How do you create original pieces of content marketing?
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Orginal content marketing ideas

“We are thinking about content marketing as campaigns, we need to do better”
Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

I watched a keynote this week from Joe Pulizzi in which he quoted that 9 out of 10 marketers are doing some form of content marketing, but 50% don’t have a strategy and don’t know what success looks like. A statistic that made him cry was that on average only 30% of content marketing is effective. That’s right. 30%.

He believes that we are treating our content marketing efforts as campaigns and that to get the results we simply need to do better. To stop looking at our marketing activity as a chance to use up all our words and limited attention of our audience with bits and bobs about our products and features. We need to take the time to understand customers and create something remarkable and unique that will build your audience. This will take time, brands that have hit the content jackpot took a slow and steady approach, created amazing content in one particular format, regularly, they built their audience, and then saw results. It is a marathon and not a sprint.

[quoter color=”jeans”]We need to take the time to understand customers and create something remarkable and unique that will build your audience.[/quoter]

So how do you get marathon ready?

How to understand and empathise with your customers

You need to have a deep understanding of your customers and the things that keep them up at night. Get obsessive over your customer and all the questions they have on a topic that you love talking about, Joe Pulizzi calls this “the sweet spot”.

What to do: Create your customer persona and identify an umbrella theme and then draft some pain points or issues that happen to match your sweet spot.

For example: Let’s say I own a craft store, love knitting and want to help more people get their knit and purl on. I have the resource to blog regularly about the topic and my goal is to create a community, with the business goal to sell more knitting goods.

Start by creating your umbrella theme:

User persona pain points

And then dig into your target personas issues and pain points to map out topics that will trigger a response.

cronycle google trend

Once you’ve created this, then use Google Trends a great and FREE tool that can help shape your strategy. Use it to plug in your user pain points and see what the interest is over time for that topic. You will most likely find that people do the same things, at the same time, each year. Track this in an excel doc that will be your ‘go to’ editorial calendar where you have the insights and backing to create and publish content at a time when your users are searching for answers.

Head to the bottom right of this tool and select “Rising”. This shows not only the top queries for this term, but what is trending. It’s a nice little growth hack which you can use to jump on and be ahead of the competition in creating content on a growing topic.

cronycle google trends

Still staring at your blank piece of paper?

So you have your editorial calendar and you know that you need to publish something on a theme based on your persona insights and Google Trends data  Avoiding Knitting Pain from Knitting Tension Problems” where do you start?

Use this formula to brainstorm your ideas:

Source + Theme + Format + Idea = Engaging Content

Let’s break each section down.

Source: What are you basing your content angle on?

  • Curated: assembling content around your brand and themes
  • Created: original content based on themes and pain points of persona
  • Co-market: partnership or influencer based content
  • Recycle :repurpose content, integrated formats

Theme: The pain point you’re going to focus on, these will link back to your editorial calendar.

Format: How are you going to deliver your content? The Content Marketing institute suggests you focus on one format and regularly publish. For example, a 10 min podcast every Monday. There are many to choose from and you need to select based on your resources and budget:

Here are a couple of examples:

chart content marketing ideas 2

Ideas: Once you know your format, what ideas can you use. Below are some examples.

Chart content marketing ideas

Now let’s put this into action for my knitting example.

Worked example of creating a brand new content piece

Source: Created – a brand new original piece of content

Theme: “Avoiding Knitting Pain from Knitting Tension Problems”

Format: Blog


  • Q&A: With doctor or health professional on how to avoid tension injury when knitting
  • How to: A detailed how-to guide on avoiding tension problems
  • Interview: With well known or influencer knitter on how they tackle pain from knitting tensions
  • Top 10: Top 10 ways to get tension problems and how to avoid
  • Facts and Figures: How many people suffer from tension problems cause by knitting

Tools to help create original pieces of content marketing

There is a lot of competition out there and your content needs to cut through. So, you need to be original, offer value, and be consistent. When you have pulled one of your ideas forward to create your content, use tools to support the writing process.

I have been using Cronycle to follow in real time what is being currently published and talked about in my chosen area, I even created a newsfeed for ‘Knitting’. This is going to give insights quickly to see if something has already been covered, and to check whether I have a different angle on the articles written. Previously I used Google Alerts, RSS feeds, and scrolling through social monitoring tools, but it took a little too long and didn’t always pick up an article quick enough.

cronycle collections

You should also (where possible!) ask your team for advice. Your company employees have knowledge and opinions, sending an email with a link to an article and asking them to read it or comment has never really got much traction when I have tried it.

Instead, try creating boards in Cronycle and pinning articles to base your research and ask team members to annotate. Another plus is to use the tool to find influencers who may want to co-write content or help your distribution efforts.

Content should be easy to read, when you are ready to publish, try using the Hemingway App which will highlight areas to review.

cronycle hemingway content marketing

Hello pretty picture – the design factor

The more visual your content, the more engaging you will be. We don’t all have designers at our fingertips and you can do without a fine for taking a Google Image which is has a copyright fine. I have been using Canva a lot recently as it has either free images and graphics, or if you do need to buy them, they cost $1. Affordable pictures for your content, even on a budget!

canva cronycle content marketing

There you have it! Please tweet me with your opinions!

About Jill Quick

Lead Instructor and Trainer for General Assembly and an author for Smart Insights. She loves to work, teach and write on Digital Marketing , particularly on Content Marketing, Google Analytics, and Email Marketing. She is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Quick Marketing.

You can follow her on Twitter @jillquick or connect on Linkedin

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Rumours about algorithmic timeline resurface at Twitter – our approach to filtering
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Twitter Algorithm 2

On February 6th it leaked Twitter is planning on using algorithms to filter the newsfeed. Currently tweets are displayed by reverse chronology. Now, Twitter is proposing that they will implement an algorithm which understands what you’ve liked and disliked before, and make sure it serves up that ‘relevant’ content to you first.

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Why is an algorithmic timeline so controversial?

As the user community is saying; an algorithmic news feed is a move towards a Facebook newsfeed.  A Facebook newsfeed shows you information from the people whose post you interact with most through the platform first; in particular your ‘like’ interactions with posts. You may never see updates from some of your friends at all if you haven’t interacted with them recently, however insightful or relevant they are to you.

Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor at University of North Carolina at the school of Information and Library Science, has written eloquently and convincingly about the dangers of algorithmic filtering for society in relation to the coverage (or rather lack of) of the Ferguson shooting in on the Facebook newsfeed. There is already a case of important news stories not being conveyed to individuals because of the wrong algorithm.

As Theo Priestley wrote in his Forbes article:

“What’s more, “Following” someone will become pretty much pointless since they don’t matter and their tweets will be buried amidst the inane babble you preferred before. The inevitable backlash may force Twitter HQ to implement more features to help filter out the noise. For example, creating a List of users is easy enough but currently there’s no way to arrange what you’ve Liked into anything meaningful to reference in the future.”

[quoter color=”honey”]There’s no way to arrange what you’ve liked into anything meaningful to reference in the future.”[/quoter]

If you’re looking for Twitter to be a trusted news source for your business; then an algorithmic newsfeed is not going to work for you. The algorithm will be a black box out of your control – and you risk not being fed the interesting, niche content which will give you true insight for your business. You will not know what you don’t know, not because you don’t want to but because the algorithm decided for you

Introducing Cronycle

With Cronycle you can filter your feeds exactly the way you’d like to see them. We go a step further than the current twitter feed. Do you want to see the articles people are posting with a specific keyword? Then filter your tweets! Your feed will always be arranged transparently in a manner which you choose – with the default setting being chronological.  You can do the same with your RSS feed.

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Not only is Cronycle a way of monitoring your twitter feed to find the most interesting articles being discussed on the web, but it is also an annotation and collaboration platform. Once you have found the article, you want to make sure you can store it in the right place, and discuss it with your team. Cronycle gives you the functionality to do that. There is true filtering power in collaborating in small teams on your topics of interest.

We are just getting started at Cronycle. We believe before we surrender to the algorithm there is a lot that can be done to help   individuals, teams and clients find the content they want effectively.

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News about #RIPTwitter and their algorithmic feed:

[cronycle collection=”pd26a62b1″ name=”RIPTwitter” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454795961684″]

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Annotate articles with inline comments from Cronycle
Reading Time: 2 minutes

annotate articles in-line commenting

In our quest to help teams enrich article and create intelligence from the abundance of content on the web, we have added a new functionality: inline commenting. Now, not only can you comment and annotate the whole article – you can also add your commentary to specific parts within the text too.

This is particularly useful for highlighting a important passage, create further knowledge for yourself or your team. You can give the rest of your team important signal as to what is interesting within the text.

[quoter color=”sand”]You can give the rest of your team important signal as to what is interesting within the text.[/quoter]

This will improve your collective intelligence. Are you going to reference an article in a blog post or a whitepaper? How about alerting your team to particular quotations inside the article which are best to reference? Is there a particular statistic quoted that doesn’t sit too well with you, and you think needs double checking? Notify the rest of your team with an inline comment.

We understand in depth functionality for annotating articles is key for intelligence building with your team.

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annotate articles in-line commenting

Localised context for annotation

If you have just signed up to Cronycle you will have been given a ‘My board’ (or you can create your own). As you know we think that you should have different boards for different topics of interest or group of digital explorers. So when you start annotating articles with inline comments, you have a convenient place to store your annotations either for you to check later – on ‘My Board’ or with your fellow digital explorers on a team board.

We will continue to add functionality to make sure these annotations can be shared in the context you find relevant. Expect exciting features in the future. Here at Cronycle, we believe your annotation work is highly dependent on context whether for yourself, your team or your clients.

As ever, please send us your thoughts and feedback either through the app or mail us here.

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AI, Agency and Choice
Reading Time: 4 minutes

AI Agency Choice

The following blog was originally posted on Jesper Wille‘s blog here.

You know there’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence – or AI – these days. Just this week another high-profile voice was added to the choir when Steve Wozniak, one of the founding members of Apple, joined in to voice his concern about the dangers of AI.

At the same time, companies all over the world and across the spectrum, from Google, Facebook and Microsoftto nickle-and-dime startups, promise a new dawn of both life and technology driven by smart machines – the message is that soon nobody will have to make dull choices because computers will be intelligent, and they’ll know you like a friend and make choices for you.

And now I’m going to add my nasal voice, too – but my angle on this is going to be a little different, as per usual.

I’m not that kind of expert but I’m not actually sure we’re going to see strong AI in machines anytime soon – but the thing is, as far as these issues are concerned it doesn’t matter. We’re perfectly able to create problems, even danger, with the computers we have now, and we’re also already seeing some boundry-breaking moves in choice and decision-making.

[quoter color=”honey”]We’re also already seeing some boundry-breaking moves in choice and decision-making.[/quoter]

The reason it doesn’t matter is that the issue at hand isn’t how intelligent a computer may be – the issue is what agency it has. Now, as an advisor, helping businesses work and thrive in the modern world, I’m not about to scare everyone away from what is clearly right in front of us. Instead, I am going to talk about some of the considerations we should be having to make the most of it.

When talking about agency we’re actually able to deploy a sliding scale that looks a bit like this:

AI Agency Choice

We’ll want to find out where we reside – or wish to reside – on that scale. “We” here meaning anyone with a product or service, but also, crucially, the users of said product/service. It’s important to note that there isn’t anything inherently wrong on either end of the scale. Some things are best left to be people-decisions, some things machines can handle just fine, and many things will work best with a blend of human and machine decision-making.

But we need to select that level of agency deliberately.

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Let’s grab an example from right now: Your news feed. You know, whatever that might be – a selection of newspaper websites, an app, Facebook or whatever. We all know there’s just too much information/content out there, but there are different ways of dealing with it. For example, Facebook already filters your stuff – the filters assume you’ll want more of the same so if you interact with things you get more of whatever the system considers “the same” (the formula for which is unknown). The effect of this kind of filtering is additive exposure for a reverse funnel of content; you’re shown what’s “popular” with you, and you interact with some of it, and are shown more of that subsection, and so on.

The same reverse funnel effect is seen anywhere there’s a popularity algorithm in place. Check out your music streaming service of choice – there’s a very small sliver of the total library that gets massive exposure, and then it reverse-funnels off and all of the rest, comperatively, gets almost none (for example, some 4 million songs on Spotify, about 20% of its library, have never been played). People are presented with some form of “popular now” selection, and any interaction with this selection narrows it.

On the other hand there’s feeds like Twitter – it doesn’t get filtered algorithmically but you can curate it by way of your choice of sources, and then it’s up to you to click or not click. Most online news services – aggregated or individual – also don’t filter. Here the choice is all yours, and you have to keep choosing every time you open the feed.

AI Agency Choice

Landing in between and putting curation tools front and center are services like Feedly, where you create collections of sources, save stories etc. An even more powerful curation tool is the startup Cronycle which is intended for people who have to navigate feeds and sources professionally and in groups – say, for journalistic work, or researching your field of work, seeking inspiration and so on.

[quoter color=”rowan”]Even if they really are super-smart the issue is still agency: What level of decision is yours, and what resides with the service.[/quoter]

What we’re seeing is different takes on the issue of agency, and the intelligence of the computers doesn’t much matter. Even if they really are super-smart the issue is still agency: What level of decision is yours, and what resides with the service. We know we can’t read, watch or listen to everything, something is going to get sorted out – we just need to be aware of how this sorting happens, and who the agent is in it. As I said, there’s nothing wrong with either alternative; it’s all about choice. What we need to do – in a wholly undramatic, constructive, even utilitarian way – is figure out how, when and why we want machines, smart or not, to help us make better decisions.

Whether we make and sell them, or just use them.

Graphics by Jesper W. of CPH

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Save articles for later with Content Clipper for Android
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Save Articles for Later

We’ve just launched our Content Clipper for Android in the Google Play Store! Android phones can save articles for later by adding content to boards whilst their browsing the web from today! Our Content Clipper for Android phones is now available from Google Play!

Download Android Content Clipper here

What is the Content Clipper?

Android users told us they spend a lot of time browsing the web on their mobile for content. Our first product for Android users means you can easily save articles which are useful for your work to relevant boards. This may be to ‘read-it-later’ or to ‘share with your team’ or even to annotate articles whilst you’re on the move.

Save Articles for Later

Click on share on your phone, and the option to share via Cronycle will come up. You can log in to your app via your phone. Then you will have a list of your boards from your account ready to clip the article.

This is exciting news for all Android users of Cronycle. We’d love to hear your feedback. Please mail us with your thoughts.

Download Android Content Clipper here

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The evolution of Cronycle iOS – 2.0 out today!
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cronycle iOS 2.0

Great news for our users with iPhones – we’ve redesigned and relaunched our iOS app and you can download it today from App Store.

Download the iOS app here

Our users want an application where it is easy to read relevant content from your collections on whilst on the move, and also where you can easily share and annotate relevant articles to boards when you find them on your mobile. They want an application which easily fits into their every day workflow. As a result, we’ve optimised the app for curating content rather than creating new collections and boards afresh. It’s designed for users who have created their collections and boards on the desktop platform already.

Cronycle iOS 2.0

Check out the collections view. Scroll down to see articles in the collections. Scroll across to view new collections.

Cronycle iOS 2.0

How nice  are the boards! Easily check articles added by your team, and annotate on the fly.

Cronycle iOS 2.0

Our mobile applications are designed to be used concurrently with the desktop version of the platform. Cronycle on the iOS is a fantastic news reader and collaboration tool. Please use the desktop version for creating new collections, boards and teams.

Download the iOS app here

Cronycle iOS 2.0 Content Clipper

Cronycle iOS 2.0 is includes an easy way to share an article from any application or browser straight to a board. If you find an article on Safari, LinkedIn, Twitter etc you can ‘save it for later’ or annotate it for your teams benefit. Simply click share, and the opportunity to post an article to a relevant board will be presented to you – as shown below.

Cronycle iOS 2.0

Download the iOS app here

We’re really excited about getting feedback about this app! We’ve developed it so our users have a great mobile experience with Cronycle. Please contact us with your feedback and let us know what you think!

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Innovate Tufts
Reading Time: 3 minutes


Innovate Tufts Cronycle

Innovate Tufts draws together academics and thought leaders to discuss key trends in technology. Given technology is fuelling new business models and ways of making decisions, discussion around pertinent topics is vital. As a result, the editors at Cronycle wanted to facilitate discussion by creating a landing page dedicated entirely to the event.

Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. We help you develop complex business ideas with your team, both by feeding you ideas from external influencers, and with powerful tool to help you unlock the signal from within your own heads.

Check out what the speakers are tweeting; before, after and during the event; here:

[cronycle collection=”p6d8f03fa” name=”Innovate Tufts Speakers” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454334847399″]

[quoter color=”aqua”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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Key Topics

  1. Using data to make better decisions
  2. Disruption in finance industry from FinTech


Using data and technology to make decisions

The ease of data capture has led to a dramatic change in decision making. It is now possible to measure the exact consequence of various decisions and A/B test different ideas. As a result, hitting on the best methodology or strategy is much easier to do.

However, there are a number of operational problems with using data. It can be difficult to know when to use data, and when to rely on instinct. Data can also be misleading. When you have too much data and you’re not sure what question it is trying to answer, you may be fed inaccurate and damaging information. If you become too reliant on the insight which data can give you, it may lead to a lack of innovation as you struggle to think outside of the box.

Below is a collection of articles, curated by the Cronycle editors, which discuss big data and decision making.

[cronycle collection=”pd13a45cf” name=”Innovation in Action” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454334859984″]

[quoter color=”rowan”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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FinTech – disruption in the finance industry

FinTech covers all manner of technological innovations. From the future of payments to cryptocurrencies to new retail banking models and equity finance – no area is safe from start-up disruption.

Equally, a huge amount of money is being ploughed into the sector by VCs and analysts. M&A activity is up, as technology and financial firms look to quickly acquire start-ups with promise.

Relevant articles:

Below is a collection of articles about FinTech:

[cronycle collection=”p6e2a5ba9″ name=”New Trends and Fintech” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454334888105″]

[quoter color=”honey”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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Innovate Tufts – closing thoughts

With a range of speakers like Paypal’s Melissa O’Malley, PopVox’s Rachna Choudhry and Sandbox’s Jean Donnelly the conversation is likely to be lively. Tweet us your thoughts @cronycle.

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Silicon Beached 2016
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Silicon Beached

It is now the norm for businesses and organisations to constantly review their strategy. Silicon Beached will inspire innovators, influencers and technologists about new ways to approach their enterprise in light of digital development.

Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. We help you develop complex business ideas with your team, both by feeding you ideas from external influencers, and with powerful tool to help you unlock the signal from within your own heads.

Check out what the speakers are tweeting; before, after and during the event; here:

[cronycle collection=”p1d145262″ name=”Silicon Beached Speakers” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454331791287″]

[quoter color=”aqua”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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Key Topics

  1. Corporate and Social Responsibility in the Enterprise
  2. Corporate Communications in a Digital Age
  3. Capturing Consumer Attention


CSR: it makes business sense to create purposeful projects rather than campaigns

Many businesses incorporate CSR into their annual calendar. Quite often these are ‘campaign’ driven – an office may head out for a day a year to clear up a community garden, or raise money for charity. They are often organised internally by the company itself, usually the marketing or HR department. However, this could be an outdated way of implementing a community that cares at work.

It is much easier for corporates to contribute to larger initiatives, and integrate charity into their every day process. Perhaps by recycling old hardware so it given to developing countries, or ensuring the community their business operates in is sustainable.

When a CSR project becomes part of company culture, the time and cost investment in that campaign decreases dramatically, whilst the impact that project has increases. It makes more business sense.

Below is a curated collection of articles about CSR by the Cronycle Editors:

[cronycle collection=”p30aa57ce” name=”CSR” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454330928791″]

[quoter color=”petrol”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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Would You Date Your Brand?

The way brands communicate with their clients and prospects has had to change. Customers are able to react instantly to brand messages and behaviour. As new platforms are shaping the way that we communicate with each other personally, brand communication strategy also has to continually change to keep up with a changing culture.

Below are a collection of articles about brand communication created using Cronycle:

[cronycle collection=”pac3f2129″ name=”Brands Online” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454330941478″]

[quoter color=”honey”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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Capturing engagement from message ridden consumers

An exponential increase of content published online and increased use of distracting personal devices has led to an attention deficit from consumers. It’s harder than ever to engage them. The balance of power has shifted, publishers and brands are not blocking consumers from information, but instead are having to fight to ensure their content gets read.

Given that the attention of your consumer leads to brand recognition and a sale, becoming best-in-class in engagement is of perennial concern for brands. It’s a new age problem caused by technology, but one which will be solved by technology too.

Check out this collection of articles which discuss how to capture engagement in a world with attention deficit:

[cronycle collection=”pf75e456a” name=”Digital Channel Engage” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1454330978329″]

[quoter color=”flamingo”]Cronycle is a collaboration platform for content. Make decisions on complex topics using your teams with Cronycle.[/quoter]

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Closing Thoughts from Silicon Beached

Tweet us your thoughts @cronycle.

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How to Filter Feeds
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Filter Collections Cronycle

This is a guide to filtering newsfeeds in Cronycle. The algorithms that are used in feeds are entirely set up and controlled by you. There is no ‘master algorithm’ working behind the scenes which can hide content that you might want to see, or place sponsored content in front of you. This gives you a remarkable amount of freedom.

This has many benefits – you will not only see content from publishers which create headlines which inspire you to procrastinate, nor will you be drawn into an echo chamber.

However, you have the ability to control your feed, and only see the articles which suit you.

Basic Filters in Cronycle

The basic filters are simple. Type in key words or key phrases which must (or must not) appear in the headline or copy of the articles. Press enter after each key word or phrase. This filtering system comes up as standard. In the below example, the articles presented in this feeds will contain EITHER ‘oil price’ OR ‘barrel price’. However, if an article contains the phrase ‘barrel price’ AND ‘Shell’, this article will never appear in the feed.

cronycle basic filter on newsfeed


N.B. Naming a feed does not include that keyword as a filter

Advanced Filters in Cronycle

You have the opportunity to create advanced filters when you open the newsfeeds, then click on the setting cog on the top right. In the drop-down menu there will be advanced filter option.

Advanced filters allows you to use the ‘and’ function. This is would happen in instances where you want two key phrases in the article, however you don’t want those words to necessarily appear next to each other. Please see the below example:

advanced filter on newsfeed


Should I use all Twitter and RSS feeds?

When starting out, we recommend using all your sources in your feeds. As you get more comfortable with the filtering, you can think about whether you’d like to just use feeds direct from publishers, or articles which are posted on twitter.

How To Filter Feeds: Conclusions

If you would like some more information, or would like to discuss how you would like to filter news feeds please contact us.

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Women of Silicon Roundabout 2016

Reading Time: 3 minutes“Women of Silicon Roundabout” takes place on Thursday, 28th January 2016. Women are still hugely under-represented in the technology industry. This conference will bring together some of the most successful women working in tech, so they can discuss how to balance the representation of their gender in this industry.

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Digital Content Summit 2016
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Digital Content Summit

Digital Content Summit

The Digital Content Summit takes place on Tuesday, 26th January 2016. The opportunity in this sector is huge as consumer appetite for digital entertainment and content approaches $220 billion this year. This conference will prove tremendously insightful for anyone who wants to capitalise on the promise of digital content; whether publishers, social media marketers, content and digital agencies or brand content managers.

In line with this topical event, the Cronycle Editors have spent some time putting together collections of recommended reading for each of the topics, along with a point of view which may be discussed at the event. We’ll be following the event live on twitter – contributing with the hashtag #dcs2016 – so let us know your thoughts via @cronycle

Check out the articles the speakers tweet live via this real-time updating collection.

[cronycle collection=”pd9009b62″ name=”DCS Speakers 16″ style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1453742092947″]

Key topics



IoTs impact on digital content distribution

IoT greatest impact for digital content distribution will be on the advertising and retail industry. The types of delivery most discussed are digital signage, ‘beacons’ and mobile push notifications. These all rely on understanding where a specific person is, and understand that person may like to receive a particular form of communication.

These types of content distribution will be reaction based. ‘Did you know you are 2 miles away from a McDonalds?’ ‘There’s 20% off on that dress you were looking at online in store now’ or media similar to retargeting adverts online, however in the physical world.

When it comes to long-form content IoT may have a large and measurable impact on intelligent content production. IoT will contribute towards journalism more driven by data, as complicated infographics about current trends can be instantly distributed online.

Further reading – a collection of articles which mention ‘IoT’ AND media or digital content or content distribution or publishing.

[cronycle collection=”p1ac0d8b4″ name=”IoT and Media” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1453751639320″]


Is data the magic pill for understanding customers?

Gathering data from your customers becoming the holy grail for marketers. The premise is simple: you assign a simple measurable goal to a piece of content, and test accordingly to see if it hits that goal. Data can show you if one piece of content is more successful than another. It can make you understand what language resonates with your customers.

However, this is limited – data will only give you so much.

  1. Data can show you how to refine a specific marketing message, but predicting the next Ice Bucket Challenge or figuring out whether a social network like ‘Peach’ will take off is another matter. Data will not provide the solution here – but the insight and experience from your team will give you more insight.
  2. Targets for content will be short term and reliant on fairly simple consumer behaviour. A piece of content may cause a customer to sign up to a mailing list, but will that content help you convert that person into a sale? Ensure you have the right data points in place, and don’t judge content on simple metrics.
  3. The customer rarely knows the solution to their problem. A customer in 1850 asked for a ‘faster horse’ and not for a car.

Further reading – a collection of articles from trusted sources which mention ‘data’ and ‘customers’:

[cronycle collection=”pdbd34ecb” name=”Understanding Customers” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1453752113155″]


History of Iron Deficiency and Anaemia

Lucky Fish is an excellent answer to a historically problem with iron deficiency. Anaemia has plagued humans since pre-historic times; small holes in the skull of ancient skeletons show the disease was common. It’s a fantastic development that we can easily solve this problem in such an original and sustainable manner.

Here’s some reading about ‘Iron Deficiency’ or ‘Anaemia’:

[cronycle collection=”p1028e03d” name=”Iron Deficiency” style=”inline-slideshow” width=”100%” height=”550px” instance=”1453808030211″]


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Content Clipper for Safari – launched today!
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Content Clipper Safari Cronycle

Cronycle has a cool new feature for Apple users! You can now download the Content Clipper from the Safari extensions store.

The content clipper makes it easy to add articles you read from all over the web directly to boards, so you can make sure that article is part of your project, and discuss its relevance with your team.

You can also check to see if a website has a feed which you can add directly to your Cronycle, so you never miss out if they post a relevant article for you again.

For more information please see this post.

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Research-Driven Brand Storytelling: Tips for Marketers
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Research Driven Storytelling

If you looked at my search history, you’d probably be very, very afraid. In the course of an average week, I visit hundreds of websites to do research for the content we create here at Ceros. In the past week alone, I’ve opened over 1500 individual webpages—not counting all of the stuff I’ve viewed in incognito mode.

It might seem like I’m an ADD nutjob, but actually, this kind of behaviour is typical for a writer, be it a fiction novelist or a brand content marketer. To be a great storyteller, you also have to be a great researcher.

However, in a business setting, it can be difficult to balance storytelling with research, or know what the right plan of attack might be for any given project. Over the years, I’ve come up with a research-driven storytelling approach that has served me well. Here are a few tips you can use when doing research for your own content marketing program.

[quoter color=”honey”]Here are a few tips you can use when doing research for your own content marketing program [/quoter]

Start By Defining Your Storytelling Approach

Research driven Storytelling

Source: West Virginia Storytelling Festival

By nature, stories are a menagerie of narrative animals with unique qualities that depend on their structure, tone, purpose, and audience. Before you can begin research, you first have to identify exactly what type of animal your story is. Why? Because your storytelling approach has everything to do with the way you’ll incorporate research into your process.

For example, if you want to tell a fact-based story based on historical or quantitative data, you’ll likely want to do a lot more research earlier on in your writing process. If your narrative is more conceptual with supporting examples, you may end up writing your first draft before you begin the research process. If your narrative is somewhere in between, you may develop a framework, fill in that framework with stats and examples, and then flesh out your framework into a full draft.

Find the Right Mix of Research Sources

Research Driven Storytelling

When possible, you should utilise a healthy mix of research sources so your content doesn’t get stale or repetitive. I’ve got it easy in the content marketing space, because we marketers love fielding and taking surveys. But in other industries, it may be more challenging to get new stats or case studies on a regular basis.

If you’re in an industry that doesn’t produce much research, you’ve got three options:

  1. Field your own surveys with clients, industry members, or employees
  2. Incorporate stats from complementary fields that support your narrative
  3. Use examples of content that back up your ideas in a non-quantitative way

It also helps to set up alerts on research topics or keywords you’re interested in. I use Buzzsumo, which not only tracks keyword mentions, but also estimates how often those sources have been shared across social channels.

[quoter color=”flamingo”]It also helps to set up alerts on research topics or keywords you’re interested in [/quoter]

Keep Your Research & Sources Organised

Research Driven Storytelling

There’s nothing worse than diving into research for an article or whitepaper and then getting completely overwhelmed by keeping track of your sources. Luckily, modern storytellers have a variety of platforms they can use stay organized and save research for future use.

Here are a few tools I’d recommend:

  • Pinterest: This one is obvious, but it really does work. I use it for professional and personal research on everything from writing to costuming to cooking. I also have a board with all of my past articles pinned to it so I can easily go back and search for content I’ve already produced that might have stats I want to reuse.
  • Cronycle: Our team uses Cronycle to curate research sources for articles and interactive content pieces. It’s also a great tool for tracking new content from specific publishers and competitors.

Remember that Your Story Is More Than Just Research

Research Driven Storytelling

Research is an integral part of developing a compelling story for your brand. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, no matter how compelling your stats or examples may be, they’re not the story itself. As the author, it’s up to you to choose the ideas, themes, narrative, and characters you want to convey to your audience. These are the vehicle for your research—not the other way around. It’s also up to you to frame your story in a compelling, original way that will resonate with viewers. Simply regurgitating facts and examples won’t keep anyone engaged for long.

The Bottom Line

The vast majority of brand stories require research to bring them to life. To achieve the best results for your content, start by nailing down your storytelling approach, which will help you decide on an effective research methodology. Then you can hone in on research sources and organizing those sources for future use. Lastly, once your research is done, it’s up to you to craft a story, using research to flesh out your narrative without letting it upstage the story itself.

About the Author

ATA_ProfileAshley Taylor Anderson is Director of Content at Ceros, an interactive content marketing software startup. She’s a writer and marketer who’s spent her career knee-deep in the B2B technology space. In previous professional lives, she worked as a science textbook editor, interactive media producer, and pastry chef. When she’s not in front of a computer typing, you can usually find her nose-deep in a book, strolling a museum, or cursing at her sewing machine.

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Make 2016 the year you become smarter!
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Happy New Year!

In 2016, instead of packing in chocolate, try an achievable new year’s resolution with Cronycle:

Make 2016 the year you become smarter. Only read articles relevant for your work and use your team to dissect those articles.

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Collaboration, Content & Workplace Trends 2016
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collaboration content workplace trends 2016

At Cronycle, we enjoy working as a team to try and uncover future trends in marketing, technology and communication. So we love this time of year – there is no better time to find out what consultancies, bloggers and the trade press believe will be top trends for the coming 12 months and how to prepare for them.

In the month of December, from 1300 twitter accounts and RSS feeds, 44 articles a day were posted (on average) which contained the words ‘trend’’ or ‘prediction’ AND 2016. That’s a lot of ideas! As a result, we thought we’d help filter down which ones we thought were the best – hopefully you’ll agree, or send us your suggestions!

The Macro Piece – what will work be like in 2021?

blog posts

Check out the original article here

Stephanie Kasriel wrote about four macro trends which will shape the way we work by 2021 in Fast Company. These are:

  1. Rise of second tier cities
  2. More nano-degrees and nano-jobs
  3. Job seekers get choosier
  4. Entrepreneurship expands

These all have a similar theme – technology is making it easier for us to work wherever and however we want. It’s also rapidly decreasing the time a particularly skill is valuable – so we have to continually upskill ourselves.

For businesses – adapting to these new methods of working will require foresight, both in terms of which technologies they adopt to cope with a mobile and churning workforce, and also how they compensate their employees.

Our favourite quote:

“…technological change is ensuring that ever greater specialization continues into the 21st century. Particularly in technical fields like software engineering, security, hardware design, and product management, the skills required are simply too numerous for any one person to master.”

Our commentary:

Finding experts in your space is going to be harder and harder to do – and making sure they transfer their knowledge so it contributes towards the growth of your company is going to be critical for companies wanting to stay ahead.

Future Trends in a Post-Digital world

Business Meeting

Check out the original article here

[quoter color=”honey”]The digital revolution is over. We are now fully ensconced in a tech-led world and 2016 signals a post-revolutionary transition.[/quoter]

Marketing Magazine put together an extremely thorough guide to a world which is ‘post-digital’. We love this guide because although the content is aimed at marketers, the insight is true for whichever department you work in, and whichever industry. It may be a piece that non-marketers have overlooked, and we recommend you spend some time reading it over the holiday.

Our favourite quote:

“Our challenge now is to navigate a future where the physical and digital collide with such ferocity as to turn established ways of living, working, playing and creating on their heads.”

Our commentary:

We like this quotation because of the phrase ‘established ways’. It’s interesting how quickly we forget the way we used to work. In this context ‘established ways’ may only refer to the past 10 years whilst we’ve had the internet and email. We believe more and more people will use technology to try and revert to established working practices pre Y2K.

How do we communicate with colleagues as if they are in the same room even when we’re not? How do we filter out the noise of clickbait and advertising? And how do we do this all whilst taking advantage of all the information new technology gives us?

Technology has meant that we can work together in all locations and at all times – the challenge now is to give ourselves processes so we can be more productive than before.

5 collaboration trends for 2016

PR Collaboration

Check out the original article here

Our lead back-end developer, Adam, surfaced this article about collaboration trends. As flexibility for workers turns into a bigger issue for organisations, it is important to think about how you cope when your team is spread across different offices and geographies.

Rob Marvin of PC Mag believes cloud-based video conferencing and integrations will be key for organisations in 2016, where employees are no longer tied to a physical location, but still have to interact.

Our favourite quote:

“Collaboration applications and services are offering more intuitive, hassle-free, live-chat capabilities for direct messaging for groups and teams.”

Our commentary:

We’re not predicting the end of email, but we do believe that more organisations will become more and more aware about just how unproductive internal email can be. Using collaborative software which is designed to help you work together over a specific task will be a huge time-saver and will give true competitive advantage to those who adopt it.

A final note on email marketing and the rise of the newsletter

The trend which was repeated the most throughout our networks was the ‘rise of email marketing (again)’. More and more organisations are curating better email marketing campaigns which are relevant for their audience. This is great advice for enterprises, individual consultants and SMEs. Start thinking about how you can improve your newsletters and make sure they are relevant for your clients and prospects.

If you’re curious how we curated this post using Cronycle:

  1. We each set individual collections with suitable filters to monitor predictions and trends which our favourite sources were producing
  2. We put together a group board and surfaced which articles individuals thought were the best. The team annotated paragraphs which they agreed or disagreed with
  3. The group board was annotated further by the content team and we drafted a post to send to our WordPress site

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