One of the things content creators learned in the early days of the Internet is that in order to gain any semblance of popularity you have to update a lot. Many times per week.
Back then it was bloggers who had to quicken the pace and that’s exactly when aggregation became a thing. Hosting a site that syndicates content from other sites.
In a lot of ways, the Internet has not changed. Content remains king and creators are still pressured to churn out new photos, articles, updates and videos. If you’re trying to launch a site, then you might also resort to content aggregation to hit the ground running.
What is content aggregation?
Let’s discuss content aggregation. The term is rather self-explanatory. Through aggregation, sites can simultaneously display content from different sources on a given topic. Perhaps your business has to do with the film industry. One way to use content aggregation would be to source content on the latest film releases or offer coverage from different publications on film festivals. You can set the parameters as wide or as narrow as you’d like.
Content aggradation is automatic. Any effort needed goes in when setting it up and that’s it. This is in stark contrast to content curation, which is a process that involves input from an actual person. Automation is what makes aggregation so appealing for many sites and businesses, who are yet to bulk up their own content creation. It’s a quick fix to generate traffic and get the site crawled more often by Google – great for SEO purposes.
However, there’s a caveat. Because it’s automatic, there’s no guarantee that all content displayed will be of the same quality and you also run the risk of showing too much of the same headlines. Be sure to pay attention to that.
Why use content aggregation?
You might be on the fence regarding content aggregation. Understandable. There are some nerves involved about using strangers’ content, but there are some wonderful benefits. For one, you show relevant content that’s targeted to your audience. This means the visitors that do arrive on your homepage are likely to stay there for your own original content or products and services.
Small businesses also use content aggregation as a marketing strategy and ways to engage with their customer base. One of the easiest ways to use content aggregation is to display user reviews from different platforms or current deals found on Amazon or other retailers. Embedding Twitter feeds and hashtags on your site is also a way to incorporate aggregation meaningfully and link up digital platforms. In the end, it’s really easy to set up.
5 main benefits of content aggregation
Real time information
Because content aggregation is automated, you don’t have to go looking for new posts or articles. They come to you, which is perhaps the most perfect tool to stay on top of research. You find out about popular and new topics as they emerge and capture the attention of other creators. In this regard, content aggregation is quite similar to using an RSS feed reader for personal use.
Both processes rely on RSS as technology, but with an RSS feed reader you keep the content to yourself. Current feed readers are quite adept at content discovery. Inoreader is a prime example of this with its top feeds arranged in topics. Together with its Chrome extension, Inoreader is very good at performing research.
Content aggregation doesn’t cost anything compared to creating your own content. Smaller brands don’t have the resources to invest in content creation much less hire dedicated personnel to handle content demands. To create quality content, you’d need skill and time.
Aggregation delivers the same results, but without the exorbitant costs associated. Since the whole process is automated, you don’t need full-time employees. Just one person to play around with the settings and keywords when the need arises. Ideally, you’d want variety in order to attract visitors.
Over time, you really save a lot and can instead focus on much more important tasks regarding marketing and product development. Aggregation is also good for when you’re just starting out to create your own content, a steady stream of posts to keep up the activity.
Helps you identify different segments and trends
Keep looking long enough and content aggradation reveals useful information. This depends on the type of content you aggregate. For articles and other written content, you’ll spot trends emerge gradually from the mass. The key to achieve this lies in filtering content correctly. Of course, you want cohesion between different posts as well as relevance to your target audience.
This is especially useful when you’re trying to come up with your own content. You already have a blueprint and direction. Now it’s on you to think how to create additional value for your readers other than just regurgitating what’s being written already.
Different sources of information
Content aggregation is perfect for smaller businesses, because you’re able to turn your customers into content generators. Aggregation doesn’t need to come from blogs and online publications. All sorts of feeds can be aggregated.
Have customers take pictures with or of your product on Instagram, and then using a hashtag loop new posts to your website. The same can be done with reviews and testimonials from a variety of platforms. Have a branded hashtag on Twitter? Or videos on TikTok or YouTube? All these can be aggregated and displayed on your site.
Helps you find influencers
I’m ending on a point aimed at businesses. As you go through so much content, you’re going to see who the creators with the biggest influence are. It’s still a good investment to pay attention to the influencers in your industry. Are they journalists? Experts? Enthusiastic reviewers? Influencers come in many shapes and sizes, and don’t end at Instagram models.
They can present opportunities for partnership and signal boosting, but are also a wealth of insights into industry trends and what content is actually valuable.