We all wish we had been early adopters of today’s massive content platforms – YouTube, Google, Medium etc…
Alas, most of us were not.
However, if you look hard enough, you might just find the next amazing platform for content marketing.
I think I may have.
Let me take a step back and give you some background on how I came across Zest.
When starting this blog, I first did some “competitive” analysis of other marketing-related blogs that I read. Part of that research included looking at their traffic information on SimilarWeb (another amazing tool that we’ll cover in another post soon).
I noticed this one site that was referring a lot of traffic to them.
A site I hadn’t heard of before.
So I did some digging and found Zest.
The company refers to their product as a
High Fidelity Marketing Content Stream Co-Distilled by a Tribe of Marketers
This piqued my interest as I was a marketer. So I dug further.
I went ahead and clicked through to the “content stream” and found this
The content being shared here was curated by other marketers, so it was really the cream of the crop. It wasn’t full of self-promotional schlock, or sales-y useless garbage from someone trying to get you to purchase their “course.”
It was all high-quality content.
Since I began testing out Zest, I have been in contact with its founder, Yam Regev.
When I asked about the origins of Zest, Yam replied:
“[Zest] was based around the need to reduce the content pollution. Today, most of us are drowning in excess information… that makes professional development extremely hard as one has to browse through countless pieces of content in order to gain quality relevant information that would actually help them gain professional knowledge.
In turn, Zest depends on human moderation where marketing professionals themselves moderate the content that is aimed at marketers. The community is centered around a number of micro tribes that serve as layers of human filter making sure the content that ends up on the Stream isn’t creating noise, but rather serves as a source of bite-size doses of knowledge.”
I quickly realized that Zest presented me with two great opportunities.
1. Topic Research Using Zest
If you follow some of the content marketing/SEO “gurus” out there, a lot of them will talk about identifying content that did well (whether through lots of shares or high ranking on Google) and try to employ the “Sky Scraper” technique in which you take a piece of high-performing content and write something similar, but 10x better.
However, especially when it comes to analyzing content that ranks well on Google, there are many factors beyond just the topic and subtopics within the post at play.
Zest, on the other hand, enables someone to truly take the pulse of the crowd.
It’s actually pretty simple.
Zest’s content stream is filterable by a number of marketing-related topics, such as
And lot’s more.
I filtered down to a topic that I thought was most relevant to my blog – B2B.
I then ordered the content based on how many clicks it got.
2 things became clear from this search.
- B2B marketers are definitely interested in learning how to optimize LinkedIn
- Posts involving the coming year (these posts were clearly from a year earlier) also get a lot of interest
This could be repeatable for B2B marketers in a variety of industries, given the topics that are shared on Zest.
Someone who is marketing a SaaS product, for example, could get great value from it.
2. Content Distribution With Zest
But the real power of Zest made itself known when I started sharing my content.
To start, here’s what Google Analytics looked like 2 days after I first started sharing my blog content on Zest.
That’s what we “in the biz” call a “hockey stick.”
At first, I really wasn’t sure what to share on Zest, so I shared all the content on the blog.
Submitting an article is easy, it can be done through the web portal or the Zest chrome plugin.
It became clear, however, that Zest has a moderation policy that relies on real humans. Therefore, they only accept the best and most relevant content.
That meant that some (a lot) of my suggested articles didn’t make the cut.
But, the ones that did get posted got a great amount of engagement.
As you can see, within the course of a week, I was able to more than double my average web traffic.
Conclusions About Zest…
One thing I’ve found is that Zest is quite particular about what kind of content they allow.
That’s actually why it’s so great, they’ve added a human filter to make sure none of the corny schlock that pervades the content marketing world these days makes its way in.
However, Zest isn’t for all industries and it is very heavy on the “by marketers, for marketers” type of content.