to heavily influence their purchasing decisions.
In fact, 50 percent of consumers say UGC is more trustworthy than other types of media, and 35 percent say it’s more memorable. So the reality is, UGC is massively influencing your audience. As a result, many brands develop campaigns to become part of the conversation. But managing these conversations, once developed, takes effort and skill.
When done right, content moderation is a powerful tool that allows your brand to monitor and influence the content your customer is most likely to trust. Check out these five major reasons why your brand needs proactive content moderation, and its potential impact on your customers.
1. Protection for brands and users
Most people who share UGC are genuinely sharing their experiences or insights, but there is a small percentage who share with malicious intent. Some share content or images that could damage your brand and offend potential customers who are sincerely looking for valuable content.
Content moderation allows a brand to quickly identify these issues and get them under control while stopping bullies, trolls and others who would otherwise take advantage of your customers and brand.
2. Better understanding of users
Marketers might think they understand their target market, but one powerful way to get to know those users better is focusing on UGC. For example, mouthwash brand Listerine thought it understood its target market and how that market used its product until it started paying closer attention to UGC.
Through careful focus, marketers at Listerine found that many users weren’t using the product as a mouthwash but instead using it to get rid of toenail fungus. This unexpected insight allowed the brand to reshape how it was marketing the product and speaking with its target audience.
When you start listening to what users say about your products and services, you may discover new pain points you weren’t fully aware of and, as a result, you can communicate with customers differently. You can better understand the exact language they use to describe their problems and then use that language in marketing materials, so your brand instantly resonates more with customers.
3. Boosts traffic and ranking
Monitoring UGC also gives you another powerful method for driving more traffic to your website and generating interest in your brand. For example, let’s say you decide to hold a UGC contest on Twitter to increase social engagement. But to enter the contest, users need to submit a comment saying what they love about your product.
Moderating these conversations will not just keep them productive and helpful and solve any challenges before they blow up; keeping those conversations productive will add more value for users and, as a result, help increase interest and traffic.
When users are more engaged, search engines pay more attention to the content, and this can provide nice surges in interest and traffic.
4. Serves as a tool for scaling campaigns
Maybe you have an upcoming campaign and you want to find new ways to expand your reach. For example, social media scheduling tool, Buffer, wanted to expand its reach so it decided to launch a UGC campaign on Instagram to showcase the images and personalities of users around the world.
The images aren’t brand-centric but instead focus on the users and what’s important to them. It also highlights the fact that the Buffer tool is so flexible, its customers can work from different locations around the world while increasing engagement.
Moderation is key to campaigns like this because it ensures the shared content is truly valuable and meets the goals for the campaign.
5. Leads to expertise in knowing how to handle messy situations
Handling UGC can be messy. There are risks to handle it, but a good moderator knows how to mitigate those risks. Unfortunately, the internet is still the Wild West and marketers don’t have much control over what is published. What they do have control over is the brand’s response to content and the brand’s ability to solve potential problems in real time.
For example, when McDonald’s wanted to encourage users to share their positive stories with the brand, it created the #McDStories campaign. But this campaign was rapidly hijacked by users who shared less-than-flattering stories about the brand, and it quickly went down a negative road. Having a moderator is key to turning those conversations around before they gain traction or, even worse, go viral and damage your brand.
Managing UGC moderation in-house can be difficult, because as the volume of UGC content grows, so does the time spent managing it. Even if you aren’t running dedicated UGC campaigns, there are still vast amounts of content. With technology moving so quickly and the ability to go viral is becomes a true reality, timing is critical.
Brands can’t control UGC, but they can influence it and send unproductive discussions down new paths. An experienced moderator can do this at scale, as the volume and frequency of UGC campaigns continue to grow.
Samasource has a team of experienced content moderators that can help you manage and refine your large catalog of visual assets and user generated content. We help all of our clients achieve their business goals with our integrated approach to content moderation services. Click here to learn more.
From self-driving cars to smart hardware, Samasource fuels AI. Founded over a decade ago, we’re experts in image, video and sensor data annotation and validation for machine learning algorithms in industries including automotive, navigation, AR/VR, biotech, agriculture, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Our staff are driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy, and our social business model has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty.