Content is the lifeblood of the internet. It is everything you see online – an innumerable amount of articles, social media posts, images, audio, video and other media that feature on websites. It is the entire reason we spend so much of our lives on the Internet, perpetually surfing through a complex web of content outlets.
However, the Internet is constantly changing. More and more we are seeing users searching less and finding more. The Internet is becoming increasingly intuitive, with new platforms changing the way that we and find access content. Each person’s experience on the web is different, and in a way, is personalised by what you, and the people around you, enjoy watching, reading, looking at, and what kind of businesses are most appropriate for you.
This is called ‘content discovery’ and it is dictated by as number of different factors that help people find content without having to actively search for it. These factors include everything from complex algorithms to something as simple as social media ‘likes’, comments and shares.
By understanding what content discovery is, and utilsing content curation, you can amplify your reach, assert your brand as an industry leader and generate a loyal audience.
The Development of Content Discovery
Content discovery has come come a long way since the inception of the Internet. Early search engines such as Yahoo! were extremely limiting in the way they ‘discovered’ content for you, relying on manually curated content to give you an index of everything that was online for your particular search term. Once the amount of online data reached a certain point, search engines required algorithms to help find more relevant content for users.
Google are at the fore of this type of highly-focused search engine model, which uses algorithms and keywords to help users find exactly what they are looking for. This sort of automation spurred on competition between similar businesses for visibility on Google – their overall ‘ranking’ on the search engine. In turn, it made it easier for businesses to be found online, but also meant a massive boost in the sheer amount of content that was being created, posing yet another problem for content discovery: over-saturation.
This changed again with the advent of social media. Platforms like Facebook meant that users could experience a far more personalised flow, or ‘feed’, of information that is directly dictated by socio-geographical factors. This is the domain of contemporary content discovery – not so much searching for content, but finding it – and with the explosion of social media marketing in the past decade, we have seen a revolution in the way we discover content online.
Moving Forward with a Digital Audit
Understanding your website’s place in the digital world as well as your goals as a business forms the foundation of our approach to digital strategy. Before you consider curating content or how your content will be discovered, its important to fully understand your existing position in the digital realm. Only then can you truly form a digital strategy that is relevant, appropriate, and going to guarantee success. Otherwise, you may be putting focus and resources into the wrong areas.
All this begins with a thorough onsite and offsite digital audit. This entails an examination of the relevant market place, what your competitors are doing, what audiences are doing and what your budget and time restrictions will allow.
A digital audit looks at your online presence and offers a complete and thorough check-up. It is a study of your brand’s digital presence over key areas including your target audience, how you reach that audience, the content that audience search for and need to understand in order to become a committed client to your company, the conversion and integration between all online and offline touch points, and lastly, the analytics and reports of all this information combined.
Once this information has been collected, you can move forward in working out your next move based on what you have found resulting in informed content strategy and insightful content curation.
What is Content Curation?
‘Content curation’ is precisely what you think it is: picking and choosing what content to share and when based on informed decisions from your digital audit and your understanding of content discovery. Remember, content is everything that is on the Internet, anything from in-depth feature articles to comments on a Facebook post. So content curation is thinking about everything you do in the digital world.
Content curation is all about relevancy; that is, what is relevant to your brand, to your audience and to your potential customers. This means that following online trends is an extremely important part of the process, especially when considering how to conduct yourself on social media. Curating content that follows trends and what is viral or popular guarantees a level of engagement, not only from your existing audience, but from potential customers.
Facebook, as an example, has incredibly complex algorithms exposes your content to more people depending on its popularity. The more likes, comments and shares a post gets, the more people will see it. The same goes for consistency: the more consistently engaging content you create, the more people will see it. This growth is exponential, so it is important to keep at it.
Each social media platform has slightly different ways that it manages the content that is pushed through it, however, it is clear through all that relevant content is the surefire way to ensure engagement. There are some fantastic tools to help you curate relevant content and these tools can help inform what you should creating for your website and through other outlets such as social media.
• Buzzsumo is a brilliant way to find out what is popular in a very specific area. All you do is type in a keyword that is relevant to your brand and it will come up with a list of the most popular posts that contain that keyword. For example, if your business were a local gym teaching Krav Maga, typing ‘self defence‘ into Buzzsumo could yield plenty of ideas for relevant content.
• QuickSprout can help you identify what your popular competitors are doing. Type in a competitors URL into the search bar to see what their most popular content is.
• Quora is a fantastic way to help you answer questions your audience are asking – literally. See what people are enquiring about and curate your content around that. Finding out the kinds of questions your audience are asking in relevant forums is a great place to start.
• Google Trends gives you can overview of what is popular on the net at any given time. Use this to fuel your content.
• The best tool you have is your own intuition. You know your market and you know what people might want to read. Follow your nose.
While assessing social trends and sharing viral content can be a great way to reach new people and build your audience, it shouldn’t be the only way you approach your content curation. The digital audit process should have helped narrow down the niche markets in your industry which will help you determine which content you create. For example, if you ran an online subscription service for dog lovers, a good content curation strategy might be to continually create and share content such as entertaining dog videos, powerful quotes about animals, or informative articles about dog health and safety.
Understanding how content discovery works allows for greater control and is a great way to help with content curation. It really is the only path to effectively understanding your company’s place in the online world, which these days, is priceless information to have. One you grasp how people are finding information in the modern digital world, it becomes far easier to think about your own digital marketing. A digital audit will help you hone in this and formulate a tailored plan for creating and marketing your content. This is an incredibly effective way to amplify your reach, assert your brand as a leader of trends and thoughts, and help grow your business overall.
We’d love to hear about your business and help you achieve your highest brand potential. Please feel free to call us on Sydney +61 (0) 2 9519 9922 or email [email protected]