How User-Generated Content Can Improve Your Brand's Credibility

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UPDATED September 20, 2022
Written By Milliscent Lucio

Marketing has been and will continue to be an essential component of any successful business strategy. It entails two-way communication as well as demonstrating what makes your products distinctive. Customers should also be given the opportunity to freely and truthfully share their fair share of opinions and viewpoints regarding the services that you provide. It is the most efficient method of driving user-generated content, which is an essential part of any successful content marketing campaign for a company or brand. 

Whether your company is just starting out and attempting to cultivate an audience, or you are an established brand looking to build a solid base of patrons or loyalists, it is critical to thoroughly understand the significance of audience involvement in your online communities. Given that user-generated content can either build or destroy a brand’s reputation, knowing its impact on branding, audience engagement, and income generation is paramount.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content for brands includes genuine opinions from end-users about a product or service. UGCs include photos, videos, forum discussions, blogs, reviews, and testimonials. It is a powerful branding tactic that outperforms self-promotion.

For instance, a client may upload a video of themselves on YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram evaluating products from brands and expressing their first-hand opinions about them. Their comments usually center on the packaging, design, structure, flavor (for food), and general quality of the product. 

Reviews from customers can be given voluntarily or requested from those who have tested your products. The aim is to gather honest assessments of their overall experience with the service or product and share it with their friends and followers on social media.

The Importance of User Generated Content for Business

One of the most notable importance of user-generated content is that it helps to build trust between the customer and the brand. Since the content was created by people who have experienced or interacted with your products and services rather than your firm, there is a strong probability that potential buyers will be encouraged to try your goods.

Brands can engage with customers with an unprecedented sense of authenticity with the correct approach and strategy. By highlighting content created by customers and followers, your business gains increased customer attention and accurate, positive business results. 

Here are some advantages of user-generated content:

1. Increase Brand Awareness

The level of trust a customer has in your brand is directly related to the likelihood that they will purchase from your business. Additionally, buyers are more inclined to buy from brands that they are already familiar with. Familiarity increases the likelihood of both new and repeat purchases.

UGC promotes your brand and broadens the scope of your audience reach. It has the potential to raise public awareness of your brand. In fact, genuine customer content has the ability to make your products the talk of the town. Presently, no brand would trend online without honest evaluations and peer recommendations. 

Recent research conducted by Nielsen Company found that approximately 90% of customers place their trust in recommendations made by individuals they already know, while at least 70% depend on evaluations offered by other users online. The data highlights how organizations can benefit from input obtained directly from customers.

2. Boost Social Endorsements

Enabling a user-generated content (UGC) campaign on social media promotes your company's reputation, increases customer trust, and contextualizes your brand’s promises. This provides tremendous social proof, particularly for potential clients and website visitors. 

Customized hashtags, multimedia contests, and product-related discussions are all tried and true strategies to increase end-user participation in a company's success.

These types of operations, when combined with suitable UGC moderation services, result in stronger and more successful customer recommendations. It also emphasizes the need to provide a safe atmosphere for your followers.

Responding to and acknowledging people’s efforts to engage with your business,  whether through your website, customer support hotline, or social media pages, is vital. You may also share UGC on your social networks or websites with the consent of the original creator.

For example, a customer buys cookies from a store and decides to post and share a fan-made photo of the brand's cookie milkshakes on Facebook. With the help of the said post, the brand can market an exclusive in-store offer and generate interactions with engaging, authentic material that does not appear to be an advertisement but rather, an instant testimonial.

People naturally become more engaged with an advertisement if it contains content created by fellow community members. Also, they are more likely to share good experiences on their profile.

3. It Highlights Credibility

When it comes to making decisions about their purchases, the majority of customers look to their peers for advice. It is reasonable to assume that individuals who endorse your brand hold opinions that are both objective and genuine.

The majority of shoppers on Instagram are drawn by high-quality and attention-grabbing product images. On the other hand, product reviews and unboxing videos earn over ten times as many views as do sponsored content on big online video-sharing platforms like YouTube. 

When a company receives positive feedback, it automatically gains a higher level of credibility and a significant propensity to increase the number of times a customer makes subsequent purchases.

How Can Brands Make the Most of User-Generated Content?

It is possible for user-generated content to go viral, whether it is in the form of reviews, case studies, or even simple social media posts. As soon as it begins to gain traction, it turns into a driver that helps spread the message of the brand to a more extensive audience. On the other hand, businesses have very limited control over the information that their customers publish and share online. Due to this, it is absolutely essential to learn how to use customer content to spread your brand’s message and preserve your reputation.

Maximize Audience Participation

Relying on customer reviews is more crucial for new companies. Empower your existing customers to speak on behalf of your brand. Let them spread social proof of your capacity to live up to market demands and expectations.

Instead of tirelessly trying to convince people to check out your services, let your customers build familiarity with their peers so that more individuals become more compelled to check out your products and services. At times, negative reviews can even prove useful in skyrocketing the marketability of your business. Once you earn a considerable number of loyal followers, they will serve as your first line of defense and spark discussions with new customers whose initial experience with your services was met with lackluster results. 

These discussions balance your online presence in such a way that you have genuine customers defending your brand against fake reviews while simultaneously convincing unsatisfied buyers to give your business a chance for redemption.

Contests and Endorsements

Create online contests that require your audience to be creative and share content that features your services or products. Shifting the spotlight from your business to your customers creates an impression of friendliness and a high regard for business-to-customer interaction.

Not to mention, people appreciate a good challenge every now and then. They become more invested in your business and indirectly spark curiosity among potential followers in the process.

Get Your Community Involved

Maximize the expertise of the members of your online community to bolster the capabilities of your in-house moderation team. Before anything is shown to the general public, you should appoint community managers or moderators to sift through user posts and examine the context of what they say. Enable a rating system that gives users the ability to rate, flag, or report other users' posts.

When your followers or members of your community find out that the content they post or share will be reviewed, they normally make an effort to stick to the criteria established by your moderators to avoid running into trouble. Strike a balance between using automated filters and in-house moderators to increase protection against online trolls and unsuitable content.

Consider Content Type

Businesses need to monitor any type of content submission using content moderation services to effectively safeguard both their customers and their good name when driving more end-user involvement.

Before deciding which user-generated content moderation services to use, it is critical to understand the impact of each type of UGC. Text-based content, for instance, does not work well on Instagram since the platform is all about sharing visual content such as images and videos. Allowing all forms of user-generated material on your website isn’t always optimal. On the other hand, choosing content that supports your marketing and outreach goals will make UGC moderation easier to manage.

Consider how moderation might differ when examining text-based information versus images and videos. Better yet, incorporate the effectiveness of AI-powered moderation. Automated moderation uses machine learning and smart keyword filters and it also detects permits from prohibited terminology and content in user posts. Meanwhile, human moderators assist in determining whether a particular post is maliciously destructive or not.

If you allow guest blogging on your site, hire moderators to assess the quality of the submissions. Keep an eye on user comments to ensure that readers provide helpful input and stay on topic. When it comes to picture and video censoring, the emphasis is on checking graphics depicting offensive or explicit content, video quality, and the format of the uploaded photos and videos.

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How to Moderate User-Generated Content?

In spite of the numerous benefits that come with user-generated content, it is not advisable to open up your website or forum to users and allow them to post whatever they like. Your followers are quite knowledgeable about how things work in the online community. Keep in mind that it is possible for trolls to render themselves invisible and make it so that they can hide in plain sight just by using genuine-looking usernames or by using someone else’s image as their profile photo. Scam artists and users who have ill will towards others frequently abuse the privilege of anonymity online. 

The potential risks posed by the internet can be difficult to anticipate. The majority of the time, troll attacks occur when users are least prepared to deal with them. As such, putting in place a moderation system for user-generated content needs to be your number one priority.

Keeping a close eye on what followers and online community members post online is an essential aspect of any content marketing plan. It lets you stay a step ahead of online trolls, maintain a certain level of content quality, remove spam, and safeguard your users from malicious information. Failure to control UGC on your platforms could result in irreversible damage to your brand's reputation.

Now it's time to figure out how to moderate user-generated content.

AI Moderation

Utilizing artificial intelligence has been demonstrated to be a viable answer to the question of how to successfully monitor user-submitted information. Based on the platform's specific rules and guidelines, it automatically screens all types of content before or after it becomes publicly visible. If a particular post fails to abide by the platform-imposed rules and policies, the AI moderator will automatically flag or delete the said post.

In a word, automated moderation enables real-time interaction with users and also eases the workload of its human counterpart.

Brands usually settle for this option, especially if they want to augment their existing in-house team of content moderators. After all, AI alone may not be as effective in securing your brand and your followers since algorithms need constant updating to keep up with changing internet trends. Some issues may be too complex for AI to handle on its own, and most auto-moderation software programs are not yet optimized to comprehend most human intent. That is why some posts are redirected to a human moderator for more extensive analysis.

Human-Powered Moderation

Here, all types of content posted on online platforms are screened and monitored manually by human moderators. Following a specific set of rules and guidelines, human moderators prove indispensable when it comes to protecting online users from content that promotes any form of scam, abuse, or harassment.

You need to have a well-trained crew of moderators to pull this off. Make sure that all your moderators have undergone the necessary training to get them familiar with different types of user content. Once they are acquainted with the workflow, they will prove vital in regulating user activities across all your online platforms. More importantly, moderators must be  well-versed at keeping conversations engaging and persuading users to join in discussions initiated on your platforms. This is especially useful when dealing with user reports and other platform-related concerns.

Freelance Moderation

Hiring remote-based workers to handle your user-generated content moderation needs is a practical option if you're on a tight budget. Freelancers and outsourced labor are generally less expensive than in-house employees, and you are not restricted to a single geographic location.

Payment for their services is flexible as they charge an hourly rate. It will also depend on project timelines.

If you feel that hiring individual freelance moderators might be a bit risky, outsourcing to a company that offers moderation solutions is an ideal alternative. There are UGC content moderation outsourcing providers available and capable of handling multiple types of user content across different websites, apps, and platforms. While partnering with an outsourcing company costs more than hiring an in-house or remote-based moderation staff, expect high-quality work nonetheless.

Explore Different Forms of Moderation Techniques

UGC moderation companies usually offer all types of moderation services. 

Determining the type of moderation that best suits your branding goals means defining your patrons and target audience. Find out the social media platforms, discussion websites, content, and online communities they frequent.

Chekkee is a user-generated content moderation company you can trust. Do you need human moderators, automated content moderation, or both? We execute a custom-fit strategy that adheres to your marketing objectives. We provide you with full access to the entire moderation process and help develop user trust in your brand.

Want to learn the secret to boosting your business reputation? Contact us for a free quote to learn more about our content moderation processes!

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