Brands are missing a big opportunity to close the “social loop” and “frack” their owned content.Advanced technologies using learning algorithms, content recommendations and visual content platforms are powering top publisher sites today to help connect readers with content they will love. However, the void of discovery and targeting of brands content creates a big problem. A great example of fracking is in the oil and gas business using a technology called hydraulic fracturing i.e. “fracking”, to extract trapped resources deep in the earth. Brand need to frack their own content resources locked up on their social, websites, community sites, and blogs.
With the drop in Facebook news-feed views and the explosive growth of content recommendation solutions, like Ourtbrain, means every nickel spent on conversions better maximize your content assets. It’s nothing new that brands are experiencing social feed collapse and standing out in a noisy environment is getting harder. Most of your content is getting lost in the shuffle. Recycle it! Let the customer’s social activity tell you what they prefer. Engagement in social is good, but not if that’s all you get. Some top brands have made the transition to acting like publishers with dedicated internal and external teams cranking out content.
A great example of this type of merger is Complex Media and Mountain Dew launch of Green-Label.com, a lifestyle site that publishes a wide range of content. How does a brand compete with this level of resources and a mechanized content arsenal? Brands have turned to marketing automation tools (Exact Target and Marketo to name a few), publishing technologies, and content teams like Contently, all of which are being used to level the playing field and stay relevant.
Top tactics used by savvy publishing brands are:
- Storytelling – high quality engaging content on an going basis
- Infographic Creation – relevant lists and how to’s
- Visual Content Marketing – compelling visuals
- eBook Creation – great for lead generation
- eMailer Personalization – targeting with relevance and being the information / education source
- Content Curation within an Industry – keep people coming to you because you find what’s hot and important to your customers, making it easy for them to keep current
- Webinars / Pod Casts / Google Hangouts – establishes authority
- Slide Share Presos – extends your corporate social graph and thought leadership
- Case Studies – SEO value and high share currency
- Videos to Motion Infographics — video is growing
Even if you have a lean, mean, content creation machine, you still need to drive amplification to drive sales. Not only promotion, but full on recycling the content in many forms, getting the most out of your content assets. The hard job is creating more content to stay relevant with your customers and educating them as part of a sales process. The “How to’s” and infographics, along with rich storytelling are all being used by the leaders. making it harder for the competition to keep up.
Smart Content Routing
Brands have a need for smart content routing and unique displays which enable them to maximize customer engagement and experience at every touch point, increasing site participation, and garnering higher social share just begs to get fracked. Many brands only change their static websites, blogs, and even eCommerce sites when a product update occurs. Brands must embrace customer driven publishing techniques to scale their own engagement and utilize intelligence to drive higher call to action responses. There are several examples of content recommendation and discovery platforms. You may have seen them on bottom or right sides of sites, labeled “Sponsored”, “Content Found for You”, or “You Might Also Like”.
Publishers are doing everything they can to maximize their digital real estate and revenue, and so should you. For most brands, these advanced visual content display solutions are nonexistent. Yes, there are WordPress and social plugins that show popular content and the most engaged content, however, most of these lack intelligence and cohesive management over many pages. They also don’t usually address partner sites. Closing the social loop requires giving a readers the ability to discover what other content people are engaged with.
Content Recommendation Platforms
Companies like Outbrian, Taboola and Zemanta all provide content fracking techniques over some of the biggest publishing networks. Here is a list of the top platforms, ranked by market share (based on LeadLedger analysis).
Each of these companies uses different methods to distribute content on a pay per click model. It’s unclear how intelligent these systems are and some provide static content on many sites, making it appear they are providing a true pay for placement model, unlike Google that requires the source to be of a specific, measured quality. Outbrain, for one, its not a pure ad and directs visitors to relevant content.