I was reading an presentation by Ross Mayfield, Business Development over at SlideShare, about their new project called ‘SlideShare for Publishers’. The new project looks to be a new platform for content publishing companies (e.g. bloggers, news outlets etc) where the SlideShare could be embedded directly into articles. The platform promises to make it easier, more trackable and more social.
This got me thinking about the trend to embed and insert more supporting content directly into an article.
It used to be that you’d insert a hyperlink to a SlideShare or YouTube. Then it seemed that publishing outlets began to embed the supporting content (e.g a YouTube video) at the bottom of the article.
Now — the ‘supporting’ content is suddenly getting a more prominent place in articles and on web pages. It’s often at the top or the center piece of the article and no longer in a supporting role but more of a leading part.
The new SlideShare platform that Ross is working on (above) is one slice of evidence that supports this. Others include the trend to include ‘sliders’ as the article, replacing content. You see this will ‘top 10’ lists where you scroll through the top 10 in a slider view rather than reading about them in a text-based article. Infographics are also a good example. What’s interesting about the rise of the infographic is that it has become the central part of the article in a lot of cases. Any accompanying text is there to support or introduce the infographic.
What this means for metrics is that you can’t just publish an article now and measure how many people clicked on the supporting YouTube video content, for example, that you embedded in the text as a link.
Now we need to look at things like:
- how many views of the media were from within the article (i.e. people didn’t leave the article to view the SlideShare or YouTube video)
- how many left the article to view the content on SlideShare or YouTube
- how many people found the YouTube or SlideShare content on those platforms without seeing the article
And, of course, are there any differences in the audiences for each of these? For example, do mobile viewers tend to leave the article to view the YouTube video on YouTube more than desktop viewers? If they do, this effects things like how long someone is in your branded environment versus the YouTube environment.
I think the move to more embedded content is great. I enjoy having it all in one place but the shift is going to have an impact on our social media metrics. As we analyze viewers and engagement and interest, all of these factors will need to come into consideration to holistically understand audience behavior.