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92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust brands’ advertisements. User-generated content works much like a friend’s suggestion, harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing. And behind every authentic brand story and real engagement through UGC, there’s a silent guardian: Content Moderation, keeping the narrative clean and on track! Want to know more? Let’s dive in and explore the crucial role of content moderation in the success of user-generated campaigns.
Starting off, here’s a brief overview of what this post is about:
- What is user-generated content (UGC)?
- What are the types of UGC content?
- What is content moderation?
- Why is content moderation important for user-generated campaigns?
- What are the top practices for moderating UGC?
What is User Generated Content?
Before we jump into the importance of content moderation in user-generated campaigns, let’s define user-generated content and explore its various types.
So, what does User-generated content mean?
User-generated content (UGC) refers to any form of content, such as images, videos, text, reviews, and audio that has been posted by your customers and fans on online platforms such as social media, and forums.
Here are examples of user-generated content:
- A happy customer’s post on Instagram showcasing your products.
- A fan’s unboxing video on YouTube revealing and reviewing your products.
- A testimonial on your Shopify store where users share their pleasant experience with your products.
- A TikTok video where a user creates fun and engaging content related to your product.
- A blog post written by a customer, detailing their pleasant journey and experience with your product or service.
- A customer’s comment on your company’s Facebook page, sharing their positive experience.
- A user's story on Snapchat or Instagram, featuring your product at an event or gathering.
- A Reddit thread where users discuss the pros and cons of your product.
Suggested reading: How to Use UGC on Instagram: Turn Fans into Advocates
Picture a happy customer sharing a positive review of your product on your website. That review also qualifies as user-generated content (UGC). See the example below:
Unlike content created by companies or professionals, UGC is created and published by real people who are not associated with your brand but are passionate about your products or services. UGC is created and provided by your customers and fans at no cost. This type of content carries more weight when it comes to marketing because customers are more likely to trust other posts by real people than those created by companies or marketing professionals.
User-generated content (UGC) not only boosts your brand's credibility but also aids potential customers in making informed purchases. What makes UGC powerful is its ability to be more captivating and impactful compared to traditional advertising methods. When real customers share their experiences, it resonates better with potential buyers, fostering a sense of authenticity and helping build a genuine connection with your audience.
What are the types of UGC content?
Customers and fans can help promote your brand using different types of user-generated content (UGC). From reviews and ratings to photos and videos, user-generated content serves as a powerful marketing tool for businesses seeking to engage customers and boost brand promotion.
Common types of UGC include:
Social Media UGC
Social media is one of the most popular platforms for the development and distribution of user-generated content (UGC)because of how well it is received there. Users can openly express their ideas and brand experiences there. Companies use UGC to their advantage by running marketing campaigns, collaborating with influencers, and sharing real posts. Photos from social media UGC offer real-world information.
As an online store owner, you need to use content moderation to ensure that your customers see high-quality content and positive feedback from your customers. Content moderation helps you to understand your customers better, and address negative customer reviews without losing their trust. It is crucial for building customer experience and trust between your company and your potential customers. It helps you build a safer environment for your customers where inappropriate content like fake news, spam, racism, abusive texts, or NSFW won’t harm them. Maintaining brand reputation and credibility for businesses and followers is the goal of content moderation.
This quote is accurate when used in the context of product marketing, especially when it is shared by reliable people. UGC includes any social media posts, including those on Facebook and Instagram. Social media UGC is extremely important in your marketing and there are numbers to back it up:
UGC Reviews and Ratings
Customer reviews and ratings, a popular form of user-generated content, act as strong supporters for a brand, creating excitement through word-of-mouth. Whether posted on your website or external platforms like TripAdvisor, G2Crowd, Google, etc., these reviews offer valuable customer feedback. They can be found on e-commerce sites, social media, and review platforms. The UGC reviews go beyond just gauging customer satisfaction; they are useful and efficient marketing tools. Negative feedback can provide insights for improvement, while positive reviews can increase ecommerce sales.
TikTok videos, Instagram stories, YouTube videos – all of them considered UGC as long as you didn’t hire someone to produce the content for you. This also includes augmented reality (AR) filters, lenses, and live video streams on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Ecommerce brands can successfully boost customer trust and conversions by using UGC videos to magnify customers’ voices and their experiences with the products. For example, if you have a Shopify store and you aren’t utilizing user-generated videos in your marketing campaigns, you are missing an opportunity to differentiate your brand from the competition and increase the credibility of your online store.
UGC Blog Posts
Blogs aren't just for businesses; people often use them to express their personal thoughts on products. If the products you sell are well-received by bloggers, your company may be highlighted in their articles, attracting the interest of hundreds or even thousands of readers depending on the followers they have. Some companies decide to get well-known bloggers to test out their goods and report back.
If your company sells fitness equipment, and a fitness enthusiast or a personal trainer shares a blog post or a video on their social media using your workout gear—perhaps demonstrating a workout routine or reviewing the quality and usability of your equipment—that's an example of user-generated content (UGC).
Suggested reading: Blogging for Ecommerce: 6 Reasons to Start a Blog
What is Content Moderation?
Imagine a flowering garden where every shared story, photo, and comment plants a seed of community and connection but there is a silent threat. Picture the Cordyceps fungus from "The Last of Us," insidiously taking control and spreading chaos wherever it thrives. In our virtual world, harmful and off-brand content acts much like this fungus, threatening to disrupt the harmony and unity of our digital spaces. Content moderation acts as our unwavering guardian, thoroughly pulling out these invasive seeds and making sure that our online garden is always a safe, lively, and welcome place for everyone.
So, what exactly is content moderation? Content moderation involves overseeing and managing content related to a brand or company, which is created and shared by unpaid and unaffiliated customers or fans.
Content moderation serves as a main technique in preventing spam, negative reviews, trolling, and bullying, ensuring a vigilant oversight over user-generated content. It involves a thorough examination of this content, aligning it with the company’s pre-established rules and social media policies. Based on these guidelines, decisions are made regarding the approval or disapproval of specific submissions.
As an online store owner, you should use content moderation to ensure that your customers are exposed to high-quality content and positive feedback. Content moderation not only helps you understand your customers better but also enables you to address negative reviews without jeopardizing their trust. It is pivotal for cultivating a robust customer experience and establishing trust between your company and potential customers. Furthermore, it assists in creating a secure environment for your customers, safeguarding them from inappropriate content such as fake news, spam, racism, abusive texts, and NSFW materials. Upholding brand reputation and credibility among businesses and followers is the ultimate objective of content moderation.
Now, let’s transition to our main question:
Why is Content Moderation Important for User Generated Campaigns?
Content created by real people inspires trust and differs from that created by marketing experts. Visual social proof, such as examples of people enjoying your products and services, is more important than ever. User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for increasing customer trust. The content you receive from users is real, trustworthy, and priceless. UGC provides you with a competitive edge and influences the buying decisions of 90% of customers.
Despite its obvious benefits, allowing people to post without restrictions on your website can be risky. It's essential to moderate user-generated content to prevent the sharing of offensive material.
Content moderation has many advantages but here are some main points to help you understand why it is important for user-generated campaigns.
1. Safeguard Brand and Users with Content Moderation
The Internet is the place where all types of content are present, including written texts, images, videos, blog posts, Instagram and Facebook posts, Quora publications, and tweets. The problem arises when people post whatever they want on your website or social media pages and sometimes these UGC posts are harmful and can damage your brand. You cannot control how people perceive your brand. Luckily for you, content moderation helps here. The main duty of moderators is to uphold any rules that have been put in place to make sure that people do not cross the line with the content they upload and share.
- Facebook and Instagram strongly prohibit hate speech, threats, graphic violence, and nudity
- Twitter doesn’t allow you to share hateful slurs, death threats, use racist, abusive, and sexist language
Content moderation provides a healthy and safe environment for both brands and users to interact. It also protects users from harmful content online, trolls and bullies, spammers and scammers, and inappropriate and disturbing images, and videos, and helps companies to protect their brand and reputation.
2. Boost Web Traffic through Content Moderation
User-generated content (UGC) serves various purposes and can significantly enhance your online presence. Not only does it help in achieving higher rankings on search engines like Google, thereby increasing traffic to your online store, but it also plays a crucial role in shaping your brand's reputation. However, it's worth noting that the impact of UGC is not always positive. Negative comments or reviews about your products or services, whether genuine or malicious, can negatively affect your website’s rating, reputation, and SEO.
In some instances, negative reviews can be orchestrated by competitors aiming to tarnish your brand's image. Competitors may employ tactics such as posting unfavorable comments or reviews to sway public opinion and divert traffic and potential customers away from your brand. Thus, it becomes imperative to implement a robust content moderation strategy.
Content moderation allows you to sift through user comments and reviews, enabling the removal or management of negative feedback. This not only helps in mitigating the potential damage caused by adverse comments but also aids in constructing a positive customer experience. The more positive interactions customers have on your company’s website or social media page, the more connected they will feel with your brand. This connection enhances your brand reputation and stimulates customer engagement, which, in turn, drives more traffic to your ecommerce website whether it’s a Shopify store or BigCommerce store.
Ensure authentic feedback for your Shopify store with Growave, which allows only verified customers to leave reviews.
It's noteworthy that 82% of marketers observe an increase in visitor engagement when they incorporate UGC on their websites. Increased traffic has the potential to convert leads into paying customers, further solidifying the importance of effectively managing user-generated content.
Suggested reading: How to Get Traffic to your Shopify Store
3. Understand Customers via Content Moderation
User-generated content (UGC) helps you understand your clientele better. By moderating UGC, this powerful tool can provide your business with a wealth of information about your customers, helping you to create more targeted, customer-centric strategies. UGC content moderation helps you learn about your customers' needs, and refine the sales strategy to address those needs. Through content moderation, you can uncover valuable insights into how your customers think, and talk about your products or services. You can find out what they are complaining about, and make meaningful product changes to make your clients happy and satisfied.
User-generated content is perceived by your customers as trustworthy and authentic and with the help of it, you gain customer trust. When you engage with UGC you make your customers feel heard, and valued, fostering customer loyalty.
By monitoring UGC, you can identify and address potential crises before they escalate, protecting your brand image. Responding to negative UGC in a constructive, polite manner can help in managing and improving brand reputation.
UGC often highlights areas where customers require more support or information, enabling you to enhance your customer service.
By effectively analyzing and engaging with UGC, you can build a more authentic, customer-centric brand.
4. Scale Marketing Campaigns with Content Moderation
User-generated content (UGC) may be a powerful tool for boosting engagement and authenticity in your marketing campaigns. Customers' own content creation and sharing can increase brand awareness and foster a sense of community for your business. To manage and scale UGC across numerous marketing campaigns, a strong content moderation system must be put in place. By using this method, you can carefully review contributions to make sure they adhere to your brand requirements and to get rid of any content that can damage your reputation or the user experience. Content moderation enables you to assess and monitor contributions without having to increase your review team, which makes scaling your marketing efforts both feasible and affordable, especially when organizing contests or campaigns that attract UGC.
5. Shield from Spam and Explicit Content with Content Moderation
Content Moderation can protect your site from user-generated spam. Spam content can drive your users away because most of the time it is irrelevant, unwanted, annoying, and inappropriate. It is something your customers wouldn’t want to see in their news feeds. By allowing spam content on your social media pages you could lose your followers and it’s bad for your brand reputation.
Plus, some of the content your users post is not for public viewing like erotic images and videos. They do it because they want likes and people’s attention and you don’t want that type of content on your online store’s website or social media pages. It will scare away your online store visitors. With content moderation, you will protect them from explicit content. The NSFW images or videos will be removed from your site.
Effective content moderation also makes sure that user interactions are positive and healthy while protecting your platform from explicit and unpleasant content. By putting in place a strong moderating system, you can show your users that you are dedicated to upholding a secure and civil online community, which can increase customer loyalty and confidence. Additionally, it assists in upholding legal and regulatory requirements, avoiding any potential legal problems that can result from the spread of dangerous or illegal content. Additionally, by maintaining a good online reputation, you may successfully protect your brand values and make sure that user-generated material adheres to your organizational ethos, building a safe and engaging community.
Now that you know why content moderation is important for user-generated campaigns, this leads us to our next question:
What are the Top Practices for Moderating UGC?
Moderating user-generated content (UGC) is essential for preserving a safe and respectful online environment. Here are some top practices for moderating user-generated content:
Set clear community guidelines: Establish guidelines that are easy to understand, succinct, and that spell clearly what is and is not permitted. Ensure that these guidelines are visible and easy to find for all users. The rules should be strictly followed and updated as necessary.
Use technology: Implement automated moderation tools for content filtering and moderation based on pre-established guidelines. Use machine learning and artificial intelligence to recognize and manage harmful content. Create a system that helps users to mark content as inappropriate.
Human moderation: Even though automated moderation tools can make the content moderation process a lot easier, you need to use human moderators to examine flagged content and make decisions that automated systems could find difficult. Ensure that human moderators are knowledgeable about the community guidelines and have received proper training.
Transparency: Clearly communicate content moderation policies. Tell users why their content was removed and guide them on how to make it better, so they understand the rules and keep joining in your user-generated content campaigns.
User empowerment: Allow users to report, mute, and block other individuals or content. Permit users to provide feedback on moderation decisions and the platform’s guidelines.
Create a unified social content hub for your brand: Create a social wall so that your brand's whole social media presence can serve as a focus for content curation.
Launch UGC campaigns through contests and incentives: Plan contests and rewards for people who produce content as part of your campaign to gather and display user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC), including reviews and images from users, offers a genuine and engaging way for brands to connect with their audiences. Online content is being produced every day, therefore, it's crucial to navigate through this sea of content wisely. Content moderation ensures that all shared content aligns with a brand’s values and provides a safe and positive environment for all users. Especially in UGC campaigns, moderation protects the brand’s reputation and ensures that user interactions remain constructive, friendly, and supportive. By employing smart moderation practices, ecommerce brands can harness the power of UGC effectively, ensuring it remains a valuable asset in their digital marketing strategy.