Online media is using content to attract you, step-by-step, into navigating through what you need or want to know -- and showing some brand messages, buying options or call-to-actions along the way. But which content path should you choose? A new content recommendation engine from an Israel-based startup wants to make the process easy and inexpensive for sites, landing pages or blogs.

Founded last year by several serial entrepreneurs, BrightInfo is introducing this week a cloud-based recommendation engine that utilizes automatic asset discovery to generate content suggestions, based on a user’s preferences, behaviors, stage in the buying journey, plus other data.

Its engine crawls a site using patent-pending text analysis technology to discover and categorize content on a website, and then its widgets recommend “you may also like” content in real-time to the user, via overlay sidebars whose visual design can be modified to match a site.

Improve Content Relevancy

Over time, the company said, content relevancy improves and marketers can increase sales leads by an average of 39 percent. In fact, it contends, its more than two dozen beta customers have seen content engagement increases as high as 182 percent, as much as 80 percent more leads, and a cost reduction up to 43 percent less in cost per lead, compared to content without its engine.

The BrightInfo overlay sidebar 

The problem for many websites with content recommendation engines, CEO Boaz Grinvald told CMSWire, is that “the conversion rate and engagement can be low” while the cost of the software and implementation can be high. The key to keeping a consumer’s interest, he said, is “to offer the right kind of content” at the right time -- up to six content items in BrightInfo’s sidebars -- because website visitors have short attention spans and there’s so much content competing for their attention.

Of course, that’s the goal of most recommendation engines, but BrightInfo intends to make the process simpler, automatic and less expensive than competitors. The engine continually discovers and processes new content on the site without additional input required from the marketer, and there’s built-in A/B testing for trying various options. Reports indicate the impact of each part of a visitor’s journey, and whether the journey resulted in a sales conversion or other call-to-action.

How BrightInfo Works

The website owner signs up for the service, adds a single JavaScript tag to the site, and the engine starts sniffing content. Grinvald pointed out that the website doesn’t “need to configure anything,” although the system does provide some manual controls for the site owner to use if so desired.

The widgets track the user’s behavior, makes content recomendations in real-time, and can detect through various hints -- time between clicks, for instance -- if a visitor is about to bounce off the site. The system creates anonymous user profiles that contain such info as entry points, search keywords or navigational behavior.

Grinvald said his company’s system utilizes three dimensions -- textual, specific visitor behavior and overall crowd behavior on the site and similar sites.

  • Textually, the system can detect what a page is talking about, and relates its content to other pages.
  • Behavioral tracking includes the system’s ability to avoid showing the same content suggestions to a repeat visitor.
  • Overall behavioral intelligence utilizes patterns gleaned from historical and statistical data about similar behavior on similar sites, in order to predict user actions and make suggestions.

What Makes BrightInfo Stand Out?

These days, many website owners need their own recommendation engine about content recommendation engines, since many CMSs, in-bound marketing systems and other tools are offering some variation on this theme. When asked about his differentiators, Grinvald pointed to its ease of use, automatic asset discovery and pricing.

A lot of tools out there, he said, require “you to define segments and then define the content that you’ll display to those segments,” plus other configuration and then monitoring. Instead, BrightInfo wants to offer “something easy to adopt and get going, based on existing content assets,” he said. The company is also developing content widgets for specific use cases, such as for blogs that direct visitors to a main website.

The pricing shows the company’s targeting of small companies. A free version is available for a site with an average of under a thousand visits monthly. A Startup level is priced at US$ 35/month for under 2000 visits, up to 5000 visits costs US$ 89, and it’s US$ 224 for 15,000 visits or for each increment of 15,000 beyond that.