Introducing Active Content

Back in July 2016, our CEO Collis announced a big internal reorganization at Envato. In that post he outlined how our teams were being rearranged in a way that put the focus on a few key things:

  1. Growing customers
  2. Improving content
  3. Targeting SMBs
  4. Supporting the company

The first one is pretty straightforward. The more customers you have, the more opportunity authors have to earn a living, doing what they love. The second item however, is a more difficult to define and measure. What does “improving content” mean, and what does “improved content” look like?

At the time, Collis outlined our plans (at a very high level) to tackle the review system and better manage the incredible library of content from our author community.

Since then, the “content group”, as it has come to be known, has been working behind the scenes to help authors better understand how their items (their content) are performing.

If growing the number of customers is what our customer group is doing, growing the size and quality of our content library is the chief goal of the content group.

Today, we want to introduce you to just one of the concepts the content group uses to measure success. The idea is active content, a term we use to describe those items which have been sold in any given period. For the purposes of this post, let’s say of 90 days.

Why active content?

What is it about an “active item” that makes it an ideal key result for us to work on improving? For starters, items that sell are increasingly likely to sell more.

When a customer sees that an item has already been purchased, that little bit of social proof takes down a barrier to future sales. Previous sales activity communicates trust, quality and sustainability to future buyers.

Selling well (or being active) also has implications for exposure too. For example, an item that is active could end up trending, or attract the attention of Envato’s marketing team.

Another reason why we’re focusing on active content is that generally, it means that authors are earning money from their items. We want to know which items. We care both about the number of items that are active and the percentage. These together give us a great feel for how a portfolio, category or marketplace are doing in helping our community to earn a living.

Finally, active content is something that enables better decision-making and clarity for the Content Group. We’re all working toward the same goals and key result of improving active content.

Is there anything that an author can do to improve their active content?

One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve active content is to self-evaluate. Ask the questions, “are there any items here that haven’t sold in a while or ever? Are they likely to sell in the future? Is there anything that can be done to increase that item’s exposure and potential for sales?” In other circumstances, it might be right to ask if it’s time to retire an inactive item.

We’d love to hear what you think about active content. Join us on the forum thread for more conversation about what this means for authors, customers and Envato.

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