Finding Relevant Social Content, Easier: a Review of Inbound.li

Brad Lighthall
Posted by Brad Lighthall on November 17, 2015

Social media management is a daunting task. With so many platforms in use today, the job of writing, posting, and developing social media content can easily become an entire job in and of itself. While tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite have made social media monitoring and writing more efficient, the major barrier today for social media managers is sourcing content worth sharing. If you can't find good, industry-relevant content, then you don't have anything to fuel your social media presence.

Recently, Weidert Group became an enthusiastic customer of a platform called Inbound.li. Inbound.li is a content curation platform that provides company-specific content suggestions to businesses focused on social media marketing. Before we found Inbound.li, our agency had tested numerous other content curation platforms, but none were viable choices because the suggested content was usually dry, limited, and ultimately, uninteresting. What impressed us about Inbound.li was the shear breadth of content the platform finds, even when keyed in to very specific topics.

Today, we'd like to give you an overview of the platform and our review of how well it's worked for Weidert Group and our B2B clients.

What is Content Curation?

To start, let's talk about Inbound.li's field of service: content curation. What does that mean?

Content curation is the process of discovering, collecting, and sharing published information specifically related to your social prospects' interests. And while that may all sound pretty reasonable from a marketing perspective, it's certainly not easy—especially in our areas of expertise: niche industrial markets where technical content is very important.

The most difficult part of content curation, as we’ve identified, is discovering relevant content. Without a platform like Inbound.li, marketers tend to rely on search engines, which generally favor well-established content, often from large, important players in a given industry. That means the content that shows up in search is often the same stuff other people are already sharing. For social media marketers, the challenge is to curate better, newer, and more shareworthy content.

What's Different about Inbound.li's Methodology?

It's clear from the moment you start using Inbound.li that this platform is special. To start, Inbound.li doesn't have the common 1-2-3 SaaS sign-up sequence. It also isn't a freemium model. Instead, with Inbound.li, you get a personalized setup because their team provides 12-24 hours of custom development to make sure the content you're looking for is customized to your social presence and areas of focus.

What a difference-maker! While many in the SaaS world might look at the process and critique its scalability, Inbound.li's team seems to grasp that this required development time is the keystone of the success. When you buy Inbound.li, you're getting a customized social algorithm, and that's the foundation for better content curation, long-term.

Inbound.li Gets Better with Age

From there, Inbound.li might appear to be similar to other content curation systems. Inside, you get a stream of content, with options to adjust your focus, based on keyword, content type, length, and date of publication.

However, when you dig a little deeper you’ll find a very unique attribute: its ability to learn. You see, the algorithm behind Inbound.li is built to constantly learn from your content selections, giving it the ability to provide content that’s even more relevant each time you use it.

During the custom setup process, Inbound.li asks for two competitors. The team at Inbound.li takes a combination of those two competitors and your current social media posts to determine a baseline for content it deems relevant to your following’s interests. As you start using it, you are able to mute publishers—ensure their content is never suggested in the future—and even block a subject matter—use with caution, this is a very powerful feature and can change your content recommendations altogether—to prevent a topic or interest from being recommended in the future.

Each time you share content, Inbound.li recognizes the publisher, content type, and subject matter, making similar pieces more likely to be offered in the future. What more can you ask for from content curation software than for it to learn what you and your following enjoys?

Finding a Variety of Content

The search features are equally as powerful and perfectly in sync with Inbound.li’s ability to learn. Detailed filters give you the opportunity to save searches for specific types of content; infographics, videos, podcasts, and more. For example, as a marketing agency serving the manufacturing industry, one of the filters we utilize is “manufacturing.”

Typically, when searching on Google, the SERP would showcase content containing information about manufacturing in general, most of which would be irrelevant to our intentions. However, Inbound.li takes that keyword and aligns it with our previous content. The result is that our searches are more intuitive because the results will not be focused on "manufacturing" itself, but about "marketing in manufacturing."

Why "Inbound.li?" What's Its Role in Inbound Marketing?

One of the fascinating things about Inbound.li is that it's a content curation tool with a huge potential, but its branding and focus is 100% centered on the field of inbound marketing. Companies could use the tool to find content for a range of purposes, yet as a company, Inbound.li sees how content has become the currency of inbound marketing.

Thus, this is a tool for marketers who don't just want lots of content; they want the right content that matches their prospects' needs. You can see that underlying focus in the way Inbound.li is built and the results the tool delivers.

Another way Inbound.li is making its mark in inbound marketing is by intentionally tying itself to HubSpot, the leading platform for inbound marketing automation. Inbound.li's featured integration with HubSpot is one of the best parts of Inbound.li, from a HubSpot user's perspective.

Once you've connected your HubSpot account with Inbound.li, you can schedule content directly from Inbound.li to HubSpot and the social messages will be put right into HubSpot's social tools. There's no copy-and-pasting from Inbound.li into HubSpot. This also streamlines your analytics and social monitoring, as well as special tracking links.

Important Features to Know:

Inbound.li's platform also enables:

  • Content saving, so that you can come back to share content later. Unlike other platforms, such as Klout, where content is shared immediately, content saving is particularly effective for getting approval before sharing.
  • In line with its focus on inbound marketing, Inbound.li takes a non-promotional approach with its users. There's no special Inbound.li shortened links. Your Tweets and other social updates will be completely white-labeled.
  • Inbound.li lets you schedule content on your own customizable sharing calendar, which easily aligns with scheduling in HubSpot and other tools.

Our Recommendations

If you’re struggling to find new, engaging content each week, Inbound.li provides marketing teams with the ability to not only reduce time spent searching, but also greatly increase quality and variety.

While Inbound.li can make your job infinitely easier, it's also important to know that this platform isn't a complete solution to all your social content woes. You still need to have a content calendar and strategy set in place to ensure consistency across all platforms.

Adding Inbound.li to your social media arsenal will allow you to deliver hyper-targeted content that will drive engagement and showcase your company as a true industry thought leader.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Marketing Automation, Social Media