Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
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A huge number of marketers are starting to embrace content marketing: it was reported that almost 70% of Australian marketers were expected to increase their content marketing budgets this year.
This is partially due to the rise in demand from online audiences: it is clear that readers online expect businesses today to create more and more content to fulfil a variety of their needs.
The problem is, today’s inbound marketing departments face more responsibilities than ever before. Even after making the decision to outsource some elements of content marketing, there is still a tremendous investment of time required to successfully engage in this type of marketing. In North America, for example, nearly 70% of content marketers say that a lack of time is the biggest challenge that they face when it comes to their content marketing.
With the demand for content marketing on the rise and business professionals facing more responsibilities than ever, how can today’s marketers consistently meet their audience’s increasing demand for content?
A significant portion of the answer lies in content curation. Content curation refers to the process of finding and sharing articles, blog posts, or news stories that are relevant to an inbound marketer’s target demographic. Content curation can and should be a critical component of your organisation’s online marketing plan, because of the significant impact that it can have on your strategy as a whole.
Why Content Curation?
Content curation is valuable because it alleviates some of the time investment that content marketing requires. With some estimates suggesting that marketers make posts on certain social networks like Twitter as often as five times a day, it can be a challenge for busy marketing departments to find the time to create and share enough content to keep their campaigns running successfully. Just creating a single blog post, for example, can take several days, depending on the topic and the complexity of the planned content.
Content curation is valuable because it still provides your audience with relevant, helpful content but does not require nearly as much effort as it does to create new content on your own. However, it’s important to remember that content curation requires much more than just the ability to click a few buttons on your favourite blog posts: you must take an active, thoughtful approach to your curation if you want it to be helpful to your marketing efforts.
Best Practices for Effective Content Curation
To be truly successful with content curation, there are a few important things to understand about how to properly handle the task. When done properly, curation can be a valuable part of your content marketing strategy that helps you establish your position as an expert in your field and provides some of the latest news to your audience of prospective customers.
Here are a few concepts to remember when you pursue content marketing:
- Choose the right sources: ideally you will be able to identify a couple of consistent sources that you can take a majority of your curation content from. This will save you time and allow you to make sure that you provide valuable content for your audience. For example, for inbound marketers the HubSpot blog is always a reliable source of interesting, well researched content that a relevant audience will find helpful.
- Add something of your own to your curation: while it is important that you share the right content with your audience, you should also add something to your curation. You don’t need to write a long addition: even just adding a question or a few sentences with the content that you share will help you add your own personal touch to your curated content. Another way you could do this is to create an infographic from existing data, or even just an image with a key quote overlaid on it.
- Be mindful of a theme: ideally, your content curation efforts should be contributing to an overall theme that your company wants to convey to its audience. For example, if you were marketing for a network security company, you might decide to curate stories that let your audience members know about security breaches or other stories that highlight the importance of having a secure network. Sticking to a fairly narrow theme will separate you from the mass of generalist voices out there and make your curated content resonate more with your niche audience.
- Alignment with original content: it’s important that the content you curate is aligned with the original content that your organisation produces. While it doesn’t have to be exactly the same kind of information, you should be certain that the content your company curates has a similar message or overall theme when compared to the content you create.
Curation and Your Marketing Strategy
Remember that while curation is an important element of your overall marketing strategy, it is just that: a single element. Curation needs to fit into the larger part of your strategy in order for it to be as effective as possible.
Like any other part of marketing, it will require some time and effort to get it right. Be sure to experiment sufficiently with your plan for curation and it will be much easier for you to implement this technique as a part of your overall inbound marketing strategy to bring more visitors to your web site and increase your close rate.
Are you curating content now? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.