Browsed by
Tag: online content

Understanding RSS and Its Transformative Role in Content Marketing

Understanding RSS and Its Transformative Role in Content Marketing

Understanding RSS and Its Transformative Role in Content Marketing

If you are a content curator or a content marketer, you probably use RSS, even if you don’t even realize it! Social media professionals are constantly looking for great content to share, with the intention to build their reputation and convert their followers to customers. In order to do this, they drive traffic to interesting or helpful content to deliver value through social media. One of the most challenging parts of this process is finding the best content to share. To solve this problem, most people use a tool that offers streams of content that they can sort through to find the best articles, videos, and images.

Whether people realize it or not, most of those tools are built on top of RSS feeds. RSS (which stands for Rich Site Summary) is a standardized way for a website to tell a computer what content is on the website. For the techies out there, it’s an extension of xml, a language used to transfer data, frequently used in web-based APIs. What that basically means is that it is possible to write a computer program that can understand what content is available on a site if that site features an RSS feed. And thus, RSS readers are born.

So what does that mean for you? It means you can use a great app like feedly to browse the content from all of your favourite sites all in one place. This is even more powerful than most people realize; did you know that Facebook creates RSS feeds out of all their pages and notifications? Every major publication has an RSS feed – and so does almost every blog (don’t believe me? Here’s the Sniply RSS feed: http://sniply.wordpress.com/feed/). Using all these feeds, you can pull in all of the online information you actually care about into one place for easy browsing – what a time-saver!

The time-savings become even better when you think about curating content. Not only can you see all of the best content all in one place, but apps like Buffer’s Feeds or Hootsuite Syndicator allow you to immediately share that content across your social networks. Content curation has never been so easy!

But if you get that far, wouldn’t it also be great to be able to measure the ROI (return on investment) you get from curating that all of that content for your followers? With Sniply Feeds, now you can! Sniply Feeds allow you to automatically snip entire streams of content so that you can generate an ROI on your curation without changing your workflow at all. All you need to do is a little set up:

  1. Tell Sniply which websites have content that you like to share
  2. Sniply will generate a feed of that website’s content, but replace the links to the content with Snips featuring your message and call-to-action on top of the content.
  3. Hook up the feed Sniply generated to your sharing app of choice and share from the Sniply feed as you would any other feed.

If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of setting up a Sniply Feed, check out the instructions here.

This enables you to provide value to your followers through great content curation while simultaneously capitalizing on your social capital without changing your workflow – now that’s a win-win. And it’s all thanks to the power of RSS!

The Single Biggest Problem with Content Curation

The Single Biggest Problem with Content Curation

A lot of people ask me how we came up with the idea for Sniply. It all started with a simple observation as I was curating content. For those unfamiliar, content curation has become an integral part of social media marketing. This is the act of sharing great content, thus providing value for your fans and followers through curation.

Many experts suggest that at least 50% of everything you publish on social media should be content from others. Not to mention, content creation can be costly and therefore many companies start with content curation as their only social media strategy.

Add-text

Once upon a time, I was working on social media marketing at another startup. We, like everyone else, relied on content curation as one of our core strategies. It took a lot of time everyday, going through heaps of content and struggling to find the right things to share. At some point, I began to question whether it was worth my time. The scary thing was… I had no idea. I intrinsically felt like it was important work, yet I had no evidence or reasons to prove it was actually working. This was when I realized the big problem with content curation:

Content curation offers no measurable return on investment.

As you’re curating content, you may carefully select the ones that are most relevant to your brand. Maybe you’ll share an article reporting on an internet security problem, implying that your company offers the solution. Or perhaps you’ll share a blog post about the importance of good design, hinting at the fact that your company is the right firm to hire for the job. The problem is… do your followers know that?

We click through links all the time, opening them in new tabs, and often forgetting where we found the link in the first place. We read tons of articles per day amidst an ocean of online noise. What are the chances that your followers can actually see the correlation between your shared content and your brand?

Even though there are plenty of tools out there to help you measure the engagement for your shared content, none of these measurements seem to offer a clear ROI. For example, Facebook Insights will tell you how many times your posts have been clicked. Social dashboards like Buffer and Hootsuite will tell you how many times your links have been clicked. You’ll also be able to track retweets, reposts, likes and favorites. The big question is… so what?

buffer-analytics

So what if you posted a link to TechCrunch and generated 1,000 visits to their website? So what if you got 5 retweets and 15 favorites? None of these numbers have any direct impact on your business. It’s not easy to measure the value of driving traffic to other people’s websites.

The general argument is that content sharing boosts your credibility and establishes your position as a credible source of information. This, in theory, leads to more followers and perhaps higher engagements. However, this doesn’t change the fact that there’s still no real measurable impact from any of the aforementioned outcomes. What is the impact of having 10,000 followers? What is the value of having 500 clicks on your posts?

After failing to answer the above questions, I realized a simple fact…

Content curation offers no measurable return on investment.

This was the observation that sparked the birth of Sniply. How do we introduce relevance between shared content and your brand? How can we offer a measurable return on investment for every link you share? What can we do to transform content curation from an art form into exact science?

The answer was simple. In order for there to be a measurable return, an action needs to take place, and the most directly measurable action is a click-through. Whether it’s to your landing page, an Amazon page, or an Eventbrite page, there simply needs to be a click-through opportunity.

laptop

By using a simple iframe, Sniply lets you embed a call-to-action directly into content from others. This call-to-action links to a destination URL of your choosing. With every page you share with Sniply, there is a click-through opportunity. This means that every link you share will have a tangible conversion rate of click-throughs to your destination URL.

Having recently breached 2,000,000 clicks while sustaining an average conversion rate of 7%, it would seem that Sniply may have actually solved the biggest problem in content curation. Things are looking bright, but it’s still too early to celebrate. I have a feeling we’ve only scratched the surface of the impact we could have on the whole concept of content curation. As our journey continues, I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on the impact of what we’ve built.