The Value Behind Content Curation
Content is king. Whether for a blog post or social media channel, and regardless of the SEO effect, without regularly updated quality content, you’re providing no value. Potential customers have no reason to return to your site. No reason to return means not building a following and little chance of turning your visitors into prospects and leads. The issue for many is creating a content strategy that delivers the quality material their audience wants without overwhelming themselves.
We recently met with a client struggling with this exact problem. He was continually trying to create original content for Facebook and his blog. The time involved was removing him from other areas that needed his attention. We was frustrated and, quite understandably, burnt out.
We laid out a plan that would reduce the demand for original content, allow him to shift his focus while still retaining a consistent posting schedule. We created a schedule for posting involving a mix of original material, curated content and leveraged content. In addition to reduced stress levels, this strategy provides several tactical advantages.
5 Reasons You Need A Content Curation Strategy
The ‘Go To’ Resource
People spend a great deal of time online looking for information. Over time they gravitate towards sites that provide them the most useful information possible on the topics they’re researching. It’s smart. Less time finding sources means more time getting answers. How many sites have you bookmarked for reference because they had plenty of content you needed? We’ll bet you’re not even aware how much of the information on those sites was original versus curated.
People search to find solutions. When they have a problem, who provides the answer is more important than whose answer it is.
Why not make your blog, Facebook or Google+ page that site? Why not provide the best content someone would need to make a buying decision regarding your industry, your product or your service? Your page becomes the trusted source. YOUR page becomes the ‘go to’ resource. Over time this will increase your fan base, reach and ultimately your revenue.
The ‘Expanded Reach’ Factor
Content curation requires acknowledging the source. Whether it’s a backlink in a blog post, a website link or tagging in a social media post you’re alerting the author.
If you tag us in a post, we’ll make it a point to thank you. That interaction is an excellent means of increasing exposure and reach. If the content shared was from an influential source, it can also put you on their radar.
The ‘Credibility’ Factor
Being the expert in your industry doesn’t mean you know everything or you’re the only expert. It also doesn’t mean you have all of the answers. Sharing curated content acknowledges that fact. You become more credible by sharing the work of others (especially that of a competitor).
The ‘Expert’ Factor
This tactical use of content curation, the “leveraged content” we mentioned in our strategy. Sharing the work of others makes you a great resource, it provides you content when there isn’t time to create your own and it increases your visibility but it’s WHAT you do with that content can and will define you as the expert. Don’t simply share what you’ve curated. Add value to it!
Look at the content from another angle. Build on the work already done. Add additional points, especially if the content is a list. Maybe your experience can fill in gaps. Even the experts see content differently. We are always learning ourselves.
A great example of this strategy was how we used content curation in sharing a recent Google+ post by Mandy Edwards.
We built upon her original list, adding value to the reader. The approach allowed us to create ‘original’ content without starting from scratch, provided (targeted) reach and overall exposure. It added credibility by validating someone we recognize as a true social media expert and provided the opportunity for collaboration on a future article on the topic (see the comments).
The Customer Service Via Social Media Necessity is a good example of how to leverage content for a blog post.
The ‘Collaboration’ Factor
Sharing content from more influential sources (and even competitors) provides a great opportunity for collaboration (especially if you follow the advice in The ‘Expert’ Factor above on how to tactically use Content curation). When you share another business’s or individual’s content, they will (or should) know. While they may not actually engage on that particular piece of content, you may just grab their attention.
The primary role for your content is prospecting tool. It’s designed to find potential clients / customers (the upper level of the marketing funnel). At the same time, that content serves the role of prospecting for collaboration and partnerships (as it did in our post – see the comment string). If you can grab the attention of a leading industry expert and if your content resonates with them, you’ve created the prospect for a working relationship. Those relationships, especially if with another industry influencers, are priceless in terms of exposure, credibility and learning. The right project could catapult you or your brand to the next level.
One added benefit our client received – the reduced time creating daily content not only meant time to focus on other pressing matters, but allowed him to create more in-depth articles. His content mix now includes short, original content, shared quality content, value added leveraged content and in-depth articles providing more detailed solutions.
While this customer needed a means of reducing reliance on original content, tactical use of curated and leverage content is a recommended strategy for any business.
Value Add Versus Aggregation
The Museum Correlation
While many feel content curation has little value without your own voice (good article by The Social Masters), it’s not our stance. Without question content curation should focus on adding value, there is a place (and value) for simply creating a collection of quality content as part of your mix.
Consider any of the Natural History Museums. They curate pieces from hundreds of sources. This pieces may be displayed as individual specimens or as a collection of like items such as “Sue” (‘…the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.’)…
Image courtesy of the Chicago Field Museum
…or be arranged to create a ‘scene’ providing a more detailed look into the past. In some cases these scenes may involve the combining of pieces from multiple sources.
Image courtesy of the Las Vegas Natural History Museum
The latter is the valued added exhibit. The former simply a re-posting if you will. The value in a curated display with no value added in the form of Sue being placed on display? It’s a ‘high draw’ item. It’s the content that will bring in visitors who will then likely check out the rest of the exhibits.
Simply curating high quality, timely content on your blog or social sites has the same potential effect. The key is to not abuse it.
Our advice: #BeTactical. Make sure your content curation strategy is balanced.
Is curated content missing from your strategy? If it’s included, are you simply sharing or do you add value?
I’d love your hear your thoughts. You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!
If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content.
If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, if you have no idea how to find content or if you have a plan but could use some help to #BeTactical in leveraging it, we need to talk.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. If you’re in the Greater Seattle or South Sound Areas, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.