Tag Archives: creating content

Measuring Holistic Metrics Behind ROI in Content Marketing

One of the biggest topics around the virtual watercooler when it comes to content marketing is measuring ROI. I’ll expand on that a bit here in this post but first I wanted to showcase some key ideas from a post at WYZOwl.com:

Content marketing sure is in fashion at the moment. But lots of people are, perhaps understandably, reluctant to follow fashion for fashion’s sake.

The good news is that there are obvious things that you can measure. You can use analytics programs to understand where your traffic comes from – meaning you can measure content-driven inbounds, evaluate which particular pieces are creating interest and driving traffic, and understanding how customers behave once on your website.

The full value of content is much more sophisticated and difficult to calculate than this. Principally, this is because content has other, holistic benefits which can’t really be quantified – it builds familiarity, relationship and trust among your audience, which can’t be defined numerically. Via wyzowl.com

In a nutshell the holistic value of content marketing is what I’ve found to be the biggest payoff.

Look at it this way. Let’s say you are interested in doing business with someone. Naturally you go to their website to do research. What looks better? A straight up sales/corporate site or a sales/corporate site that’s full of fresh ideas, content, even… curation.

Measuring the effect of a fully living and breathing website is tough to do. Sure you can ask a prospect how much your content or a full site played into their decision but often these are micro-decisions. These micro decisions act more as check marks as someone goes out and does research on you or your company.

So How Do You Measure These Holistic Metrics?

Here’s 2 ways we’ve found to be effective:

After a sales call or purchase provide the customer/prospect with a survey. Craft the survey in such a way where you can gain insight if your design or your content played a role in their purchase decision.

If you talk to your prospects or customers (which is always a plus) then ask them if they visited your website. If so, what sections. Did they see something that caught their eye?

In most of these responses you’re looking for indications that you’ve built trust or it moved the customer closer to seeing you as a solution or a reliable source of knowledge.

With a survey it’s easy to document and track. With a live phone call you just have to ensure that you do track these responses and you look for trends. Using these results in combination with your analytic solution should give you a good overview if your content plan is aligned with your target audience.

Image courtesy wyzowl.com

3 Tips to Boost Your Content Curation and Content Marketing

Okay… this graphic and story here really does hit home. The main point here is that content curation is some ways helps all other aspects of content creation. We see this firsthand especially with someone just getting started with content marketing.

Usually they start slow with curation but once they get the hang of it they then start to see opportunities to create content.

All this is backed up by…

Creating original content is resource intensive and while some companies that have all the copywriting resources they need (that’s an exception not the rule) it makes sense to curate content in addition to publishing original articles and media. Curation is the cornerstone of being useful on the social web by finding, filtering and adding insight to content online and sharing with social networks. Qualitative curation over time helps associate the topics being curated with the company or person doing the curating.

The article also dives in a little bit more on what, where, and how with your curating.

1. Sources of News to Curate

2. Types of Content to Curate

3. Where to Publish Curated Content

Here’s our thoughts:

Source of News

Create a series of listening platforms. This is easy to do with very minimal effort. You could create a series of RSS feeds. You could create a series of social media search around keywords in your industry. You could create google alerts and curate content as it’s emailed to you. You could check out our Ultimate List of Trending and Real Time Websites. The possibilities are really endless.

Types of Content to Curate

Everything. Seriously try it all and see how it works in your market. Curate videos from YouTube, Vimeo, other video sites. Curate infographics, simple graphics, and unique graphics. Curate gifs (and try GFYs). Curate long form content. Curate short form content. Curate a story or event. Curate the latest ground breaking concepts in  your market. When it comes to curation you need to try just about everything. See what works. See what generates clicks, views, and conversions.

Where to Publish Curated Content

One unbreakable rule here. You must own the platform. After that then  you want to publish curated content to as many sources as you possibly can. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumbrl, Pinterest, and any other network where you can expand your reach.

This article is a good primer on curation, especially if your new to the term or the concept, check it out…

Content Curation for Real Estate & the Real Estate Professional

On today’s show we’ll talk about how a real estate agent, Realtor® or a real estate professional can use content curation in their own marketing.

Below is the transcript to the audio above. We do try to clean up the transcript so it’s easier to read but sometimes it’s a little tough bringing the spoken word to a easy to read format.

Here’s what we cover in today’s show:

  • The truth behind content curation and how it plays a role in your own content marketing as a real estate professional
  • The type of stuff that you should be curating
  • How to find stuff you curate
  • How to measure success
  • What are some success factors you should look at and whether or not the time that you are spending in curating is real worthwhile,
  • Plus much more…

Before we jump right in let me share a little bit about my background. I used to own a company called Minnesota rent or own here in Minnesota, we used to buy properties and sell them on a rent or own, we also then became a full blown property management company.

What I found during that process is that I didn’t really enjoy the real estate side as much as I enjoy the marketing side, it’s kind of where we are at today but I still keep in tune because I’ve got a lot of friends here locally that are real estate agents, they ask me for a for a lot of advice on how to market especially with content marketing and that’s a good wat into getting started talking about how to use content curation as a real estate professional

Social Media and Content Curation

One of the things that I’ve seen and talked about in the real estate industry is that you should be participating in social media which I agree with to some extent you should be and you should also be blogging, you should be doing content marketing.

I think that’s true to an extent, it’s also why I like content curation because you can participate in content marketing in a very light weight way and it allows you to do something that I think is drastically important because I actually had a friend the other day that asked me ‘Scott look I think you are doing a really good job with your content, I wish I could do as good as that, I’m spending 1 or 2 hours a day here writing a blog post and it seems to be working, I’m getting traffic but it’s not getting leads, it’s not generating emails, how long do I have to do this before I start seeing results?’

That is where I kind of said that this is one of my first questions to him was ‘Is creating a blog post once a day the single most important thing you can be doing in your business to be generating revenue?’

Let’s First Talk About Writing and Creating Content

His first answer was no, in fact I probably shouldn’t even be doing this and whatever, I think it was some kind of outbound calls or something, I’m not sure exactly what he said but he did say something specific and I think that’s the case for a lot of real estate professionals and I think one of the issues is that a real estate professional at least a lot of them I’ve met seem to be the type of individual that likes to be out and about, they like sales, they like people.

I’m not saying to write you don’t have to like people but I think writing especially a blog post, in some ways you have to be kind of a born writer but you have to also learn to write and if you haven’t spent the process, the time to learn quickly and efficiently there’s better things you can be doing with your time, that’s really what it comes down to because I think the other inherent challenge with real estate is that especially now with the changing, the way people are staying in their homes longer, I know this is different per market but people seem to be staying in their homes longer because of the economy and housing prices and uncertainty and everything else right?

The time from someone actually becoming a lead or someone aware that you are a real estate professional and actually needing your service could be years.

So you have to be of mind on a consistent basis, you have to be providing value on a consistent basis and that’s hard to do with content marketing if you are not kind of natural into it and if you haven’t worked it in so that you are highly efficient with it, it’s also why I said I like curation because let’s say you take that same amount to…

Double Your Content in Half the Time

You can curate 3 to 6 things that your target market, that the people in your farm area or whatever that maybe would care about in the time it would take you to write half of the post, that’s what I found, that’s why content curation at its core…

I believe every real estate agent has the ability to participate in content marketing,

I think the first step in doing that is content curation. I’m not just saying that because we created a curation platform.

I’m really saying that because at the core you are most valuable when you are doing the other activities for generating leads building relationships. It’s great to have that basis of content marketing but until you’ve honed the skill of highly efficient content writing it’s rarely worth it.

I typically say go make more money and hire it out. Or find a way that you can efficiently do it and have it edited because a lot of times what hangs people up is editing and finding the right image and all the other stuff that goes along with content marketing.

If you’ve tried content marketing as a real estate agent you’d know how that is, so that’s why I like content curation.

Goals of Curating

What are you trying to do as a real estate professional with your content? Ideally you should be building the biggest list possible.

You want the list in tow different ways, you want the list of email addresses that you can communicate to on a moment’s notice. You also want to build a direct mail list.

You want two core lists, you want an email list and then you want to find a way that you can actually get peoples address because if you can get people’s addresses you can start directing mail marketing to them and that’s one of the most effective ways to market to someone even in today’s day and age especially as a real estate agent.

So those are the two core things that I will focus as our goals, now that’s where curation kind of plays this kind of role, it help you on the content marketing side, it also helps you on the social side because what you can do.

Sources for Real Estate Curation

I’ll use my local area because I know it well, there’s a local news paper and I should know the name of the local news paper, it’s a local news paper that has an online edition as well, we have two news papers, I don’t know how long that’s going to last here, we have the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

startribune.com1030Then we have a series of other kind of like niche news papers out there that all have online sections as well. Now these are things that the farm area that I live in that I would target as a real estate agent, these are things that they would be highly interested in, it covers their local topics, it talks about local politics, local things that are happening, the local cities to local crime stories and all that stuff, all the above.

Those would be my sources for content curation, I’m sure it’s the same in your city, big or small, whatever size city you are in.

You have this same type of sources, you can still pull from national stories as well but those are your sources for content curation.

The whole reason to do this is you want o capture the attention of people on a ongoing basis and you want to capture attention so they would come over to a website you control and you own so you can create a lead, so then you can build a relationship with them via email or direct mail.

Then they will eventually think of you when they need a real estate transaction or when their friend does.

If you are doing a really good job they’ll think of you when anybody needs a real estate transaction. That’s really the goal and what ensures that happens is consistently curating content.

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I’ll bring it out kind of the full picture. If you’re consistently curating content on an ongoing basis where you become the source of what is happening in the local farm area. Covering things people are really interested and would check out often– eventually you’ll get them on one of your lists.

This is where social does play or you’ll get them on a permission channel which really social media is just another media channel for you to utilize, you’ll get them on the permission channels social media but it’s all driven by you actually consistently creating content, 2 to 5 things a day all form local news sources adding your own spin to it.

It’s really that simple to be complicated, I could try to complicate it I guess you could say but there’s no reason to.

Should You Create Content?

I think that every real estate agent can do content marketing.

You still have to ask if you’re efficient in writing, editing, publishing and all that other stuff. if you are not highly efficient I would start with content curation because the other thing content curation would do for you is teach you to be a better writer.

As you curate consistently everyday or 5 days a week for 3 months, you will be much more efficient at blogging and being a content writer. What I found is that people that curate especially real estate agents that curate start injecting their own post here and there.

They get more comfortable with the whole process, these are even with people that have tried and failed utterly in the past. They start curating because its like anything else in your business eventually becomes a habit. Content marketing is a habit and curation is one of the best ways to form that habit. It’s also one of the most highly effective ways, so you’re a real estate agent that’s the way I look at it and how do you measure success.

How Do You Measure Success?

The way that you want o measure success is like anything else, there’s a couple of what I consider KPIs I would suggest you measure your success of content curation. The first one is ‘are you generating traffic to your curated efforts?’ let’s say you are spending 15 minutes a day curating 4 articles a day, are you generating sufficient traffic to those articles?

The next thing is are you getting leads to your permission marketing funnels?

There’s quite a few ways to do this. The common ones are you can give free giveaways, like the standard giveaways of a free house valuation.

I think you have to get more creative in that but that’s an advanced topic beyond this podcast but I think you can get some better offers to actually get their address or to at least get them on the phone to start building your permission marketing funnels because one of the things I don’t believe is I don’t believe content marketing

I’ve yet to see content marketing that creates leads today, so if you’re looking for leads today I’ve got to be upfront.

Content curation, content marketing isn’t the most important thing you need to do but if you want to start building towards the future I would start doing it even if its 10 minutes a day.

You can literally curate content because- think about what I have come and gone over, I mentioned let’s say 7 sources locally here that I would have bookmarked, all I would have to do is spend 5 to 10 minutes which is probably something I would do, I don’t read the local news but let’s say I did, this is something I do regularly anyways and the I just take the additional step of pushing curate and maybe adding a little bit of commentary, I can do that in 10 to 15 minutes and curate 3 to 5 things no problem and be up to speed on what’s happening locally.

What Should I Curate?

Content curation is something that you can work in your daily schedule. In many ways its s a double use of time, especially if you already consume news.

What should I be curating? Should I be talking about the local market? Should I be mentioning the mortgage rates and all stuff like that?

I think that’s good, what I’ve often found is that that stuff is bland unless you have a unique take.

That’s all the more reason why I like content curation because it’s not just me too, you’re not just saying ‘oh look at the latest report by this organization that’s talking about housing prices’ and then you dissecting it, do they really care about that?

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If you can capture attention, put a little spin on it, get them over to a platform that you control and convert them to a lead, that’s what it’s all about, so hopefully that provides a full picture, I know, often times when I talk to friends locally here they usually say well Ok, is that all?

I say yes that’s all, don’t do anything else, don’t over think it, don’t go beyond what we’ve just talked about, literally with curation traffic all you have to do is go to the sources that we talked about and curate it and go to the most important thing you need to do and if you want to participate in content marketing,

If You Do Write Content Get an Editor (but Still Start Curating)

If you haven’t learned this and you’re trying to do content marketing, here is what helps in tremendous amount having an editor, so let’s say you don’t want to completely outsource a content marketing site, having an editor makes it so much better, someone you could send your post to and they are going to edit it is awesome, that’s what you need to get too so if you are considering content marketing and you are not a good editor.

I would highly suggest start with curation, learn the aspects of content m marketing because that’s what curation teaches you and then get enough money so you can get an editor and then start blogging because blogging is a lot easier when you have an editor, I know it first hand, this is something I learned firsthand, I wish I had an editor years ago because it would have just made things a lot easier, a lot times that’s just one of things that slows me down is editing, so that’s another tip to kind of out in your basket there.

How to Easily Curate Content

I should mention Curation Traffic is push button simple WordPress based content curation platform, it means you can be up and curating in seconds, it works on any WordPress site, we also have our own curation traffic themes that we’ve developed as well, so let’s say that you don’t have an existing website but you want to create a curation traffic or a curated website, we have themes that you can use, the plug in allows you to easily carry content from around the web, so it’s a push button simple tool, I think this is of course coming from the source I should say here, full disclaimer, I do think that it’s a tool that just about any real estate professional should have because it allows you to participate in any content marketing and a 5th or a 7th of the time it takes to create a blog post, so that alone makes it a tool that is just highly worthwhile. Well that’s all; I’ll see you in the next episode.

11 Examples of Content Curation in Action from Curation Traffic

Creating Quality and Relevant Content Effeciently

There are so many good things here from this piece by Andy Betts on Search Engine Watch.

Content marketing growth is about evolution, not revolution. There has been no revolution in the content marketing space. People have been publishing content since the days of cavemen carving on cave walls. Clearly, organizations are now becoming more content savvy and consuming media at maximum capacity. However, the key question, challenge, and opportunity for your business doesn’t lie within a tactical, 101, best practice document. The answer lies within the heart of a business, its culture, and how it scales its operation and produces quality and relevant content efficiently.

That’t the key isn’t it. Producing content that is relevant and cost effective.

Curation fits this role almost perfectly but I’ve also noticed a few things with our own content marketing I wanted to share.

In all the years I’ve done content marketing I’ve noticed that content falls within a spectrum of utility and the shiny object. Utility content is when someone is looking or searching for a specific need or want. For instance, we get quite a bit of traffic from people trying to understand how to monetize with content curation. This type of content solves a pain, a need, a  yearning question. 

The shiny object is content that doesn’t answer specific questions but  creates traffic. These are infographics, short quick hit videos, curation to some extent, and non evergreen news. These don’t typically bring someone down the purchase cycle but play a role in awareness.

You need both of these elements to have a successful content plan. So how do you produce both of these with quality and efficiently?

I speak from experience here because I’ve tried to create content just about any way you can think of. The best process I found is:

Know your Audience

This is one of the hardest elements of content marketing. Knowing what to write about and what will capture your audiences attention. I do believe the persona exercises and our own exercise in finding your target market in social media will help. But it comes down to knowing enough so you have empathy with your audience.  You know what they feel, what they desire, what they dream about, and what frustrates them. When you get to this level of understanding creating content becomes less of a challenge.

Know Your Voice

One of the best ways to discover your voice (or your organizations) is to put in writing your beliefs. What do you believe about the business your in? What do you believe about the future? What do you believe about your market? What rules wont you break in your market? What rules will you break? Do these align with what you know about  your audience. Finally is this a unique take in your market?

Create a System that Works For You

This last element is one of the most important. I should mention that you want a system that “works” and by works it should contain elements of measurement. Without measuring your content marketing effort then creating content doesn’t work. So a system is a full cycle system. From ideation, creation, to measurement. The system has to be clear, concise, and effective every step of the way. These concepts could be an individual post and I think I will create one here this week– but let’s cover them at a high level. For all three elements (ideation, creation, and measurement)  you want to measure the time, process, and effort it takes to accomplish each one individually.

You should be able to look at these results and make an assessment if the system you created is effective.

 

5 Reasons Content Marketing Is a Must for Your Next Trade Show

Janise Fryatt wrote a great piece on how event planning and content marketing are a perfect match.

Successful trade show marketers understand the value of both building relationships and providing useful information about how their products solve customer problems.

Here’s the five reasons why content marketing is a must for your next trade show:

1. It builds SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
2. It builds thought leadership, credibility and trust
3. It encourages third-party recommendations
4. It creates leads who are more sales-ready
5. It works year-round

I can’t disagree with any of those. Integrating content marketing with any trade show solves one of the biggest challenges people or brands have when creating content… what type of content should I/we create?

The time leading up to a trade show is usually filled with tons of great ideas on marketing, promotions, and how to reach your target market. Seldom do all these ideas get used in the trade show. Instead of letting those ideas sit on the shelf use them. Create content around them. Get your audience engaged and excited about seeing you at the show. Tell consistent stories leading up to the show that will get people curious and wonder what you have  planned.

Also remember content marketing doesn’t stop during or after the show. You should go into the trade show with the plan to create content during and that will last for months after. While this is a little bit more effort it’s well worth it and usually the content you can capture at trade shows you can’t get anywhere else.

Click the story below get more detail on each of the 5 tips.

[this post took 7.24 minutes to create with the Curation Traffic Plugin]

Image courtesy of cvent.com

3 Big Reasons Why You Should Add Content Curation to Your Marketing Mix

Really good piece from Rachel on the CopyWriterToronto.com. It talks about why you should add curation to  your marketing mix. First let’s start with a great definition:

Curating content is much like putting together an art exhibition. Instead of randomly sharing whatever you think is interesting, you need to think about how it all blends together. In a business sense, you also must consider whether the content will attract your target audience and get them to take the next step in working with you.

The 3 reasons why you should add it to your market mix are:

  1. Produce more content, faster. 
  2. Bring more targeted leads to your website. 
  3. Increase your conversions.

Let’s talk about each one of these individually.

Produce More Content, Faster

This is spot on. Think about this for a second. With content curation you’re adding value to another piece of content. Just like I’m doing here. The original piece of content spurred the idea for me to add the commentary. Through this commentary I’m highlighting not only our ideas here but the ideas of the original content producer. This process alone allows me to produce more content in 1/10th the time it takes… in fact, content curation is the quickest form of content marketing you can do.

Bring More Targeted Leads to Your Website

Another great point. While you should be writing about what you market cares about curation typically ensures you are. I argue that you wouldn’t have found that piece of content if it didn’t resonate somehow with your target market. Because of this your sharing things that directly relate to what your target market cares about. The more content that you have that relates to your target market the more traffic you will create… in the end the web is about eyeballs and getting those eyeballs to see your stuff.

Increase Your Conversions

There’s a few reasons why curation converts. First and foremost it’s because your driving traffic to your own platform. Next, curation is typically shorter form content. This means people consume your content quickly and then start looking around  your site (or they leave). If they stick around this is your opportunity to convert. This last point is one of the biggest surprised we first noticed when we started curating– some of our curations converted better than our own unique content. This fact alone is enough for most people to start curating.

There’s much more in the story below…

 

Image courtesy of copywritertoronto.com

Don’t Forget The Awesome: Curation within Creating Content

There’s so much great about the post we highlight today but let’s start here:

Many create or curate content–but don’t understand the value in developing a strategy that accounts for both. Without creation, there would be no curation.

Before I got serious about using curaiton as a strategy I had been writing (blogging) for a few years. This content I created is the foundation for much of traffic we currently receive. Now when I added curation to the mix our traffic more than tripled.

Another thing happened, my writing and insight became much more precise. I was able to connect the dots on topics quicker than I ever had before. We talk about this side benefit often– curation makes you a much better content producer.

That’s why if you haven’t figured out how to get blogging to work for you start with curation. That’s exactly what we suggest in our Curation Mastery Training and also why the Curation Traffic Plugin has been developed to easily curate and support commentary.

The best curation (and the one that converts really well) is curated content that not only distills content down to it’s raw form but also adds something to it.

Sure you can do lightweight curation (we do that on quite a few sites like on the Best of the Web) but overall curation with context (commentary) typically wins out every single time. The FastCoCreate article also speaks to this:

Instead of just aggregating content, curation requires adding context. Why is this content relevant or interesting to your consumers? How can you tie it back to your brand? It’s not just about tying content back through products, but about incorporating your brand voice to setup the content.

As digital continues to evolve so will the way brands need to approach content marketing. But no matter which new platforms or tools are developed, the importance of creating and curating stock and flow–content that’s both engaging and relevant–still stands.

Spot on advice here and if you have a few minutes dive into the article below:

Image courtesy of fastcocreate.com

content curation king

Is Content Curation King?

 

In this episode we’ll talk about, is content curation king? We’ve heard this – I’ve heard this phrase quite a bit, specifically around content marketing. I see it a lot, is content marketing king, but we’ll talk about is curation king? Or is it the queen, or is it the prince, or is it the peasant. So let’s jump right in.

Subscribe to the Content Curation Show.

What is a King in the Content Marketing Game?

When we think about this, something being king, right? That means it’s the top of the heap. It’s the ultimate ruler. It’s the thing you should really focus on. And a lot of, I guess, when I hear this phrase, especially around content marketing, I always wonder, why do we have to place this strategy above all else? Because increasingly today – and this is something probably that will go beyond curation. 

Be it social, your blog, other content platforms, any other platform that’s is coming up. Mobile, tablets, you know however people want to interact with you, your brand, your company, you have to be to interact with them in those platforms, right?

Content vs Curation

So when we talk about content versus curation and whether one or the other is the king, I think we have to really dial it back a little bit and say that all forms of marketing is in the kingdom so to say. Is in the castle. And is content, the act of creating content to connect with your target market, be it if you are a B2B – business to business marketer, or a B2C – business to consumer marketer, does content play a role? Yes. Because if you are engaging in social media, you can always curate stuff and curate stuff from other sources, but ultimately that’s someone else’s idea, that’s someone else’s product, it’s always better to be able to find ways to connect your product and to curate, to create stuff around your product I should say.

Is Curation on a Higher Level?

So, I don’t think curation is on a higher level. In some forms, curation is kind of like the prince. Not the queen. Cause I don’t know what the queen does. It depends on each dynasty obviously, some queens are more powerful than others. But I think that curation is more like a prince. And what I mean by that is you’ve got content marketing, which is creating content, creating unique content, is really a lot of times the driving source and what really creates authority and creates persuasion with your marketing.

Is Content Curation King?

But when you add curation onto that and let’s say the prince, the prince if you think about it, typically if you’ve got a very strong king that has accomplished a lot, the prince is always trying to find ways that he can live up to the name of the king. Live up to the accomplishments of the king. And that’s really where curation is placed, because curation, in it’s essence is a great strategy if you’re just getting started. It’s a great strategy to capture traffic. It’s a great strategy if you’re a content marketer to add on top of. Especially if you own the platform.

But, it will never, unless you – and I will add a caveat to this – curation will dominate the king, will essentially assassinate the king and become king if you do a really good job of it and you become a platform that is known to curate the best in your market. Then, a lot of times it will become king. You look at the way The Huffington Post got to it’s rise. Now they are obviously focusing a lot on unique content, but a lot of it was curated content, aggregated content.

Curation Platform Examples

Techmeme is another good example, that’s a straight curation platform. They don’t do any unique content. BuzzFeed is another good example. BuzzFeed started just curating stuff and even now they do a lot of curation but they are starting with unique content.

So you can do it but you have to do it in a very focused fashion and so the prince, in some ways, can outshine the king, but that prince better be good and better be ruthless, and eventually that prince will have to adopt the strategies of a king. And I believe if you do look at this – if we want to use this kind of analogy – content creation, when done right with a voice, with authority, with heart, with a why, always will win out above curation, because it’s your own ideas. It’s something people can connect with. It’s an emotional aspect done right.

Ultimately You’re Citing External Sources

Curation, ultimately you’re always pulling from someone else’s source. I still feel, even if you’ve mastered content marketing, you’ve master creation, you’ll notice everybody who has, they still curate. And they still curate on their own platform because it’s more traffic. It’s more eyeballs on their stuff. And in some aspects, when you get known as a content marketer, as a person who can create content I should say, and you put the strategy of curation on top if that, you’ve built authority, ultimately you’re looking for more eyeballs. You’re looking for more traffic. And that’s what curation delivers to you.

So that’s another interesting aspect to this.

So is content curation king? No, I don’t even think its queen. Possibly it’s a prince. I definitely don’t think it’s a peasant. But it’s somewhere in the upper echelons of the court – the king and queen’s court. So it’s somewhere in there.

And I’ll say one other thing, if you’re new to the show, if you’re new to curation, number one if you’re new to content, start with curation. Because it teaches you how to be a good content marketer. So I would suggest start with curation. We have a tool called Curation Traffic that allows you to really easily do that.

Aren’t You Already Doing Curation?

If you are a content marketer, I would suggest add curation to what you are doing if you are not already doing it. You probably already are in social media, but add it on a platform that you own, that you control, that you can monetize right away. That to me takes your audience, your authority and in some ways can double or triple the existing engagement you get right now. So that’s something that I would suggest.

That’s all for this episode. Look you can subscribe to this show in iTunes. You can definitely subscribe on YouTube if you are watching this on YouTube. Or if you are on our website CurationTraffic you can go to the blog section and see all the podcast episodes. You can follow me on Twitter at Scott Scanlon, and you can follow us on – you’ll see all the other social accounts, so that’s all for this episode. I look forward to seeing you on the next show.

How to Pick a Niche for Content Curation

Today we’ll talk about how to select a niche to curate.

Maybe you’re someone who has a product or service or idea and you want to know how to down to a specific niche and actually monetize the strategy.

Another type of person who might ask this question a lot is the someone that wants to start a separate site curating stuff around a specific niche and needs some tips on how to do that.

Hone in Your Target Market

So let’s start by talking about marketing at a high-level view point and why a lot of times the biggest mistake people make when they go out to find their target market is selecting too wide or too big of a target market.

Really the first thing you should do is try to hone that target market to the smallest addressable size you can. Because what that allows you to do is spend your time, your resources, and your focus on being the single best resource for that group of people or for that niche.

For instance, let’s say you want to design a shoe. You really want to figure out what kind of shoe you going to design right but now you want to hone that shoe down to a subset of people first.

Example:

I’m going to design a shoe; it is going to be a sandal with flowers on it.

Then your task is to go find the people that like sandals with flowers on them.

That will help you focus your mind on ideas like, “Maybe I should go to a sea based resort somewhere because that is where people would appreciate that”

And a lot of times what and the basis that I see when I when we do in our consultations in and with our clients is often times their target is much too wide and their messages that they are putting out are too broad focused where what they need to do is hone in their messaging around niches

Now that’s the same way with curation. I saw a site recently that all it reviewed was knobs. Yes knobs. If you have ever seen high-end stereo and audio equipment you will see that there are a lot of knobs to adjust audio settings.

This site reviewed how the actual knob performed and if you have ever touched some of these high-end stereo equipment set-ups you know there is a high class feels, they move in a smooth motion, the whole functionality behind it, the sound they make, if they make any sound.

So all this site did is review knobs. It did not review the overall component itself, it did not review anything else, and it just reviewed how the knob felt, how they turned, some of the challenges with it.

This knob review site is a great example of kind of setting yourself apart but also picking a niche to curate because it’s unique and it’s very focused. You know that angle that someone’s coming from when trying to find information about audio equipment knobs.

But the great thing is that review site actually created buzz because it was so unique. I haven’t checked the site lately but I bet if they wanted to they could expand their offering or at least their curation of reviews because they became known for this one particular thing.

It works the same way for when you’re looking for niche. Trying to start with the smallest addressable size you can. Meaning and we kinda gave an example with the sandals, but if you’re going to curate stuff try to bring it down to each level.

Thinking in Hierarchies

Think about these things as levels are hierarchies. Each market has its own set of categories and subcategories so a lot of times it’s trying to figure out how to get a niche market that you can basically own that you can be the single best resource for.

So that’s really the only secret.  If you’re wondering, “How do I select a niche”. It really is just the process of deciding on what your higher-level hierarchy is and then keep going down, going down, going down, until you find an addressable niche that you can focus on and that you can own.

So Many Choices?

So Many Choices?

That is if you’re looking for a niche. I will say that if you’re looking to market yourself, your product or idea, sometimes going that far into a niche isn’t the smartest thing to do.

It may be a smart thing to do on the marketing side, right, but it’s not the smartest thing to do on the curation side because a lot of times in your niche, the people you’re going after, are interested in a wider swath of topics and if you just subset those topics in Curation you’re missing the larger topics available for your niche.

What I’m basically saying is that if you go to fine within your niche and you curate stuff that is in too fine of detail and that is all that you curate, you run the risk of alienating other people in your niche.

Generally that’s the other common mistake we see and that is for someone who is not looking to monetize their site.

A good example is a let’s say I am looking to curate stuff on trading and there’s different trading styles like scalping, day trading , forex, but it is smartest to focus on just one of those trading styles and each subsets with in that style instead of the entire trading market.

Don’t Forget About Monetization

Also, before picking a niche, think about you sales funnel, think about your monetization strategy.  This is something we always come back to on this show. We talk about monetization and one of the biggest mistakes I see people make with content marketing, curation is content marketing, is they don’t think about monetization first.

They don’t think “What is the path to purchase, how am I going to monetize my efforts”

Where is the monetization from? Is it going to be advertising, is it an email opt-in that I lead into other affiliate offers?

So think about monetization first before you dive into a niche and really spend all the building out a site and effort curating content.

Curation vs Creation – Will Curation Overshadow Your Own Unique Content?

Curation vs Creation— is it a epic battle or the perfect combination for a content marketer?

First, let’s consider the source (us), you can probably guess where we will come down on this argument, after all we’ve built a WordPress curation platform, but I tried to give this question a fair shake.

In addition, we use examples from our own curation efforts, not to push you to those platforms but it’s what we know best, and we’ve made it a mission to understand the art of curation.

Why Would Curation Be Worthwhile When You Consistently Create Unique Content?

First up, you’ll never have all the ideas in your market or niche. So when you add the strategy of content curation then your market (let’s say the people in your market) have greater potential to discover you with ideas and concepts they care about.

For instance, this curated post of an infographic has created tons of email opt-ins and actual conversions for our product. This short info-graphic is something I don’t think we would have ever created or even wanted to create. But I found it interesting and informative and knew a large part of our audience would get it.

With this example (and others I could cite) I would find it hard to argue that you shouldn’t consider adding curation… even if you created your own info-graphics. As an aside, I’ve never really liked info-graphics but here in the next few weeks we  have a few coming out… I’ll let you know how they perform.

The Appetizer for Your Main Course

There’s an argument I’ve heard (and I apologize for not knowing the exact source) it says curation is like an appetizer and your unique content is the main course.

For instance, let’s say you include curated content within a blog where for every original post you’ve curated 3 pieces of short form curation. Now imagine someone who visits your site via a curated article that they found it really informative.

What if as they scan over your site they see the popular posts sidebar widget (these convert well for us). Most likely the content listed there is going to be unique content (or you’ve set it up that way). So this visitor came in with curation (appetizer) and they eventually got to your original content (the meal).

Usually your curated content acts as a “teaser” bringing people to your site. Once there they look around a bit and discover your other curations and unique content.

Ah, But There’s Something More Powerful You Can Do

A four star restaurant isn’t known for its appetizers its known for its world-class meals, your content strategy should be the same. The curations that you serve should highlight the points and perspectives you take in your own unique content. These inline links convert like crazy:

The Inline Call to Action converts like crazy

How do you do this? By adding commentary and linking to your own unique content when it’s highly relevant. Like I said before these types of links convert really well (also another post and video to come).

Here’s another content curation strategy to employ…

You should be curating your own content. That’s right, not only should you be curating content from your market but you should curate your unique content.

Here’s why this makes sense. Let’s say your curating the top thought leaders and ideas in your market. Now throw your own content in the mix. Suddenly your content is on the same level as leaders and other top ideas in your market.

If you’ve heard the saying, “you are the company you keep”– well this is true in the content game as well. What better way to gain authority than to be on the same platform as the greats in your market?

* one note here, this only really makes sense if you’re curating on a separate platform from your original content. You also should curate out to other tools and platforms.

When Will Curation Overshadow Your Unique Content?

When your content sucks. When your content has no heart. When your content doesn’t have a unique perspective and parrots everything else or everyone else in the market. Then it’s just part of the noise. I’ve found even bad writing with a bite converts better than polished writing with zero heart.

Let’s say someone visits your curated platform and they begin scrolling down your main page. As they scan they see headlines and images, they slowly digest and decide if they want to click further. If the content you’ve created has no unique perspective or doesn’t create unique interest then it’s just as likely to get passed over.

The goal is to have your content stick out and be so enticing that when compared to the other curated pieces it creates more clicks than anything else.

But you might say…

“I can’t write or my content isn’t there yet…”

Okay, I get it, your unique content isn’t next level stuff or your simply not creating content. There is hope.

A strange thing will happen the more you curate content. You’ll start to recognize good content from bad, you’ll start to see trends in your market, and as most curators discover they get flashes of great content ideas. Curation creates a seeding ground and a feedback loop for great content ideas.

If you can’t or don’t think you can write the answer is simple– write anyway, writing is something that improves the more you do it.

When Would Curation Be Pointless?

This is usually a market specific answer and one that I will answer in more detail in a post next week. At this time I don’t want to give too much away as I’m still formulating the idea but there are times and things you simply would never want to curate (at least that’s the argument I’ll make). Sorry to tease this (it was originally part of this post but it came in over 1,000 words itself so I broke it off into a unique post).

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valuable unique content image courtesy of 10ch