Content that sells: curate and convert using social media
By Yoav Vilner
Today, there’s so much web content out there that we’re at the point of suffocation. The internet is continuing to grow at a fast rate and content is keeping up with this rat-race. As content marketers we’re faced with a burning question- what do we do with all the content available? How do we stand out among the noise and produce content that is worthwhile?
Without feeling like the Titanic, content curation is one solution to keep us from sinking.
Personally, I believe that the foundation of content marketing is built out of both creating and sharing great content that your followers will be interested in reading. But, we’re faced with a conundrum- with an overwhelming amount of content online, it’s hard to know where to begin. Content curation has begun to gain traction as an answer to all our content problems.
Let’s get down to business- What exactly is content curation?
Many of us are still try to wrap our heads around the idea of what it is and how we maximize its full potential. According to marketing guru Beth Kanter, “Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.” Sounds simple enough.
Let’s say hypothetically, I wanted to publish a new post on my blog about marketing trends and my research led me to an article about “How to predict the future of marketing, interactively speaking”. After reading the article and reviewing the comments, I come up with an article from my own point of view including a link back to the post. Additionally, I share the initial article socially to all my followers in order to build my influence whilst simultaneously high-fiving the author. This is content curation live in action!
Content curation helps you expand your audience and become an influencer. At the end of the day, your audience will be the ones to share your content and spread the word. Many content curators turn to Twitter for all their content sharing needs. They can tweet content several times a day without coming across as ‘spammy’. The proof is in the pudding- as 25% of tweets contain links, but 56% of retweets contain links. It’s no wonder that content sharing via social media is today’s preferred method of content curation.
The downside- create vs. curate
In the world of content marketing, curation does not have a favorable reputation. It makes sense, as ultimately content curation relies on others sharing abilities to leverage your own goals. Many view this as lazy and border line plagiaristic. It can be a touchy subject for marketers. But content curation is not the biggest catastrophe it’s made out to be. It has many benefits and can offer your marketing strategy the right ingredients to achieve your business goals.
So what’s the right way to go about content curation?
Content curation does not mean that you must replace content creation, it should be a marriage of the two aspects. Curating content is meant to alleviate some of the editorial burden and provide an increase in conversions. Your role as a content marketer is made up of one part creator and one part curator. Take note, that when curating content you’re only looking for inspiration to create your own individual content and not to copy someone else’s hard work. This can damage your page rank with Google as well as your reputation.
If you’re already sharing content with your customers via Twitter or any other form of social media- that’s a great start to curating content. However, it’s not enough to be relegated as a trusted source. There are far better ways and tools to curate content whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced content curator.
Content curation for the beginner
Speaking of Twitter. We know that Twitter can be a crazy streaming mess if you’re not already using Lists to arrange the accounts you follow. A Twitter List is a curated group of users that you can create or follow. In Twitter’s attempts to make their service more approachable and user friendly, Lists continue to be vastly underrated. Another perfect example of using social networks as a content curation tool is Pinterest. By following people in your industry, you’ll have access to plenty content ideas. Save these ideas to boards on your account and use them to curate excellent content for you and your clients.
Content curation for the intermediate
Let’s say you’re looking something a bit more comprehensive and you’re willing to fork out a few dollars on a subscription- tools such as Scoop.it is a popular example. Part content curation tool, part social network, Scoop.it allows you to create boards of curated content based on topics you choose, share your thoughts on that content, and connect with others who have similar interests. They also send a daily update about the topics you follow to notify you with the most relevant articles to share.
Content curation for the advanced users
For the serious game players, enterprise-level curation software is the way to go. These type of tools work well for businesses with a team of users, editors and content curators. Curata is a brilliant content curation tool for the high-level user. The tool automates the tedious tasks (search, organizing, and publishing ) while giving you complete, centralized control of the human tasks (evaluation, contextualizing, and approval).
All these tools are effective, but most content marketers simply follow industry blogs and look to social media to fulfill their curation needs. In essence, creating original content and curating content are both powerful ways that you can generate more leads. But, a combination of the two will bring about the best results. Not only, does it enable brands to engage with their audience more regularly, it informs marketers what type of content they should actually invest in.
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