Why Thinking for Yourself is Overrated

Google knows the importance of human recommendations — backlinks are votes of confidence from one site owner to another, and they’re one of the weightiest factors in the ranking algorithm. Facebook uses interaction in a similar way in its News Feed algorithm — so why do so many marketers leave recommendations out of their distribution strategy?

Why recommendations matter

As humans, we rely on others to help us make sense of the world. When we don’t understand something, we go to another human for help. When we want to make sure we’re making the right decision, we ask for advice. And when something delights us, we try to share that delight with as many other people as possible.

It’s no different online. After all, isn’t that the entire point of social media? Sharing is recommending. Liking is recommending. Telling that mutual friend that yes, that guy she met in Starbucks is an old colleague of yours and she should get to know him, is recommending.

Whether a consumer is looking to buy a coffee machine or wondering where to eat on vacation, it’s in their nature to seek out the opinions of others. But this doesn’t stop at Amazon reviews and TripAdvisor ratings. As a marketer, you can use this reliance on human recommendation to distribute your content.

Why content recommendations work

It’s not just recommendations from friends and family that matter — if it was, Yelp wouldn’t be a thing. When consumers look for recommendations online, all they want to know is that whoever’s doing the recommending knows their stuff, and understands exactly where they’re coming from.

That’s why native content recommendations work. Here, the recommender is the site that the consumer is currently engaging with — the site that’s hosting content that’s valuable and relevant to them.

Leading content recommendation tools are incredibly exclusive — and that’s why they work. Revcontent denies over 98% of sites that apply, meaning their network consists entirely of the best publishers on the web. Your content isn’t recommended by a site posting 300-word SEO articles from a content mill — it’s recommended by the likes of Forbes, International Business Times and Newsweek. If that’s not a vote of confidence, what is?

Outbrain reaches an audience of 557 million each month. As the first retargeting tool for content recommendation, Revcontent powers over 150 billion content recommendations each month, and gives brands granular control over who sees their content and where. This is serious business — it’s not a fad, and it’s not going away. As a marketer, you need to get on board to stay ahead.

Why marketers can’t miss out

The technology that powers native content recommendations is highly advanced. It’s far more effective than paying a handful of bloggers to half-heartedly endorse your content, and it’s as close as you can get to replicating human recommendation on a profitable scale.

Of course, it still comes back to creating great content — but if you’re doing that anyway, content recommendation is just another means of promotion.

Better, it’s something you can control. You’re not at the mercy of the News Feed algorithm here. Even with paid Facebook ads, you can target the right demographic but you can’t guarantee you’re targeting them at the right time. With content recommendation tools, your audience is already looking at content just like yours, so you’re not taking such a gamble with your budget.

If you pay attention to anything this year, don’t make it “10 reasons to live-stream your breakfast on Periscope” or “SEO is dead” (again). This is a recommendation from one human to another: make it content remarketing.

This post originally posted on Business 2 Community.

IMAGE CREDIT: Beata Ratuszniak