What is Content Moderation and Why it is important?
Review ManagementJul 2, 2021

What is Content Moderation and Why it is important?

Content moderation is the active participation of an editorial influence on User-Generated-Content (UGC). It ensures that the freshness and authenticity of UGC doesn't result in misdirection of the company's brand message. Moderation processes content so that posts other than brand-related discussions do not create distractions or negatively affect the brand message, which may lead to the following results:

  • Generating off-topic discussions
  • Promoting inter-customer hostility
  • Displaying inappropriate messages or images on the company's site
  • Embroiling the company in controversies

What are the Key Benefits of Content Moderation for User Generated Content?

Content moderation can be somewhat like gardening, producing engaging, organic results from a bit of conscious attention to UGC. Also like gardening, by keeping content well-moderated, brands can create an environment where healthy content thrives and "weeds" naturally become less common.

In the SEO domain, the diversity of vocabulary, style, and presentation of well-moderated UGC messages and images can help promote positive SEO evaluations of a site's content.

Content moderation strategies are available to provide highly effective, careful moderation, or a high level of efficiency that keeps the conversation between contributors flowing in nearly real time.

How Does Content Moderation Focus and Enhance Marketing Campaigns Based on User-Generated-Content?

UGC marketing campaigns are in the voice of the consumer. They provide a change of voice and message from company-generated material, while still staying within bounds of positive messaging and propriety. Ideally, they even include both user-contributed text and images.

UGC-based marketing messages are closer to the voice of influencers, gaining trust and relatability with modern consumers through authenticity, and possibly providing content for influencer reuse.

If UGC is well-moderated, it stays focused on the company and its products. At the same time, it shouldn't be highly managed, losing its unique freshness and distinction from the brand message.

UGC can "end-run" the traditional marketing research and campaign design process by providing a direct voice for consumers about the brand and its effect on their lives, which marketing campaigns can use dynamically.

UGC-based marketing is participatory, and that creates a connection with followers.

A high percentage of consumers trust online opinions. UGC helps form buying decisions with shared product experiences.

What Content Moderation Methods are Most Efficient and Effective for Marketing Use?

Human Moderation

Performed both in-house and by contracted, professional resources, manual moderation is slow but sometimes helpful:

  • Effective at noticing trends in UGC messaging that are useful for both moderation and marketing
  • Less efficient for volume UGC screening, but more efficient for adapting moderation processes quickly

AI-Based Content Moderation

The volume of "bot"-placed content and other inappropriate UGC can be overwhelming. AI-based content moderation can use advanced techniques to identify inappropriate UGC:

  • Recognizing "spam" style content that is unrelated to the topic at hand, which may include:
    • Advertising links
    • Overt hate speech
    • Pornography
    • Other recognized and undesirable UGC characteristics
  • Noting technical characteristics of undesirable posts such as IP address
  • Screening messages from repeat offenders

AI can also catch messaging that is designed to look appropriate at first glance but continues on to undesirable content. An example of such content placed in a clothing company's UGC might be:

"I love this company's shirts and wear them practically every day, mixing and matching with their pants for a stylish ensemble. Here is my embedded hateful message as well."

AI-based moderation can catch potential issues embedded in the content in unexpected ways that might trick human moderators.

Humans, though, can catch messages such as an offensive symbol "drawn" with typed characters or "doxxing" which reveals the personal information of targeted individuals in the text. A hybrid combination of AI and human review may be most appropriate.

Hybrid Content Moderation

Combining AI-based UGC moderation for efficiency followed by human-based review of what remains is a powerful combination. It also minimizes human exposure to the most offensive material, and reduces the personnel time required.

Data Mining as a Content Moderation Side Benefit

Both human-based and AI-based moderation can also retain valuable marketing information about the following:

  • Customer sentiment
  • Interest trends
  • Topics
  • Activity patterns destined to become "hashtags"
  • Other social media phenomena.

Sentiment analysis can also help present UGC in a more effective manner. When both positive and negative reviews are presented by quality and topic, readers can form their own opinions more easily than scanning chronologically. For example, key sentiments might appear as:

  1. Top positive review: "This product is durable, colorful, and affordable. My family is glad that I ordered them for everyone."
  2. Top negative review: "We returned the product we ordered. It was sized wrong, and wasn't available in any colors we liked."

AI Efficiency Keeps Staffing Levels Under Control While Providing Useful Feedback

The use of AI for data mining alongside content moderation can enable marketing organizations to stay ahead of the curve and perceive new opportunities that are arising. An example of messages that might produce this kind of result:

  1. I love this company's shirts, they're perfect for baseball wear this summer.
  2. My whole team is using their shirts as their apparel on the playing field.
  3. My son plays catcher, and his shirt gets real dirty but cleans up nicely.

or

  1. I've noticed that these shirts are being made in Negativeland, a country that uses inappropriate labor.
  2. I'm not sure about this company's sourcing practices.
  3. My family is trying to buy American now instead of these products made overseas.

Derived from the first set, a baseball-related marketing approach could be timely. From the second, the company's processes are receiving negative scrutiny that could require attention.

Tips and Best Practices for Content Moderation

Balance Timely UGC Posting Versus Moderation Quality

Quick posting of UGC may be of benefit in some situations, encouraging conversation between users and reassuring individuals that their message was received. AI-based filtering can be an effective way to speed message review, with follow-up moderation of posted messages by humans as a safeguard.

Consider Moderation Mental Health Concerns

When humans are directly involved in content moderation, AI or other means should be used to minimize exposure to offensive and abusive messages.

Multiple Language Support

Translation features can help facilitate messaging between customers in different countries or in countries with multilingual populations.

Consider Direct Responses to UGC

Simple feedback to UGC can keep the overall tone of content positive. Messages like "thank you for your contribution" or "we appreciate the new idea" can encourage users to post their thoughts, while authentic responses to review comments can provide validation ("we are glad you're enjoying our product" or "we want to make it right, do you have time to contact us?")

Net Cultural Awareness

Make sure your content moderation recognizes relevant internet slang terms.

Introducing Stamped.io, a Marketing Tool Combining Content Moderation with Data Mining and analysis

Stamped.io is a full-featured package of marketing strategy tools centered around customer interaction. It offers powerful content moderation features, along with advanced AI-based and hybrid enhancements. The package naturally produces information about the user generated content that is being processed, information that is extremely valuable for marketing purposes.

Stamped.io also provides automated visual content curation for aesthetic factors such as color, composition, and quality, along with object recognition that helps select images for Instagram and other campaigns.

A powerful way that Stamped.io keeps UGC focused on productive comments and discussions is by reaching out to customers directly and via social media and requesting UGC as reviews. This keeps UGC content focused on the brand and encourages positive feedback.

Stamped.io empowers informed engagement with customers and helps avoid common UGC-related pitfalls including negative publicity and a lack of consistent brand relevance. It is a powerful way to develop UGC-based marketing strategies efficiently and effectively. It also helps sort through UGC and reviews for useful trends and keywords, and to analyze the sentiment of reviews.

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