I love Wednesdays – the day of the week when I write 2000-word-long blog posts for the DrumUp blog. How can writing 2000 words be fun and not excruciating? The posts usually cover fascinating topics in the social media marketing niche, bringing me new ideas to try as social media marketing experiments. Plus, it’s always deeply satisfying to share my experience with others, such as yourself – and long posts are great for both SEO and website traffic.
Content alone can generate business for you, even if it’s not your original content.
But I’ll be honest with you. I’d have to quit my job and clear my daily schedule to have enough time for writing everyday. Which is why I curate content using DrumUp sometimes instead. That’s a great alternative to content creation.
What’s content curation? Is content curation a good substitute for original content and branded content?
There’s enough content and more in the world today. Content curation is the art of filtering that content to extract the most relevant and valuable pieces to share with your audience.
If you can save your audience some time and entertain them, that’s invaluable. That’s the value of content curation. Any audience who values you will buy from you.
What’s relevant? Well, that depends on two factors – your niche and the members of your target audience.
You could also make your life simpler by curating industry content by setting up industry keywords and RSS feeds on a content curation app such as DrumUp.
Here’s an anecdote that beautifully defines relevance. It’s a story narrated by Sadhguru, a self realized mystic from India.
Once, a man fell into a sewage pit in an abandoned corner of his village. Imagine being cloaked by shit, from your toes to your neck. The image and odor of shit alone is enough to depress and disgust me. The man, however, remained calm and began to yell, “Fire, fire!” A passerby who heard the man’s shouts began to echo them in alarm. Soon, the whole village, anxious, had gathered around the pit with water and dirt, ready to put off the fire. Seeing no fire and only the man inside the pit, one of the villagers asked, puzzled, “Why did you yell fire?” He replied, “Well, if I had yelled shit, shit, instead, would you have come?”
What’s relevant depends on your target audience and their characteristics. What drives them to wake up in the morning? What frightens them? What makes them crack up?
If your target audience enjoys jokes, share jokes. But share good jokes, not lame ones.
Curate content can help you achieve social media marketing goals, if it’s the right content that you’re sharing.
So, can you survive only on curated content?
No, because curated content has different benefits from original content. Based on what you’re trying to achieve, you should create the right ratio of original and curated content.
Curated content vs original content for social media marketing
The benefits of using curated content –
- You can get high-quality, relevant content at low cost and time investment
- Meet content demands without stretching your budget
- Increase audience engagement by sharing great content, regularly
- Catch the attention of bloggers, influencers and executives whose content you share
The benefits of using original or branded content –
- Generate inbound traffic to your website using your URLs
- Establish your brand on social media and other digital platforms
- Generate leads via gated content such as webinars and eBooks
How to use curated content in your social media marketing
Content curation isn’t a new concept. It’s always been a part of human existence. The only difference is that we now have an official term or name for the concept – “content curation”.
Radio stations have always curated music, news and content – they rarely create their own. Yet thousands or sometimes millions of people faithfully tune in to their favorite music stations on a regular basis. These days people “subscribe” to YouTube channels and Podcasts.
The key to successful content curation
There are so many ways to curate content, but unfortunately, most content curated by people appears bleh. It’s one-dimensional, boring and plain. That’s because the social media manager in question is only concerned about saving time and effort. The result? “Check this out” posts and “Great post” posts. These posts are harmless but also hold no real value.
When researching content curation, here’s one of the definitions that you are bound to find.
“Content curation differs greatly from content marketing. Content curation doesn’t involve the creation of new content”.
This is a recipe for disaster.
If you simply curate content without a strategy or premise, here’s how your social media page will appear – Dead.
The key to successful content curation is how well you present it. If curated content doesn’t include new information, it’s an echo or noise. Curated content is only interesting when it includes your point of view.
What do you want to be known for? As a curator?
Even as a content curator, you need a brand. What’s the point of curating content if no one asks who you are? If no one has a clue who they’re following.
Curate content with that unique quality that only you have – your voice. If you’re curating content for a brand, ensure that you stick to the brand’s voice.
Types of content you can curate for your brand
Only because it’s content curation, you can work with any kind of content. Literally. So the question you need to ask yourself is what’s relevant to my brand and audience? Yes, we’re back to relevance.
Curate content only if it fits. Into what? Your brand’s voice and your audience’s interests.
So, what types of content can you curate for your brand? Well, here goes.
1. Curate studies and statistics directly on social media posts – build trust with prospects in your social media audience
Brands typically use statistics and studies only on blog posts. A powerful statistic or study on your social media post put in the right context is an excellent example of content curation. This is true especially because stats and studies build trust and credibility, and can convey complex concepts in simple terms.
Which stats or studies to use?
- The latest research on something relevant to your industry. For example, you could say ‘Just out: 78% of Twitter Users tweet from mobiles”.
- A study that is in favor of your product or services.
- Statistics that your target audience should care about. For instance, if your audience is made of social media marketers, share stats about which posts perform best on social media.Here’s a neat example of a stat shared on a social media post.
2. Curate examples and other information on screenshots – engage customers, prospects, partners and influencers with real value
If you observe top performing blog posts, you’ll see that they have things in common. These posts usually have unique insights, attractive visuals and illustrate concepts instead of just describe them. On social media platforms, where shorter posts are preferred, you don’t have room to create comprehensive content. You can overcome this hurdle by taking screenshots of whatever it is that you want to share.
What should you capture on screenshots?
- Marketing blog and social posts are all about giving your audience value through how to’s, guides, tips and strategists. When writing such blog or social media posts, it’s important to show not tell. What better way to show than through screenshots?
Giving fashion advice on how to dress? Screenshot the social media posts of well-dressed social media influencers and celebrities.
Explaining how small businesses should market on social media? Screenshot examples of how other businesses are doing it.
- Want to talk about an issue or event that is very relevant to your work? Screenshot the original comment, annotate it and only then use your words.
3. Curate breaking news and trends with newsjacking – create a positive brand perception and increase brand reach
Newsjacking is when you attach your opinions and inputs to the latest news and reshare it to attract attention for your business. Have you noticed how many popular news websites, tabloids and gossip blogs are always carrying the same news and trends? They never claim copyright because they’re not reporting original content. They’re using the same sources or simply referencing each other. For example, websites such as Business Insider and Fast Company sometimes refer to news announced by agencies such as CNN and Fox.
How do you curate news for newsjacking?
- Setup the RSS feeds of original sources that typically break news in your niche on DrumUp. Once you have, you can browse through all sources in one dashboard conveniently, from your desktop, laptop or mobile device.
As soon as you see some news that you can use in your marketing, add the working titles to your blog or social media ideas list. If you’re working with a team of inhouse or freelance writers, you could benefit from using an app such as Trello where you can manage writers and projects. So once you have title ideas or concepts from DrumUp, add them to Trello.
- Next, set up keywords related to your niche on the tool. DrumUp’s smart NLP algorithm scans through tons of sources online and suggests the most relevant hits from the best websites.
Share these posts with hashtags and @mentions suggested by DrumUp to increase reach and build relationships.
4. Curate influencer content and opinions on roundup posts – build relationships with influencers and their social media audience
Roundups are collections of links or excerpts of posts focused on a particular topic. Many social media marketers limit themselves to running only one type of roundups – expert interviews. You could also try weekly compilations, lists, expert roundups, top or best of and content roundups. For some of those types of roundups, you can have automated content curation channels setup to simplify your work.
How do you curate content for influencer roundups?
- Create Twitter lists for different topics in your niche and add the most popular influencers in each category to those lists. Visit those lists daily and engage with influencers’ tweets. Retweet the ones most relevant to your business with original comments.
- Develop relationships with influencer and convert your social media conversations into email conversations and then phone conversations when possible. Contact influencers occasionally to feature their opinions on hot topics in blog posts, podcasts, videos or comments/social media posts.
- Set up RSS feeds on DrumUp of influencer’s personal/business blogs to follow and share the content they create. You could also subscribe to their newsletters.
5. Curate Facebook or Instagram photos that are on-brand and engaging – grow your following without creating any content
Many Facebook and Instagram pages grow their following by simply reposting great content. Instagram page Future Bikini grew their massive following of 200K + followers in less than one year simply by curating (reposting) beautiful photographs of women. The key when curating content this way is to build a brand that is unique to your page. People should recognize your page as the one that reposts the best of a specific type of content.
How to curate photos, memes or GIFs for Facebook or Instagram?
- Decide what you want your page to stand for. Hilarious memes? Inspirational content? Energetic and vibrant design? Witty humor? Before you curate content for any purpose, it’s critical to set your brand values or characteristics in stone.
- Once you have decided on your brand values, you can use content curation strategies mentioned above to find relevant content. You could monitor certain pages or content creators who typically publish great content.
- When reposting content, properly attribute credit to the content creators and provide links back to the original content.
The most hardworking marketing manager is rarely the most successful. To meet your social media marketing goals, you need to invest in the right activities. Content curation is one such activity that can help you save time and achieve your social media marketing goals. What experiences have you had with content curation? If you are facing challenges implementing content curation, comment below and let us know, so we can have experts answer your questions.