Editorial - Content Services

Modern Content: A Double-Edged Sword

Content is complicated. It’s 24/7, increasing 10x over the past few years alone.¹

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Today’s content volume also matches its breadth. The internet is a melting pot where different voices come to share opinions from around the world. But some of these voices are better-intentioned and better-informed than others.

For brands, content is currency. When leveraged constructively, content enables dialogue with existing and future customers, increases brand recognition and reputation, all while supporting a strong customer experience.

Conversely, left unchecked, content creates the opportunity for misinformation to spread. More than half of Americans claim to regularly see fake news on sites such as Facebook or Twitter.²

So how do businesses successfully navigate this duality? Let’s explore.

Content Becomes Constant

The proliferation of digital channels led to vast knowledge-sharing and storytelling. It’s also led to a lot of noise, with every voice trying to be louder than the last. How do you cut through it?

For businesses, that’s the million-dollar question. As brands try to market and sell to customers in this competitive landscape, stand-out content isn’t a nice-to-have but a must-have. Content is almost utilitarian – it’s tailored to business goals across practically every industry. It supports e-commerce initiatives, brand awareness campaigns, user engagement tactics, you name it. Most of all, it is the foundation for customer retention and business growth. According to a CSO Insights study, organizations that had a content strategy achieved 27.1% higher win rates.³

But as businesses generate a constant output of owned content, their efforts result in an equal response from users – who are responding, engaging, and making content of their own. On Twitter alone there are around 500 million tweets sent each day, or 6,000 every second.⁴ While a two-way dialogue is ideal for fostering better relationships, it’s a lot to keep up with and even more to somehow organize, filter, and moderate.

This is the crux of what makes content such a challenge. The relationship between brands and users is vital, but endangered if mismanaged.

Social media users have “not too much” or “no confidence” in social media companies to completely remove four different types of content


False information


Hate speech




Offensive content

Customer Experience
Caught in the Crossfire

In the digital battleground for content, players emerge from all sides. With educational, high-value stories also comes misinformation, fake news, and malicious user-generated content. It’s crucial businesses know how to manage both. Failing to do so tarnishes user experiences and drives customers away.

Take the e-commerce industry, for example. While most brands take numerous steps to ensure accurate product advertising, the recent surge in user-generated content and collaborative platforms like Amazon has muddied the way buyers perceive products. This goes beyond the written word, as some internet users go so far as to create fake images and product reviews. In fact, Statista found that 64% of supplement reviews and 63% of beauty product reviews on Amazon are fake.⁵

Everywhere they turn, consumers must decipher what is real versus not. Beyond fake products and advertising, there’s a sea of fake news plaguing social media platforms. Users experience a near-constant slew of fabricated online posts, created solely to mislead and misinform. This information typically materializes as clickbait, either designed for economic gain through advertising or to further a political agenda. As such, posts tend to be sensational in nature. So it’s no surprise that 86% of internet users have fallen for fake news tactics at least once.

Fake content’s potency has real impact – resulting in misguided purchases and uninformed decisions. It deters consumers from engaging with specific platforms and brands, as according to research firm PwC, 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, and 92% will abandon it after just two or three negative interactions.⁷ This kind of experience negates content’s original goal: to add value and build genuine connections.

This raises the question - how do you create valuable, effective content that serves to inform and educate audiences? How do you use content content as a medium to improve customer experience, not hinder it?

For over 15 years, Sutherland has provided content services for the world’s best brands. Our long-standing expertise in content creation, research, fact checking, customer experience management, and human-centric design underpins our Content Services offerings.

The Solution: Embracing a Two-Pronged Strategy

Double-edged swords require two-pronged responses. Brands need to strike a balance between content creation and moderation to pave the way for real storytelling.

First stop, moderation. If businesses want customers to essentially live on their platforms, they must first make them a safe place to inhabit. That starts with effective content moderation.

The key to successful content moderation is a balance between both human and machine. AI is great for proactivity and speed, but the human touch is still required in order to stay ahead of today’s digital threats. AI requires the additional context – including societal, cultural, and political factors – that human moderators provide. This approach underpins Sutherland’s Content Moderation solution, which blends the strengths of humans and AI to moderate content at scale and create safe and trustworthy online environments for organizations and their communities.

Once your space is secured, fill it with blogs, whitepapers, images, video – whatever helps readers make educated decisions and forge bonds with your brand. However, content creation must be done thoughtfully – this isn’t throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s understanding your buyer personas and what kind of content is meaningful to them. Tailor your content and production strategy to add value and enrich online experiences.

A thoughtful content creation strategy is a universal best practice, but specifically valuable for e-commerce companies. With buyers now exclusively online, timely and accurate content and product info can make or break a sale. 98% of shoppers have been dissuaded from completing a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content, according to Episerver.

A successful content strategy pays dividends in the long-run but is no easy feat. Many businesses overpromise and underdeliver on their approach, struggling from lack of expertise and bandwidth to produce content that engages with key target audiences.

The good news? Organizations don’t need to carry the full responsibility and scale of content production alone. To keep up with high demands, partner with a content service vendor, such as Sutherland, that produces and manages compelling content at scale. By leveraging a service provider, businesses tailor and customize content to address their unique needs. The provider handles creation so the business remains focused on outcomes.

By striking the right balance of content moderation and creation, of human and AI, businesses successfully wield the double-edged content sword. From there, brands and customers connect without skepticism or consequence. You get back to real storytelling – to building connections and engineering experiences for the future.

Create content that drives impact.
In a 24/7 world.

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Sutherland. Engineering tomorrow’s experiences, today.

We are a global products and platforms powerhouse inside a trusted digital transformation services company. Our mission is to deliver exceptionally-engineered experiences for both customers and employees. We accelerate growth for our clients by building integrated cloud-based solutions that get them to market faster. Our unique design approach leverages human-machine collaboration that delivers experiences today, that continue to delight, tomorrow.

For more information on how we can help you transform your processes, contact us via our website, email us at sales@sutherlandglobal.com, or call us at 1.585.498.2042.

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  1. “Twitter Usage Statistics.” Twitter Usage Statistics - Internet Live Stats
  2. Clement, J. “Amazon Fake Product Review Categories 2018 l Statistic.” Statista, 23 July 2019
  3. 2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust.” Centre for International Governance Innovation
  4. PwC, 2018, Experience Is Everything: Here’s How to Get It Right
  5. Clement, J. “Amazon Fake Product Review Categories 2018 l Statistic.” Statista, 23 July 2019, .
  6. “2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust.” Centre for International Governance Innovation
  7. PwC, 2018, Experience Is Everything: Here’s How to Get It Right
  8. “98 Percent of Shoppers Have Been Deterred From Completing a Purchase Because of Incomplete Content.” Episerver