We are currently trying to build our community. I wrote in a previous post how I, the non-coding guy is trying to do just that. One of the basic things is to produce valuable content for your future community. It sounds like a simple and trivial task but trust me when I say has proven to be deceptively difficult.

I’m continually discovering the importance of focusing on and understanding your customer. For us, our target audience are those people in e-commerce and the mobile startup communities. That led me to understand that our review system should bring value to the mobile startup founders, as well as operations and sales.

The first thing I did was to buy a couple of great books (with a lot of up to date data about the e-commerce world). They’ve given us a base for good, interesting e-commerce content. I’m also reading the blogs of a couple of the industry leaders in terms of content producers, specifically the Bazaarvoice blog. With that ammunition, I started writing.

After an hour of writing and deleting, a simple but wider question came to my mind: “What makes content valuable and how can that value be measured?”

Maybe this question seems trivial but think for a moment — What is it that makes articles explode in social media and how can this be evaluated for improvement the next time around? After every article I write I check every 5 minutes for how many tweets/likes/comments the post has caused, how many users have visited the Yotpo homepage and how many new users have signed up on to our waiting list. I’m not sure if this is the best way to measure valuable content but here is the data I’ve collected (and yes the outcome is very surprising):

The signed users and page views are calculated from the daily average of the following 3 days after the article has been posted. When I took a closer look at when each article was posted and the types of titles people liked I came to some conclusions:

  • There is a strong correlation between the social reactions the post got and the amount of users who signed to our waiting list.
  • The day/time I post the article is irrelevant, what’s important is how many articles were posted at the same time (2-10 hours before or after).
  • The title is important, maybe the most important factor. Users love keys/numbers/tips and so on.
  • The article length is also irrelevant.
  • Comments are the biggest measurement for “valuable content”
  • Conversations (mainly @Twitter) about the posts happened whether users loved or hated my articles. The result was the same.
  • Consistency is important, after 2-3 posts there are users who keep tweeting and engaging with you.
  • There is great value in producing new, previously unseen data.

I have started writing posts in our blog for our future e-commerce customers, however I don’t have enough data to draw a conclusion from those articles yet. From this data and how our company blog is progressing I think and hope we are starting to produce value for our future community.

What’s valuable to you? Does it fall in line with the bullet points listed above?