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Tool Fatigue is real: best practices for using CrowdTangle & Parse.ly together

Analysis paralysis…we’ve all been there. Today’s digital world is bloated with data, and even if you know what it all measures and means, making sure you know what to do with it is what really counts. Organizations of all shapes and sizes have loads of data, but there’s so much going on that they’re not always able to derive actionable insights from it. That’s where we come in: two of the most popular platforms for content strategists and writers everywhere work in tandem.

In a recent webinar, CrowdTangle’s Sam Bennet and Parse.ly’s Mackenzie Meyer teamed up to offer tips to help you save time with your two favorite tools. As we like to say, you don’t need more data, you need more relevant data. Choose from one of the workflows below to find the perfect Parse.ly  x CrowdTangle combination that’s most relevant to you!

Get yourself set up right: Set up the ultimate battlestation, and then automate it
Repurposing your best work: Create thoughtful social copy with evergreen content
Take the guesswork out of referrals: Balance the landscape of where readers discover your content with the influencers that amplify it
Get the big picture with video: On-site & off-site video analytics

Get yourself set up right: Set up the ultimate battlestation, and then automate it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel like you don’t have to control every little thing? If you get yourself set up properly, you can! 

Social media gurus, take note: you can create the ultimate battlestation with CrowdTangle lists and Parse.ly alerts

Bennet described how many people use CrowdTangle to check in on the competition. But it’s just as important to keep your own efforts front-and-center.  She suggested creating lists that include all of your pages: newsroom pages, groups, and reporter pages: “If you have sections [on your site] that are similar and you have groups that correspond with them, make sure there’s a list created for that.” 

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Then, set it and forget it: alerts will tell you when something’s up!

If your focus is making the biggest impact you can on social media, then set up a viral alert in CrowdTangle. If you need a holistic perspective, Parse.ly has you covered. 

Parse.ly’s alerts can be set up for an author, a section, or for your entire site, and will ping you on Slack, email, or your phone or computer. A site alert is ideal for benchmarking how one post compares to your entire site, but you can also set up really specific alerts for the content that you manage.

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Your alerts should be customized to inform you exactly how well you’re doing in context, so you can feel confident in what steps to take when you head back to your battlestation. When you get that alert ping, you’ll have the context you need to act thoughtfully and efficiently. No more guesswork!

Recycle your greatest hits: Create thoughtful social copy with evergreen content

“Most publishers have tons of evergreen content already, but they’re not necessarily aware of it,” said Meyer. Your audience’s engagement with evergreen content is a signal that even older content remains relevant today. 

Evergreen content has the potential to improve search or social referrals and increase time on site. In other words, your content is not only easier to discover, it also gets people to stick around and read more. For example, Policygenius focused on top-performers in its archive and boosted on-site recirculation by nearly 300%. Meanwhile, WIRED gets 40% of its traffic from evergreen content.

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And there are immediate actions you can take with evergreen content on social media too. Bennet suggested turning that evergreen trend into social copy. 

When you know what content is driving lots of evergreen traffic, Bennet suggested popping into CrowdTangle’s Chrome Extension to see who is sharing it across social platforms. Having a complete picture of both the post’s traffic and its reception on social can support your audience engagement efforts and help you create thoughtful copy to recirculate what your audience cares about.

See this happening a lot? Build out that battlestation with some Parse.ly evergreen reports and CrowdTangle’s historical data to analyze your long-term evergreen trends.

Take the guesswork out of referrals: Balance the landscape of where readers discover your content in Parse.ly, with the influencers that amplify it with CrowdTangle

Ever heard someone say, “Where’s that spike coming from?” Getting a comprehensive look at where your audience discovers your content with Parse.ly answers that question immediately, and makes it easier to build sustainable strategies. With CrowdTangle, you can take that one step further to identify the voices of readers championing your content. 

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Diversifying your referral traffic is hugely important to remaining resilient within an ever-changing digital ecosystem. Facebook and Google offer unparalleled audience reach, sure, but other platforms offer smaller, highly engaged audiences that are more likely to return to your content.

Meyer offered  a few questions you should  consider when building audience-first strategies:

    •  What kinds of topics attract audiences on each platform?
    • Do you see the same platforms or influencers repeatedly? Is there a storyline worth following up on, or an opportunity for a partnership? 
    • How efficient are your posts, i.e., does the amount of content generated by each author, section, or tag correlate to its success on a platform?

Meyer cautioned not to neglect the most important platform—your own. “Internal referrals allow you to see what stories are keeping readers on your site longer.”

When you know what content resonates on a platform, people will take notice. Bennet advised not to miss an opportunity to identify and support champions of your content. 

Start by setting up referral alerts to identify those influencers right away. CrowdTangle’s referral alerts will help you find the specific sections, authors, branded content, or other important links that your champions can amplify. 

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How to set up a referral alert in CrowdTangle

Bennet’s pro-tip: did you know that you can create a referral alert that just includes the domain or subdomain? If you’re not sure whether you have influencers or not, setting up a broader alert like this will make sure you don’t miss a beat. 

The big picture with video: On-site & off-site video analytics

Video is a unique format which can engage audiences on platforms without so much as a click. Think of Parse.ly and CrowdTangle as a  “power couple,” and the duo you need to build a comprehensive video strategy.

Video can be a major resource lift, but according to video platform Wibbitz, viewers retain 95% of a video’s message. With that kind of promise, it’s important to know that your tactics work and are also efficient. 

Parse.ly and CrowdTangle offer these insights across all channels.  Parse.ly measures videos across all your owned and operated platforms, and CrowdTangle measures them on offsite, social platforms. Meyer and Bennet suggested starting with these questions to measure the goals and success of your video production:

  • Which video posts perform better than text-only posts?
  • What topics resonate with your video audience?
  • Do videos perform better for a certain section, or on a certain platform? 

Key takeaways

Ultimately, you’re already using a lot of tools every day. Consolidating your tech stack isn’t just about saving money: it’s also about keeping you laser-focused on what you do well and what your audience needs. Turns out, two of the most popular tools you’re already using have features that work together seamlessly.

Think there’s more you could be getting out of Parse.ly and CrowdTangle? There’s always more! Reach out to our teams and we can make sure you’re always making the most of your data:

Parse.ly: value@parsely.com

CrowdTangle: support@crowdtangle.com