User-generated content (UGC) can boost brand affiliation and deliver audience insights, but spam and excessive amounts of UGC can have a detrimental impact on the user experience, according to a new study by Google.
UGC has been lauded as a huge asset for content marketers as consumers are generally drawn to organic content created by other people.
It does have a role to play in the marketing mix, especially when set against more expensive forms of advertising that may not be suitable for certain campaigns.
However, the study found that abusive words and spam can be particularly troublesome and can lead to digital experiences that fail to live up to the demands of modern consumers.
Marketers can address the issue more readily by identifying the types of UGC that are a notable drag on experience and deleting them.
However, this task can be challenging to manage over time.
Google noted that brands must work much harder to reduce spam rates from 5% to 0% compared to from 10% to 5%.
Google stated: “There is a business need for prioritization based on which spam types impact user experience negatively and invest time and resources towards building automated systems to tackle those.”
For those looking to supplement traditional content marketing with UGC in 2020, Google recommends highlighting the top and positive user reviews for a balanced take on a particular product or service.
The search giant also says that users can be suspicious of a glut of five-star reviews and that a spectrum of opinions is a sure sign of a healthy ecosystem.