The internet is a big and scary place that’s filled with people looking to tarnish reputations or cause harm to others for personal gain or their own entertainment. This is sadly a reality that many individuals and businesses have to deal with daily. For this reason alone, content moderation has exploded as a service industry — seeking to enforce community rules and regulations on platforms to maintain safety and protect the brand’s identity.
But should a business, organization, or even website do content moderation in-house? Is it more costly to moderate content yourself as opposed to hiring someone else to do it? Below is a short but comprehensive guide on outsourcing content moderation and why it can save you a world of hassle.
What is Content Moderation?
In a 2020 article by News Media Services, content moderation is explained as a service that seeks to maintain brand reputation and community standards by screening user-generated content and removing those which break the set of rules. It is a vital part of the upkeep of customer security, engagement, and the insurance of their satisfaction.
Without content moderation, potentially offensive, inappropriate, or even privacy-infringing content can be posted by users on your platform or website. This, in turn, can damage your image as a brand and weaken the consumer’s trust.
Why Should You Outsource It?
In the early days of the business, content moderation can be easily done by one or two people. The volume of content is not so great that a few people can easily screen each post. There are also tools and software that allow for the filtering out of content based on keywords or phrases — making their job go faster.
Once the platform or website has grown though, the stream of user-generated content could be so much as to overpower the in-house workers. This will either lead to you having to hire more moderators to keep up with the amount or allow your consumers to suffer delays in their postings. On the other hand, the added manpower will incur additional occupational costs. There are also risks involved in hiring in-house moderators engaging in very psychologically challenging occupations.
Hiring external content moderation is necessary in two ways:
- They can curate content. A content moderation service can ensure that the kind of content posted on the platform is streamlined and coherent. This greatly improves the quality and overall delivery of the brand. Otherwise, the content of all sorts can be posted on the website or platform and the customers might get a skewed vision of what the brand stands for.
- They ensure that negative content isn’t posted. This is not the same as limiting criticism. Most websites welcome the posting of negative reviews are constructive criticism as a part of their customer support. But some contain inappropriate language, offensive words or phrases, and/or might even be downright illegal. These can hurt other users or even damage the reputation of the brand. This is why any content that breaks the rules set for by the community must be dealt with by those whose job it is to seek them out.
Benefits of Outsourcing Content Moderation
Outsourcing content moderation can impart on the business the following benefits:
- It protects your brand. As stated before, content moderation can help ensure that the content being uploaded to your platform is coherent and matches the overall tone and image of the brand. This makes it easier for customers to know what the brand stands for.
- Improve search engine ranking and traffic. With better quality content being posted on your site, you improve the searchability of the website. This expands the base of visitors to your website and increases the likelihood of sales conversion.
- It protects your community. When users participate in online discussions, they build a back-and-forth engagement that generates rapport and creates buzz for the platform or brand. There are trolls or explicit content posters though that would ruin the atmosphere. Content moderators keep these spheres of engagement safe and free-flowing.
- Improve your marketing campaigns. With the ability to screen through each content being posted, you get to know your users’ personalities by heart. Knowing your users by heart allows you to fashion more personal and targeted marketing campaigns.
- Cost-effective. Content moderation can be outsourced to other companies that are better skilled and equipped to handle the volume of users. This puts less stress on your business both in manpower and in financial resources.
Finding a Content Moderators
There is a string of outsourcing content moderation services online for you to choose from. There are also freelance content moderators who can offer their services and some are quite experienced. Though a relatively new industry, it has expanded quite a lot in the past few years. In order to get the best you can from the external content moderators, it would help to keep the following in mind:
- The service must be able to scale with the size of the business. It needs to match the demands of the size of the company’s online platform.
- The service must be effective in its content moderation while also proving to be the most cost-effective option.
- Must be willing to grow with you and become intertwined with the growth of the company.
- The service also needs to have a large pool of talent and specialties for it to be able to handle the different situations that might arise in an online scenario.
Content moderation is soon to be essential for any business looking to have an online presence. Without it, the brand risks falling prey to all sorts of unwanted content that can tarnish its reputation and dissuade potential customers.
The real question is how best to go about it. Though in-house content moderation has its benefits, outsourcing content moderation needs can save the company money and resources which can be better used to growing the company in other areas.