- Jul 17, 2015
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Contextly is a engagment platform that helps publishers build a loyal, return audience.
We do this by understanding a site’s content deeply, using meta-data, semantically useful terms, reader interest and traffic patterns.
Since readers’ interests vary, we use a number of recommendation strategies in concert with one another. Which is a way of saying we do much more than just related links; though we know that good related links are powerful.
Related: Readers often want to dive deeply into a topic, so we make that possible. Writers can curate the related section if they want. to.
Explore: The Explore section helps readers discover the best content on your site. There are three strategies at play here: Evergreen, Popular, and Personalization.
Evergreen: Evergreen stories are oldies-but-goodies that readers may have missed. Contextly algorithmically detects these and extends their life.
Popular: What’s new is interesting, but readers who follow a link to an individual don’t always know what’s going on around the site.
Personalization: When a reader returns to a site, we suggest specific stories that are likely of interest. We do this using cookies, so no registration is required.
Contextly offers a number of ways for readers to see recommendations: the Main Modules at the end of posts, Siderails next to posts and In-Story Sidebars. All are fully customizable and responsive.
Main Module: This module that lives at the end of a post, and usually has two rows of recommendations: Related and Explore. A third Custom section is available. Business and Enterprise customers can also incorporate video and products into the Custom section (below).
There are a number of image sizes and formats, including a text-only display.
Siderail Module: This module lives next to a story or post giving readers on larger screens more opportunities to find great content on your site.
In-Story Sidebars: These are sidebars that show up in the body of stories. Currently, these are only available to our WordPress and Drupal clients. These are easy for writers/editors to create and re-use. There’s also an advanced feature that allows these to be put into new stories automatically and be filled out with related content automatically.
Here’s an example of an in-story sidebar on Modern Farmer:
Contextly has tools to let sites promote upcoming events, books, white papers and their email lists to their readers.
Using Promo Links, sites can reserve one or more recommendation slots to promote important business goals. For instance, a site can choose to promote tickets to an upcoming event in the Explore section.
In this example, the maritime blog gCaptain is using two promo links in the related section: one pointed to its job board, the other to a book on Amazon.
This section is self-serve and easy-to-use.
Enterprise clients can use a custom section to point to a specific content feed, including to a sister site. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your specific goals.
Contextly sends daily, weekly and monthly analytics reports intended to save the editorial and business staff from having to wade through complicated dashboards. The reports highlight both the performance of Contextly, as well as what’s happening on the site.
Specifically, the reports let the editorial side see popular and evergeeen posts, and see what percentage of readers finished each stoy. Publishers can use the reports to understand what kinds of posts gives long-term value in order to make more of them.
Writers and editors can also order on-demand reports at any time.
A more in-depth explanation of the reports is available on our blog. (link)
It’s simply too hard for readers to stay on top of stories that they care about, and that having writers and editors trying to classify stories simply isn’t workable.
The FollowUp Button is an Enterprise feature unique to Contextly that lets readers to stories they care about and get notified of follow-on posts from the same publisher. This is done through a FollowUp button placed on every post, that turns every story into a subscription opportunity. The matching is done completely algorithmically, without the publisher or editorial staff having to do any work.
The benefits are clear:
– Fills real reader need to keep up with stories they care about
– Creates a new and direct distribution channel for publishers
– Provides an effective way to get readers to sign-up for main email list
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Some of the most valuable reader interactions and reactions to a site’s content happens off-site out in the social world. But many readers won’t see those interactions.
We monitor Twitter for the most valuable responses to their content and helps them bring it back onsite. We eliminate the social noise and let sites decide social content they want to include on their site.
In the example below, we have a tweet from Radley Balko, an expert journalist on police oversight, pointing to a story on Dallas Morning News. Readers not only get to see what experts are saying about the site’s content, they are getting another authority recommending the content.
This is a feature for Business and Enterprise customers.