There are lots of online communities tailor-made for marketers, but only a handful of really great ones.
You may consider Inbound.org as the de facto best. Other communities such as GrowthHackers and Product Hunt, although both are not exclusive to marketing, are places where like-minded people share and discuss the latest practices and tools.
You can include Zest.is in the list.
This up-and-comer is primed to become the place where people can read the very best content digital marketing experts have to offer.
What is Zest.is?
Zest.is is a Google Chrome extension that shows digital marketing news and content upon opening Chrome or a new window.
Unlike other online communities, Zest.is wants its audience to read the content upon starting Chrome. This way, people don’t have to type the URL or click on a tab from their browsers to visit the community. All they need to do is open Chrome and engage with the post and its authors.
This “frictionless” approach to building an online community allowed Zest.ist to accumulate over 2,000 weekly active users prior during its soft launch.
What makes Zest.is better than the rest?
There are lots of factors for Zest.is.
Below is an example of content from Zest.is:
Aside from the obvious elements like the title, author, and date, you will see the number of clicks it got from Zest.is users and the social shares indicated by the fire icon. The site also tags content according to the most appropriate category where it fits in Zest.is.
The icon at the bottom right is the Save button. Clicking on the icon will bring the content to your Saved section on your profile (more on this later) for easy reading.
If you hover your mouse cursor in this area of the content, it will unveil other social sharing buttons.
You can share the post on the usual social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter). If you have a Slack channel or Trello board where you conduct your business with your team, you can also post it there to supply your team with content related to their tasks. This is a different approach compared to most online communities. Instead of letting users comment on the submissions, they can just share within their respective teams.
Aside from loading upon opening up Chrome, its filter options will help you find the content that resonates with you the best.
On the screen above, you will see the top part of Zest.is on your Chrome browser. If you are looking for a particular content within Zest.is, you can type the phrase on the search bar.
Beside the search bar on the right are icons that filter the content that will appear. You can show content on your Zest.is windows according to the following:
- Filter by Audio content
- Filter by Video content
- Sort by shares
- Sort by clicks
- Sort by latest
If you want to view content from a particular category in the digital marketing field, you can browse to the right part of the page and click on a tag that you want to view. You can find almost all of the digital marketing practices with 30 labels to choose from.
On top of the list of tags is a button that allows you to share your content.
Unlike other online community with little to no moderation at all, a small team from Zest.is handpicks the content that will appear under each category. The precise nature of the content vetting process is by far the best aspect that separates Zest.is from other online communities.
Once you have submitted your content, it will take time for them to inform you via email if your submitted content has been approved or rejected.
To give you an (embarrassing) example, below is a screenshot of the email exchange I had with Zest.is CMO regarding the content I’ve submitted:
As you can see, Yam rejected the four written articles I submitted (LOL). This email goes to show that Zest.is is not a dumping ground for content about marketing. It takes its mission statement seriously – to provide its audience with the best content from actual experts. I had to use my sorry self as an example, which also shows how much I respect what they did.
Also, I like its approach of sending personalized emails regarding user submissions. I’m not sure how sustainable this approach is, but I feel that receiving an email from their CMO (of all people) about my content shows how serious they are in building a vibrant community.
A thriving community
Before you can submit content, you need to sign up for an account using your Linked log-in details.
Below is a screenshot of my user profile after signing up:
On this page, you will see your approved content, the articles you’ve saved from the platform, and the number of followers you have, as well as the users you are following.
To follow other people, you can look for their names on the search bar or click on their profile image on top of the article they submitted. Here’s an example of a user profile whom I can follow (and just did):
Are you ready to read digital marketing content that matters?
As seen above, Zest.is is unlike your usual online community. With each content going through a rigid manual review from its team, you can be sure that everything you read on Zest.is is packed with actionable tips and items to help improve your marketing skills. Also, its advanced filtering options allow you to see content that you’ll love.
With online communities that feature cookie-cutter content, Zest.is aims to cut through the noise.
For more information about Zest.is, click here to read its press release. On the lower left part of the page, you will see a graphic that reads “Please don’t hunt yet.” It means that you shouldn’t share this on Product Hunt just yet. According to Zest.is CMO Yam Regev, they will launch the site to more people within the week. Therefore, if you like the tool and want others to use it as well, please share this on Product Hunt once it’s allowed.
If you are not a member of Zest.is yet, then you can click here to install the Chrome extension and start sharing!