We've created a large number of sliders recently that replace various legacy website features. The slider introduced in this article show selected post type content as sliding panels. The feature may be used anywhere with a drag and drop Elementor widget or shortcode, with the expectation that it will be used on the front page of your website.
The latest slider was designed for content sent to your website social and video archives - both blog-style archives of what is traditionally external content, such as social media posts and video. However, in the light of a little early feedback, we have updated the slider to include virtually all post types.
Social and Video Archive: The mortgage broker website we provide our clients includes links to the social, video, and various other archives in the website footer. The content fed to the social archives is part of the standard (and optional) distribution made available via the Instagratify and Vista social media modules (the former is an Instagram hashtag-based filtering tool while the latter is a method to post to social directly from a dedicated Outlook calendar) - both amazing tools. The video archive was formerly an automated tool but we've since updated the system so videos ingested by Yabber enjoy a little TLC before they're sent. Both of these archives are presented in a blog-style format with a styled page showcasing your content. They're both an excelling customer-focused and SEO tool that assigns ownership of the content you create back to you. If your website is the centre of your marketing universe (and it is), then your website should be an archive of your entire digital footprint - we shouldn't allow other networks to take ownership of our content.
To return the default slider, we'll use the shortcode of
[bm_posts_slider]. The slider isn't really intended to be used in an article, so we've used the shortcode attribute of
truncate="16" to shorten the title, and this was done simply to ensure the title doesn't wrap around multiple lines.
Slider Details: Showing a slider in this narrow post isn't ideal because much of the formatting is lost, and various spacing isn't preserved. It's likely we'll have an example on the front page of this website. As we'll introduce shortly, virtually every option in the slider may be customised (including the image shown as the 'featured' image). We looked at including the hashtags in various locations but ended up simply adding them to the end of the description. Note that only the most recent results will show the correct featured image and image icons until a Yabber database update is performed.
Pictured: Two slides showing post from the video archive. Note that we have 'play' icons that launch video modals. The featured image is inherited from the featured image defined as the video category in Yabber.
An option is made available in Elementor (and shortcode) that renders all post images as icons which will launch an image modal. This feature is enabled by default, and it is available for content other than the posts in the social archive.
Before we introduce the simplicity of Elementor, consider the shortcode necessary to render the next slider. Shortcode of
[bm_posts_slider post_type="post" meta_margin_top="-12" include_first_image_as_featured="1" slide_speed="6" number="14" items="1" truncate="50" apply_shadow="0"] returns the following:
The example does illustrate how the slider may be used for alternate post types, and at the moment it supports posts from the following post types: instagram and video posts (intended usage), posts, pages, FAQs, resources, and education. Standalone sliders exist for post types such as testimonials. In the above example, we've applied the 'meta' data which shows icons for images associated with each post, but this is an option we've enabled.
Our shortcode editor will make light work of applying this style of 'complex' markup, but until then, Elementor is far easier to use.
As with all our primary tools, a drag-and-drop Elementor Widget is made available that'll allow you to place the slider on any post or page. The widget includes customisation options for virtually every aspect of the slider style. Additional options will be added as they're requested.
Pictured: The Elementor Post Widget. Drag and drop the widget onto a post or page, select the post types to show, and the slider will start showing results. A large number of options apply that alter the style and formatting of the rendered slider.
Shortcode is available, but the large number of options introduce a complexity that is best avoided. That said, rendering a default slider with only minor changes takes just a few seconds.
Updates to the Social Archive
In building what was a 'simple' slider, we encountered a 'problem' (and an opportunity). In the past, Yabber would create a social article on your website based on the attributes of the post content... but it wouldn't create tags or categories. However, social posts are based on hashtags, so it only seemed appropriate that we'd assign them to each social post created. The assignment of tags (or, in this case, hashtags) means that all content connected via a hashtag may be navigated independently of other content, thus providing a more usable and engaging customer experience.
Pictured: The social archive on this website showing images associated with the
#bankhistory hashtag. The archive allows a user to experience your social archive as if it were a social network by bouncing around content based on the hashtags associated with the post. This new archive presents some interesting social options we're yet to fully explore.
The framework is now shipped with a social tag archive that is linked to from the tags associated with each post (meaning you're able to browse your own social archive in the same way that you would Twitter or Instagram).
In terms of the slider itself - the primary reason the above changes were made - we now have the capacity to include hashtag links from within each panel, thus giving your website visitors direct access to social, video, and other content that interests them most.
In creating a searchable archive for the social media custom post type, we were required to create a 'hashtag' taxonomy (which is basically an association that connects the hashtag to the post), and we were required to build in a searchable hashtag archive page (or a paginated archive that shows all posts containing a single hashtag). If you're sporting a framework that was delivered anytime before January 23rd, the searchable hashtag archive willwork, and you shouldn't include hashtags in your social slider (or anywhere else) as the tags will link to an invalid page; this restriction only applies to social panels as it's the only location the tags are shown.
For those with an existing website, we'll provide video instructions on how to perform the update yourself (changes were already made on managed client websites). If you're an active social media user, and you're using our social systems, then we'd recommend an update.
Ironically, archived social media posts on your website will almost always have a higher reach than content posted to social media platforms.
If you expect to use the slider, consider the following:
- In most cases you will use your post featured image as that which is shown in the social slider. For those cases where you set an unrelated and default featured featured image in Yabber, you may select the first post image shown in your article as the featured image.
- Video and Social archives are the only two post types that will display 'alternate' content (images for social posts, and a video link for video posts). Other posts types will show in a generic format. The slider can be used for posts from any archive type, including just those from your blog (supplements an existing default Elementor tool).
- There are a large number of Elementor options . In most cases you will only select the post type, and alter only those values that are related to your brand. You may select your brand 'global' colour so that any updates in the future will alter the colours to all slider instances. It's expected that we'll build a panel in Yabber to set default or specific styles.
- Linked hashtags in social may be rendered above or below your post text. The option is defined in Elementor or with shortcode. We'll tidy up this option in the near future.
The feature is very new so you can expect minor bugs. Please report them as they're found. Please also forward any feature requests and we'll include them in the next plugin update.
One of the features we've considered implementing into the website framework is the history of lenders and banks in Australia. We've built up a significant archive ourselves, and as we post finance history to your social channels via the managed program, and as you post your own content, we can link that content to a 'history' page with more information. It's a little 'outside the box' so we'd appreciate your feedback on this type of feature.
Aggregation & Franchise
While it's yet to be used, Yabber provides for an aggregation or franchise group to include a full library of social content from all brokers on a dedicated or company website, with each post linking back to the original author - this style of social tool may also be suitable for an operation with a larger number of independent brokers. The idea is that we want our social media efforts to be archive and come alive before its buried deep down under thousands of feet of cat pics and dancing babies.
We're often required to explain why a company often perceived as a 'lead generation' company applies so much effort into building industry leading website tools... and the answer is a simple one: your website is required to support a full-stack marketing funnel, so the persuasiveness and value derived from your broader digital experience contributes towards your conversions. Simple.
While the slider is a fantastic tool that elevates the awareness of your social media content, it's the evolution of the social media archive that is probably more significant. Hosting your own social and video material gives you complete ownership of your own content. The searchable hashtag archive makes your website come alive with a complete searchable library of the content shared to social, and the system adds significant SEO value in the process.
Coming Soon: One of the more significant steps we've taken in this whole process was the modification of the backend framework to support a facility that will permit you to post to social media from within your social media archive. In other words, you will create content on your website, and the content and media associated with the post will send to selected social accounts. This tool will supplement the Vista and Instagratify tools, and will arguably be a more efficient mechanism for creating social content.
The last of a slider-style tool that we'll build in the short-term will return selected videos uploaded to YouTube and/or Wistia in a video slider, and the Elementor tool is expected next week.