A few years ago the marketing expert Mark W. Schaefer introduced the term “content shock” to describe how the production of content increases much faster than our consumption. In fact, there is now far more information available than humans can possibly consume. Just look at Twitter; with 9,000 tweets scrolling by per second, the average lifetime of a tweet is no more than 18 minutes
Even though Schaefer mainly referred to content produced for marketing purposes, it definitely applies to editorial content as well. No matter how efficiently California based platforms help users filter content into personalized feeds, it’s hard to believe that further increasing output is a viable strategy for publishers.
Instead, publishers should look at how they can increase engagement and expand the lifetime of their content. This should make sense also from a financial perspective.
Here are three simple measures that’ll make a difference:
1. Create more long-lasting content
You can’t talk about lifetime of content without discussing the different DNA’s of content. Fast news reporting is by definition not long-lasting content. News reporting is like oxygen to media, necessary to keep the campfire burning, but consumed in seconds. What you need to make people stay and get warm, is the slow-burning birchwood.
The idea behind long-lasting content is normally to offer stories that are easily found by search engines, while making sure they always fresh without having to be updated. Evergreen content can help deliver traffic to your website and hold a valuable position in search engine rankings for months or even years. And as you will see in our second advice, it can be revived also for your current users.
Examples of long-lasting content:
- “How to” articles
- Historical stories
- Product Reviews
- Explaining common concepts
Examples of fast-moving content:
- News articles
- Seasonal content
- Statistics or numerical reports
- Current trends
2. Use contextual content recommendations
High production volumes means that new articles will get below fold or even off your startpage within hours. This means that visitors coming directly to your site will have difficulties finding content that is not super fresh.
By using an intelligent content discovery platform you can increase lifetime of your articles. Let’s say you have just read an interesting story about how various foods affect your health. Through Machine Learning we know that people who have read that article are prone to read about exercising also. Hence we can recommend that story about “How biking to work will improve your sex life”, even though it was published six months ago. That’s revival of content!
3. Share your content wisely
You just published a great story and shared in your social channels. Now you can put that piece in the drawer and move on to your next article, right? No! Maximizing the potential of social media calls for a more active sharing strategy.
Here are two key takeaways:
- Tailor Your Content Posts to Each Network
Some of your readers spend their social networking time on Facebook, while others favor Twitter or other platforms. To optimize distribution you must understand each platform and which purpose they serve. Facebook is very flexible in allowing you to post a combination of text, images and video, whereas Twitter calls for shorter and sharper teasers.
- Schedule Multiple Shares of New Content
Links shared via social media tend to have a short half-life. The amount of time it takes for links to receive half of the clicks they’ll ever get is just a few hours. An easy way to get more out of shared links is to repost them again in the days and weeks that follow.Posting content again can help you gain new followers and more engagement. When you post a link just once, only a small segment of people will ever see it, because people might not online at the time you post, and the social network algorithms may not play in your favor.
Taking these three simple actions will help you get more out of your content and engage new interested visitors.