When we hear interviews with players in the field on how content is published, we hear about those with huge venture capital. But what about those organisations lacking the proprietary tech of the likes of BuzzFeed? The Next Web (TNW) began in Amsterdam in 2008 as a blog to channel news coming out of an event. Since then, it has become a multimedia company with a global spread. Content is created, content is shared.
So how is today’s theme of social intelligence relevant to TNW? Clearly TNW has a desire to spread their content far and wide like any media outlet, and social intelligence is the means to understand how to share this content in the most effective way. With no access to expensive tools, Martin took us through TNW’s bag of tricks. These include:
· SocialFlow chooses the best time to publish content based on the available audience and what they’re interested in.
· Chartbeat offers real time analytics. Who is on the site right now and what are they looking at? It also identifies shareable content from TNW’s archives, ideally something that is still being read, but perhaps somewhat difficult to find. If said content is still relevant, then this is forwarded to the editorial team who can update it if needed and re-release it.
· Parse.ly offers useful longer term statistics with the ability to truly dig deep. Content authors can search specifically and tap into their content and determine what was doing well when. Whose content received the most of clicks at a specific time? The tool also allows social shares and individual tweets that were successful.
· Newswhip Spike offers insight into a pre-viral element… what content is bubbling up that could go viral soon? What formats and titles are doing well? Do readers prefer their videos at the top?
The holy/unholy alliance of social and content
TNW has become incredibly aware of the fact that yes, an audience must be drawn in, but more importantly, said audience must be drawn to the quality of the content and want to stay and read it! While a snappy title may be eye catching, a humorous sub-heading and a visually appealing article is what will keep the reader hooked. It is this which is important to TNW. When drawing readers in, it’s about the winning formula of Clickbait (far too shocking) vs meh (there is no interest to read this post) vs must-click. (Obviously the ideal scenario being the establishment of ‘must-click’ content…!) . “Clickbait is all well and good,” says Martin, “but whatever happened to great content that stands up for itself?”
Lastly, a point for consideration is that when creating content, the push towards engagement metrics can be a dangerous game! Quality content is content that keeps its readers engaged. They take something of value from it. Hence online advertising is now being measured by time; how much time are readers spending on a particular site as opposed to simply clicking it? It is this, which is a ‘marketing model for quality’. If you’re creating something that really engages people then you should be rewarded for that! It’s not simply about the raw clicks.
And remember – ‘what Facebook giveth, Facebook can taketh away’.