“Expert-curated insights are authentic, authoritative and fresh. But finding a real expert to contribute on your publication will be a tedious task, especially when you are NOT amongst top publications in your niche.”
More than 51% of the global population has access to the internet now. This amounts to more than three billion people. With an access to a global audience, there is no better platform than the internet for selling any business or for conducting online activism or for simply creating awareness about something. The ease of publishing online has made it possible for anyone to post content regardless of whether it brings value or not. Currently, about three million blog posts are written every day and in addition, the number of stories and graphics posted online by prominent media and news outlets ranges from 200 to 500 per day.
Amidst this massive volume of news articles, videos, blog posts and many more that readers are inundated with, it is truly a challenge to find the content that is worth reading. Today, search engine optimization has become the focal point of content creation than differentiating with good content. However, the case with Forbes, Fortune or any leading media publications that generate huge traffic is that they not only provide expert-curated content but also produce fresh and actionable content. It was reported that Forbes generates 70% of its revenue from digital sources and this is mostly attributed to the contributor network that Forbes manages. Today, there are reportedly about 1500 contributors in their network churning out 300 to 400 stories per day inviting more than 70 million visitors a month and this, on average, amounts to 2.5 million visitors a day.
While there are few key takeaways to learn from the way Forbes has managed to grow to this scale, their network can also become a pipeline for PR. Regardless, here are the few factors that could help in standing out from the hotchpotch of millions of content:
Having original content is one of the foremost requirements to stand out from the crowd. Articles, videos and other media forms that contain unique insight bring a level of authority and credibility to the creator of content and the platform on which it is published. In addition, original content brings value to the consumer which results in increasing content visibility through more shares that ultimately result in driving traffic to the website.
Keeping a community of Contributors
With millions of content online, it is undoubtedly hard to come up with unique ideas that have never been executed before and this is where a contributor community work wonders. Maintaining a community of industry-specific experts helps in creating original content as they would be able to bring unique insights valuable to the consumers. It is well known that in business, politics or in areas where information is not easily accessible, obtaining insider knowledge can drive enormous traffic to the content. Also, when contributors are well recognized in their respective fields, it adds to the credibility factor of the content which is severely lacking in the internet world these days.
Providing Trustworthy content
A growing percentage of people distrust the media and do not find the information available online to be very reliable. At a time when hard to detect propaganda messages are spreading like wildfire through various media platforms, creating content that people could trust is becoming a challenge. Unbiased opinion or information is a key ingredient in setting apart content from those in the mainstream. For instance, there is a great appetite for gadget review content and often reviews influence the purchase decisions because nobody wants to be told what to buy, rather, all that is required is unbiased information based on which one can make up their mind.
Providing Informative content
There are countless clickbait blog post and article titles that are posted online every hour just for the sake of increasing traffic. While this may provide a momentary bump in the traffic, with time, it will get lost or suppressed in the ever-increasing muddle of online garbage contents. Rather than a shallow content focused on marketing or branding, it is extremely important to understand the audience and cater to their needs specifically with insightful information. Every major media platforms realize the importance of producing contents that are worth giving time to, for instance, Forbes incentivizes their writers when their content is able to bring the same reader back multiple times than simply for the number of page views.
While tinkering with SEO may bring temporary rewards, the above factors give a general insight into the essentials of building a robust content platform that people would like to engage with. However, there are also content specific strategies that could be employed to build a consumer base. For instance, it is recommended to create more visual and interactive content as it could keep people more engaged with the content.
Nevertheless, among the factors mentioned above, there is one crucial aspect to be taken care of while establishing a contributor network. Contributors receive solicitations to advertise a brand or a person through their content and this is in particular widely known and practised in journalism. Whether or not it is genuine, a question posted on Quora gives a peek into this world of payola journalism and the question was whether it was ethical that a Forbes contributor demanded $1000 dollars for a mention in an article. While anyone managing a contributor network has to prevent such unethical practices from happening, it is going to be really hard unless media companies open up a cyber cell for monitoring such activities.
Thus, looking to improve the content and bring insider information right to the audience through publications without the need of extensive contributor network, Intellectus is a new initiative that aims to create a community of diverse top-level industry experts. This community is aimed to cater to the content creators (publications/media houses/research firms) who require industry-specific insights for their content and unbiased information highly valued by the audience. The community is envisioned to be unique in that it will be comprised of real experts from the field of science and technology to business, politics and arts rather than those who market themselves as an expert on the internet. In addition, this initiative makes it easier for content creators or online publications to access a wide number of experts without having to shell out a large amount of money while also saving the hassle of the process involved in connecting to the experts.
To conclude, content will always be the king and therefore the content is more than a few SEO gimmicks or branding with a few catchy phrases. Rather than grabbing the attention of people for a few seconds to get the metrics up, it is essential to provide quality that everyone longs for by taking time and effort. Quality relies on the authenticity and credibility of the content and the content creator, the lack of which is why the internet has become a garbage dump.