Though it’s pretty much an irrefutable fact, it bears repeating: content marketing is a key foundation of a business inbound marketing strategy. However, the success of a content marketing strategy is largely dependent on a business’ ability to continuously create original, relevant content for their target audience, which can be challenging in terms of the time and resources needed to do so.
Therefore, marketers need to rely on additional tactics to ensure that their audience continues to consume value-added posts and keep them engaged and nurtured. These include guest blogging, industry expert interviews and insights, and a well-planned content curation strategy.
Content curation is the process of discovering, collecting, organizing and presenting digital content from the web in a meaningful format under a specific topic that is relevant to a business’ target audience. By “meaningful format”, we mean adding your own original opinions, imagery and descriptions for the content you’re sharing. Without it, the process amounts to aggregation rather than curation.
Curation can take many forms such blog posts, e-mail newsletters, or weekly round-ups: all of which include content from both external and internal sources. Think of it as a special exhibit at your favorite museum.
How Can Content Curation Help Your Content Marketing Strategy?
- It boosts your content inventory with relevant, value-rich content
This makes for a well-balanced content marketing strategy that relies both on self-created and curated content, and reducing the onus on your team to keep your content inventory filled.
- It increases your audience’s engagement with your content, since they’ll come to rely on you as a provider of high-quality, relevant information and insights from diverse sources.
As much as customers require diverse insights, they less they have to chase information around the web, the more they’ll appreciate it.
- It can also serve as a source of inspiration for your own production.
In addition to serving as value-based content sources, the very process of content curation can lend itself to inspiring your content team with ideas for their content creation.
- It can broaden your audience’s access to information by bringing new knowledge and insights into a single place.
- It can boost your inbound-driven SEO.
When done ethically, that is, with proper source attributions and link backs to original authors, it will encourage them to link back to you in their own posts, which in turn will improve your link authority.
- It can help you leverage your resources efficiently.
It provides a cost-effective means to create quality content in considerably shorter time than it takes to create original pieces. It gives your audience the best read, accompanied by your own insights and takes.
10 Ways You Can Get the Most out of Your Curation Strategy
1. Choose a few topics and themes, and stay largely focused on them
While curating content, find a few broader themes that are relevant to your business and create around them. At the same time, when the occasion calls for it, don’t be hesitant to step out of the norm, and use topics that are marginally associated with your business.
The point of any form of content is to resonate with those who are consuming it; therefore occasionally curating and posting content around topics outside your own niche, but important to your audience, will add an element of humanity to your brand. For instance, even if your primary focus is marketing, you can still create a post about your marketing team’s favorite Super Bowl commercials.
2. Include your own content in your curated post
When you begin to compile your curated list, be sure to include one (or two) of your own pieces of content material in the list. This can help boost your credibility and your visibility as a reliable and well-informed thought leader in your niche. Curated content is, therefore, a good chance to resurrect old blog posts from your archives.
There is also a possible additional benefit if you achieve virality on your curated post, you’ll receive increased visibility for your brand through the original content you’ve included.
3. Streamline your content curation process
Pull content from a few consistent sources. The internet is a vast, boundless source of information: so, initially, you’ll need to scour the web to find the best pieces of information to put together in your posts. However, over time, you’ll be able to identify a few sources that are consistent in putting out value-rich and relevant elements. These can be popular content aggregator sites like Medium, Alltop, Reddit, Flipboard and Mashable.
4. Curate content with a purpose
Don’t create curated content just for the sake of filling a void. Plan your strategy around a purpose that will seek to inform, educate and provide answers to what your prospective customers are looking for.
Your should, after all, seek to stand out from the dozens of similarly curated content, and ultimately, establish you as a trusted source above them all. So, put a fair amount of thought and planning into your posts, and provide value to your customers.
5. Don’t be a selfish content curator
Credit. Always credit the original content creators in your post - link back to the original source or website, or at the least, link back to the creators’ Twitter or other social media handles. Once they have seen your acknowledgment, they’ll be inclined to share your content with their followers and are more than likely apt to reciprocate the action by including yours in curation posts of their own.
And, while we’re on the subject, if your content ends up being part of someone else’s curated content, acknowledge the credit and share with your own followers, too. It’s easy to see how curation can help you build two-way relationships with other content creators in your niche.
6. Leverage different types of content in your curation posts
Curation posts don’t have to be limited to only blog posts: try using differentformats in your posts. Different types appeal to different types of customers depending on their preferences, and also where they are in the buyer’s journey: so try curating content types that maps to their specific requirements, such as infographics, webinars, podcasts, e-books and even, case studies.
7. Cross-post your content to multiple channels
Post to as many social channels as you can to increase your reach and boost awareness of your brand. In addition to sharing them on your business’ own social channels, you can also post in relevant group pages and forums like LinkedIn groups and Facebook group pages.
8. Leverage content curation tools
Content curation can take an unnecessarily long time if you choose to do it manually every single time. To streamline the process, make use of tools like Social Inbox, Buffer and Gaggle AMP make it easy for your team to recommend curations. In addition to cutting down your collection time, it also allows your team to become more involved in the content creation process. Additionally, tools like Feedly can help you organize and manage your curated content, while BuzzSumo finds the most-shared, relevant content and influencers in your niche.
9. Curate at least 2 to 3 times per week
Spend time every week, at least 2 or 3 times, to curate content that you will use in your posts. If you have an automatic content distribution system like those mentioned above, you can manage to gather enough content for your campaign.
10. Don’t forget your partners and prospects
Prioritize and include content produced by your partners, and even those from prospective customers in your post to help build their trust in your brand. By including their content in your posts, you can show them that you are invested in them: in what they do and what they care about. You can also take things a step further by sharing curated content that they have created in your social channels.
Original content creation and marketing is a foundational aspect of inbound marketing, however, there are challenges that come with it. Marketers need content curation to balance the production cycle. When done right, curation has a number of benefits, and by using the tactics above, marketers can leverage it to increase their brand’s awareness, reach and authority in their niche.
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