A Content Wall is a digital hub where your audience can find curated content in different formats and about different topics.
May 27, 2022
A content wall is a powerful way to attract online visitors and keep them on your website for minutes. Best of all, you can create a content wall fast by leveraging social media and post updates. To create your next Content Wall, use this ultimate guide to engage your audience!
A content wall is a digital hub where you present curated content to your audience in various formats. Also known as social walls or social media walls, a content wall can combine posts from your community and your staff. For example, your social walls might feature Instagram posts from customers, videos from your YouTube channel, and blog posts. Publishers, companies, and educators can use content walls to engage their communities.
A content wall is distinct from your blog in a few ways. A blog is often structured with posts in reverse chronological order (i.e., the newest posts are displayed first). On the other hand, a content wall is a curated experience typically focused on a single theme like a specific conference.
In brief, content walls present and package content from multiple sources and make it easy for your audience to consume this information.
There are five reasons why more companies invest in curating and presenting content walls.
Selecting blog posts, videos, images, and other material for your content wall takes significant effort. When a company develops a reputation for selecting the best content on a given subject, you will draw in more traffic and be perceived as an expert authority in your field.
Giving your audience a good reason to stay on your website for more extended periods of time is a crucial benefit of content walls. When a customer spends several minutes or longer on your website, you can display more ads and generate more revenue. Further, you can also present more calls to action (e.g., sign up here to get notified of our monthly content wall series)
Publishing companies sometimes struggle to bring together their editorial content and marketing communications. A social wall can help! Your editorial team starts the process by selecting the best content around a given theme (e.g., the very best photojournalism showing your city). The marketing team can then step in to organize and structure the content to make it more engaging.
Relying on social media sites to bring traffic to your business puts your growth at risk. What happens when ad costs go up? Or if these companies change their algorithms to make it harder to bring traffic in? Over the years, one thing has become clear. Social media sites want users to stay on their sites rather than leave.
Your goal is different - you want people to come to your website after discovering you on social media.
There’s a solution to this challenge - add highly engaging content experiences to your website. What do the most popular social media websites have in common? Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all present feeds to their users. Creating a content wall of highly curated content gives your audience a reason to experience a sense of community right on your website!
Allowing your audience to discover new ideas and insights on your website is powerful. In a way, your audience will start to experience a sense of adventure by visiting your content walls. That means your audience will keep coming back to see more content. Over time, your audience is likely to trust you more, which means that it is easier for them to download content, ask for information and make purchases.
Adding content walls to your business is even greater for publishers.
Publishers are in the business of creating exciting, informative content for their audience. Today’s publishers create articles, blog posts, social posts, live streams, videos, and live chat experiences.
You can draw even more value from these assets by presenting them as content walls. These curated experiences are valuable because they are organized in focused themes that speak to the audience’s interests. This means you’ll be positioned to compete with today’s most engaging online services like Netflix, Disney+, and social media sites.
Now, let’s explore how content walls can help publishers attract readers and subscribers and deepen those relationships effectively.
Fake news and misinformation are major social problems today. So becoming a trusted source has become even more important recently. The Pew Research Center has found that a personal connection to a journalist or news organization can increase trust.
One way to develop and strengthen that trusted relationship is to create high-quality content walls. Thoughtfully creating a content wall with the very best content on a topic positions your company as trustworthy. This is a great place to highlight how much work your staff put in.
For example, you might point out that your journalists evaluated over 500 sources before picking the 20 best sources for technology stock insights. In essence, you’ve saved your audience the trouble of sifting through endless sources to find quality data and insights.
By regularly presenting curated content walls to your audience, your audience will increasingly view your website as the best place to find high-quality information.
It’s not enough to be a trusted authority anymore. You also need a consistent, reliable way to attract new people to your properties.
Fortunately, content walls can play a crucial role in helping you grow your audience through SEO (search engine optimization). Content walls give users significant content about a single topic from several perspectives. Search engines, including Google, increasingly value authoritative websites that authoritatively present content when determining rankings.
In other words, content walls can drive more organic visitors to your site!
Once you publish a new article, post, or video on the Internet, it can spread wildfire. Alas, there’s a downside to the ease of spreading information. It’s far too easy for unscrupulous people and companies to copy and monetize YOUR content without permission. That means lost revenue and online visitors for your publication.
Content walls offer one solution to the challenge of online plagiarism. Content walls make it easy for publishers to control how their content is displayed to readers. For example, you can make it more difficult for people to copy and paste content and spread it without your knowledge or consent.
From an editorial point of view, increased control is helpful in another way. You can tailor the audience’s experience based on your expertise. You can present trigger warnings, background information, and more information to make your content more meaningful.
Did you know that the New York Times has about 8 million paid digital subscribers? Those subscribers are helpful for the company to thrive in the digital age.
It’s no longer enough to generate millions of page views and attract online visitors to your website. You also need to convert those visitors into subscribers. Limiting some of your best content walls to paying subscribers only will make signing up for a paid subscription much more valuable.
There’s an art and science behind creating a successful publishing experience. In many cases, publishers do not fully understand what their audiences value.
Content walls can help you understand your audience better in two ways.
You’ll get this benefit when you create several content walls over time. Pay attention to how your audience interacts with each content wall you create. Which videos or images do they like? See which content drives people to share your content wall on social media. These insights will help you see the themes and approaches your audience likes the most.
With these insights in hand, you can create content that immediately connects with your audience in the future.
Content walls are mighty because they give people a reason to visit your website and interact with it deeply. If you install a customer data platform, you’ll be able to quickly understand the exact profile of your most engaged viewers. That means you can more accurately target your marketing efforts in the future.
Most publishers have demanding marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) to meet each month. You might be focused on:
A content wall can help you hit all of these goals more quickly. As website visitors see the quality of your content wall, they are more likely to like and trust your brand over time. That means more people giving you the benefit of the doubt when you offer a new call to action (e.g., sign up for our next live chat event). A content wall also adds to your sense of community - it’s something remarkable to share with other people.
Demonstrating that your publication is pulling in a large and growing audience also means that your advertising revenue will keep growing.
When you first get started with a content wall, getting overwhelmed is easy. There are many different kinds of content you could feature - articles, e-books, how-to guides, videos, embedded social feeds, links to webinars, podcasts, etc.
How exactly do you craft an engaging content wall for your audience with so many types of content to choose from? There are a few guiding principles we recommend.
Choosing a the right idea is the first and most crucial step in the content wall planning process.
If your company is hosting a major conference, the Content Wall could focus on that event. A publisher might choose to create a content wall around a major news event like an election.
It’s essential to select a theme your audience is already interested in and one that fits your company’s goals. If you have too many content wall ideas, choose an idea where you already have a significant body of in-house content to draw on.
Your organization’s content is an excellent foundation for a content wall. Let’s say your theme is cybersecurity innovation. Pick a few articles, videos, and other posts on cybersecurity that have performed well in the past year on your website and put those on your content wall.
Your next opportunity is to go out and find the best third-party content relevant to your theme. Start with publications that are already well respected by your audience. For example, a business-themed content wall might draw on the Wall St Journal and Harvard Business Review.
It is best to present short quotes from third-party sources and link back to the source. You don’t want your content wall to cause any copyright infringement headaches!
Pulling in a few social media posts from current customers is an intelligent way to show appreciation for your customers. Ask permission before copying somebody’s else content and putting it on your content wall.
Publishers, take note! You can include relevant ads on your content walls. These ads should be relevant to the content wall. For example, your staff might have created a special report about the future of cryptocurrency recently. Your content wall is about blockchain or cryptocurrency topics, including a few ads for the particular report makes sense.
Keep in mind that the best content walls are customer-centric by nature. Therefore, advertising and self-promoting content should be kept to a minimum. Ultimately, a content wall or content hub is a way of growing awareness and trust in your brand.
What if you’re still not quite sure what a content wall is? Look at these examples in different niches and discuss them with your team as you plan your content wall.
The SportsNet content wall effectively connects their core coverage - sports - to Black History Month. Notice how the publisher presents each part of their content wall with a small photo, headline and copy. This is a great example of a content wall that combines content from the publisher and social media updates.
The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) recently used a social wall to boost awareness of their annual conference. The PPA Festival approach primarily focused on Twitter. Featuring updates from social media is a good approach when your audience is actively engaged and posting about your event.
A good idea for your content wall is the spark that will drive engagement. However, a robust content management platform is essential to keeping your content wall organized. As you consider the different content walls on the market, look for these critical features.
The best content wall platforms are designed with SEO goals in mind. Look for a platform that supports your organic traffic growth goals.
The content wall should match the colors and design of the rest of your online presence. It is crucial to select a content wall that lets you control its visual appearance so that you can offer a compelling appearance.
Your content wall should make it easy to publish new content walls (or update existing ones) easily.
Your users might get busy and forget to come back to your website to see your latest content wall. Choose a platform that lets your users subscribe to receive new updates by email to keep your audience engaged.
Deeply exploring a content wall might not interest all of your audience. Therefore, your content wall should make it possible to add suggestions to other content on your website like ebooks, webinars, videos, interviews, and other content.
The best content wall apps do not rely exclusively on SEO to attract new visitors: they also support social media sharing. Look for an app that includes easy sharing with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
If you’re unsure which content wall platform to use, why not try Arena’s content wall app?