Publishers need to take a page out of the retailer playbook. You’ve undoubtedly noticed how good certain online retailers are at suggesting additional products related to the one you’re about to purchase.
Amazon is arguably the king here with their “Frequently Bought Together” and “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” recommendation sections. These elements typically appear just below the product image and above the product details. That’s prime real estate on the Amazon product page so you can bet these elements drive a lot of add-on sales.
You’re probably familiar with content recommendation links and widgets that have sprouted up all over the web the past few years. Taboola is a leader in this space and they specialize in offering links to related content from other publishers. For example, if you’re reading an article on USA Today’s website you’ll see a headline towards the bottom that says “Sponsor Content” followed by links to a handful of related articles from other sources.
I believe this is simply scratching the surface of content recommendation and we’ll see much more sophisticated cross-pollination in the coming months and years. I also believe many of these will be human-curated and implemented via a lightweight post-production model. An example will help illustrate.