Content curation has become the holy grail of content marketing. It comes with benefits in droves for inbound marketers.
Almost all marketers are curating content. Curata’s research shows curating content has become the norm. Among the marketers surveyed, only 5% reported they don’t share content created by other organizations. Nearly 34% surveyees said they curate content every day.
The majority of marketers (79%) use social media for content curation. Almost 64% use curation to increase their search engine ranking. A separate study conducted by Trapit shows more than 50% marketers recommend sharing 10 pieces of content a day or more.
The stats cited above help us apprehend the significance of content curation.
Poor or effective curation?
Since most marketers are curating content, are all of them seeing an upsurge in conversion?
No. Not all of them. Because most of them are doing it wrong. Good content curation practices can bring visitors to your site and publicize your brand. Poor curation practices, on the other hand, can derail your marketing efforts. Hence, you have to be very cautious with content curation.
Here are some tips to put your curation strategies on the right track:
#Content from thought leaders
It might be tempting for you to share a piece of content. Resist the temptation if the content is not from thought leaders.
See the infographic below:
The infographic shows the main objective of content curation is establishing thought leadership. Brand visibility and SEO are both secondary concerns.
Who are thought leaders?
Thought leaders are people who are highly informed. They know the industry they belong better than others. The following are the signs that a person is a thought leader:
- A thought leader has industry insiders as his sources. He doesn’t reveal their identity.
- A thought leader analyzes industry trends better than others.
- A thought leader predicts new trends.
- He follows up. When his predictions come true, he reminds his audiences about the past predictions.
In short, a thought leader has informed opinion about his field of expertise. By curating his content, you help your audiences understand the industry better. They value what you do and over the time, you build a reputation.
You need to curate more content and various types of content. Both are important. When you curate more content, you provide more information to your readers. But if the content is homogeneous and lacks variety, then readers will lose interest after a while.
How to bring variety?
To bring variety, first identify a fixed number of sources. Make sure they all provide unique information. In other words, one source must not reiterate what another source has already published.
It’s best if you use RSS feed aggregator. Add all the targeted publications to the aggregator so that you get updates whenever a new post is live on the site.
Let’s say you are an automobile brand, and you have added relevant blogs to the feed reader. For curation, select one blog post on hybrid car and another post on auto recycling. This will ensure variation. And since these content are from reputed sources, containing relevant information, users will love them.
#The 80/20 rule
Don’t follow the 80/20 rule when you are curating content. The rule says the optimal ratio between curated and original content is 80:20. That means a brand should share 80% curated content and 20% of its own content.
This rule doesn’t make sense. Here’s why:
- If 80% of your content marketing depends on content created by others, then what the need of investing in content marketing?
- More importantly, you need to create your own identity as a brand. Over-dependence on content curation may hinder you from building such an identity.
What is the ideal ratio between original and curated content then?
The answer is there’s no definitive ratio.
Here are some case studies:
Case study 1: In this case study, the business belonged to the location-based plumbing and HVAC industry. Its marketing budget was large and it had a website with blog and social media presence. Content curation made up 40%-60% of its content marketing.
Case study 2: In this example, the business was a local sports club. It operated locally and it had a medium budget. The business kept a 50:50 ratio between original content and curated content.
These case studies show businesses are at freedom to decide what ratio would fit them best. In case of top brands, they don’t curate content. They share their own content.
#Add your own input
Don’t forget to add you own input. There are two ways to do that:
As commentary: You can add your input in the form of commentary. Your view will not oppose the opinion expressed in the curated content. Instead, you’ll provide a supplementary opinion backing the original opinion.
You can provide additional information, not covered by the original content. When your input is in the form of commentary, you can justify curating the original piece of content. Your audience will appreciate that.
As contrary: Just because you are curating a piece of content, doesn’t mean you have to support the opinion, expressed in it. You can contradict the opinion. However, you have to show logic behind contradicting it.
Put simply, you can oppose the view shared by the curated content. But it shouldn’t be a baseless opposition. Explain why you think the opinion shared by the curated content doesn’t ring true to you.
The bottomline is whether you support the curated content or oppose it, your input should be totally unique and based on sound logic.
#Curate with a purpose
This sounds like a no-brainer right? Your purpose is to increase conversion and you know that already.
Well, that’s a generic purpose. It won’t resonate well with your audience. You need to convince them that you have a more specific purpose behind curation. Here are some specific purposes
Conversion funnel: Through curation, you can bring more traffic to your site and push them into the funnel.
A/B testing: You can tinker with content curation to lay your hands on the best strategy. A/B testing makes it easy for you to experiment. You can measure the impact of curation through A/B testing.
Influencer marketing: Content curation can build thought leadership. A thought leader is an influencer. He can influence others in the industry. Content curation enables brands to become influencers and trigger better engagement.
Simply put, content curation shouldn’t be for the sake of content curation. Make it purposive to see it yielding positive results.
#Use the right tool
There’s no paucity of content curation tools. But not all are suitable for your marketing needs. Some may be must-have tools for business productivity, but not for mid-market, while some may be notorious for having issues.
Hence, you need to select a tool very carefully.
Here are some tools that you can use:
Pocket: The best thing about Pocket is it keeps videos, images, podcasts and blogs in one place so that you can use them whenever you want. There are built-in features that make curation easy.
Two such features are grouping articles by tagging and the search option to quickly find articles. Pocket has a browser add-on, which you can download on your Smartphone too.
Pinterest: Pinterest brings close social media and curation. More than 80% of pins on Pinterest are repins. This makes Pinterest a mecca of curation. The Pin It button is installable on browsers.
Scoop.it: Another effective tool that blends curation and social media. Scoop.it community registers millions of users, giving curated content outstandig visibility.
The tool has a free and paid version. Both versions send you daily updates on topics you follow. The paid version comes with extra features. It costs $11/month.
#UGC and curation
UGC is the new mantra for branding. Customers trust brand reviews from complete strangers more than paid efforts.
UGC and curation go hand in hand. If your product is high-quality, then users will be generous enough to give you positive reviews. You don’t have to create content for your brand. Content will be created by your customers.
See the infographic below:
The infographic shows user generated reviews are especially helpful for small businesses in the fashion circuit.
Even though UGC is important, if your site is crowded with such content, then there won’t be enough space to feature the products and important notifications. Hence, you need to encourage customers to generate positive reviews for your brand elsewhere and then curate those reviews on your site. This way, you could select the most favorable UGC and curate them.
The benefits of UGC curation are endless. In the form of short-duration multimedia content, curated UGC can inspire other shoppers to buy from you. Besides, curated UGC saves a visitor’s time as it offers him only relevant info and doesn’t cause distraction.
There’s hardly any point in curating content if you have a flawed curation strategy. To set your curation strategy right, follow the seven tips here.