Smartocto: Taking the newsroom analytics to the next level
We talk to Rutger Verhoeven, a founder of smartocto – a revolutionary tool in newsroom analytics designed to empower journalists with smart editorial insights.
Smartocto was founded by former journalists, editors and digital directors who had spent years working in newsrooms. They knew the challenges newsrooms faced with data and analytics. There was a general problem of understanding what “a 'success story' meant and how to measure it. Did it mean building engagement? Increasing exposure? Growing a loyal audience? The founders of smartocto realised that without absolute certainty about these parameters, it is almost impossible to efficiently monitor how something works, making the journalists' job even more difficult.
Knowing that, smartocto team has spent the last few years developing an approach to managing editorial data that is designed, built and used in a completely different way from anything else on the market. This approach gave rise to the tool that helps newsrooms worldwide make better decisions by delivering intelligent notifications based on a comprehensive analysis of published content.
What’s the state of newsroom analytics globally?
Several weeks ago, we sat down with Rutger Verhoeven, founder and CMO of smartocto, to discuss the state of editorial analytics in newsrooms and get an overview of its features. Listen to the full episode now, or continue to explore key features of smartocto.
“It's a given that editorial analytics are integral to newsrooms, but we believe in doing it differently. We're entering a phase where industry maturity is leading people to seek support for decision-making. We've observed a shift in the industry away from page views, and our notifications, tailored to specific business models, provide valuable insights that aid in decision-making, aligning with what newsrooms are currently looking for,” says Rutger.
Smartocto generates over 300 notifications tailored to specific articles, workflows, and audience metrics. These notifications guide editors on various aspects, such as selecting articles for newsletters, conducting headline testing, suggesting follow-ups, and more.
“For instance, we might suggest placing a high-performing article in a prominent spot in a newsletter, timed just before the organisation's regular send-out schedule. We can also recommend headline testing or, in the near future, propose A/B testing for images on the homepage. Notifications can alert editors if an article falls off the homepage, urging consideration for reinstating it. We can also support various business models, suggesting whether to place an article behind or remove it from a paywall to maximise audience reach,” Rutger explains.
Also, smartocto integrates artificial intelligence to enhance predictions and recognition systems. AI helps understand articles' complexity and effectiveness, improving notifications and decision-making. A workflow-specific tool, Smartify, assists in selecting the most relevant stories for different purposes, such as social media posts. It calculates predicted impact, making it easier for editors to choose the right content at the right time.
Here is a brief overview of the functions of smartocto:
Historical data features
Smartocto maps user behaviour patterns and precisely measures content performance using metrics such as article reads, attention time, read depth, visitors, social actions and a unique Content Performance Indicator based on exposure, loyalty and engagement.
The platform provides granular insights at multiple levels, including websites, articles, authors, sections, and topics. It also offers the Quadrant Model, a visual representation of page performance that enables editors to understand what is and isn't resonating with their audience.
Smartocto Insights offers insights on different levels, like website, articles, authors, sections or topics
The Quadrant model in smartocto Insights
Real-time data features
Editors benefit from real-time insights into story visibility and consumption across channels, (social) engagement metrics, content impact over time and campaign progress. The tool facilitates instant decision-making with smart notifications for each story, while the conversions feature supports profitability with real-time strategy feedback.
Other features include Waves, a customisable big screen for tailored data presentation; Tentacles, which enables A/B testing and orchestration on home pages; Goals, a real-time dashboard for tracking KPIs and goals; and Video Insights for the growing importance of video in online storytelling.
Predictive data features
Smartocto’s Story Value Engine is a predictive tool that evaluates the effectiveness of content strategies by analysing real-time data and content performance indicators (CPI).
It can predict a writer's performance on a given topic, helping to create impactful stories. Another innovation, Smartify, is a versatile technology that extends any data collection tool to deliver notifications, daily summaries and summaries tailored to different business models.
Smartify offers three key features: Match, which matches stories with editorial tasks; Track, which provides a comprehensive view of actions and priorities; and Manage, which allows customisation of metrics and notification settings.
What about back-end metrics?
We were very impressed with smartocto features and its possibilities in newsroom analytics. We can just add that at Autentika; we have been exploring one more area of newsroom analytics: back-office performance indicators. These include, for example, user performance, the average time spent producing a story, the number of corrections, or the time of adding an image. These data points could possibly evaluate and increase the efficiency of news production and help optimise newsroom workflows. If you’re interested in this topic and measuring your back-end performance, let’s talk!