These days content producers and content platforms shouldn’t settle with just putting the most basic content out there. As bandwidth and processing power has increased on the web, we’ve seen basic text get spruced up with images, and gifs, and then finally to video – each becoming more and more engaging. But since the rise of Youtube, a causal observer might come under the impression that after video we’ve somewhat peaked with deeper levels of content, until we get 3D glasses or something.
However, it’s 2013 and the standard for content is becoming smarter, and with it we’ve seen a rise of new platforms in the region, thanks to two major shifts. First, a combination of technology and effort has made it easier to create these content platforms, roughly around the same time that consumer behavior has begun engaging and demanding more from their content.
I’ve made fun of Helsinki as being the home of the “dot” you see over images that link to deeper content, but for good reason. For example in Helsinki alone we have three companies working somewhat in this field. ThingLink provides image tagging to allow publications and advertisers to add videos, links, and additional images to their content. Kiosked does something similar, but with a focus on retail, by building up the networks with brands and advertisers. Another company, Publishzer, focuses on a similar angle, but for the niche of fashion bloggers.
What it comes down to is letting your content act like smart portals to let your readers or users follow their curiosity. That’s basically it- like what a link does to standard text, these platforms are doing about the same for pictures and video.
The general theme with this idea is that smart content is turning advertising into content consumers actually want to view. Instead of a banner add selling shoes next to pictures of shits, consumers can dig deeper into pictures or videos of clothing they’re already interested in. This could lead to a better age for advertising, as people like myself will be able to purchase the content they’re already consuming, meaning it’s a service to consumers rather than a distraction.
In order for content to get smarter it has to get dead simple for users to create. We used to share and office with Publishzer, the creator of The Fashion Mags. Their goal is to make it easy for fashion bloggers to create more interesting and deeper content, by getting away from the standard blog “picture – small amount of text – picture” paradigm, as well as help them monetize by leading their readers to purchase the items they feature.
A blogger may be able to hack together the same kind of solution themselves by linking to an affiliate shop in the text, but by providing the database of items and the hover link in the image, The Fashion Mags can provide a richer and experience for their blogger’s readers.
But the solutions can get more elegant. Kiosked has already been working on an automatic image tagging solution, which pulls info from the website’s metadata to determine what products you’re talking about. Last June Kiosked raised a pretty decent €4.5 million and is still growing the company, suggesting there’s something going on here.
Smart content is a new trend, but by the time we’re grey-beards it’s going to be interesting to see how smart it can get. The way things are going, we’ll be able to buy or find out more information or buy any product featured in any image, which could be painful for our wallet.
Kiosked sent us their Smart Content trend report, which got thinking about this topic. You can find it embedded below.