There is a science behind the most viral content.
Academics and marketing researchers are both heavily invested in understanding the common themes of the world's most engaging digital content. For example, Jonah Berger, best-selling author, and professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, has identified key emotion trends that drive high-performance content. His research shows that the top-5 emotional characteristics of viral content are: surprising, interesting, intense, positive, and actionable.
But, in the fast-moving digital world of publishing, it's not feasible to run a lengthy research study for every decision. Publishers must keep their fingers on the pulse of audience engagement at all times. Most publishers turn to some kind of content analysis or website analytics tool for help in making smarter publishing decisions.
Ultimately, publishers understand that the secret ingredient to publishing engaging content is relevance. There's no substitute for understanding your audience's interests and using behavioral metrics to serve up the right content at just the right time.
While publishers are drowning in data for page views, shares, and crawl rates, it's not always easy to translate these metrics into actionable intelligence on why certain pieces of content perform well. Creating engagement on-demand requires publishers to know how their audience's behaviors and interests change minute-by-minute.
5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Content Analysis Tool
If you want to turn your content performance data into results, you need a tool that gives insights into the right publishing decisions. Of course, we recommend NativeAI, because we feel it's the best tool for understanding key audience engagement. Driven by machine learning and powerful algorithms, the NativeAI platform drills deep into user behavior and over one million distinct audience interests to give you real, actionable insights.
Yes, we're a little biased. But, regardless of which tool you use, these five tips will help you extract the most valuable information with the least amount of effort.
Further Reading: Is Google Analytics enough for Publishers?
1. Keep a Real-Time Analytics Dashboard Open on a Secondary Screen
Forrester research confirms that digital consumer behavior is changing at a record pace, requiring constant transformation in publishing and other industries. Real-time Analytics dashboards empower fast, in-the-moment responses to the changing behaviors and interests of your audience, as well as the shifts in demand for particular topics.
In addition to performance insights, real-time dashboards should enable publishers to drill-down and analyze performance over set periods of time, such as the current hour or day. Dashboards should also offer the ability to compare performance over time, such as day-over-day performance to see how engagement is trending compared to typical weekday performance.
One function of the NativeAI platform is the ability to quickly see anomalies compared to historical benchmarks and normal usage. This feature allows publishers to dial in when a particular story or topic is trending with their audience.
2. Use Filters to Create Segmentation
In a recent blog post, Tyler Bishop expounded on a Google case study presented at the 2018 Pubtelligence conference. In this presentation, business intelligence expert Iggy Chen presented research revealing the "tremendous value" of intelligent segmentation for digital publishers.
With the help of real-time dashboards that can filter their audience data, it's possible to understand segments of your audience according to characteristics such as:
- Visitor loyalty
- Visitor interests
- Referral channels
- And more...
For example, what if you need the ability to quickly filter out only readers coming from Facebook, or those on mobile devices, or loyal readers, and see how their behavior is different?
Knowing the quirks of each audience segment allows you to tailor both content and distribution strategies to make sure you give your readers what they want, and what will generate the maximum engagement with your content.
3. Get Your Whole Team On Board
Managing editors aren't the only ones who can benefit from content performance tools. Creating transparency around performance enables organizations to establish a culture driven by real-time data insights.
Depending on your tool of choice, getting everyone access may require additional expense. If you use NativeAI, there is no seat limit. You can create accounts for your entire team, and have everyone on the same page regarding audience interests and publishing performance.
Some of the many ways to use your content performance tool to engage your entire team include:
- Contributors can monitor engagement with the stories they've created.
- Editors can see what content, and which authors are performing well, and adapt their editorial strategy on the fly.
- Social media teams can see which channels drive the most/best traffic.
- Ad Ops teams can use the engagement data to demonstrate value to advertising partners.
- And more...
4. Discover New Opportunities
The best content performance tools leverage predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities to reveal opportunities for engagement. By analyzing the overlap between audience interests and content, intelligent tools can reveal:
- Under-served: topics where audience demand and interest is high.
- Over-served: topics where publication rate is higher relative to audience demand.
In addition to data-driven opportunities for publishers to pivot their content strategy to meet the real interests of their audience, leading performance tools also provide intelligent suggestions to expand your publishing strategy.
Drawing from an ontology of millions of possible content topics, NativeAI publishers can discover personalized recommendations for relevant, in-demand topics.
5. Use a Quick-View Daily Update
Not every stakeholder needs to engage continually in real-time with dashboards and engagement metrics. Most benefit significantly from regular exposure to an overview of key publishing performance metrics. For many organizations, this can be best achieved by subscribing leaders and contributors to a daily update, summarizing performance and engagement across the board.
NativeAI sends a daily digest email that gives an instant complete overview of the most important performance metrics, measured against historical norms.
Translating Performance Insights into Results
Every click, share, and engagement metric from your audience members has the potential for publishers to develop tailored experiences for segments, increase engagement, and publish content in direct response to audience demand.
The best content performance tools enable digital publishers to adopt a real-time, data-driven stance to ensure they are capitalizing on every opportunity to increase engagement and grow their audience.
To learn more about how you could transform your results with intelligent performance insights and access a NativeAI demo, click here.