Virtually anything you create and place on a website is easily grabbed by others. There are multiple websites and tools that make it easy for a user to point at what they like about your website, and then post it on their own site or profile.
We all are familiar with the ease of getting images. We don’t even think about it anymore, but in truth photos are a perfect illustration. How hard is it to get a image? Not very hard, just right click and hit “save image”.
The same is becoming true of your other content as well. (Flash, videos, widgets, etc.)
With images, when someone snags an image there is not much you can do about it.
The great news with your other embeddable content is that you can place links inside it, or you can highlight or guide the user to your own properties and control brand awareness.
An important way to get more links and traffic to your ventures is to be intelligent with your embeddable content creation.
Let’s look at CNN and grade their embeddable content effectiveness….
CNN.com has the “perfect storm” of wasted embedded content. Although their content is expertly crafted, and very widely used, virtually all of their embeddable content lacks any branding or links. I recently posted some photos from Kosovo…
The above photos and player are from CNN. It looks nice, and has many great features. But there is really no way whatsoever for a user to know that this content is from CNN.
Specific points about this content that can be improved.
There is no branding whatsoever. Even a small CNN icon would let the viewer know that this is from CNN and would serve as brand promotion.
There are no links to CNN. Everywhere this content is placed could be a link to CNN, but it is not. There is no way for a user or viewer of this content to visit CNN.
There are no share options. The best way to retain control over your content is to offer an easy way to share it. If this photo player had a small “share” or “embed” button on it CNN could show an “embed” code that people could copy and paste to use this content, thus getting back control of how it is used. (They do have an “email” button, but it doesn’t work in iframes, thus useless in the bold new embeddable web.)
Okay so I singled out CNN here, but the truth is that just about anyone can make their content work harder for them.
Gone are the days of creating content for your own site. Today is more about creating fluid content that achieves your goals wherever it may end up.