There’s one question that seems to be nagging content marketers year after year: How do you find the capacity to consistently produce engaging, high quality content?
The work of a marketer is a constant juggle between account management, schmoozing, reporting, social media monitoring and sales – all the while carving out the time to brief, create, edit and publish quality content across various platforms.
And of all of these activities, most of us are pretty fixated on the content creation side of things, because that’s often what attracted us into this crazy industry in the first place. This is also why we get really frustrated when we’re not able to create as much great content as we secretly think we could … if we didn’t have all that other stuff going on.
A study from 2014 showed that 41% of marketing professionals believe their biggest challenge lies in not being able to create enough content. The latest research confirms that finding, showing as many as 54% of content marketers rate their ability to consistently produce content as one of their biggest concerns heading into 2016.
And if that weren’t already enough, the pressure on marketers to create more and more content is increasing. According to CMI, 70% of content marketers are creating more content than they were in the previous year and the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community has found that 77% of marketers plan to increase the amount of content they create over the coming twelve months.
The solution: Do a Kawasaki
Since he first joined Twitter in August 2007 Guy Kawasaki has published more than 150,000 tweets. While these occasionally include his own musings, he’s far more likely to be sharing the awesomeness of others than he is to be offering original content. That’s just shy of 50 tweets a day, and it’s a strategy his 1.5 million followers seem to appreciate.
While we might not be prolific as the Kawasakis of the world, it is entirely possible to consistently find, organise, annotate and share relevant and high quality content, on a specific topic, for a specific audience. And when it’s done right you certainly reap the rewards.
It might be easier than you would expect. After all, if you’ve already done the hard yards to identify your public and what they want from you, you may as well make the most of it. According to research from IMN, here’s what 82% of marketers already dabbling in content curation have figured out.
1. & 2. It costs less & it takes less time.
When Serp IQ conducted a study involving 20,000 keywords and found the average content length of the top ten search results exceeded 2,000 words, the power behind long form content was uncovered once more.
These days long form content is simply best practice, but quality long-form writing is a big investment in terms of both time and money. Articles have to be written, edited, formatted, and published. Now consider how many times do you want (or need) to publish each week. It’s likely that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Luckily, curated content can deliver exactly this with a fraction of the outlay.
3. It delivers results.
There are concerns that curated content may not deliver the same results as original content. This is not, however, borne out by the research, which shows that 50% of marketers acknowledge curated content to have improved metrics such as brand visibility, SEO, website traffic, audience engagement, and even the quality and quantity of sales leads. Curata suggests that a best-in-class marketer will create roughly 65% of their own content and curate an additional 25%, for good reason.
Not seeing enough bang for your buck on the content marketing front? Here’s why: A marketer’s maze: The path to effective content marketing in 2016
4. It enables thought leadership.
By curating your content you are effectively displaying your prowess within a specific niche. By sticking to the confines of a specific topic or range of topics, you are representing yourself as an expert – as an individual or as a brand that is interested and knowledgable within key areas. This is where you can position yourself, creating an all important connection with your audience through shared interests.
5. It builds professional connections.
One major benefit of content curation is its capacity to position you and your brand as an influencer. If you use sources meaningfully within your content, and credit them appropriately, you will often be recognised for this. It turns out you get as much respect for what you find, as you do for what you create. As human beings, and particularly as professionals, we enjoy being acknowledged and appreciated. So if you’re smart about it, curated content provides an excellent in when it comes to cultivating business relationships.
So, what can I curate?
The act of curation simply involves locating content that you believe your audience will be interested in and then delivering it to them. One of the most common ways content curation is used is for social media marketing. Across various social media platforms, curated content has been shown to represent around 47% of all clicks – a stat that is simply too significant to ignore.
But curated content doesn’t, and shouldn’t, only exist on social. You could produce topic guides, as can be seen in the below ultimate guide to creating an ultimate guide.
Dog food clause
Of course, part of the reason we’re so keen on content curation is that we engage in it on a weekly basis here at Filtered Media, and to be entirely frank – we do it because it works (and maybe also because we enjoy spending time looking for fun and interesting stuff to share).
And whether it’s useful lists of information, interesting insights, or random funnies, so long as it’s relevant to your audience it can and should be shared in your name. What is most important is not the form but the angle of the content.
To be an effective content curator you need to find content which is in some way unique, takes a different point of view, or covers an area that has been overlooked. Sure, this could be a cat wearing a wig, or a beautifully produced video. Like all things social, your best guide is your own authenticity.
The fact of the matter
Unfortunately, like everything, content curation has its pitfalls. Many businesses aren’t successful at content curation because they’ve missed out on a fundamentally important detail – it must be entirely clear to web-crawling software that your content is shared not copied.
One of the biggest issues surrounding content curation is that if your curated content looks like plagiarism it will actually inflict a lot of damage in terms of SEO.
So how do you side-step the danger-zone and come out on top?
Here are five quick tips for curating online content like a pro:
- Don’t be redundant
Avoid reusing sources too frequently in order to mitigate any harm to your SEO. Remember, the world is your oyster! While smaller blogs may not carry as much domain authority, broadening your scope will reflect your in-depth understanding of niche areas.
- Stand out from the crowd
I ask myself this question every single time I create a piece of content, but particularly when it’s curated: why does this content matter?
- Context is crucial
If you want to establish yourself as a real thought leader within your field, show off your expertise by contextualising the content you create.
- Ensure you set your hyperlinks to open in new tab or window
This will keep traffic on your site for longer periods of time, rather than losing your readers to featured third parties.
- Don’t go it alone
Take advantage of news aggregators, content discovery tools and subscribe to relevant trade press newsletters for topic ideas.
What was the last piece of content you curated? Let us know in the comments section below.