There are so many content curation pros that it can seem too good to be true, especially if you struggle to create your own content. The idea that you can to attract and engage an audience, meet business goals and improve your ROI with other people’s content seems too easy. Surely there’s something else going on.
This one time, your suspicions just might be wrong. The below content curation pros are getting results for thousands of companies. It’s a somewhat new idea for content marketing, but the principle is old and has worked for a very long time.
If you’re still stuck on the idea that there’s something going on that no one’s talking about, well, in that sense you might be on to something. The ten “pros” listed below are a mix of insights and best practices. They don’t get talked about enough, but the marketers who get content curation to work know them well. They employ these tricks every single day.
1. Third party content (always the case with content curation) is more believable than your own content.
This one can be almost disappointing when you first learn it. To be told your customers believe you less than almost any other source stings a little. Alas, it’s true.
The chart below is from the Chief Marketing Officer Council’s white paper Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field. It’s the results of a survey of 400 B2B content consumers who were asked which content sources they value and trust the most. As you can see, vendor-created content comes in last, with only 9% of respondents saying they trust and value it.
2. You can send people to your own site even when you’re sharing someone else’s content.
Social media is great, but the ultimate goal of it should be to drive people back to your own site. That’s where they’ll convert. This can be a big problem with curated content, because if you just use a link to the 3rd party site, your audience will go stragith to that 3rd party site. What if they forget about you, and don’t come back?
If you’re a Scoop.it user, you don’t have to worry about this. Scoop.it uses a permalink structure that highlights your curated content on the same page with your insights (including your link to your site). Users have to click through from that curated content landing page before they go off to the 3rd party site.
Here’s what one of those curated content landing pages looks like:
3. Probably one of the most effective content curation pros: you can use your curated content in your email newsletter and in your blog posts.
Curated content doesn’t have to be just social media updates. Here’s an example of a curated email:
4. Re-share content that’s done particularly well.
It’s OK to reshare your top 5% of best-performing content. And you can decide what best-performing means. Maybe it’s comments, or retweets, or likes. Maybe it’s a combination of all those things. So long as you don’t abuse this and start boring your audience, it’s perfectly okay to get a bit more mileage out of your best content, even if it happens to be somebody else’s content.
Still worried about this? Here’s why it’s OK: Only about 10% or less (maybe much less) of your followers are going to see any one update. Even by posting it again, you’ll probably only reach about 20-30% of your audience.
5. Use the analytics data from your content curation to see which formats and topics your audience responds to best. Then use your in-house content creation resources to serve up more content like that.
Ever heard of a “content audit”? It’s when you go back and analyze all your content from the last three, six or twelve months. You reveal what content has performed best, where the content holes are, and how things are doing in terms of SEO.
At the end of your analysis, you’ll have actionable insights into how to make your content better going forward (like when to send an email, which niche topics do best, which content formats do best).
But here’s the surprise – none of the content you analyze has to be content you’ve made in-house. You can analyze how your curated content has done and get pretty much all the same information.
It gets even better: You can take all that insight and then go create some of your own content based on what you’ve learned. Content that’s in the sweet spot of topics, formatting and timing for your audience.
6. You can queue up and automate your content curation efforts so you don’t have to manage them more than once a week (or sometimes even less often).
Task batching is a time-tested productivity tool. It’s worked for centuries, and it works now for social media. With tools like Content Director and other social media management platforms, you can batch your social media work for maximum efficiency.
That also means you can do your social media work when it’s convenient for you, like on a quiet afternoon, instead of the morning before a big client presentation. And once you’ve figured out your social media marketing best practices, it becomes pretty easy to train someone and outsource that work. Voila: One less thing for you for to do.
7. Content curation is one of the best ways to stretch a small content creation budget.
Content creation can be expensive. If you try to avoid this and buy cheap content, often you’ll end up with terrible results. And while you can buy excellent original content, it’s hard to stretch those limited pieces of original content far enough to fill your social media update queue, much less to meet business goals.
Adding even 30-50% of curated content to your content marketing mix can change all that. Suddenly you’ll go from panicking about what to publish, to having to actually get pretty picky about which content to use.
8. The best content curators use many different content formats.
Your content will instantly become more interesting as soon as you shake up the formats a bit. Don’t get stuck sharing just text. Use images liberally, plus videos, audio, SlideShares, animated gifs and infographics. The more interactive the better.
9. Curated content has a second sleeper audience that might introduce you to vast amounts of new customers.
Who’s in that sleeper audience? It’s the creators of the content you’re sharing. Yep – they want you to share their content. Often they’ll be so appreciative of you sharing your content that they’ll share your curated content back with their audience.
The best examples of this are roundup posts, where you ask a question and list the answers from a bunch of subject experts. Another example would be any social media update. One tip to get this to work better – give the original content creators credit when you use their stuff. It’s just good sharing etiquette.
10. It’s nice to share cool stuff, but it’s even better if you can add some commentary or put your own spin on the content you curate.
This builds your authority, and it makes the content you share more your own. It’s also gives you an opportunity to specifically mention something about your company, brand, or your own content assets.
Got any of your own content curation pros? Wanna look smart? Give us the low down in the comments.
And if you’d like to see how content curation can help you improve SEO, you should read this eBook!
Image by Kate Ter Haar.