Expert Panel: Josh Druck, Gary C. Bizzo, and Jason Falls
Inspired by the term “curator”, typically used in reference to managers of galleries and museums, “content curation” is the act of tactfully collecting and sharing relevant pieces of content related to a niche area or discipline. In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg said that content shared digitally would only double on a yearly basis. It is this trend that marks the real importance of good content curation.
In this series of interviews with experts, we focus on how you can keep your content curation tactics effective and current. But first, here’s an introduction to the experts who’ve weighed in with their thoughts and views on the subject.
Josh Druck is Marketing Operations Manager at Sidecar, an eCommerce advertising technology for data-driven retailers. He is focused on digital behaviors which lead to digital actions, AKA conversion rate optimization. From spearheading inbound demand to managing marketing automation, he aligns marketing with sales and ensures quality output from all digital properties.
Gary C. Bizzo is Founder/Partner at Kickstart Ventures Inc, a full-support community for entrepreneurs and start-ups. He’s been a Business Coach and International Mentor to over 1000 entrepreneurs, leaders and investors. He’s a published author and has been referred to as one of the 17 masters of Marketing & PR and an incredible resource for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Jason Falls is Senior Vice President for Digital Strategy at Elasticity, an innovative content marketing, digital marketing, and public relations firm. He is the author of two books, has spoken in six countries and on three continents on the topics of digital marketing. He’s also the founder of SocialMediaExplorer.com and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL).
Q1. What are some of the benefits of sharing curated content on social?
Josh: “Content Marketing is hard. It sounded so simple when I first started. You dash off a couple blog posts, your prospects read it, you get their contact info, and POOF! your sales team has warm leads. My experience has been different. Generating content is time consuming and expensive. But curated content is much faster to create than original content and it has the ability to soar above the content overload.
The benefit of sharing curated content on social is its ability to extend the reach of the content beyond your own audience. When curated content is done well, it’s super-valuable to your readers and flattering to the featured experts. Be sure to mention the publishers and authors of this content when sharing on social (at the company and individual level). You can even give them a heads up before you promote their content and ask them to join in the sharing themselves. They’re usually excited to be a featured expert and happy to share your content with their own loyal fan base.”
Gary: “Twitter allows you to search content based on keywords but using DrumUp‘s curated method, relevant content based on numerous keywords are given to you daily. This saves me a lot of time sourcing material to share with my 1/2 million followers. The problem I find with typical searches is that you need to check the content to see if it valuable and not full of advertising. DrumUp does that for me, making sure I have not only volume of content but material that is vetted already.”
Jason: “Sharing other people’s content is the single-most effective way to build credibility and trust on the social web. If you take the time to discover and share something that is good but has no ultimate, direct benefit to you, then you subconsciously communicate to your followers, “I am generous with my time to ensure you can find good content without putting forth the effort.” It may be little, but it has a big impact.”
Q2. What are 3 content curation best practices you would recommend for social media marketers?
Best Practice #1: “Use content curation tools to see which content will resonate most with your audience. Just like Google, there are tools that act as content search engines. All you have to do is type a phrase (or link) into them, and they will show you a list of content from around the web. Many tools have smart searches, so what you’re seeing has already been vetted for quality and is being shared on social more than any other posts around your topic. Find a good tool like that and you have content curation at its best.”
Best Practice #2: “Use headshots/images of the experts/authors you are featuring where possible. When you curate content, it means that you think that content is the best of the best, which is flattering to those content creators. Give your readers a face to associate with the advice they’re getting. It makes the content more human.”
BestPractice #3: “Review all of your curated content and keep an eye out for influencers with a larger audience than yours. Don’t just skim the content and don’t just choose anybody’s content. Look for links to your competitors (you don’t want those in your curated content). Make sure the content you are curating is the best out there. This will ensure your audience trusts your curation methods. If your audience doesn’t believe that your curation of the “best guides on SEO” is a good list actually containing the best SEO content out there, they’re not going to give it a second look and you lose all credibility as a thought leader. Also, finding experts with a large audience enables you to grow and build awareness and credibility with a larger population.”
Best Practice #1: “Share content relevant to your brand.”
Best Practice #2: “Share quality information from respected sources.”
BestPractice #3: “Don’t be afraid to Tweet your content several times over the day and over several days, most people will only see it once. 7am, 11am 3pm and 7pm are good times to schedule Tweets.”
Best Practice #1: “Like any communications effort, you have to define your audience. Know what kind of content they will value.”
Best Practice #2: “Set up mechanisms like RSS or email subscriptions to the content engines that produce that type of content so you get notified when there’s something new there.”
BestPractice #3: “Share as frequently and as generously as your time permits. Over time, with consistency, this will build trust from your followers in you.”
Q3. What are your top 2 tips to help social media marketers balance content creation and content curation?
Tip #1: “25% of your content should be curated, 10% of your content should be syndicated, and 65% of your content should be created from scratch.”
Tip #2: “Don’t be afraid to mix original and curated content together. Add a bit of context to your curated content. Often this can be achieved with an intro paragraph detailing why this content has been curated.”
Tip #1: “When I write a blog post, I try to find relevant content to support my post or at least to support my theme.”
Tip #2: “You can wear yourself out trying to keep up to a posting schedule so it’s often better to take older posts and repost them. It is likely people will not have seen your first post so to them it will be ‘new’. Again, curate posts around it to add credence and relativity.”
Tip #1: “The ratio on what you should share of others’ content before sharing your own varies by audience, by brand, by subject matter … it’s almost not worth throwing out a general number because no one will truly know other than you as you test over time. You’ve got to test that ratio for yourself over time.”
Tip #2: “I’ve found that if I share one piece of my own content for every 5-10 pieces of someone else’s, it seems to work. Because I’m a content producer/thought leader-type, my own content links get 3-4 times more clicks than my shares. If I share my own content more frequently, though, that percentage drops a little, which is a signal that my audience may think I’m being too promotional. Don’t share only your own content, try to maintain a mix of your own content and someone else’s.”