Welcome to podcast #45! Today we are talking about how to collect web content. It’s often hard to keep coming up with new stuff when you need to regularly post content, so what can you do? We’re going to take a look at the places we use to keep our content going.
What did Andrew and Heather learn this week?
Andrew has been digging into his marketing books and tuning in to his ‘marketing brain’. On a hangout with regular Online Footprint contributor Elaine Lindsay they were talking about Google Plus and the changes that have just been made in the last couple of days; one of these is to do with photos. You probably know that with digital photos when you upload them to your computer they have a random number as their title such as ‘DG12315’, when you upload them to somewhere else you have to search through and look at the actual photo to know what you are putting up. We take so many photos that no one has time to go through and tag where they are and who is in them. What Google have now done is create software that is ‘machine learning’ so it recognizes certain things in photos, e.g. dogs, sunsets etc. This means you can do a search of your photos (e.g. ‘dog at sunset’) and it will pull all of the photos that match that description. It is also working on facial recognition so that you can search out certain people.
What has come across for Heather this week is around turning a negative client experience into a positive one. It’s powerful when you can take responsibility for whatever has happened as a business owner and work to turn that around. Don’t try to run away from the negative experiences – use them to reach out to that client and you could turn them into a raving fan! It is often how well we are able to deal with and turn around the negative stuff that impresses people and can in fact draw new clients.
One of the tools we use is RSS feeds (that little orange icon you see on websites). RSS allows you to create your own news source of the things you want to see. When you see a blog etc that you like, if you click on the RSS icon it will collate information into whatever reader program you are using so that you don’t have to keep going back to several individual websites.
There are a number of reader programs out there you can use. We like Feedly – you can use it on your PC or on mobile devices. There is also Mr Reader which is an iPad app. We like that because you can read snippets without clicking onto the full article. Andrew uses Mr Reader to flick through and see what he might like to read later – he then shares that to Pocket to read later. He could also share articles directly to social media or to his Evernote account.
The great thing about this system is that you set up one time to start following experts or websites that you like and you don’t have to remember a whole lot of websites. You don’t have to use a series of programs like Andrew does – you could just start with Feedly.
Content Curation Sites
We like sites like Alltop.com which collects news from all over the internet and slots them under different topics which you can search. It’s a great discovery place to find hot topics, ideas and experts in your field. Upworthy is another site we like which tends to post positive or thought-provoking content which is easy to share.
Use Your Social Sites
You can use your social sites to start collating information. For example, you could group certain industry leaders into lists on your Twitter account so that you are able to just sort your Twitter home page by that list and cut out some of the ‘noise’ on your Twitter feed. Some lists are already created for you, you just have to search and add them – this works on Facebook too! This is a great way to make sure you don’t miss news from your key influencers. For Google Plus, create Circles and Communities and with LinkedIn, follow relevant groups or influencers.
We have set up paper.li for clients to pull in feeds and create a newsletter. Some have also used it to pull feeds into a hidden web page which they use internally so that their teams are kept up to date with current news.
It’s almost like a reader as you can use it to collect social commentary (such as from Twitter and Facebook feeds) as well as blog posts. You could create your own paper.li to follow your competitors! Use their information to do market research.
Do you have other ways that you collect content? Please let us know in the comments below!