There’s a problem with content marketing. You never know if the article you’re writing is going to be a hit or a flop.

I thought my long-researched exposé of over-used and non-existent sales statistics would set the world on fire. It didn’t. Yet an article on the lack of engagement in 99 percent of organic social shares, ironically, received 1,000 shares in its first hour.

To solve this problem, influencer marketing platform Triberr has announced today that it is acquiring Scoutle for an undisclosed amount to help predict the quality, virality, and relevance of content.

“For over a year now we’ve been working on algorithms to figure out how to predict the number of shares a piece of content will get,” Dino Dogan, CEO and founder of Triberr, told me via email. “Scoutle’s technology puts us over the edge.”

Triberr has become one of the most interesting content curation and influencer match-making solutions over the past few years. Founded in 2011, the platform offers two distinct, but complementary, content marketing tools.

On the one side, influencers attach blog and website content, plus their social network profiles, to their Triberr account and then join “tribes,” groups of like-minded influencers. Within each tribe’s news stream, that influencer’s latest content is aggregated. Other tribe members can then choose to share that content with their social networks with a single click, helping to increase the reach of those articles.

Think of it as a content curation system – a little like a topic-based RSS feed reader with a dash of Buffer-style scheduling thrown in for good measure.

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triberr-stream-exampleOn the other side, brands can use the campaign tool to find influencers on various topics and pay them for sponsored content, such as blog posts, videos, and more. Triberr provides a breadth of talent for the brands to work with and the structure necessary to ensure everyone knows what the brand requires. It also ensures everyone plays by the rules, such as declaring payments or the correct placement of advertising.

What Scoutle adds to the mix is the ability to predict the virality of articles before they’re shared, during sharing, and after they’ve been sent to the masses. Triberr is uniquely placed to understand these phases of article production and delivery.

“Each ‘phase’ presents its challenges,” Dogan said. “Predicting the shareability prior to publishing, predicting it early in the content’s life, and predicting it weeks or even months later.”

Scoutle’s approach to determining the quality and virality of content relies on the ordinary behavior readers exhibit while consuming content.

For example, a 1,000-word long article will take about five minutes to read. If the reader stays on the page for 30 seconds, the article is likely not relevant to the search phrase that led them there. A ‘read time’ of four minutes tells a very different story.

But that is just one measure in Scoutle’s algorithmic armory.

Scoutle offers 98 such measures of potential virality. Importantly, not a single data point relies on user-generated actions such as a like, share, or link. That’s a big deal in a world where many marketers measure success based on those exact actions. What does this mean for Triberr, and for content creators in general?

“From the sharing perspective, we will be able to give actionable steps to help a content creator get more shares,” Dogan said. “From the curation perspective, we will be better able to match people with the kind of content they actually want to consume.”

And what about using Scoutle’s technology to improve the content that influencers, bloggers, writers, and marketers produce in the first place?

“Absolutely,” Dogan said. “In analyzing written content for even simple things like paragraph size, Scoutle’s algorithm can make a recommendation to write in a more web-friendly way.”

But the technology isn’t constricted to the written word.

“We can do a similar analysis of audio and video content as well,” Dogan said.

On the match-making side of Triberr, Scoutle will have a similar impact for advertisers and brands.

“A side effect of Scoutle’s algorithm is that it does all that fancy Natural Language Processing that Google search does, which then enables a brand to search for suitable spokespersons on our platform,” Dogan said. “Then, once the influencer publishes branded content, both they and the brand can take actions to help improve the shareability of that content.”

“Scoutle’s algorithm essentially takes the thousands of articles that Triberr imports every hour, analyzes them, makes them searchable, and predicts their virality,” Dogan said.

Triberr expects to release its new prediction engine to users this summer, although it has plans to accelerate the delivery.

“We’re so excited about the potential of this technology that we’re raising our first round in order to accelerate the deployment of the prediction engine,” Dogan said.

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