This article first appeared on CMS-Connected: http://www.cms-connected.com/News-Archive/March-2017/Knotch-Releases-Search-Engine-for-Sponsored-Content
If you’re working on your branded content strategy and you want to understand what’s happening in your industry and what the competition is doing, especially with their sponsored content, then you might want to check out Knotch.
Knotch provides an Intelligence Suite for Brands, a suite of tools that help brands track the performance of their branded content and keep an eye on what’s happening in their industry with publishers and competition.
I first heard about Knotch in the fall of last year when I covered the launch of the first part of the platform. Knotch founder, Anda Gansca wanted to combine qualitative and quantitative data around sponsored content to help brands better understand how their sponsored content is performing. She walked me through the platform, giving me a peek into Measurement, the first tool available that helps brands track the performance of their branded content on publisher websites.
Getting a Handle on Branded Content
To use Knotch, you had to place a widget at the end of your article on a publisher’s website that asks a single question. That widget captures not only the answer to that question (qualitative) but also quantitative data such as browser, demographics and so on. Publishers do this for free because it provides a better experience for its visitors over those annoying pop-ups that ask you to rate the content.
“Measurement is all about bringing the data – quantitative and qualitative together and giving you reports on how your content is doing overall, with each publisher and for each piece of content specifically. There’s an engagement report that captures sentiment (assuming they answered the question at the end of the content item), traffic, social and audience. For the audience, you see basic demographics, but also demographics and sentiment together. You can also select one or more articles in real-time and compare their performance.”
At the time we also talked about Knowledge, a search engine that scours the Internet for branded content and provides competitive information to brands on who’s doing what where.
Today, Knowledge is officially released and is not only available for brands, but also publishers and agencies looking to get more information on how branded content is performing.
Among the things that Knowledge enables:
- Filter search results by industry, brand, publisher and search term
- Track and follow competition and publishers
- Identify publishing cadence
- Explore content themes
- Vet publishers
All of this information allows brands to develop a more clear and concise branded content marketing strategy. It also provided publishers and agencies with real-time and historical insights into how their customer’s branded content and that of branded content on competitor websites is doing.
Measurement and Knowledge together with a third tool, Wisdom, still in beta, make up the full Intelligence Suite for Brands. Knowledge is the only tool available to publishers. Wisdom brings together the data from the first two tools to help you understand how your content is doing against the competition. It also makes suggestions on how you can improve your position (where you should put your branded content, what your best performing content is, what your content lifespan is and plenty more).
Knowledge for everyone
With the release of Knowledge, Knotch also decided to launch a free version of the search engine, with scaled down functional. The free version offers restricted search and browsing. Here’s what you get and here’s the link to check it out:
Public (non-registered / no account):
- 20 thumbnails unique by brand on any industry listing. Clicking a thumbnail will prompt for registration.
- 4 thumbnails on any brand or publisher page. Clicking a thumbnail will prompt for registration.
Registered (registered / non-paying):
- 20 thumbnails unique by brand on any industry listing. Clicking a thumbnail will show the article, and the link will expire after 24 hours
- 4 thumbnails on any brand or publisher page. Clicking a thumbnail will show the article, and the link will expire after 24 hours
From the free version, you move up to Beginner, Master, Enterprise, each providing additional functionality. For example, Beginner offers unlimited search and browsing, along with unlimited sharing. Master adds the ability to follow brands/publishers and create custom feeds. Enterprise adds in Brand and Publisher Insights.
The Timing is Right for a Branded Content Search Engine
This is a timely release of the Knowledge branded content search engine. All the studies are clear that sponsored content is the future of brand advertising (at least for now). Ad blockers keep ads from desktops and mobile ads, but sponsored content, inline with the rest of the content that provides true value to the audience can do a lot for a brand.
Sponsored content is definitely on the top of every brand’s list of content marketing tactics, but many struggles to understand where to place their content that’s it’s most effective, what content to create, and how to measure how well that content is actually performing. This is what Knotch can help with, along with keeping an eye on the competition.