Content Marketing is the trending Digital Marketing topic of 2013. A strategy for the online content you are publishing, now more than ever seems essential for online engagement, search and social sharing of your brand messages or services. It’s not new of course, it’s always been there in various forms. Now though, everyone is a publisher – everyone is a mass consumer – everyone is a media outlet to spread the news – everyone is using digital as a communication tool. Now you simply cannot afford not to give your audiences the digital content they crave, how they want it and in a way to keep you competitive and engaged with your audience and customer. It’s not an easy challenge to effectively and strategically develop a content strategy that will work, especially if resources are limited.
As a blogger I know all too well that thinking, planning and actually delivering on original content to write on my blog or post on social media can be time consuming and challenging. Inspiration comes in many forms. Often the best content is not always 100% original. Often the best traction can be attained from curated content; but it has to add value. It must correlate to your brand, products, services and generate insight, interest and debate beyond the original author(s) points. Now… if you are really looking to have an impact with your audience, curation should not be the beginning and end of your content strategy. Totally original content (if there is such a thing) if you are involved in digital marketing, or mostly original, should still be a key part of your content strategy; it will build brand recognition, trust, thought leadership, differentiation and enhance your sense of meaningful content contribution to your audience. Overall though, for the majority of brands, organisations and individuals – it makes sense to centralise content curation in addition to publishing original articles and any other form of content such as news, events, products etc in their various forms.
It Takes Time…
Effective content curation happens over time. Of course it cannot exist individually, staying active across social networks, industry events and of course originating your own content play a big part of the content marketing challenge. Curation though, can play the central role in generating your brand awareness, credibility and popularity. Having something interesting to share in context to how you interpret it, the benefits to your audience, or your opinion on it’s industry validity and use can often be as effective, or if not more, effective than original content that might not meet your audiences needs.
1.Source – 2.Curate and Comment – 3.Publish
Successful curation does not happen by chance. Of course, stumbling across something worth sharing naturally occurs, but this doesn’t mean you should; you are right and also your audience might not want or care about it right now. By effectively setting up channels, approaches and time to correctly source, filter and the in a timely and effective manner, publish content, you will find results become measurable, resources can be allocated and trends can become established.
Your sources of content to curate could be.
- Subscribing to the most appropriate online and offline publications
- Social Sharing sites you can or should subscribe to
- Social media monitoring tools like Social Bro or Hootsuite
- Aggregators such as Storify, Flipboard and Scoop.it
- Press release distribution services
- Google Alerts
2. Curate and Comment
Your curation content can be a selection including some of the following content types
- Statistics, research, white-papers and reports
- Posts from influential people important to your target audience
- Best practice content writers on blogs, news, training, industry events sites
- Guides and eBooks
- Infographics are hugely popular and easy to digest information from
- Tips and “how to” lists.
- Videos are great for engagement so embed away…
- Slide share presentations, which can also be embedded
Where might you publish curated content…
- Company or brand blog, of course – this should probably be your hub
- Email Newsletters
- eBooks, guides and white-papers
- Social networks
- Guest author posts on industry sites
Strategic and timely content curation, as part of an overall content strategy can lead to many positive online factors:
- Improve website traffic, interactivity and engagement
- Help you or your brand / business to become a thought leader particular topic (this will take time!), naturally you’ll be more find-able online as a result
- Generate website leads through awareness, SEO and carefully constructed calls to action.
- Become well known by people of influence in your industry leading to networking opportunities and organic sharing potential.
- Increased conversion on audience goals due to improved confidence in the curator and organisation
Success will be gained, as with all content marketing, when you take the time to learn and focus on what matters to your audience or community and align that with your own online value proposition. The more considered you are about any content you curate, or in-fact create, the more naturally you’ll optimise the content that your audience is craving and it will gain traction across search engines.
This video below is well worth a watch, breaking down the purpose and tactics around successful content curation and supporting some of my previous points.
My Top 5 Digital Marketing Curators
Some of the many blogs and social accounts I value highly from a curation point of view are listed below. I could list 20+ reputable sources but I guess everyone that might read this already subscribes to mashable and e-consultancy for example. For me, these curators add value as they don’t always post the same content type, don’t simply re-tweet the obvious posts from the big players, they have interesting comments and opinions based on their sourced content and keep their curation efforts varied, fresh, engaging, on brand – and importantly sprinkled with thoughtful opinion and insight. Naturally, they do not solely curate. Original and engaging content forms part of their mix and that’s one of the key reasons why their content curation is also highly valued by myself and many others. I’d recommend you visit and follow them for your own digital marketing curation efforts, or look at what they post to get some good ideas.
Ion / Niall McKeown