While content moderation is not a one-size-fits-all solution, what follows are some essential and important questions every business needs to ask itself about this topic in 2020.
I. Why should I care about ‘content moderation’?
A survey of US digital ad buyers found that traditional digital marketing techniques, such as pop-ups, banners, autoplay videos, and other formats, are annoying to consumers. More people than ever are using ad blockers. Marketers today are faced with the challenge of finding new ways to reach their customers.
According to Forbes Magazine, “Content is King”. They say that “media has become democratized” and that marketing now “centers around the customers rather than itself. It attracts people rather than interrupts them…”.
More than 8 in 10 consumers say ‘user-generated content’, in the form of discussions or reviews & recommendations from people they don’t know, has a major influence on their purchasing habits. User-generated content (or UGC) used in a marketing context has been known to help brands in numerous ways. UGC encourages more engagement with its users and increases the likelihood that the content will be shared by a factor of two. It also builds trust with consumers as a majority of consumers trust content created by other users over branded marketing.
UGC can allow for better brand-consumer relationships with 76% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as recommendations from their own family and friends. UGC boosts SEO rankings for brands. This leads to more traffic being driven to a brand’s website and more content is therefore linked back to the website. It can lead to an increase in sales too, as 63% of customers are more likely to purchase from a site that has user reviews.
All of this is particularly true of Millennials. Millennials have recently overtaken Baby Boomers as the generation with the greatest combined purchasing power in history, with a collective spending power of more than $1.4 trillion per year.
In short, user-generated content drives customers to your site, encourages engagement with your brand, helps to position your site on the front page of search engines, develops better brand-consumer relationships with a vitally important demographic and can increase company sales and revenue.
The only problem is that often the content that is provided by the users may not always be what the brand would like to be associated with.
II.What is content moderation?
Content moderation simply refers to the practice of analyzing user-generated submissions, such as reviews, videos, social media posts, or forum discussions. Based on predefined criteria, content moderators will then decide whether a particular submission can be used or not on that platform.
In other words, when content is submitted by a user to a website, that piece of content will go through a screening process (the moderation process) to make sure that the content adheres to the regulations of the website. Unacceptable content is therefore removed based on its inappropriateness, legal status or its potential to offend.
There are several different types of content moderation but they usually fall under the umbrella of one of these three choices:
With this type of moderation, a screening process takes place after the users upload their content. If the content passes the platform’s criteria, it is allowed to be made public. This method allows the final, publicly viewed version of the website to be completely free from anything that could be considered undesirable.
The downside of pre-moderation is the fact that it delays user-generated content from going public. This can leave your users feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. Another disadvantage is the high cost. Maintaining a team of moderators tasked with ensuring top quality public content can be expensive. Quick and easy scalability can be another issue. If the number of user submissions increases suddenly, the workload of the moderators also increases. This could lead to significant delays in content going public.
This method of moderation is best suited to an online platform where the quality of the content cannot be compromised under any circumstances.
Post-moderation and what content moderators do?
This moderation technique means content is displayed on the platform immediately after it is created. This is extremely useful when a quicker pace of public content generation is desired. The content is still screened by a content moderator, after which it is either deemed suitable and allowed to remain or considered unsuitable and removed.
This method has the advantage of promoting real-time content and active conversations.
The disadvantages of this method can include legal obligations and difficulties for moderators to keep up with all the user content which has been uploaded. The number of views a piece of content receives can have an impact on the platform and if the content strays away from the platform’s guidelines, it can prove to be costly.
Therefore, the requirement is to have the content moderation and review process to be completed within as quick a time frame as possible.
Reactive Moderation and what content moderators do?
With reactive moderation, users have the responsibility to flag and react to the content which is displayed to them in real-time. If the members deem the content to be offensive or undesirable, they can react accordingly and report it if needed. A report button is usually situated next to any public piece of content and users can use this option to flag anything which falls outside the community’s guidelines.
This system is extremely effective when used in conjunction with a pre-moderation or a post-moderation setup. It allows the platform to identify inappropriate content that might have slipped by the community moderators and it can greatly reduce their workload.
However, this style of moderation may not make sense if the quality of the content is paramount to the reputation and status of the platform.
III. Why is content moderation so important?
Social media and other digital platforms are growing exponentially with new content. Consumers and companies alike are uploading content at staggering rates. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day!
Inappropriate, harmful, or illegal behavior hosted on a company’s platform can be a serious problem for the reputation of a brand. Considering the young age of many internet users, the need for constant and vigilant moderation is apparent.
Image moderation, video moderation, and text moderation are crucial to ensure only appropriate, user-generated content is posted, and the online experience of your users is free from anything objectionable.
Online interactive communities, such as message boards, forums, streaming sites, chat rooms, or image hosting services, live or die based on the content provided by their users. The need to swiftly identify and deal with inappropriate material amongst this user-generated content is critical to a business’s development.
What content moderators do?
Content moderators filter posts, comments, reviews, or live chat applying a predetermined set of rules and guidelines. They will protect your reputation by eliminating content that may expose your brand to security risks or legal issues.
Protecting your brand and your users from such content is paramount, however, the costs of running and maintaining an in-house moderation department can be detrimental to the ability of the company to grow. Outsourcing your content moderation needs to a company like Pure Moderation provides the perfect sustainable solution.
IV.‘Human moderation’ or ‘automated moderation’?
Human moderation, or manual moderation, is when humans manually conduct the tasks of image moderation, video moderation, and text moderation. The human moderator follows rules and guidelines specific to the site or app. They protect online users by keeping content that could be considered illegal, a scam, inappropriate, or harassment, off the platform.
Automated moderation means that any user-generated content submitted to an online platform will be accepted, refused, or sent to human moderation, automatically – based on the platform’s specific rules and guidelines. Automated moderation is the ideal solution for online platforms who want to make sure that qualitative user-generated content goes live instantly and that users are safe when interacting on their site.
While artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way over the years and companies continuously work on their AI algorithms, the truth is that human moderators are still essential for managing your brand online and ensuring your content is up to the required standard.
Humans are still the best when it comes to reading, understanding, interpreting, and moderating content. Context and subjectivity matter a great deal.
Because of this, great businesses will make use of both AI and humans when creating an online presence and moderating content online. Pure Moderation follows this ‘belt and braces’ approach to moderation.
Pure Moderation’s AI analyzes content almost instantaneously, and based on predefined criteria, decides to approve, refuse or, in the case of ambiguous or contextual content, send it to the experts in the manual moderation team for final judgment.
Pure Moderation’s content moderation relies on AI technology to deploy the first round of moderation to ensure fast results! The use of a human will always be necessary to determine “gray areas” that require a human touch.
By combining our simple to integrate with moderation tools with the expertise of our workforce, clients are assured of a double safety net.
V. Can content moderation companies help me to get to know my customers better?
The short answer here is ‘yes’. Pure Moderation can enable their clients to gain a deeper understanding of how consumers feel about their brand. This is done in two main ways:
- Sentiment Analysis
Sentiment analysis, also known as ‘opinion mining’, can be a powerful tool to generate useful information about the conversation surrounding your company and products. By analyzing comments, reviews, and feedback, Pure Moderation can quantify customers’ feelings into accurate insights, thus producing a reliable measurement of your community responses that can be used to improve your marketing strategy. Sentiment analysis helps to gauge public opinion, conduct nuanced market research, monitor brand and product reputation, and understand customer experiences better.
- Social Listening
Social listening allows brands to track, analyze, and respond to conversations about them on social media. It’s a crucial modern component of audience research. It’s a reliable source to learn more about your customers’ interests, behaviors, experiences, and how they respond to your company’s message. Pure Moderation’s team monitors social media channels to observe customer interactions, mentions, and keywords to develop useful insights from community interactions to strengthen the connection with a brand’s target demographics.
VI.Why should I outsource my content moderation needs?
Outsourcing content moderation services is becoming an increasingly popular option among website owners with rapidly increasing online communities. Allowing an expert team to handle this technical aspect of community management can save a huge amount of time and resources. As Pure Moderation has been conducting image moderation, video moderation, and text moderation for over a decade, their partners know they are going to have access to a workforce with extensive training and expertise.
Advantages of working with Pure Moderation:
- Pure Moderation’s team will report and eliminate content that may be considered upsetting, offensive, or even illegal.
- Significantly reduce exposure to legal issues associated with security risks, trademark violations, and PR scandals related to scams, threats, and other illegal activity.
- Identify and delete content considered to be trolling, spamming, flaming, or hate speech.
- Protect your underage or vulnerable users from viewing inappropriate content.
- Monitor for and identify predatory behavior such as grooming.
- Diversity is one of Pure Moderation’s core strengths, ensuring native speakers provide understanding of local cultures.
- Content moderation and brand protection offered in over 40 languages.
- Make data-driven decisions about new services, products, or marketing campaigns based on comments posted about your site or brand.
- Utilize experienced and highly-trained personnel, specialized in content moderation, allowing you to focus your talent and resources on growing your business.
- Content moderation teams that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Scalable coverage offers a cost-effective way to deal with times of high or low volume of traffic.
- The ability to integrate with our moderation tool via our API or we can adapt to your system to ensure smooth collaboration.
- Connect with your target demographics and develop marketing strategies based on accurate and insightful data.
While the topic of content moderation comes with advantages and disadvantages, it makes complete sense for companies with digital platforms to invest in this. If the content moderation process is implemented in a scalable manner, it can allow the platform to become the source of a large volume of user-generated content. Not only will this source of information be regarded as valuable by other users, but it can help build trust between brand and consumer. The content supplied can also be of great value to those companies who wish to know more about the sentiment around their brand. Content moderation will allow the platform to enjoy the opportunity to publish a great deal of content, while also ensuring the protection of its users from malicious and undesirable content.
To learn more about outsourcing your content moderation processes and the value that it can bring your business, contact Pure Moderation for a free consultation and trial.
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