Have you had difficulty performing research on an assignment or following developments in your industry? Can’t stay on track with resources for your professional development?
The rate at which content is being created and uploaded rises exponentially, thus creating problems of its own. Where is the quality content? How can you stay on top of it? You’ll find out a lot of tutorials on making the most out of Google Search, but there are other ways to source content.
I’m going to break down tools and strategies for an easier time handling content discovery.
Content remains king in a marketing sense. It’s the fuel for marketing strategies, understanding a customer through its reaction, improving SEO rankings and visibility, informing user experience of products, signaling changes in the industry. The crux of the matter is finding the right sources, otherwise you’re wasting your time at best and being left astray at worst.
That’s the problem with the Internet, isn’t it? There’s just too much out there and we can’t trust it all. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. This saying has never been more relevant than now with misinformation being rampant.
So, what do we mean by best? Who says what’s the best content? What are the qualities that would make content best for your needs? It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve, but in general we mean content that’s useful and informative, tells the truth or at least a version close to factual truth, and has some sort of impact on society.
We’re going to examine content discovery based on four criteria, which on their own don’t paint a full picture on a subject. They are virality, relevance, trustworthiness and social sourcing. Think of them as the four points on a compass, which lead you to the heart of the matter you’re currently researching.
RSS has had a bit of a revival thanks to general improvements to the protocol and increasing the functionality of RSS feed readers. Current readers are much better equipped to handle research, which makes them excellent for collaborative projects and social media listening. Depending on the reader, users have a variety of ways to experience content discovery and a solid internal search.
Inoreader groups popular feeds across broader subjects like technology and business, which then are further specialized by interest. Tap into top RSS feeds that you might have otherwise not seen on your own. What makes this type of discovery useful is the vouch of confidence from users. The top RSS feeds are determined by the number of subscribers, so you know that the content there can be trusted and is relevant to many. Furthermore, RSS feed readers make it incredibly easy to compile sources together and automate filtering for best results. In fact, you can easily syndicate content from all the examples below.
Adding content to RSS readers is also easy. Many readers have browser extensions, which make it simple to save articles and subscribe to websites without having to look for RSS feeds on site.
Reddit fosters passionate communities and is a unique case in sourcing specific expertise from a place of passion. The forum is known for its wide-branching system of subreddits and that’s where the magic happens. One of the best examples of the power Reddit can yield is the major upset the investment community caused earlier in the year during the GameStop scandal. Going through a lot of the posts, you can see a number of highly knowledgeable people create strategies at the drop of a hat. So how do you harness the power of Reddit?
One way would be to passively collect data and information from invested users, whose point of view can inspire. Another would be direct outreach. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and see what happens. I would also suggest direct engagement with conversations taking place in subreddits regardless of profession.
Although there’s been some reframing of Google Alerts as a relic of the past, even being declared by Google itself as a broken tool, alerts can still come in handy in detecting useful content. The main key here is relevance – knowing the right keywords and what exactly you’re looking for are essential in getting the most out of Google Alerts. Google Alerts are excellent for content regarding a recent development or news story. Users are able to track new mentions and also be able to see any new backlinks made to their site.
To that extent, Google Alerts is best suited for continuous monitoring activity whether that’s brand monitoring or journalistic research on an ongoing story. Even with its limitations, Google Alerts is a tool not without its merits.
Relevance is only one criterion. Virality should not be undermined and overlooked as it shows a bigger conversation. Social media might not necessarily reward quality content with engagement, but underscores the emotional aspect. The reason why certain articles and bits of content go viral in the first place is because they elicit a strong emotional response. This is something that should not be ignored in the slightest, if you seek out strategies in generating social engagement with your specific audience. There are ways to do this manually by keeping up with new posts on social media pages related to your industry – ideally you want a mix of influencers, journalists, trade press and competitors to have a full overview of the bigger conversation. Although you can easily spot certain content that overtakes social circles, you might need extra help in analyzing performance through tools like BuzzSumo. Although not always promising quality, high engagement markers showcase what the major ingredients are for a successful post whether that’s headline or topic at hand.