Pressly News

Curation matters. Just ask Buzzfeed and the New York Times

wtf-coffee-buzzfeed-office-tour-dec-2012-bi-dng

On first blush, The New York Times and Buzzfeed couldn’t be any less similar. One is a flagship of  ethical and investigative journalism, almost synonymous with the notion of journalistic authority itself. The other will give you 19 amazing cat pictures you can’t believe aren’t photoshopped.

But look closer and you’ll see both media giants have evolved in recent days to deliver content in a very similar and compelling way. And the take away for marketers about how these guys are changing their game will make all the difference to your content strategy.

Curation and Creation: Your readers want both

In a recent Digiday article, Ricardo Bilton writes that the Times and Buzzfeed are starting to enter a new age of content curation. Rather than simply publishing their own stuff, they are starting to see the value – or necessity – to start assembling, collecting and giving readers an editorial snapshot of other stuff that is out there.

“It’s pretty odd at this point to imagine a reader only wants stories from any one news organization,” said Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

The curation-meets-original content approach is an important shift from how most publishers have approached their app strategies so far.

 

It’s this exact topic we’ve been hearing so much about directly from our customers in recent months. Except in this case, we’re talking about marketers and how they can build better, more powerful relationships around their content marketing efforts.

There’s no question great content can be used to efectively move consumers along the buying cycle, particularly at the top of the funnel. Btu we’re finding that marketers, just like publishers, have been hitting several obstacles. The space is noisey. Consumers, just like readers, think it’s strange to get all their news from just one location. So what are marketers to do?

While there are several obvious pain points we and a lot of our competitors address – we are starting to see a ton of success by doubling down on we what we feel are the two most important and exciting challenges.

Fatigue around 100% owned content experiences

 
Nobody wants to hear a brand just talk about its own products. The majority of brands get this and address this situation by creating content around their industry and/or broader topics relevant to their targets. While this is a great start, it doesn’t go far enough for two reasons.
  • Hard to produce enough great content: Being forced to create enough great original content on a regular basis is a daunting task for the most capable of content teams.
  • Lacks an authentic and complete conversation: Your audience wants to be informed and/or entertained. The more complete and fuller the content destination you can create the better. We recently spoke with a well respected company lauded for their amazing content initiatives. During a recent focus group, their audience revealed that while they love their content around relevant industry topics – it still felt lacking due to it being only their own view point.

It’s for this reason that at Pressly, we believe the future lies in topic-based, curation driven destinations. Giving brands the ability to combine owned, 3rd-party publisher thought leadership and social content into one destination will be the key to building customer relationships around a certain conversation.

Empowering content throughout the company

The second area where we are focusing our attention and seeing amazing results is around helping companies empower their entire organization with content. We often work very closely with the marketing team on creating amazing content destinations around a topic. Once this is accomplished, the next challenge we hear is how do we get our whole team (sales, support, management) to leverage the content we are bringing together. The answer lies in a very simple capability we’ve built into Pressly.

Creating thought leadership visibility

Pressly offers the ability to create individual sub-hubs under the parent hub of an organization. This enables individual team members to create a personal branded hub with the ability to flow-in and customize content from the company’s parent hub that relates to their focus / audience. Individuals can then share the content from this hub to their own social accounts and email their customer relationships.
 

You have them listening. Now what?

Of course, unlike publishers, brands don’t exactly rely on an advertising model to find their bottom line. Instead, marketers need to ensure this mixed strategy of curating and creating context actually leads to real sales.

That’s why it’s so important to not only own the conversation, but own the destination where the conversation is happening. Too many brands simply share out links, blog posts and studies – creating great engagement, but ultimately losing those leads to other websites, never to see them again.

Instead, look for a solution that lets you bring your readers to an environment you can control and set up engagement actions, for example a Pressly Hub. When you share a piece of content on Pressly, people are first taken to your Pressly powered landing page. This gives the ability to provide additional context and thought leadership on why you curated a specific piece of content. As well, Pressly helps facilitate the discovery of other related stories you’ve curated or created on the topic. Thus, keeping people around longer and increasing the opportunity to convert.
 

Drive business results

Because you are now driving engagement on destinations you control, Pressly gives the ability to easily integrate Calls-To-Action alongside content. This gives the ability to tie in your other sales and marketing platforms to complete the circle and drive real business value behind your content initiatives.

Not another Content Curation list

miners

Or: A Day in the Life of a Content Curator

 

The idea for this post started out as a list for all the great content tools out there to help you find the stuff that you – a content curator – should be curating.

It started that way. But in a matter of minutes, I’d already dug up a list about 100 long. It was obvious this list wasn’t going to actually ever be read by anyone.

Many people claiming to be a curator, seem to think of their job as simply throwing huge lists your way. Big, unmanageable, indigestible lists… But since the whole point of content curation is to actually make people’s lives easier, to make some sense out of all the noise out there, these lists sometimes defeat the purpose, when done badly. They are simply laziness.

What I decided would be more useful is to highlight how I actually find the stuff I curate, and share that very specific, limited process with you. As a result, hopefully I’d give something tangible to chew on.

1. You do need tools, but you don’t need all the tools

As I continue this journey to figure out the best practices of content curation, I’ve stumbled across dozens of useful tools to dig up material seemingly relevant to my readers. I am sure a lot of them are great, and just as many are terrible. Unfortunately, the day is only 24 hours long, and I can’t simply spend it clicking tabs and bookmarks to all these services, hoping they’ll serve me something new.

My job after all is not just about re-sharing links. It’s about putting them together meaningfully. So even though there’s a million ways to find content and even more actual good pieces of content out there, it’s meaningless unless I actually carve out some time to make sense of it all, like I am doing right now.

So, what I suggest is you find a few services that seem to do the job, and stick with those. If they aren’t working for you, switch it up, tweak the settings, keep at it. But I highly doubt you’ll have any issues finding content. The tools are all very similar, many of them free, and they’ll all do an admirable job of what they’re supposed to do.

Personally, I rely on a few things for discovery. I have TweetDeck set up with curated twitter lists of the influencers in any given topic, for instance, this list of CMO’s for out CMOhub. And I have narrowed that one down even further by filtering for engagement – I only want to see the stuff getting retweeted.
I also have the same filters set up on key hastags, like #iOT for our hub all about marketing in the age of the internet of things, as well as this hub, our content curation best practices collection.

Finally, I’ve landed on a few good aggregation services that I have been going back to regularly. These are free and easy and serve up tons of stuff I am not finding on TweetDeck: BuzzSumo, Feedly, ContentGems. I haven’t yet picked the winner, and eventually I might pick another service. But these are great, for now.

2. Be a journalist, not just a news reader

Part of your job is reading all these articles. But an even more important aspect is to dig deeper, follow hunches, write down angles, and keep track of all these little magical thoughts that bubble up while you’re consuming the primary sources.

I use Evernote for this. Whenever an idea for a story pops up, I’ll give it a tag and start saving those pieces to Evernote. This might be a list of the people in the article, and eventually I’ll interview them to generate some new, fresh content, that you can’t find anywhere else. Or it might be a list of the companies that keep popping up in all the news articles – what are the main players in IOT? And what can I learn by following them directly, that I’d otherwise miss if I was just reading what surfaced on Mashable?

However you choose to order this, the point is to let your mind freely associate new story ideas as you’re exploring the content mountains. It’s this creativity that will inherently bring value to your readers, and it’s exactly what we need to see more of in our content curators. I think it’s probably the only way the pros ever think up something more original than mere list bait.

3. Present it meaningfully, and beautifully

It’s funny, but a majority of the focus of curation tips seems to be about where to find what you are sharing, and very little thought is spent on how to present it in a way that will be more useful to your audience. I think if you’re simply re-tweeting, or rounding up stuff on your WordPress, you’re doing your readers a disservice. Formal elements, and the way content is consumed is equally as important as what is being served up.

The reason is pretty simple, and it goes directly back to the allusion of the art curator. What would be the point of picking the very best paintings and works of art, if your gallery was impossible to walk through, or if the lights were turned off? Similarly, if you’re doing the hard work of curating content, you better make sure you provide your readers an enjoyable, cross-platform, engaging experience. This serves their enjoyment but it also leads to better conversion and higher returns on your efforts, as a marketer. Curation, after all, is often being done by brands and businesses, so it would be a shame to do all that hard work, for it not to pay off.

Obviously, I use Pressly to curate content in beautiful and engaging way. And so do many other major brands and publishers. Once I’ve rounded up my list of good articles to share, I use the boomarklet and then it’s sent right to the hub I want. From there I can customize, feature and edit that article to be even more useful and engaging on my hub.

Final say

I hope this snapshot of the day to day life of a curator helped you out. If you have any amazing services that you can’t live without, or any extra pro tips from your experience, please share in the comments.

 

 

 

An Even Easier Way to Add Content to a Pressly Hub

As Pressly gains more traction as a place for brands to create engaging destination featuring content they create, curate or get from social media, we’re excited about a new tool that makes the platform even easier to use.

The Pressly bookmarklet will let Pressly users add content to a hub whenever they see an interesting story on the Web. In seconds, your hub can be updated with fresh content.

To add the bookmarklet, log into Pressly (if you’re not a Pressly user, here’s how to get started). In the dashboard, you will see “Want to publish to your hub from anywhere on the Web? Learn how.”

When you click on the link, this box will appear:

Preslly

Then, drag the bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks bar. When you come across an interesting piece of content (your own or curated from a third-party), click on the bookmarklet.

You will now the option to share the content on a specific collection and hub using the dropdowns. You can also edit the description before clicking on publish.

pressly

 

The bookmarklet is one of the many features we’re working on to make Pressly an even more powerful and useful platform to share engaging great content from across the Web.

For brands looking for a new way to get more value from the content they share, Pressly makes it easy to leverage a platform that offers compelling ROI.

 

Pressly Selected As Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio Partner

Helping brands harness the world’s content

Toronto, May 6, 2014 – Pressly announced today it has been selected as a partner application for Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio, the collaborative social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics solution from the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

Pressly helps brands harness the world’s content to create beautiful destinations that engage audiences everywhere. By making it easy to curate great content from any source and share on websites, social, mobile and email, Pressly helps brands drive more conversions and leads.

The integration will let Social Studio customers seamlessly build a branded destination while sharing content through the new Salesforce product.

“We’re excited Salesforce.com selected us as a Social Studio partner,” said Jeff Brenner’s Pressly’s co-founder and CEO. “It reflects the work we’ve been doing to create a platform that lets brands centralize their original content alongside third-party and social content to deliver relevant topics and conversations to engage their audiences.”

“Marketers realize that to be successful, they need to scale social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics between employees and teams,” said Marcel LeBrun, SVP, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. “Having Pressly as a Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio launch partner will help companies achieve social marketing success.”

 Pressly delivers:               

  • A beautiful, engaging destination where companies share content they have created or curated, or from social networks.
  • Embedded calls-to-action and advertising to power business metrics such as newsletter signups, leads and sales.
  • Insight and analytics to see how content and campaigns are performing to drive content optimization

Additional resources

  • For more information on the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, visit www.exacttarget.com
  • For more information on Pressly, visit www.pressly.com
  • Watch the Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio demo video.
  • Like Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud on Facebook
  • Follow @salesforce, @exacttarget and @marketingcloud on Twitter

About Pressly

Pressly helps brands harness the world’s content to engage audiences everywhere.

We make it easy for brands to create beautiful destinations driven by content they create and curate.

By sharing great content, brands can drive conversions and leads using the Pressly Call to Action Hub.

We deliver valuable insight and analytics and integrate into the world’s leading marketing automation platforms so brands can make smarter, more informed content decisions.

 

The ExactTarget and Salesforce names and logos are the exclusive property of salesforce.com.”

New Pressly Features: Analytics, Cover Pages, Desktop Mode and More

lightbulb

We’ve been hard at work since launching in March to make Pressly an even more powerful way for you to create and publish the world’s most immersive mobile reading experiences. With an updated interface, an incredible analytics widget, improved social sharing and even a seamless desktop reading mode, Pressly is proud to unveil our latest upgrades.

 

Cleaner, more beautiful dashboard design, making Pressly more intuitive than ever

Pressly_Site_Blog_06

We have re-organized and refined the look and feel of our dashboard to make it easier to navigate and build your apps as intuitively as possible. From a cleaner, flatter look, right down to unifying the settings pane to give you one spot to control everything.

 

An all new analytics section

Pressly_Site_Blog_12

Pressly now pulls together your user behaviour into a beautiful, visual analytics section to give you quick and customizable reports on how your users are interacting with your content. Subscribe to check it out!

 

Enhanced social sharing, with Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn

Pressly_Site_Blog_14

We’ve added a new social sharing box on all Pressly properties, so your readers can now share your content to their Pinterest, G+ and LinkedIn accounts, as well as Twitter and Facebook, all in one tap.

 

Desktop reading mode!

Pressly_Site_Blog_16

This is especially useful if you’re using Pressly to create a stand-alone, brand new property. Now when your readers visit a Pressly URL from a desktop computer, they will still be given a beautiful, elegant reading experience. No more sending them to an error page.

 

Cover Pages

Pressly_Site_Blog_18

You can now add a cover page to your Pressly properties. This is the first page your visitors will see; think of it as the front page of a magazine. It’s an awesome way to highlight your brand and it also gives you an exciting new sponsorship opportunity.

 

Easy new way to place your ads, just cut-and-paste ad tags

Pressly_Site_Blog_08

In addition to specifying a URL pointing to your ad unit, you now have the ability to copy and paste your ad tags right into the Pressly dashboard.

 

New Ad formats for smartphone and tablet

Pressly_Site_Blog_10

We’ve also enabled new, larger ad formats for smartphone, including a full-screen interstitial.

 

Soundcloud and Brightcove content support

Pressly_Site_Blog_19

We’ve also added more content formats to our supported list, including audio streams from Soundcloud and the enterprise video service Brightcove. (For custom Brightcove integrations or help, please get in touch.)

 

And much more, including:

Windows Phone 8 and Surface support, ability to customize a Bookmark icon for homescreen, and the ability to put 3 external links in navigation bar.

 

What new features would you like to see? Leave a comment and let us know