Sharing those posts and memes on social media is a great way to get the conversation going. However, a half-a-dozen posts doesn’t go very far. That’s where curated content comes in.
Sharing curated content validates the content you created in your marketing article. Curated content is sharing information that someone else wrote. It may come from one or more sources and would be of interest to your readers.
I enjoy using curated content. It’s interesting to read other’s views. It’s fun to do a quick review and add my thoughts. It can also be quite engaging.
Communications in a crisis
Based on experiences of the past few months, there is nothing like a pandemic to force businesses to change. Smart businesses didn’t stop marketing. However, they did have to make major changes.
One of the first messages I shared with prospects and clients was a curated post on what not to do in a crisis.
Here’s what not to do…
Did you see the post from Spirit Airlines? In early March, Spirit Airlines sent a promotional email with the subject line, “The perfect time to treat yourself? Right this minute,” the email went on… ”never been a better time to fly.”
Frontier Airlines also sent out a blunder at the same time. “Book with confidence. Increased flexibility! Change/cancel fee waived for bookings through March 31.”
Both emails have hurt the brands’ reputation despite apologies. These were pre-scheduled automatic sends. No-one turned them off.
And then there was the company promoting you to buy their luxury pajamas since you had to stay home. This, when millions were without income.
Then came one coronavirus sale after another. Things people needed, like groceries and cleaning goods, weren’t on sale…they weren’t even on the shelves.
More commonly those sales had nothing to do with anything that could help the situation of the recipient.
They were the wrong message at the wrong time and they felt that way to those who received them.
Why use curation?
I’ve used curated content in my work for over two decades. Industry curation for a monthly newspaper column. Technical curation in my classroom to offer students cutting edge information. Marketing curation to share with clients and colleagues. Social curation to validate and expand my reach.
Regardless of the message you want to share, curation can bring in new ideas, topics for discussion, and brand credibility.
The secret to using curation
What many people miss is that curation isn’t just a review or a reiteration. It’s adding your viewpoint and value to what you found to share.
When you share curated information, it is less self-promotional. Instead, you are becoming part of a conversation, and providing a service to your customers. In a recent study, research showed the importance of offering a mix of curated and created content.
Search engines love articles and posts that have links…to your website or third party sites.
The most recent data I found, (yes, I’m curating,) shows that the sweet spot for created information, that you write yourself and then share socially with links to your website, is 25-50% of the time. This generates the highest conversion rates per post.
The rest of your social posting should be curated.
Industry leaders Hootsuite and Quuu have a slightly different formula that they apply to both articles and social posting:
- ⅓ personal brand promotion via created content.
- ⅓ curated ideas, stories, and resources by industry leaders.
- 1/3 social interactions, conversations, and relationship building.
Marketing thought leaders agree…there is no one right formula for every business. It depends on who you are trying to reach and why. Tracking and testing using analytics are the best way to find the right balance for your business.
3 Techniques for curation
There are many resources to help you find topics that might be of interest to your readers, both free and paid. Newsfeed articles in social forums like LinkedIn, Google Alerts, and e-newsletters are three I have used routinely. Quuu also ranks Flipboard, Twitter Lists, Slack Groups, and RSS feeds as good free resources.
Selecting your content
The first thing to look for is something that fits with the theme of your content calendar topic.
Select something that enhances your content, validating that you know what you’re talking about. Outside validation elevates your status so when you share created content it comes from what readers have experienced as a trusted source.
Look for something that adds an outside voice and variety. Be choosy and make sure the article you curate is a solid quality piece. You are attaching your brand reputation to what you put out there.
Look for an article that adds value to your brand and your message. You want it to open discussions and invite interaction by your followers. You want them to comment, like, and share it to build your brand and spread your message.
Curation writing tips
There are two different approaches to writing curation. One is generating a short social post, the other using it to write a longer article that might live on your website.
Curated Social Post
This curation is written like a social media post. In less than 200 words you share your take on the article and link to it. It is important to have read the full article. Perhaps highlight what you see as the key salient points.
Write the curation, boiling it down. Share the key ideas and your thoughts to fit the word constraints. People love it when you do this. It gives them the option of reading the article you’re referring to, or just getting the gist of it from your post. The worst thing is to be vague, trying to force people to read the article. Then they’re not even sure that you read it yourself!
All this means curated content can be done very quickly. That makes it a great reason to use curation over created content for posting beyond what you/your team can generate.
An article-length curation gives you more room. Instead of under 200 words, it could be closer to a thousand.
This is where you might use more than one resource to include. You’re sharing multiple outside views with links to the original documents.
It too could be repurposed and handled in the way you handled your created article.
Schedule, caption, and post
When you find an article you want to use, it’s a good practice to request permission to share their work. Since most people like the free press, it’s generally not a problem. Get them excited to have their work shared with your audience.
Be sure in social posting to give appropriate credit to the creators. High profile sources and authors listed in hashtags generate buzz for your post. It increases your reach, your engagement, and builds relationships.
Quuu specializes in optimizing captions in a few concise words. They have multiple formulas that they use and recommend mixing them up for variety. In addition to tagging, they recommend summarizing; sharing a benefit, shocking fact or quote; or asking a question.
Curation is a useful tool to augment your created content. It can be completed more quickly and lends well to social sharing. It builds your brand reputation and boosts SEO. Using curated content from known experts in your field associates you with them, and lets your customers know that you know what’s going on in your industry.
If you aren’t currently using curated content…now is the time to start. It’s an important part of your marketing mix.
Need a quick review of your marketing mix – content, curated, and conversations? You can choose this and take advantage of my free 15-minute consultation. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.