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Listen to your content moderator: how moderation data can guide your business strategy

May 9, 2024 | UGC

In the world of retail, data is king. Every industry from children’s toys to snack products employs retail analysts to pore over data sources, including sales figures, customer feedback, and market research, to predict the shifts in consumer preferences and behaviors. They’re all seeking to identify the next trends before they become mainstream.

This crystal ball of data allows retailers to adapt their strategies proactively, such as adjusting their inventory, launching new products, or tweaking marketing campaigns to capitalize on emerging trends. By identifying these trends early, retailers can gain a competitive advantage, better meet customer needs, and potentially increase their market share.

In the fashion industry, where trends can shift in mere weeks, perhaps no one has built a better business model utilizing data than Zara. With a supply chain that is optimized for speed, the company is able to move from design to store shelves in just a few weeks due to its constant analysis of real-time sales data and immediate customer feedback, both in-store and online.

For example, store managers are equipped with tools to monitor what sells and what doesn’t and they provide daily feedback to Zara headquarters. This data is then quickly analyzed by both AI tools and human analysts to spot emerging trends.

Zara also employs a large team of trend analysts who not only analyze market data but also keep close tabs on fashion blogs, influencers, and runway shows around the world. This enables the company to catch and act on fashion trends long before many of its competitors.

Why is Zara’s model relevant to my UGC platform, you might be asking? It’s because you might have stores of untapped data you’re not using, which could guide your company’s next leap forward. How does WebPurify know this? Just listen to your content moderator.

Listen to your content moderator: how moderation data can guide your business strategy

Finding insights from your moderation data

Content moderators, with their daily oversight of user-generated content, possess a unique vantage point in that they not only observe the overt trends on your platform but also the nuanced shifts in user behavior that can significantly influence a business strategy.

Content moderators are on the front lines of user interaction, continuously exposed to the pulse of your community dynamics. Their day-to-day responsibilities involve more than just filtering inappropriate content; they observe trends, user reactions, and engagement patterns.

This constant immersion in your platform’s communities offer moderators a deep understanding of what resonates with your users and what doesn’t – insights that can often elude even the most sophisticated data analytics tools.

“The data we gather through content moderation goes beyond simple rule enforcement,” explains Josh Buxbaum, WebPurify’s co-founder. “It’s a treasure trove of insights into what your users care about and how they interact with content. We all understand that this information is crucial for shaping content policies, but it also has value in shaping broader business strategies. By understanding your users’ patterns, our data can help you anticipate market trends or align your offering more closely with user expectations.”

Implementing a feedback loop

To truly harness the insights that content moderation data can offer, businesses need to establish strong feedback loops. These channels should not only allow your moderators to report back on trends and unusual patterns but also enable them to contribute to strategic discussions.

For example, regular meetings between moderators and your product teams can be invaluable. Moderators can provide firsthand accounts of user feedback and suggest features or changes that could improve the user experience based on their observations.

“Every piece of feedback from our moderation team is a potential goldmine for our strategic planners,” Josh says. “For instance, if we notice a surge in certain types of content or discussions, it might indicate a shift in consumer interests or concerns. By leveraging this information, businesses can quickly adapt their strategies to capture emerging markets or address potential issues before they escalate.”

How to implement a successful feedback loop

  1. Schedule frequent and regular meetings between moderators and different teams – product development, engineering, marketing, and customer service. This facilitates a direct flow of information and allows moderators to voice observations that may influence product features or marketing strategies.
  2. Incorporate moderator insights into the strategic planning sessions. Moderators often spot subtle shifts in consumer sentiment or cultural trends that analytics might miss, providing a ground-level perspective that can be crucial for adapting to market changes.
  3. Develop systems to track and categorize feedback from moderators. This can include tagging specific types of feedback or using digital dashboards that highlight trends and patterns identified by moderators. Recognizing these patterns can help prioritize responses and allocate resources more effectively.
  4. Act on the insights provided by moderators. Whether it’s adjusting a feature, changing a policy, or even altering a product line, the real value of feedback is realized through implementation. Showcase examples where moderator insights have led to tangible changes, reinforcing the value of their contributions.

Do you know what to look for in a content moderation service?

Tools and techniques for maximizing insights

While human insights are invaluable, complementing them with technological tools can enhance their impact. Advanced analytics tools can aggregate and analyze the data captured by moderators, identifying trends and patterns that might require closer investigation.

Artificial intelligence can also play a role, especially in sorting through large volumes of data to pinpoint areas of interest for human moderators. These technologies, combined with the nuanced understanding of human moderators, create a powerful toolset for strategic planning.

Best tools for making sense of your moderation data

  • Utilize advanced data analytics tools to aggregate and visualize the feedback and data collected by moderators. Tools like Tableau or Google Analytics can provide dynamic insights into user behavior, highlight trends, and track changes over time.
  • Deploy AI and machine learning algorithms to supplement your human moderators. These technologies can help identify patterns and anomalies at scale, which might be too subtle or complex for human observers to detect consistently. For instance, natural language processing (NLP) can analyze sentiment in user comments, helping moderators to understand prevailing moods or opinions. You may have seen this as a recent addition to Amazon, where – before the individual user reviews – a short paragraph summarizes the prevailing sentiment of all the reviews.
  • Use predictive analytics to forecast future trends based on moderation data. By understanding potential future scenarios, businesses can prepare more effectively for upcoming changes in user behavior or market conditions.

In conclusion

Content moderators do much more than ensure compliance with community guidelines; they are a strategic asset that can provide businesses with a competitive edge. By actively listening to your moderators, your company can gain a deeper understanding of its audience, adapt more quickly to market changes, and tailor your offerings to meet evolving user needs.

It’s time for businesses to rethink the role of content moderation, seeing it not just as a necessity but as an opportunity to innovate and grow.