Digital content is overwhelming for most people these days, making it harder for publishers and brands to connect with their audience in a meaningful way. Traditionally, content creators just had to tell compelling stories, report the news, explain our world to their audience, all while making sure it was useful, informative, or entertaining. Creating content is hard, sure, but it made sense and you could ensure you were heard with effective distribution.
Things have changed.
With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily, we’re hearing more and more from content producers that they need technology to help:
- Bring efficiency and scale to their content operations
- Effectively track their industry and know what interests their audiences
- Ensure they get enough ROI on their content
In discussions with enterprise publishers and larger brands, many similar requests kept coming up, all with a common theme: How can content operations gain value from the data and metadata about past performance (even on competitor content) and how can keeping a close eye on their industry help them build more effective content?
With our advisor Robert Rose, one of the world’s leading authorities on content strategy, our team developed our platform to make it easy for businesses to take a data-driven approach to content creation and publishing. Robert helped us define that clearly as Big Content.
For us, Big Content is about using data and metadata about existing content to produce new content of a higher quality.
How do we make Big Content work based on what our customers and prospects were requesting?
Companies told us that having a huge pool of sources, including their own content, and ability to easily segment the sources into separate bundles was a real need. By using the information we had about these sources, we could help them search against just trusted and useful sources instead of the open web or everything in a social space. With this kind of source control built into PublishThis, content discovery is a smarter, quicker process and this speeds up content production.
We kept hearing that companies had trouble effectively tagging all the content their company makes in a way that makes it easily discoverable, shareable and reusable later.
That’s why we built custom tagging capabilities based on our Content IQ engine’s unique taxonomy and included easy multi-channel publishing. With these features in place, it is easier for you to repackage and reuse your content to increase ROI and keep your content out of dead-end silos.
The first wave of “monitoring” tools in content marketing were little more than social media “mention” trackers. They were good at noting brand or “keyword” mentions or customer service requests. They were not really designed to help you easily stay on top of content trends or give you new ideas to write about.
What we heard from publishers and brands was how it would be helpful to be able to easily monitor content from an editorial or storytelling framework and then quickly reuse/mix the different assets to provide a more complete perspective (my content + best of 3rd party content + social content format, etc.). Our simple but powerful curation and creation workflow allow teams to build better content more often so they can produce the right content for their audiences on the right channels at the right time.
3rd Party Content / External Content
Research increasingly shows that customers, especially Millennials, want to see external validation of a given topic or idea and not just a steady stream of hard sales messages and branded content. Modern customers want a variety of viewpoints and they will reward a company that can provide a clean filter of useful information that blends the best of the brand with great curated news coverage from external sources, especially when the brand adds their own commentary to put it into context for their audience.
Curated experiences are making a huge comeback now with companies like Apple, Twitter, and Snapchat using human-powered curation to supplement algorithms when figuring out what content should be provided to their audiences. We’ve always believed in this combination of human plus algorithm and built workflows to support this kind of content production.
In truth, over a decade of social media has trained audiences to expect a curated experience. More often than not, readers get their news from Facebook and it is presented to them both from their trusted social media connections (friends, publishers, and other ‘liked’ brands) and algorithms that figure out that a story is appropriate for them. Being an excellent source for news allows brands to become a trusted part of that social media ecosystem.
Better Analytics and More Science around Content
In the past, I wrote about the way Netflix has successfully built high-quality content (the amazing House of Cards is the typical example) by relying on data to inform (not control) creative decisions. We’re hearing that companies want to being able to ‘moneyball’ their content by understanding the engagement factors and how to attract and convert users across all channels.
Big Content helps them accomplish these goals by bringing some real science to the art of content. With tagging, custom taxonomies, and social trending data, it is simple to optimize your content production for success whether you are building traffic, driving engagement, or closing more sales.
The Second Wave of Content Solutions
Big Content is the future of content production, and that’s why we have developed our platform to support these strategies.
For publishers, it is about helping them bring efficiency and scale to their emerging digital content factories so they consistently deliver optimized and persona-based content to their audiences. As a result of their ability to see further, they’re able to grow their business into new markets, add targeted newsletters for segments of their audience, and harness the power of an engaged social audience with quality content that builds trust.
For brands, it’s an opportunity to make the leap to operating like a digital publisher, not a older-style print publisher. Brands get to take advantage of a publisher-grade solution we’ve spent years developing for the needs of forward-thinking publishers and produce content that is data-informed, quicker to produce for testing, and works for all of their channels.