By Saralyn Ciolek, Internet Marketing Consultant
As marketers and business owners—and even as consumers ourselves—all of us have likely experienced the power of good content to turn prospective customers into leads, and eventually paying customers. In today’s age of ecommerce and social networks, an individual’s newsfeed is effectively an information marketplace – a place to source news and information about products, services or events while simultaneously consulting the opinions of their community.
For better or worse, the information marketplace influences decisions we make in all areas of our lives, from what we buy to whom we trust and what we believe.
Content marketers like Page 1 Solutions have recognized this fact for quite some time, and our team members are skilled at using the power of good content to softly sell a service or product. But there is another important element to employ when implementing a robust content strategy: content curation.
Content curation is the process of finding, collecting and sharing already published information from other sources that is at once relevant, informative, valuable, and customized to your audience. The content you curate can take many forms: from blog posts and articles to gifs and memes, to research studies and tweets to photos and video links.
Why Is Content Curation Important?
- It presents your brand as a trusted source of specific information. Supplementing the content you create with smartly sourced pieces from other industry thought-leaders and respected organizations will show your audience that you are informed, engaged, and passionate about your industry and the people you serve. It also gives your audience the sense that you are collaborative, trustworthy and authentic, rather than just pushing your own agenda.
- It helps reinforce your brand identity. Like the content you create, the content you curate from external sources will solidify your voice and offer insight into the principles and qualities that guide your work.
- It stimulates conversation. When you offer your audience an article on social media that came from an external source, they will be interested to hear your opinion on it and more likely to weigh in with their own questions or comments. They may even share it, which is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising.
- It keeps you in front of your audience. CREATING good content is imperative to selling your brand, and CURATING good content is imperative to holding their attention in between posts you’ve authored. Moreover, by consistently offering a wide selection of information about your industry, you become the go-to source for the information your audience seeks, further building their trust in you brand.
- It will gain you the respect of your peers. As Ross Hudgens mentions in this article from the Content Marketing Institute, “If the original content creators are impressed, they are more likely to share your content with their audience. They also may follow you and/or your brand, improving the distribution of your content long term.”
What Should You Curate?
The answer to this question will be unique to your brand. Things I urge you to consider when deciding what to post include:
- What is your brand’s voice? Authoritative? Casual? Inspirational? Humorous?
- Who is your audience, and what kind of information and solutions do they seek?
- Is there a timely event, holiday or piece of breaking news that is relevant to your audience?
- Have you balanced out the type of content you have offered in one place? In other words, if you are only posting articles, maybe it’s time to switch things up with a video or graphic.
Next, I encourage you to don your detective hat and find information that isn’t already plastered all over the Web. Hudgens explains: “Share valuable content that people haven’t seen so you become the go-to place to find the best content.” RSS readers are a great place to source information, as are industry newsletters and journals.
Where Can You Present Curated Content?
- Social Media: This is perhaps the most widely utilized platform when it comes to content curation. Whenever you share an article or someone else’s post, you are offering your audience curated information that you believe is important, engaging or effective in some way.
- Blog Posts: Many brands will choose to collect monthly or weekly information from around the Web and share it in one curated blog post with a title like “What’s New in Legal” or “This Week in Skincare.” Linking out to external content on your blog offers a nice boost for your SEO, and helps the search engines associate your brand with other notable sites in the industry.
- Email Newsletters: “Editorial newsletters are an opportunity to save your followers the time it takes to search and scour the Web for great content,” says Kristina Cisnero. “These curated lists can accompany emails promoting your own content as well.”
What Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Sharing Curated Content?
- DO add commentary. Rather than just posting a link to an article with no context, offer your reader a quick thought on why you are presenting this information.
- DON’T allow links to open in the same tab. If you are linking out of your blog to an external source, be sure to select “open page in new window” when adding the hyperlink. The last thing you want is for your readers to be lost out in the digital space and lose out on the traffic to your site.
- DO credit the original author. Not only should you explicitly mention the author of your content and link to their original article or post, but in some cases it’s best practice to also ask for permission to repost before sharing with your audience.
- DON’T overquote. It’s fine to share a quote from the piece you are linking to, but be careful not to overdo it. Pawan Deshpande from the Content Marketing Institute says, “Quoting long excerpts gives the reader very little reason to click through and read the full article — plus, it could blur the lines between fair use and copyright infringement. Choose the shortest, juiciest quote you can find, and write the rest of the curated piece in your own words.”
The best content strategy balances curating with creating, and can boost your audience in ways you might not have imagined. For advice on your brand’s strategy with content, social media or email newsletters, contact an Internet Marketing Consultant at Page 1 Solutions by calling 800-368-9910.