User Generated Content Management using Artificial Intelligence
That’s all very well, but turning all of this social ‘noise’ into usable assets can be a challenge. To put that challenge into perspective ‘#love’ has generated 695 million messages on Instagram alone. How do you find the best content for your brand from amongst those millions of posts? The answer is careful curation.
But before we get into UGC curating with AI, let’s get reacquainted with some related UGC terms!
What is UGC curation?
UGC curation is the process of collecting images, videos and text from social media and from direct upload forms on webpages. Typically UGC curation is done using a technology that leverages APIs from various social media platforms.
UGC curation is the foundation to an effective customer-led digital marketing strategy. Why? Because it is tough to create amazing campaigns without knowing what our customers or prospects are saying about us. Not only does curating UGC give us actionable insights, it gives us content for our marketing. But not just any content. Impactful and relatable content that builds trust. The only way to get your hands on this gold dust is by curating UGC!
What is UGC tracking?
UGC tracking is not dissimilar to UGC curation. But the intentions behind them differ somewhat.
If you are curating content, you are more likely to have plans for the images, videos and reviews that you are looking through. If you are tracking UGC, you are likely to be using a UGC platform to monitor and report on your social reputation, rather than act on the content that you are finding.
What is UGC moderation?
UGC moderation is the important process of monitoring and regulating user generated image, videos and text in accordance to a set of pre-agreed guidelines.
The hard truth is that you can’t always control how people use your hashtags or handles. Expert UGC moderation means going through your content with a fine tooth comb, in real-time, looking out for potentially offensive or inappropriate material so that you can remove it.
Most UGC platforms come equipped with helpful AI features that will do some of the heavy lifting for you, picking up on blacklisted words or phrases that may suggest that the content is less than ideal. But for live displays, a combination of AI and human moderation is always recommended.
User Generated Content Curating with AIIt’s estimated that a good human curator can review about 2000 Tweets per day. Good luck manually moderating #love then – unless you have an unlimited budget to employ vast armies of moderators. Those can work through that content over the next couple of centuries. (you need it this afternoon you say? Forget it). Cue artificial intelligence.
Given machines control all of this human interaction in the first place it’s fitting that it should come full circle. AI is providing a new way to identify the best content…to remove the haystack and leave only the needles. Entrusting all of this personal, human content to programmes may feel counter intuitive. However, this blend of the human content and machine learning can save businesses a great deal of time and money.
Before we delve into how this unexpected relationship works, let’s recap precisely why UGC is so important to digital brands.
Evergreen, authentic & resource saving: Why UGC matters
In previous articles, we’ve written extensively about the growing value of UGC in marketing. In short, there’s an emerging cynicism which turns consumers off of overly promotional brand generated content. Furthermore, we face an increasing appetite for “real”, unfiltered opinions from peers. What some people call ‘social proof’.
UGC is authentic
A good example of this effect is the growing importance of online reviews. Particularly for “bricks and mortar” businesses like restaurants. Promotional content from the restaurant itself may interest only a few potential customers. Instead it’s recommendations from friends and reviews on Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor which make the difference to that decision-making process. This move towards peer created UGC is now affecting digital businesses of all types.
UGC is authentic because it is content generated out of genuine love for your products or services. UGC is created by real, satisfied customers who have not been persuaded to say nice things about you. Authentic content builds trust. After all, 92% of consumers trust earned media such as recommendations from family or friends more than traditional forms of advertising. This is potentially the greatest benefit of marketing with UGC.
Today, however, we want to talk a few lesser known benefits of UGC, particularly its value as evergreen content…
UGC is evergreen
As long as people are posting on social using your hashtag you have bucket-loads of fresh content for your marketing… It’s hard to see #loveparis going out of fashion anytime soon, or #justdoit or #redbull or #mercedes etc.
Not only is there a lot of user generated content to choose from. It’s actually free to use in many situations. Contributors have signed the terms and conditions of the social media networks. So as long as you stick to those Ts&Cs too you can use that content. You may want to take that content away from the social network and use it on a printed poster campaign. In that case Miappi’s Engage product let’s you contact the contributor. It lets you ask for their permission. 9 times out of 10 they’ll say yes without hesitation.
The result is that you can source loads of great campaign content from this sea of UGC. You will also dial down the money you spend creating your own content. Sure, your creative agency won’t like it particularly. But would that stop you? Besides, you could argue that free UGC means the available creative budget could be spent elsewhere. It could be spent on fewer, higher quality, brand owned assets. Now everyone’s happy!
Enlisting “the machines”
So, the UGC your chosen hashtag generates organically via social media might be engaging and plentiful. It saves you time, it saves you money and it builds credibility. Particularly now that consumers are fed up of brand generated content and search for authentic voices. The ‘Social Proof’ as some people like to call it. But how can you turn all of this benefit into a reality? Especially when you’re confronted by the chaotic (over plentiful!) world of social media?
It may have all the right #s and @s. But there may be too much for you to possibly process within the time available to you. How can you make sense of it all and still hit a deadline for a marketing campaign?
AI might be the answer to your prayers
Enter: Artificial intelligence. In recent months we’ve been writing about the evolving role of AI in marketing. We are also preaching about the increasingly sophisticated state of machine learning as a tool for brands. That’s because we’ve been finding fresh ways to incorporate AI into our own platform. We want to make content curating and UGC moderation and tracking far easier.
With machine learning getting smarter, it’s now perfectly possible to entrust tasks to software and programmes. Those tasks may vary from moderating user generated content to presenting social posts precisely where and when it matters. It may sound strange to give the task of moderating such human content to a machine. However, with very advanced capabilities, it’s possible for this technology to appraise content of this nature. It can do it just as accurately as a human – and far faster.
Combining Machine learning with UGC curation
Machine learning is the art of training the AI well, so that before you know it, the technology is predicting outcomes with little input. But what happens if you combine machine learning with UGC curation?
The goal for the marketer when curating content, is to find as many great pieces of content as possible, so that you have access to an endless stream of impactful content for your marketing.
Once you start finding pieces that you like and flagging that content to the platform, the AI will work its magic. By combining UGC curation with machine learning, it is possible for the AI to look for trends in the content you like, and use this to find similar content.
Let’s take an example to demonstrate machine learning with UGC curation:
Imagine you are a retailer who sells trainers, so you are collecting hundreds of pictures of people wearing trainers they bought from you.
- You go through the feed in your UGC platform once a day, marking the UGC that you’d like to use for your marketing.
- The AI learns that most of your preferred pictures feature a full length shot of a person wearing your trainers
- From then on, the AI will prioritise images that feature a full length shot of a person wearing your trainers
User generated content management systemA human moderator could review 2,000 social posts per day give or take. Based on an 8 hour working day that’s 4 posts moderated per minute. Not bad you might say. However, to review 150,000 posts it would take 75 days at that rate. Our new AI user generated content moderator can review 150,000 posts per day for a client! That’s a potentially saving of 75 days in labour for every 150k posts moderated. Not to mention to actually get the moderated results that same day.
Here’s a flavour of how Miappi is employing AI to speed up the curation process:
We’ve incorporated a rules engine that helps clients search for specific words in the text of any social media posts. When the Rules Engine finds a match to the selected keywords the social media post triggers the chosen condition. It can either be automatically shown on the client’s UGC gallery, hidden completely or directed to a Folder. There a human moderator can make the final decision.
We have also incorporated a great new feature called ImageScan into our Dashboard. This amazing tech scans images and even video to determine their suitability. The client tells the Rules Engine what they are looking for. Consequently, ImageScan searches incoming social media posts for objects, faces, moods, locations, logos, colours and more.
Natural language analysis
Hot on the heels of ImageScan we launched our new Sentiment feature. It’s a natural language analysis tool that detects the sentiment, intent and flamboyance in the language used in social posts. Miappi ensures the best UGC appears on the client’s UGC gallery by matching these to the clients preferences. At the same time less flattering or less relevant content is hidden.
User-generated curation services
Who comes out on top in the battle of human versus robot? Based on all that we have discussed so far, you could easily argue that the robot dominates when it comes to UGC curation. However, AI is not perfect. Certainly in the initial stages of discovering the most impactful content, a dedicated curator is required.
A combination of AI technology can save you a lot of time, by dramatically reducing the pool of content that you will eventually be looking at. But a human curator is sometimes required to spot new trends and other great content that you might have missed if it was just left to the technology.
Some companies like Miappi, offer user generated curation services in addition to your UCG platform license, to help you get the most out of your earned media. This involves a dedicated expert constantly checking your content and hashtags, looking for ways to optimise your feed whilst also looking out for on-brand gems that you might not have time to spot!
Miappi - Best content curation tool
Is the Miappi UGC platform the best content curation tool? It's possible!
At Miappi, we’d like to think we are pretty good at what we do and our clients say some great things about us:
“Miappi’s flexible and user-centric approach delivered a seamless experience for customers online during our product promotion. Custom upload forms and engagement capabilities from Miappi allowed our brand to focus on bringing users in rather than worrying about the process.”
Jordan Lewis, Brand Manager, Dove Men+Care
“Implementing Miappi was easy, we already had the screen ready and the software wasn’t difficult to get the hang of at all. We received lots of personal attention, even though we’re operating in different countries and timezones!”
Heineken Experience team
We offer a unique blend of innovative technology and strategic advice to help consumer brands master and continuously improve their UGC strategy.
Whilst you are here. Why not hear what our client Millennium Hotel Group has to say about our AI capabilities. Click here to watch the video.
All in all, these new features herald a fascinating new phase in the battle to find and curate great content. Want to save time? Why not get in touch and let's put the machines to work for you!