The Content Curation Blog

How content curation can help you to engage your audiences

Content Marketing

On track to Content Marketing ROI? Take the 5′ test

scoopit content marketing roi grader influencers

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…

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The blurry line between blogging and curation

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, 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.

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The best content marketing tools for the creation phase (2/6)

best content marketing tools edition 2 creation phase

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.

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The best content marketing tools for the research phase (1/6)

best content marketing tools edition 1 research phase

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.

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How to generate leads with content marketing

how to generate leads through content marketing cover image

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 topic

quote Joe Pullizi Jayson deMers how to generate leads through content marketing jpg

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7 reasons why people aren’t reading your content (and what to do about it)

7 reasons why people aren't reading your content (and what to do about it)

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.

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No man is an island: content curation for content creators

No man is an island: content curation for content creators

“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.

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Content marketing happy hour – August 27th in San Francisco

happy hour SF content marketing

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!

Register here. 

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Why you need to create a content marketing strategy

Why you need to create a content marketing strategy

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.

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