Collaboration is a big buzzword at the moment. It’s hardly surprising: collaboration is proven to increase revenue, improve employee wellbeing and well as help establish a shared sense of responsibility in cross organisational departments. However, there have also been studies about the harm collaboration can give individuals, as their workload is increased but their KPIs remain the same.
Here we’ll take a quick look at the problems plaguing collaborative working today. We will then look at resolving these issues.
Many organisations are grouped into silos. Sometimes these silos can be extremely specific; even under one broad area like ‘marketing’, the digital department can be different to the customer community department which is separate from the social media team.
When workplace teams fail to collaborate and share key information it can cause a silo mindset. Departments tend not to see the bigger picture. They don’t understand how their actions impact a wider company vision and get bogged down by their own KPIs.
This is detrimental to the long-term goals of businesses. Silo mentality is common and can happen in very small organisations as well as huge enterprises.
The problem: the high and lows of collaboration in the workplace
A study by CEB shows that collaboration boosts revenue by $16,400 and profit by $2,500 per employee annually on average. This is by encouraging ‘enterprise contributors’ who collaborate across the silos.
Conversely, research by the Harvard Business Review demonstrated collaboration can cause a burnout effect. This is because high-performers are relied on too much for many different projects. In the majority of cases, 20-25% of collaborative tasks come from 3-5% of employees.
This is clearly a huge amount of responsibility to place on only a few members of the team. In most cases, this can cause collaborative employees to be overburdened and encumbered. They often leave the organisation.
Many companies are scratching their heads to find a solution to collaborating well within an organisation. On the one hand, they want to break down silos, but on the other, they do not want to lose their top employees.
[quoter color=”sand”]Collaboration is key in small teams, where a clear framework is set as to why the team is collaborating together.[/quoter]
We propose a solution. Collaboration is key in small teams, where a clear framework is set as to why the team is collaborating together. These teams don’t need to be from the same department – but they do need to have a clear reason to work together. This way, you will see the benefits of a diverse group of minds working on a problem, but it will not lead them to burn out as the group is given purpose and structure.
Setting objectives and giving purpose to projects and tasks
Setting objectives to projects means teams to share a common purpose. The solution is to promote a collaborative environment that enables teams to share a common goal and purpose and stopping collaboration overload by setting controlled boundaries to projects and tasks.
The following infographics will show you how you can best collaborate in teams.
3 steps to setting objectives and purpose to projects
In order to make sure that particular individuals are not inundated with requests to collaborate, you should think about which specific people you ask to collaborate with.
[quoter color=”cherry”]The major obstacle facing organisations is enabling effective collaboration.[/quoter]
For starters, we should address the problem presented by HBR. Enterprise contributors tend to be overwhelmed with requests to collaborate.
Good collaborators tend to be ‘mini celebrities’ in their organisations. They have established a great internal brand, and so they are overwhelmed with requests to collaborate. However, it doesn’t mean to say that less extrovert employees who work beside them couldn’t equally offer a great opinion to the project.
For example, if Sarah, a marketing expert in your company is overburdened by the tasks given to him – ask yourself if there is anyone else the marketing department could you go to. Louise, who may be a more junior member of the marketing department may well have the expertise up to the level you’re looking for.
[quoter]Being selective about who you aren’t collaborating with can be as crucial as who you do collaborate with.[/quoter]
Similarly, it may be the case that you don’t actually need a marketing expert to collaborate with at all. Being selective about who you aren’t collaborating with can be as crucial as who you do collaborate with. We have all been at the mercy of a long email thread which only really concerns the work of 2 members of the group.
Using Cronycle boards to collaborate
1. Create a Cronycle board based on the purpose of the project
Let’s say you have been asked to write an article on the impact of content overload in marketing. Name your board with the purpose of the project in mind. In this case it would be ‘content_overload’.
2. Add a description to the board
Set the boundaries and parameters to the board. You may state what kind of insights you’re after – if you were just after hard facts and stats you should say so. This would eliminate opinion editorials being added to the mix. You may just be after annotations on competitors articles. There is a wide range of guidelines you can give your collaborators so they know exactly what is expected of them.
3. Pin articles that are relevant to your article or research
Create a personalised newsfeed to monitor add new articles that are relevant to your research, and add them directly to the board from Cronycle..
… or add relevant directly from your browser using our content clipper.
We’re delighted to have Henry Reith, Editor in Chief at Fridge Magazine, show our readers how to create an editorial calendar in 7 actionable steps.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to create an effective editorial calendar. First off I’m going to talk about why you need a content calendar, secondly I’m going to look at background work you need to have done before you create a calendar and finally I’m going to go through 7 easy steps to bring all your work together.
So it’s time to get some direction and create an effective content calendar, to produce well thought out content, that converts.
Content marketing has matured from writing ‘blogs’ to creating ‘content’ and we are on the cusp of an era I call Preference Content. This means that potential customers expect to be able to access your content in the medium they want! Today, there are many more elements involved in effectively sharing your message, than just a short old school blog.
Why? Because marketers don’t have a plan. They don’t know why content will be helpful for their audience, they don’t publish at the right time, and they don’t ultimately invest adequate time creating content that matters.
[quoter color=”sand”]So take action today and create a content calendar. Sticking to it will give you immediate competitive advantage.[/quoter]
Creating an editorial/content calendar isn’t a hard task.It can involve some thinking to get right; however it’s just a matter of following a simple step by step process.
What is a Content / Editorial Calendar & Why Should You Have One
A content calendar is simply a plan!
I’ll say it again ‘Only 32% of B2B Content Marketers and 38% of B2C content marketers have a plan!’
You could make it all up at the last second and hope you get results. Or you can plan your content and have a strategy that you can stick to that gets results.
An editorial calendar (‘a plan’) will give you something to reference when it comes to working out the ROI on any marketing.
Central Document For The Team To Reference
Rarely is content creation just left to one person in an organisation.
Whether you are a blogger, solopreneur who has an outsourced team, or business with a whole marketing department, an editorial calendar is a great tool. By having a central document that the entire team can access, it gives everyone a common place to see what everyone is working toward.
Some may believe their ‘blog is too small’, to make it worthwhile. However, that’s probably because you don’t have a plan to grow it in the first place. So having an editorial plan is more important than for you than for anyone else.
[quoter color=”honey”]By having a central document that the entire team can access, it gives everyone a common place to see what everyone is working toward.[/quoter]
After deciding on your plan, just having it written down allows you to commit to it. And focus your effort on completing the plan.
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa – Before We Continue Do You Know What Your Goals Are?
It’s fine having a plan to create content. However, before it’s worth planning, we must know what we want it to achieve.
Your Sales Funnel Will Create Your Content Goals
Let’s use some examples to explore different types of sales funnel and as a result, what the content is looking to achieve.
Your focus may be to get people signed up to a free trial. The aim of the content is to get people onto the website, then sign up for a free trial by themselves.
Or another commons sales funnel is to get an opt-in (someone gives you their email). Once you have their email, you use content give value & market your product to them. This is used when products have a barrier to entry, such as immediately costing money.
And last of the main sales funnels is for companies who are looking for an ‘enquiry’ either via email or phone. Organisations who use content for this purpose can be diverse; solicitors, insurance firms or a windshield replacement company.
For my personal goals I use an opt-in focused funnel for Fridge and most of the clients I work with, so we aim to use content for three purposes:
Traffic – we want traffic to come to the site
Opt-in – we want people to sign up to our newsletter
Conversion – we want to convert them to buy a product
To recap, in order to create an editorial calendar, you need to be aware of what your content is going to achieve for your business.
What Should You Create Content About?
As mentioned above when I create content I only look to create Preference Content. So content to me isn’t just a written piece or a video. ‘Content’ is a multimedia rich mix of written content, video, images and maybe audio.
Based on my tests, it is better to create 1 piece of Preference Content a month, that is well promoted. This always outperforms many small ‘bite-size’ pieces of content that have no profound impact on people’s understanding of a subject.
Work Out Your Top Level Categories
Given that one excellent piece of content is better than lots of smaller pieces of content, you’re going to have to spend some time narrowing down your ideas. The first thing to do when narrowing your content options down to a manageable size is deciding what categories you’re going to create content around.
My general rule is that for any business, outside of magazine/news style businesses like Fridge, is create content in a maximum of four top-level categories. And write them down.
This is certainly not a definitive list of content ideas; there are many more out there. However, for me, these are easy ones to put together and work for my audience.
I’d recommend you follow a similar exercise so you know what types of content you’re going to produce
Remember The Times Of Year And Your ROI
One way to fill up your editorial calendar is to look at the content you can tie into certain times of the year.
You could create themed content for:
Having said this, I mainly focus on creating ‘timeless’ content. Why? Because when I invest the time and money into creating great content, it takes a few months to see a positive ROI from it. So if something just has a life span of a week, it is worthless to me.
However, for resource-rich companies who have the budget to create great content, and can see an ROI in just a few days then this is a must-do strategy when it comes to filling up your editorial calendar.
Write Content For The Customers You Want
Make sure you are writing content for the people who will eventually buy from you.
This is one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt to date. Six months ago I started an experiment to see if 1 in-depth and a well-promoted piece of content has more an impact on traffic and opt-ins then lots of short articles. I did a piece about why OptimizePress Fails Markers. Why? Because I had just seen too many bad OptimizePress sites that week and wanted to get my point of view on the poor OptimizePress templates out there.
However, to my horror, for the next few months all the enquirers I received for conversion optimisation help were from OptimizePress users who had found the article :/. That was the last thing I wanted.
[quoter color=”jeans”]So, now I’m writing content for the audience I want, and I’m getting messages and enquirers from people I want to work with.[/quoter]
Lesson learnt; you get what you talk about. This can also be seen with a recent article we did for one of my clients on how to choose the right BMW windshield. We talked about the premium parts that should be used in a BMW windshield replacement. And guess what…. LVS Glass is now getting equines from BMW owners who want their premium services and parts service.
So I’d suggest you write down your various different personas, and in your content calendar, you’ll be able to see if the content you want to writes, fits with the content your customers want to see.
Know Your Keywords (and Social Audience)
There’s a key difference between people finding content via search engines, and finding content via social.
People go to Google (or Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go) to get their questions answered. We all go there to type a question in/find an answer to a problem. And Google’s job is to get us the best answer to our question as possible. They do this by finding us informative content to read.
When people are browsing social media, they are looking to be entertained. We don’t go to social media to ask a question (not normally anyway). So if you are doing social specific pieces, it’s got to be entertaining.
[quoter color=”honey”]The more we become a resource where we answer the customers questions, the more trustworthy we will become.[/quoter]
So it’s good to find out what kind of words and phrases people search for when looking for your product/service. I use Market Samurai, as it’s worked for me for years. However, there endless ways to do keyword research from the super simple, to the detailed and complicated.
You can check out this video below for more info:
After I have a list of keywords and phrases people use to find my services, I save them to a Google Doc to use later when we brainstorm content ideas.
Putting the editorial calendar together in 7 easy steps
Now with your goals in mind, we can start working on putting the actual calendar together.
I plan my content of my personal website, my company’s website Fridge and clients sites in 12-week blocks. I have found that planning ahead in 12-week blocks is the most efficient way to stay ahead when it comes to content creation without just having to make any random stuff up, based on a general idea of what might be going on in six months’ time or whenever.
To either start a brand-new editorial calendar or plan the next 12 weeks I follow the below steps:
The first thing I do when bringing together a content calendar is start by brainstorming ideas.
I take the main types of articles I am good at and comfortable creating, that in my case is, how to’s, ultimate guide and list articles. And then spend 15 minutes on each type, just brainstorming/listing out every idea that comes into my head without stopping. I do this straight into a Google Doc, so it’s easy to access later on any device.
Next, I close the documents, but leave the task open. So as ideas come to me over the next couple of days I add them to the lists.
[quoter color=”stone”]Takeaway Advice: Get crazy with your ideas, and don’t look at what others have written initially before you have a solid list in place. Only then look at others for some inspiration to keep extending the list.[/quoter]
2. Decide On The Publishing Frequency
The amount of content you should publish comes down to resources and time. It’s about creating a plan that works for you, not one you think should be doing.
For me, based on this research, I only look to create in-depth content. The detailed, long-form content style is something that works for me and my audience.
So with my resources, I plan to do one piece of content a month on my website, and one guest piece of content somewhere else as well. This gives me the time to not only create but most importantly promote the content to a high level.
However, it depends on your audience as to the type of depth your content should go into and the frequency you should publish. And if you have the resources to be producing & promoting quality content 24/7 go for it!
Many of the leading content marketing content creators including Brian Dean and Bryan Harris, followed the once a month schedule for a long time before growing enough to ramp up content creation.
For Fridge, I plan to publish two long form pieces of content a week, plus a podcast.
[quoter color =”flamingo”]Takeaway Advice: Come up with a frequency of posting that works for you. Do not try to publish content twice a week if you don’t have the resources, and remember you need time to promote the content you publish as well.[/quoter]
3. Focusing Down On The Good Ideas
In most niche’s I typically end up with 50+ ideas for each type of content / per 12-week block. So I then narrow them down to just 10 – 20 or so ideas, depending on the publishing frequency and copy them to the bottom of the Google Doc.
Next, I compare, the maybe 40 to 60 ideas throughout the types content, with potential keywords to see if any fit in.
For those that look as if they might correlate with a keyword or ideas I just like the sound of because be fun, I move them on to the next step.
4. Add Content To The Formal Plan
This is the big step takes content from an idea to publication.
From the remaining set of content ideas, I add them to my content planning spreadsheet (get it here free). I look to mix-and-match the content types up over the next 12 weeks (so it’s not just, list, list, list, list, how to, how to, how to…).
5. Sign Off, Get The Big YES!
Next step is to get it signed off by everyone who needs to know about it.
Granted, this may only involve a few people, but when working in a team, it is always good to ensure everyone understands where the marketing and the company are going.
In my case where I am in control of my marketing, so I just opt for the JFDI method of working, so everything just gets done and finalize quickly.
6. Add To Project Management System
The next step is getting it into a task management system, and assigning tasks to everyone needed to create the content.
To do this, ideally, you want a repeatable content creation process which has already been templated in the project management system. This means for each piece you can just duplicate the content creation template and add the relevant due by dates to it.
I follow my preference content formula when it comes to the content creation process. However, if you don’t have a process that you can replicate to create content, it’s going to be well worth you creating one. The smaller steps the better. Then there are no barriers to getting started creating content.
For any content to be great and stand out from the crowd, it needs to be unique and include angles that haven’t been touched on before.
The easiest way to research content, and get the input from multiple people in an organisation is by creating a board in Cronycle.
By having a repository to save facts, figures, and other relevant and exciting articles as you go is invaluable. Saving content and notes to boards make it very easy to reference other resources as you put your story together.
Also, where content creation is outsourced, having a board allows me to give my outsourced content writer more background information on the facts, figures, and reference information on the key points we want to get across.
In this article, I have gone through the background information needed to create an editorial calendar. Plus the seven step process I go through to create my editorial calendar and ensure my content ideas, become published landmark pieces of content.
It’s over to you to create an editorial calendar and create excellent content. If you have any questions as you go, feel free to drop them in the comments below and get back to you or reach out to me by Twitter @HenryReith and are more than happy to help.
My only question to you is what awesome content are you going to create?
Cronycle is in the business of helping professionals develop expertise around their specialty. We want you to self-serve in doing this – you should create algorithms to monitor the right articles in your field, and you can handpick the most relevant articles to you to annotate on boards in your teams.
But what differentiates the people who are using the platform to its full potential, saving hours finding the right information, and those who are unproductive in becoming experts?
It’s a simple question to answer – and it’s not just applicable to the people who use our platform.
The successful and productive professionals break down a larger objective into bite-size chunks.
[quoter color=”aqua”]The successful and productive professionals break down a larger objective into bite-size chunks[/quoter]
To illustrate what this means let me show you a bad way of creating mini objectives.
BIG OBJECTIVE: I need to become an expert at communicating with investors in the construction industry HOW WILL I DO THIS? I need insights in the construction industry
The person in the above example has simply moved from wanting to become an expert in a domain, through to wanting ‘insights’ in that domain. But this simply isn’t specific enough. You will not get targeted and relevant information simply because what you’re aiming for is far too broad.
Building ‘mini objectives’ beneath a larger objective
If you are working in an industry, you will already be aware of macro themes which exist in your area.
Let’s take the example above. You will be aware technology has a huge impact on the future of construction, as well as political factors and material prices. However, technology is also a very broad subject. So you’ll have to break this down further; the implications of robotics in different areas of construction will contribute towards understanding your subject more for example. Knowing about robotics in construction will give you information you can pass onto your investors.
You may build the following ‘tree’ to understand what specific information you need to become an expert:
Becoming an expert in the construction industry is dependent on a number of different sub-topics. Identifying what those sub-topics are is vital in your journey to becoming an expert.
How you identify these sub-topics can happen in a number of different ways. Most can build a list like this using their own experience of the topic matter. If you are a complete novice then you can try asking colleagues or friends for recommendations. If it helps, I was able to build out the above tree without an
When you take these sub-topics, you know what kind of information you would like to curate on a daily basis, and the types of topics you would like to know more about.
What next: Getting more from the information you read on a daily basis
It’s very rare for someone to be able to read and remember information just from reading it once. In order to truly learn, and retain that information for later, most need to interact with the text in some way, or manipulate it to remember it.
Whilst you were at school, you were able to highlight and underline key passages, and add your annotations to the side of texts.
[quoter color=”sand”]In order to truly learn, and retain that information for later, most need to interact with the text in some way, or manipulate it to remember it[/quoter]
So replicate that way of learning for becoming a new domain expert. Handpick the most relevant articles which are part of your sub-topics, and note them down, or annotate them in some way to help you retain information.
Not only will this help you remember the articles you read, but it will also give you clarity as to why that information is relevant for your wider business purpose – which in the above example is giving value to your shareholders.
Understanding how information can help with specific projects
Quite often, the business projects you are working towards don’t directly correspond with the topics you monitor on a daily basis.
You may have to write an article, or deliver a speech to a group of clients, or produce an internal report on a specific subject area. Each of these things depend on you being an expert in your particular domain, having a general awareness of your industry is important. But you are being asked to hone down on a very specific part of your expertise.
To give an example, let’s go back to the investor relations marketer in the construction industry. She has been asked to deliver a report on the top 5 risks in the construction industry which may affect share prices. Because she has been monitoring various different areas which affect the construction industry she has the experience in knowing where to look.
However, this is an important report. And she needs to have facts, reports and evidence to back up her argument. In order to do that she needs to collate lots of external information together, annotate it with her thoughts, and also ask different colleagues for their advice and experience.
In a project like this, collaboration is key to writing this report. But so is communicating to all those collaborators exactly what the purpose of the collaboration is, and the exact reason why she needs their guidance.
[quoter color=”honey”]It is important to communicate with your colleagues exactly why you need their guidance – otherwise collaboration will be unproductive [/quoter]
In Cronycle, we have a ‘description’ box for this exact reason – to communicate to all members of the team exactly what information would be helpful, and why it is helpful.
As soon as you know exactly what you’re asking for help with, then meetings become more productive, and you will get the information you are looking for.
The pain of not being specific about your objectives
When you are vague about the information you want to see every day, and you do not work according to well-defined projects, the consequences are two-fold:
You become unproductive
You will not be entirely sure what information you are searching for, and whether an article has any authority or credibility
You rely on the judgments of other people
If you are not able to curate information or analysis on a certain topic, you are relying on other people to give you that information – which puts you out of control of the information which is served to you
Both of these things are a barrier becoming an expert.
How to become an expert: in summary
Breaking down a major objective into mini objectives is critical for productivity and becoming a domain expert.
Martech has become a huge business, with over $134 Billion dollars in funding over the last five years. Recent technological developments such as artificial intelligence, internet of things and big data will prove fundamental to the marketing industry. The Martech conference will feature prominent marketing and advertising professionals such as Scott Brinker, Rohit Prabhakar, Joseph Puthussery and many more.
Cronycle helps professionals develop expertise in their chosen field. We’ll be posting collections of articles throughout the event – and please do let us know if you’d like any information on the talks via @cronycle.
In the meantime, keep up to date by viewing which articles the speakers are tweeting here:
In marketing, ‘can we automate that?’ is continuously being uttered up in offices around the world. And it’s true, data and technology are improving leaps and bounds to help automate and scale operations. We can do more with less time.
But we are no way near automating creativity. Given marketing is all about reaching out to humans and connecting with them, there will be no way that you can automate the experience of learning what the customer truly likes, or finding text that you can then A/B test. The intelligent and creative work is not going to be taken off marketers plates any time soon.
Which is why building a technology stack is great – but it’s still no match of the journey of understanding your customer, giving them content which educates them and turning them into evangelists. That’s still a person’s job.
Check out our curated news feed on the importance of user journey and experience for the marketing technology industry:
[cronycle collection=”p9492c9cd” name=”Journey Wins, Not Tech” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1458306812959″]
Cognitive Marketing – Rise of the Super Marketer
Cognitive marketing sounds exciting – machines will be able to analyse unstructured data like photographs and music, and take ideas from this that can lead to easy recommendations, answer questions and formulate possible answers to large issues using a range of available information. A machine that can tell us to think based on a much larger set of data that one person could hope to compute! How exciting is that!
On the other hand, you could say cognitive computing is leading to us not having to think for ourselves anymore. Given we’d hate the idea of anyone voting for us in an election, it seems bizarre that we’d ask machines to emalgamate a lot of information together for us, and direct our decision making.
Below is a curated collection on the impact that big data and artificial intelligence will have on marketing technology:
With the Google AI beating the world GO champion, there is a lot of buzz around machine intelligence at the moment. This was similar when Watson beat humans at Jeopardy and when we lost at chess to Deep Blue.
Here’s a collection of articles on the impact of machine intelligence, machine learning and A.I on the marketing industry:
Stating that there is going to be a collision between MarTech and AdTech depends entirely on what your definitions of MarTech and AdTech are. Some types of MarTech will start to infringe on the AdTech space – but isn’t AdTech just a subset of MarTech anyway?
Here are some articles which lay out the differences and recent developments in MarTech and AdTech:
[cronycle collection=”pfc33cd61″ name=”Adtech and Martech” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1458306841557″]
Today, we are excited to announce a new integration with WordPress. You can send drafts of new articles and posts directly to WordPress from Cronycle boards.
We understand that many of our users are using Cronycle to research new ideas and find articles which give credibility and authority to their new posts. Now, when you are writing and editing a new note on a Cronycle board, you can draft a post to send to WordPress.
[quoter color=”jeans”]Send a WordPress post direct to your site from Cronycle boards![/quoter]
How to publish to WordPress from Cronycle
When you write a note on a board, you’ll have the option to create a draft for WordPress.
In order to send a draft to WordPress simply enter the heading and press create note ready for WordPress. To schedule your post you should enter a desired time and date, this is optional.
Once you have hit ‘send to WordPress’ the following modal will come up:
You will have to enter your WordPress URL (remember to include the http:// or https://), and your WordPress username and password. Then press ‘Send Draft to WordPress’.
Then you’ll see the draft of the post appear in your WordPress.
We’re really excited about getting feedback about this new integration! We’ve developed it so our users can facilitate their content production process. Please contact us with your feedback and let us know what you think!
If you’re like a lot of social media marketers, you will spend a lot of time searching for content to post on social media. This is often referred to as ‘content curation‘ and we’ve spoken to marketers who spend up to a day a week finding useful content to post on their networks.
As Neil Patel points out on the QuickSprout blog – curated content on social media account for 47% of all clicks, and given it’s much more time-efficient to curate content produced by other people, than create new content again and again, it’s well worth the time investment to share curated content on social media channels.
“Even though social media tools do the posting for you, they don’t find the content to post. This is your job.”
[quoter color=”aqua”]Even though social media tools do the posting for you, they don’t find the content to post. This is your job.[/quoter]
But what if I told you there is a platform which finds the content to post. What if I told you that you could create your own personalised news feed which goes out to the trusted sources you respect, and delivers interesting articles according to keywords you put together.
How does that sound? Pretty exciting I expect.
A complete platform to curate content for social media
Neil Patel suggests spending half an hour searching for content on various networks.
5 minutes searching for content on Twitter
5 minutes searching for content on Facebook
5 minutes searching for content on LinkedIn
5 minutes searching for content on Google News
10 minutes searching through niche blogs and websites
He then suggests copying all those links and quotes into a document and warns against getting distracted.
I’m suggesting you spend 10 minutes scanning one personalised news feed, automatically posting those links into a board which is attached to the same platform, and given it’s all self-contained, there is no way you can get distracted by click bait articles.
[quoter color=”plum”]I’m suggesting you spend 10 minutes scanning one personalised news feed, automatically posting those links into a board which is attached to the same platform, and given it’s all self-contained, there is no way you can get distracted by click bait articles.[/quoter]
Ok – but you’ve been promised personalised news feeds before. And they get way too much to handle because you are completely inundated with content which you can’t control. So you’ve given up with your personalised news feed.
Cronycle doesn’t just aggregate content together in one place. Cronycle offers you powerful filtering to make sure you’re only served articles which contain keywords that come from your specified sources. This ensures you get a limited number of very relevant articles a day.
[quoter color=”flamingo”]This ensures you get a limited number of very relevant articles a day[/quoter]
A platform to save articles to post for later
A completely customised news feed is great. But when something is running off an algorithm, you want to make sure you are only posting the best articles from that news feed. You need a ‘holding area’ of some description where you can annotate those articles so you know what you may say on each social media platform. This is what Neil Patel was using as an open document – a place to house the best links you’ve curated.
In that holding area, it would be useful if you could post articles which didn’t just come from the personalised news feeds. It would be useful if you could hold articles which you find whilst browsing the web, either on your desktop or on mobile, so you can review which posts you’re going to send out before sending them direct to your scheduler.
You could finally be in control of curating posts to share on social media – and it could take you just 10 minutes a day.
[quoter color=”honey”]You could finally be in control of curating posts to share on social media – and it could take you just 10 minutes a day[/quoter]
Start with Cronycle today
Cronycle does exactly that. Cronycle provides you with a customisable news feed which takes sources you trust and filters them using key words which you provide. Cronycle then has a dedicated annotation space we call a board, where you can pin relevant articles to discuss with your team (if you like) before shipping them out to a scheduling tool.
How to create a workflow which is optimised for social media on Cronycle in eight easy steps
Start by signing up to Cronycle. You’ll be given the option to use a select list of Cronycle sources to start a ‘trusted library’. If you don’t already use a news aggregator or twitter to search for articles then this is the best option. If you already have a curated list of trusted sources which you search through then take the other option.
Join your Twitter account to Cronycle to see all the articles the people you follow post through Cronycle
Download the Content Clipper for Chrome or Safari. Whilst you’re browsing the niche sites which you check for interesting content, check to see if they have a relevant RSS source and add that to Cronycle.
Add Google Alerts to Cronycle – so instead of searching Google News, go to Google Alerts. Type in the keywords you usually search in Google News and make sure you get the RSS feed. Add this to Cronycle. More info here.
Hit ‘Create New Collection’ – type in a list of keywords which you would like to be present in the articles in order for them to be relevant for your social media channels. More on this here.
Create a new board and entitle it ‘SocialMediaPosts’ or ‘TwitterPosts’ or ‘FacebookPosts’ – it’s up to you how you organise your Cronycle.
Add articles to the relevant boards as they appear in your news feeds or using the Content Clipper on your browser or mobile device
When you’ve established it’s a good article for social, then hit the three dots and click ‘share on social media’. You can either take the link to post on your scheduler, or post them right away.
And there’s a quick and easy way to curate content for social media.
Don’t just take our word for it…
This is just one application of using Cronycle. We are also used to curate articles for blog posts, for internal knowledge, and some financial analysts use us to keep up to date with oil prices. But this is a great application for marketers and social media managers and a lot of people are having a huge amount of success with it.
The Cronycle Standard Account
We’ve mentioned a Standard Account. The Standard Account allows you to further personalised your news feeds by adding bespoke sources to your library. It’s incredible value for the amount of time you save. Check out our pricing here.
When you have the perfect newsfeed which aligns with your business objectives, your work becomes infinitely easier. You have great signal to see the best articles appropriate for your business goals.
Cronycle helps you create your own transparent algorithms for search. The alternative is relying on news feeds which are outside of your control, like on social media and search engines. As soon as you rely on a machine to second guess what content you’re after, then you are relinquishing control over the information which you are served every day.
How does Cronycle help you create a transparent algorithm:
The formula for a Cronycle news feed is simple. We take the articles from the trusted sources you’ve put in your library, and then we filter them according to the keywords you give us. The keywords can appear anywhere in the article – including the body text, title, sub headings, and if there are picture captions we will search there too.
[quoter color=”plum”]The formula for a Cronycle news feed is simple[/quoter]
Worked through examples of creating the perfect newsfeed:
Finding ‘Industry News’ on Cronycle
Seeking industry news is a popular first step for news feeds.
First of all – think about the information you would like to see. Quite often people start with broad keywords like ‘industry news’ or ‘insights’. However, these aren’t great keywords to give you relevant information on a topic – the word ‘insight’ could appear in a number of different contexts! So let’s break down what you are looking for. Quite often it’s general information to keep you up to date, accompanied by specific topics you’d like to drill down into in depth.
Create a ‘general’ channel
Take a respected establishment which provides great general news in your area. In my case, I care about technology and business, so I have the BBC Homepage, BBC Technology, BBC Science and BBC Business feeds in one larger news feed. I haven’t applied any filters to it and get about 15 articles a day on general topics.
This is useful because I can observe wider trends, without getting overwhelmed.
If you are a financial analyst, then you might take a Bloomberg and Reuters feed. If you are a consultant you may take the general news feed + a feed from your favourite trade publication. It’s entirely up to you. The key is to only have a couple of feeds so you don’t get too many articles.
Create specialised news feeds
In my instance, I care a lot about the future of news. Given the future of news is so highly influenced by the monetisation of news, then I have a news feed on ad blocking with the following filters.
These are basic filters so the articles displayed may contain any one of these keywords
I am also interested in algorithmic filtering, and so I have a feed which is set up with the filter #RIPTwitter, because this is a keyword which was used when Twitter announced their algorithmic timeline.
[quoter color=”jeans”]As you can see the best key word may not be the most obvious one[/quoter]
To give another example, a payments company were looking at how to set up feeds to give them industry news. We tried a number of generic key words like ‘cash payments’ and we weren’t getting that many results. I typed the keywords we were using into Google News and there weren’t any articles there either! But then we hit on the keyword ‘cashless society’ and suddenly the news feed was filled with interesting articles talking about the future of payments.
You are the expert in your field, so you will have a great idea of interesting key words in your industry. Given the news feeds updates in seconds on Cronycle, you can play around until you find something that you like. Researching in this manner won’t take any longer than playing around on search engines, and once you’ve got it right you’ll have relevant articles every day on the subject.
[quoter color=”honey”]Once you’ve got it right you’ll have relevant articles every day on the subject[/quoter]
Sometimes you are looking for very targeted information about a specific trend. For instance, you may be interested in developments at Google. However, given Google is a verb as well as a proper noun, then by having a filter which just says ‘Google’ will bring up very broad and irrelevant results.
There are two approaches to take here:
Using advanced filters
Perhaps you are interested in the wider advancements at Google. In which case you may like an article which includes the keyword ‘Google’ and somewhere else mentions the word ‘Alphabet’. To do this, switch to the advanced filters and type in:
Google and Alphabet
Or perhaps you are interested in Google’s work in artificial intelligence, in which case the following filters may be interesting:
Google and (AI or artificial intelligence or Deep Mind)
Or perhaps you are interested in the wider implications of large companies like Google have on society, so you may try the following filters:
Google and (Facebook or Amazon or Uber or Apple) and (societal impact or impact on society)
Have a play around! You will find something interesting!
Only search specific sources
Another way to get a similar result is to find thought leaders who you respect and admire, and find out which articles they are recommending on a topic. For instance, I may respect 10 leaders in marketing, like Neil Patel, Ian Cleary, Joe Pulizzi, Michael Brenner, Heidi Cohen, Ann Handley and others. I’ll use their twitter handles in a news feed, and use the key word ‘content marketing’. That way I have a very targeted feed because I’m only searching a couple of bespoke sources and I know they will post interesting articles on content marketing.
Building a source library with relevant sources
As you can see, creating the perfect feed is dependent on the sources you have in your library. This is simple to do. Check out our guide here.
If you have any comments on this, or would like to have some more help to create the perfect news feed then please contact us at any time.
Your source library is at the heart of your Cronycle. The sources in your library pinpoint the articles you’d like to see in your news feeds.
It doesn’t take too much time to build up a source library with excellent feeds. Just take a look at the following steps:
From the sign up journey
You are presented with two choices.
1. Use Cronycle sources – recommended
It’s hard starting with a blank slate. With the Cronycle sources, you have a library of 240 feeds that suit a diverse range of interests. It includes sources from the BBC, Reuters, AlJazeera, Le Monde, TechCrunch, Lancet and Amnesty International. You’ll be able to play around with the platform and see relevant and interesting articles immediately.
[quoter color=”flamingo”]With the Cronycle sources, you have a library of 240 feeds that suit a diverse range of interests[/quoter]
You can easily delete sources from your library by ‘checking’ the source(s) you wish to delete and going to ‘bulk action’ then ‘delete from library’. You can also use the search bar to see which sources are already part of your library so you don’t have to add them again.
2. Elect to populate Cronycle with your own sources
We’ve created a browser extension for Chrome and Safari and a mobile app for Android and iOS to help you find relevant feeds as you’re browsing the web. When you have logged into the relevant app, you’ll find an option to add a feed when you are on a particular page. On a desktop it looks like this:
On mobile it looks like this when you hit the share button:
This is great because then you can naturally populate your library over a couple of days. It also means that when you come across a great new site, then you won’t miss their content in the future because it will be in your Cronycle.
These feeds use RSS technology. If it happens that the site you’re after doesn’t have an RSS feed, then find the twitter handle which is associated with that publisher. Often publishers post their content on Twitter so you have access to many different types of content!
Using Twitter as a trusted source
Twitter is a great way to keep updated with industry news – and often users have spent a long time finding the best people to follow for new content. The problem is that if you follow 100 people, you get an average of one tweet a minute, which is completely unmanageable. Instead, you can link your twitter account into Cronycle and allow us to filter the articles which are surfaced there.
If you don’t have a twitter account, you can add sources handle by handle on the sources page.
[quoter color=”jeans”]Twitter is a great way to keep updated with industry news[/quoter]
Add Google alerts as feeds
Finally, if there are subjects which you don’t want to miss out on, then consider using a Google Alert as a feed.
Go to google.com/alerts > type in the key word that interests you > edit settings and create a feed > input that feed into Cronycle.
We’re not going to deny there is an element of time investment in setting up your source library. However, given that people spend 20% time searching for relevant content on search engines and other networks, the time investment is immediately repaid because you’ll get relevant content on subjects you care about.
If you have any feedback on this post then please let us know! Otherwise, sign up for Cronycle by hitting on the button below or share with your colleagues and friends.
Welcome to Cronycle – Your Content Discovery and Collaboration Platform
Once you have created a Custom Feed and have set the keywords you would like the articles to be based on, you may like to edit the chosen Custom Feed’s sources.
Edit Sources from the Custom Feed Settings
Go into your Custom Feed settings at the top right of the feed. Click on the cog and a drop-down menu should appear. Souces are located on the left-hand side of settings. There you will be able to individually select which sources to include in your Custom Feed.
If you have sources from many different Twitter accounts, you may choose to remove all the sources from these accounts by clicking on the Twitter account and deselecting the box.
Use the search bar to find a specific source that you would like to remove or add from the Custom Feed – if you can’t see it straight away, then click to expand the labels and categories.
Once you’re happy with editing your sources – remember to press update custom feed sources.
Adding new sources to your source library
If you would like to add new sources to a Custom Feed, simply add a new Twitter handle or RSS feed to your source’s library. You can do this from the sources page or using the browser extension when you are browsing a publisher’s website.
Cronycle is different from other news aggregators because we offer powerful algorithmic filtering – particularly with the ‘advanced filters’ option. As a result, segmenting sources isn’t as necessary with this platform than with others.
Welcome to Cronycle your content discovery and collaboration platform.
We’ve noticed a real difference in engagement when we share a whole Custom Feed on social, compared to a single article. We believe this is because a Custom Feed gives your readers context on a whole subject, rather than just access to a single article.
Make sure you give your audience contextual information
Choose what Custom Feed you would like to make public. Expand the feed then click on the share button on the right-hand side. The pop-up modal will give you the option to make the newsfeed ‘publicly visible’.
When a feed is available to the public they will be able to see a description for the feed. This is useful for giving your readers context about what they’re seeing. In order to add a description expand the newsfeed then click on the settings cog. On the drop-down menu there will be description box, enter the desired information there.
Your personal information will also be visible to the public when you share Custom Feeds. You may choose to include some personal info regarding yourself or your company. Click on your profile page and choose a profile photo, a cover photo and write an about blurb.
Share a curated feed on social, email or your intranet
Click the two arrows to expand your Custom Feed. then click on the share button (near-left of the expand button). You’ll have the link to share the Custom Feed here, as well as in your Custom Feed settings.
Now you can post the Custom Feed on your social media, blog, website or share it with your team
Additionally, you can post directly to Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and email. This is advantageous because your colleagues and friends don’t need to have a Cronycle account to see the articles you’ve curated.
When your colleagues see the Custom Feed without an account it will look like this:
Voila! Your Custom Feed is out for the world to enjoy.
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is with us once again. The conversation has moved on from talking about mobile infrastructure to what can be done with mobile. Which apps are going to take off? How will mobile drones start to influence our day-to-day lives? How can mobile be leveraged in both a consumer and business environment?
Cronycle is a content platform, and as such, we’ve restricted our coverage of MWC to the future of news, content and media when looking at mobile. We’ll be posting collections of articles throughout the event – and please do let us know if you’d like any information on the talks via @cronycle.
In the meantime, keep up to date by viewing which articles the speakers are tweeting here:
News & Content on Mobile – New Trends in Consumer Consumption
Consumers are interacting with each other more and more via one-to-one messaging apps as opposed to one-to-many social media apps. Publishers who are able to engage their audience on these channels will have an engaged audience which they can then begin to monetise. Some publishers have already thought about these channels; Cosmopolitan claims they get 3 million visitors a day on Snapchat, and a number of Brazilian publishers use Whatsapp to get news stories from their audience and send relevant articles to those who ask for them.
Below are a selection of articles about consumer consumption and mobile:
Advertising in a physical environment has had to be static and ‘message based’ – there was no way to interact with the consumer and so billboards and print adverts served a ‘brand awareness’ function. However, in a mobile environment, the screen is simply too small to deliver advertisements with room for any value, without impacting the editorial around it. As a result, 2015 saw the rise of the ‘ad-blocker’ where many downloaded apps to increase the speed of their browser, but in the process blocked ads from publishers websites.
In order to move forwards, mobile advertising needs to be less ‘preachy’ and more participatory. Ads need to be invitations to digital events, or access to an exclusive stage to communicate with like-minded people. They need to be seen less as static campaigns and more like conversations.
A list of articles about ‘ad-blocking’ can be seen below:
Mobile is changing the way that we interact with each other in a physical space. And no where can that be more true than in the office. Employees who sit across each other in a physical space often use collaborative applications and technologies which are designed for flexible working. This is leading to the dissolution of the office as a necessary institution for work.
Technology and mobile has paved the way for the ‘super-niche’ market. Where services used to have to cater to a vast target-market in order to be profitable, now companies can find people with an extremely niche set of interests far quicker via the web. This change has been accelerated by mobile as people are able find new forums and services the whole time – which means more niche business models become viable.
Below are a selection of articles about the on-demand economy.
With more and more entrepreneurs in Europe and worldwide, it’s becoming more important to create networks of people who are trying to find the best process for a new business. How do you get funding for the early stages? When is the best time to hire your first employee? How do you create a monetisation model?
Tech Start Up day in Brussels is instrumental in giving advice and networks to start-ups. At Cronycle, we want to share some best practice articles and ideas so that you can keep informed of current and future trends in entrepreneurship.
Here’s a list of what the speakers and workshop leads are tweeting about, before, after and during the event.
For many start-ups, it’s a huge financial risk for the founders to leave their job and start a new business. As a result, understanding the best ways to fund your business is critical. Is it wise to try and bootstrap your business compared with going to the effort of finding investors? What are the best ways to impress venture capitalists and quickly grow your business?
With all these things, the nature of your business will depend on the course you take. There are different rules for new agencies and consultancies in comparison to SaaS and e-commerce platforms.
Here’s a selection of articles that mention Startup funding and investment:
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Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. You can curate articles like we’ve done above, and also work in teams to create intelligence.
Talent – Finding the best employees in the early stages
For the first hires, it is a similar risk for the founders. Although they are guaranteeing themselves a salary and maybe some equity, there is every chance the business could go bust in the next 3 months, and the work involved can be chaotic and unprocessed.
Added to this, finding the right employees can make or break a business in it’s early stages. You want someone with the right amount of experience and the right amount of hunger to push the business forward.
Finding talent isn’t necessarily just about finding the right people. It also takes a fair amount of strategy to know which employees will deliver the most value. Do you need an iOS developer or a marketing expert? Which will help to grow the business more? Where are the founders lacking expertise and you need a helping hand. Is it wise to go for an employee at all and instead look for freelancers?
Again, to help you navigate through this minefield we have curated a selection of articles about Startups and recruitment.
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Cronycle is an excellent platform for start ups to help their strategy and their marketing. We’re a collaboration platform for long form content.
Marketing – finding your first customers
With the rise of inbound marketing and content, the old ways of finding your first customers by networking and cold calls has been completely disrupted. What is required is a brand new set of skills to market yourselves. Do you need a growth hacker to help you grow a user base quickly through the first few months? How much investment are you going to put into your content marketing? And is there still room for traditional sales expertise and business development?
TED 2016 conferences bring together great thinkers who expand on the biggest problems of our age – some of which you didn’t realise were problems.
The Cronycle editorial team have taken 3 out of the 12 themes to be discussed at TED 2016 Dreams in Vancouver, Canada – to offer our own thoughts as well as curate a stream of articles for further reading. It would be great to find out what the speakers, event organisers and attendees think of our work, so do tweet as @cronycle.
Take a look at what the speakers are tweeting; before, during and after the event via this live stream of collections.
Identifying and manipulating patterns is turning into one of the most reliable ways to be innovative.
But where did all this start?
Alexandre Koyre wrote a paper in 1943 entitled Galileo and Plato. He believes the scientific advancements which happened through the revolution occurred because of a fundemental shift of thinking. This meant that Galileo and his contemporaries didn’t have to improve on scientific theories that came before, but instead “had to destroy one world and replace it with another”.
This fundamental shift in thought was the move from an Aristotelean theory of physics, to a Platonic theory. In brief, an Aristotelean theory of physics does not include ascribing numerical value to things like ‘speed’. However, a Platonic view of the world allows for this type of thinking. As soon as you allow yourself to think in this way, then it is natural that the scientific revolution could have occurred.
This was a radical way to repattern the way we see the world. And has caused us to be able to innovate within these numbers to create new and defined systems.
To see the latest articles published about the ‘scientific revolution’ then please check out the below:
Imagine there’s no countries
There are implications to a world without countries – such as how do you apply a set of laws for a wide range of cultures; how will people identify themselves after the loss nationality; will there be any controls over freedom of movement? How will immigration be controlled?
The Syrian crisis has brought this topic to the fore of international policy. All around the world borders are being tightened to restrict the flow of immigration and refugees.
With such importance being placed on immigration is it interesting to consider a world where our social relations isn’t based on fear and a rhetoric of us against them.
Below is a set of curated articles of Immigration and Refugees:
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There are many nightmare scenarios which scientists, activists and humanitarians can point towards and campaign against. Whether looking at climate change, world health threats, ideological political extremism or poverty, there is plenty of work for us to do. In order to narrow down this topic, the Cronycle editorial team looked to the questions posed to the public for the Longitude prize in 2014.
The Longitude Prize offers £10m for a solution to the biggest scientific problem of our time. To decide what the ‘biggest scientific problem’ of our time was, 6 questions were posed to the public.
How can we fly without damaging the environment?
How can we ensure everyone has nutritious sustainable food?
How can we prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics?
How can we restore movement to those with paralysis?
How can we ensure everyone has access to safe and clean water?
How can we help people with dementia live independently for longer?
The public decided they wished the winner to find a solution to resistance to antibiotics. But this doesn’t mean that the other 5 questions are vital in securing the future of our planet, and our humanity.
Below is a curated stream of articles which shed light on the above topics:
The impact of digital technologies is being felt across the sector. The implications of networks like Blockchain, as well as the promise of artificial intelligence and sophisticated programming, makes every industry ripe for disruption. Innovation is at the heart of the future of work and we’re looking forward to discussing some of the biggest trends with you all at Lift Conference.
Take a look at what the speakers are posting on Twitter in real time:
The blockchain is the technology which underpins Bitcoin – it’s a method of recording transactions, agreements and contracts. The interesting part is it’s decentralised – the ledger is not stored in one place but instead across many computers around the world. This makes it a very transparent network, but also one which is difficult to hack.
Using the blockchain banks can improve their financial transactions, money can be evenly distributed to refugees and diamond miners hope it will end the trade in conflict diamonds.
Take a look at what is being talked about with blockchain in the articles below:
Artificial Intelligence is misunderstood in so much as there is a ‘magical’, ‘dystopian’ or ‘quasi-religious’ language which surrounds it. If we are to believe that we are creating an intelligence which is similar, or greater, than human intelligence, then there are a lot of ethical implications. It is also difficult to understand how this intelligence will behave in the workplace and change our business.
If, on the other hand, we are to understand artificial intelligence as being a complicated algorithm, designed for a specific task and purpose, then the ‘magical’ nature of AI evaporates. It is easy to understand how such things are good for business. However, this has already been part of business for years – the exciting part is just how good developers are getting at it.
Check out this collection of articles which references A.I:
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We are in a world where the internet of things is becoming a reality. Different objects are able to communicate with each other and change their behaviour according to the environment you are working in. IoT is present in many different industries from manufacturing through to city planning through to government.
IoT Tech Expo Europe features speakers from Lego, Shell, NHS, Intel, O2 ,Dennis Publishing, IndieGoGo and many more. Check out which articles they care about and are tweeting below:
Sensors have a measurable impact in the way that we can plan our cities in the future. Already, we are able to see where traffic is in real-time, and you can choose to take a less congested route. IoT will also be able to help cities become more environmental and sustainable – leading to a greener and less polluted future for it’s inhabitants.
Many are touting the slippery slope argument around data and IoT. They believe there will soon be a point where machines will be able to run society as a benevolent dictator. However, there are many articles refuting this idea. It will be interesting to hear Dr Dirk Helbing’s point of view!
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The wearable market continues to expand and this creates huge opportunity for IoT. ‘Wearables’ are not limited to heath gadgets for fitness fanatics. They can be instrumental in health and safety for construction workers, and how brands communicate with their customers.
IoT has exciting implications for the way we can monitor our health, as well as our families. Sensors have already been put in parents homes to monitor whether or not they fall, and transport costs have decreased as people don’t have to go to the hospital to have their blood pressure taken. What is next for this sector?
Here is a collection of articles about MHealth and IoT.