Discovering good content about your topics you can re-use to grow your thought leadership and increase traffic to your content can be a tough task. There are quite a few tasks to do: – researching the content across the web, – filtering through it to find the most relevant articles, – adding value to the […]Read More
While there’s nothing wrong with standard text-based content, it’s important that businesses develop alternative methods for “spicing things up.” When used in conjunction with quality articles, blog posts, and website copy, interactive features can really enhance the entire content marketing campaign. The value of interactive content. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different terminologies. […]Read More
Last editions: #1: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. #2: The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. #3: The best content marketing tools for the optimization phase. #4: The best content marketing tools for the publishing phase. #5: The best content marketing tools for the promotion phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity […]Read More
Bygone days. It used to be simpler. Marketers would create super-well designed brochures and pay to advertise their product/service in front of their audience. Wait. What just happened? Internet of course. Internet changed everything. 90% of the world’s data has been generated over the past 2 years. Buyers now go through 57% of the purchasing process before […]Read More
Hi everyone, We wanted to share with you the Best Of Content Marketing articles we wrote in the past 3 months. And in extra, get the list of the best tools for the publishing phase of content marketing! How to write good blog posts for your audience and SEO and make sure they perform. Here […]Read More
Bloggers write less than they think they do, and they curate more than they realize.
Most of this is due to the nature of blog posts. They tend to be a mishmash of mediums and sources. For example, we’re advised to include an image every 350 words or so. It’s also a good idea to link out to respected sites. And when you link out, usually you’re doing it to reference what someone else has written.
Blog posts that back up what they assert with research also tend to do especially well. That was recently proved by Moz and BuzzSumo in their study, “Content, Shares and Links: What We Learnt From 1m Posts”. As the blog post summarizing the report says,
“There are, however, specific content types that do have a strong positive correlation of shares and links. This includes research backed content and opinion forming journalism. We found these content formats achieve both higher shares and significantly more links.”
Whether it’s a quote, or a reference, or an image or a video, the blog post as a genre has an affinity for curation. In fact, many of the best practices I just mentioned for posts are curation themselves. Photographs are usually curated. Research is almost always curated. And quotes and links are clear examples of curation.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="624" caption="This is a screenshot of one our older posts. It’s got several images, links, and two references to other publishers’ information. In other words, it’s almost entirely curated content, plus some copy to weave the whole thing together."][/caption]
Blog posts tend to take another step towards curation when you consider a part of curation that’s too often ignored: the practice of commenting on what you curate.
Many of us – myself included – are a bit lazy with our content curation. We spend the time to find and share good stuff, sure. But when we share the stuff, we don’t add our own commentary. We might tack on a hashtag, but that’s about it. Many of us (again, me included) rarely bother to add a phrase or two of commentary.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="624" caption="I should be adding more commentary to the content I curate on social media. Adding hashtags isn’t enough. But I did get in three whole words of commentary in one of these tweets."][/caption]
We should add more commentary. Content that is shared without commentary still has some value, but not nearly as much value as if we added a few words about why it matters. We could even go so far as to say why it matters, and then tie it into a larger theme…
By then, we’d practically be blogging.
The blurry line between blogging and curation.
To understand this better, let’s imagine content curation in different content formats as a spectrum. On one side of, we’ve got blogging. The type of blogging that has a few references to other sources, uses a few graphs and maybe a few images, and has a few quotes. Blogging that’s, say… about 20% curated content.
The remainder of the post includes lots of commentary on all that curated content. There’s also usually some discussion about how all those curated elements fit together to create the theme or topic the post is about.
On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got the shared content stream (all curated) that people like me put out in our social media accounts. It could be a Twitter feed, or a Facebook page, or a Scoop.It account. That content could be about 80% curated. I say that because for about every five posts I publish, one post promotes my own stuff. This is a common – and recommend – promotion mix. It’s enough of other peoples’ content to create a good feed of industry information and ideas, but just enough of my own content to get some exposure for my own work.
Here’s what we’ve got so far on the spectrum. On one side, a standard, well-researched blog post that’s maybe 20% curated. On the other side, a curated social media account/feed…but without much commentary on the curated content. It’s about 80% curated.
Now, let’s talk about a few types or formats of blog posts that tend to have even more curated information in them. These types of blog posts that tend to be more than 20% curation. These are more like 30-40% curated:
· The list of tools post.
· The list of studies post.
· The case study post… if it draws from someone else’s case study.
These blog post formats take it even further. Some of them are well over 70-80% curated:
· The “list of statistics” post.
· The “round up” post – experts’ opinions.
· The interview post.
You probably saw this coming a few paragraphs ago, but by the time we get to round up and interview posts, we’re looking at content that’s more than 50% curated. That’s content with more curation than a curated social media feed, assuming it’s got some commentary.
Let’s circle back to my social media feed example. You know, where I was sharing curated posts about 80% of the time. It was only 80% curated because some of my own content gets sprinkled in, about one piece of my content for every four pieces of other content. And unfortunately (because I am lazy), I was not adding much commentary to those shares, aside from a couple of hashtags.
But let’s say I started to do a better job with my curation, like Dr. Merz does in the example below. And let’s assume I was not limited to Twitter’s 140 characters. If I was building my curation stream / social media feed on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or Scoop.it, I could have more room, and add a few sentences. On ScoopIt, I could even add a few paragraphs.
That would take my social media feed from being 80% “pure” curation to more like 50% or less of pure curation. If I did a really thorough job of the commentary, and grouped the curated content into tight categories, I’d have the rudiments of a blog post.
In other words, after I start commenting on my curation in that social feed, suddenly there’s not much difference in the ratio of “content” to “curation” between the blog posts and the social media feed. And when you start counting the commentary on the curated content as curation, too, suddenly the blog posts are almost entirely curation. The social media feed is too.
When it’s hard to tell the difference between content and curation.
Maybe this all feels like I’m bending the definitions of blogging and content curation too much. Maybe all we’ve got now is a tangled knot of stretched out definitions. But perhaps we’re not recognizing how much curation goes on in blog posts. And perhaps we should try to bring in more context and commentary to our social feeds and pure “curation” streams.
While I’m talking about definitions, consider this definition of content marketing from The Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.
Did you see it? “Curating” is included in CMI’s definition of content marketing. And I’ve just added another piece of curated content to this post.
What do you think?
Are blog posts mostly curated content? Or does that really only apply to blogs in certain industries and by certain authors? Should blog posts have more, or less, curation in them?
And are we slacking off by not adding more commentary to our curated social media posts? Are there enough benefits to that to make it worth our time?
We’d love your thoughts on this, pro or con. Tell us what you think in the comments.
And if you’d like to know how you can start blogging consistently in 30 minutes a day or less, read our eBook!
Image by Sonny Abesamis.Read More
Last editions: #1: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. #2: The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. #3: The best content marketing tools for the optimization phase. #4: The best content marketing tools for the publishing phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if […]Read More
For startups, looking at marketing from the top-down can be intimidating. After all, you probably don’t have much of a budget – and even if you do, you can’t afford the same strategies and techniques the larger companies are implementing. There is some good news, though. You don’t have to have a large budget or […]Read More
“I like to compare evergreen posts to the foundations of a house. You may put up new wallpaper, patch up the roof, or even change the tiles on the floor – but rarely do you need to change the foundation of the house.” Read the full article at: www.contentmarketinginstitute.com Al Gomez‘s metaphor about evergreen content being […]Read More
Last editions: The best content marketing tools for the research phase. The best content marketing tools for the creation phase. We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if you’re willing to invest the time to do things right. Want to understand more about each phase of […]Read More
Your content has a lot of competition. That’s a big challenge, but there’s a hidden opportunity there, too. With just a little bit of research you can find out how any piece of content performed. Then you can apply that knowledge to your own content creation and curation efforts. That ocean of other people’s’ content […]Read More
Content marketing – as an industry – is quickly migrating towards mobile devices. After all, that’s where users are reading and engaging with content. For the first time ever, the number of mobile-only internet users now exceeds desktop-only users. That means you can no longer ignore mobile, or look at it as a sub-segment of […]Read More
Last week we listed the best content marketing tools for the research phase, first phase of your content marketing cycle.
We mentioned how much content marketing is an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way, if you’re willing to invest the time to do things right.
Some carefully chosen content marketing software definitely help. To give you the specifics on how it could help and which pieces of software might help, we’ve put together this series of walk-throughs of all the basic functions and tasks required for content marketing, plus which pieces of software to use for each function.
This doesn’t include every piece of software you could use. But it does include the heavy hitters and the most popular tools.
I hope it gives you some ideas for how to better use software in your content marketing. Excel and whiteboards and notepads are all great tools, but we probably shouldn’t be running an entire content marketing department with them.
This week, we’ll go over the best content marketing tools to help you in your creation phase.Read More
As a business owner or marketer, you always have to be thinking about how you can improve and complement existing strategies by leveraging available technologies. In terms of content marketing in 2015, this means you should carefully consider video and how it fits into your current marketing plan. The value of video marketing The value […]Read More
Content marketing has a lot going for it. It’s 63% less expensive than traditional advertising. It’s an opportunity to build an audience in an authentic way. But it does require quite a bit of work and management if you want to see results.
These are the 6 phases of content marketing:
This week, we’ll go over the best content marketing tools to help you in your research phase.Read More
In the content marketing game, getting people on your website is typically the main objective. Posting great content improves your reputation, increases your visibility, and can serve as a funnel for referral traffic, but inbound traffic numbers alone aren’t enough to justify your use of content marketing as a revenue generating strategy. As an extreme […]Read More
Content marketing is built on beautiful principles. Instead of interrupting people’s day to day lives with TV adverts, skyline-blocking billboards and glossy magazine ads, content marketers create useful resources for their customers and for each other. A strange mix of copywriting and journalism, content marketing has the moral edge over traditional marketing because the public […]Read More
If you didn’t know that content marketing is your best bet to generate leads today, then at least I would have warned you!
No but seriously, if I didn’t convince you, here are a few facts that will.
Why it is better to generate leads with content marketing
– Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound marketing. (Source: State of Inbound 2014, Hubspot).
– You have 758x more chances of closing an inbound lead (that came to you through your content) than an outbound lead (that you went to get with telemarketing, cold calling, etc.) (Source: Search Engine Journal).
What top marketing experts think about the topicRead More
Content marketing is often proclaimed to be one of the most valuable, effective marketing strategies available. But there’s a critical caveat to that description; people have to read your content for it to be valuable in any way. Of course, content comes in many forms—when I say “read” what I actually mean is “consume”. A person would need to read an article in the same way they would need to watch a video or listen to an interview—the point is, if a person isn’t engaging with your material, your material isn’t worth anything. So why people aren’t reading your content?
There are several potential reasons that could prevent someone from reading your material, and learning to prevent or mitigate those reasons can help you improve your readership (and therefore your entire content campaign). Pay special attention to these seven potential reasons, which I have found to be some of the most common and most devastating.Read More
“There is nothing new under the sun.”
What do you think of that quote? Is it depressing? Dismissive?
True or not, that quote evokes a dilemma every content creator struggles with. We have a lot of content to create, and in one way or another, it’s all been created before.
Before you get on the defensive, let me explain what I mean by that.
Why we tend to create similar content
Our job is to create content that both serves our audience and meets business goals. To do that efficiently, we use proven formats (blog posts, white papers, tweets, etc). We answer common questions. We do this in ways that are familiar to our audience and easy for them to understand.
If we get too creative and too cutting-edge, we become hard to understand. As soon as our audience doesn’t understand us, they’re gone. The rest of the Internet – the easy-to-understand and endlessly diverting Internet – is only a click away.Read More
Find out how you can double the amount of traffic and leads you get from “old” blog content through historical optimization.Read More
We’re sad summer is ending… so we decided to make it last a bit longer!
Come at our content marketing happy hour to discuss marketing best practices with our team and your peers over food and drinks!
What – Happy hour in our office
Who – Marketers and content marketers
Where – Downtown San Francisco
When – Next Thursday August 27th starting at 6pm
We’ll stack the fridge with wine and beers and there will be cheese and pizzas.
Come with your marketer friends and let’s make it a party!
Of course, it’s free 🙂
But hurry… our office can’t host the entire content marketing scene so it’s first come first serve!Read More
The most popular digital marketing mantra in recent years has been “Content is King”, and while the mantra itself may be a touch overused, it is by no means inaccurate. Now more than ever it’s incredibly important to create – not just a content marketing strategy but – your own unique content marketing strategy if you hope to drive traffic and boost brand awareness from online channels.
This article dives into a bit of background on the recent popularity of content marketing, why you need to develop a content marketing strategy that is unique, and shows you where to find some of the newest strategies to set yourself apart from your competitors.Read More
When people talk of the “quality” of a piece of content, they’re generally referring to its value in terms of captivating an audience or attracting attention to the brand. They might be referring to the depth of research, the style of the writing, or the overall appeal of the topic, but if you boil down the value of a piece to its capacity to engage an audience, you end up with two major factors: its virality and its utility.
Virality is the potential for a piece of content to “go viral” or circulate amongst audience members and achieve more visibility. Viral pieces are important because they cause the piece to have a greater range of impact, and grant greater overall visibility for the brand. Utility is the overall usefulness of a piece of content for an individual reader. For example, a how-to article holds more utility for a reader than a piece about a company’s operational anniversary.Read More
Content marketing sucks. What’s more, the coolest content marketers no longer have blogs. Wait. What? Has guest blogger Barry Feldman (please excuse the weird switch to the third-person voice) flown kamikaze into the Scoop.it blog to burn the place down? No. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your eyes; I come to praise the power of […]Read More
Content marketing — the use of blogs, social media, whitepapers, and webinars to attract and convert leads — has essentially replaced all other forms of lead acquisition. Sharp marketing leaders know that becoming a trusted advisor is essential to scalable sales; according to the 2015 State of Inbound (an annual marketing report published by Hubspot), the use of inbound tactics alone, independent of […]Read More
Lack of time came in as the #1 challenge for both B2B and B2C marketers in the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs 2014 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends surveys.
If you’re not sure you’re using your time well enough, or if you’d like a checklist of content marketing areas to emphasize, the following list may be helpful. Each item of this list is a sign you’re wasting time on content marketing. Or – on the brighter side – an opportunity to boost your productivity.
“No matter what your business model is, content is still king. One research study a few years ago revealed that many B2B marketers have documented plans to increase their lead generation budgets by up to 50% the following year. That investment is still on the rise overall.” Read the full article at: neilpatel.com When we think about […]Read More
Ever since we started to work on Scoop.it, we’ve had this question: is it fair to use other people’s content for your own good: in other words, how ethical is content curation? Is it even legal?
A quick look at history clearly shows that artists and scientists never created in a vacuum but have always leveraged pre-existing work to develop their own. And that’s for the greater good. Closer to us, there is a multitude of online media sites which embraced content curation as an alternative or a complement to the content they produce: the Huffington Post is a famous example but Upworthy and BuzzFeed are others and even the respected New York times started doing it.
Of course, such an answer won’t satisfy your legal department or your own need to have a more pragmatic answer. So as we’ve now been arounds for several years and, more importantly, have seen millions of users publish more than 100 million pieces of content, we feel we can not only give you a recap of the facts that make content curation ethical but also back that out with data.Read More
Content curation is a bit of an art form, and takes some time to perfect. But once you’ve figured out a strategy that works, you’ll have a process in place for regularly finding, compiling and editorializing content your audience will love!
Where to source content for curation
In order to curate content, you first need to find it. The net is teeming with information ripe for curation, but the challenge is finding relevant content in a timely manner.Read More