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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
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.

Getting Started with Content Curation

In this episode we’ll talk about getting started with content curation. Specifically, let’s say you’re just getting started and you really want to have success right away with content curation be it if you’re just getting started with content marketing, or you’re a seasoned content marketer. I’ll share with you some tips right now so that you can have the most success if you’re just getting started with content curation.

Setting Your Goals

So, let’s start with the first thing. In any form of digital marketing or any marketing whatsoever, you should start with your goals. With curation there’s a couple goals that you can really realize, I should say, and that’s probably not the way to say that, but you should be able to realize with curation. The first one is authority. If you get known as finding good stuff on a consistent basis and helping your target market gain clarity or your niche gain clarity, you will build authority. Authority is one of those things that’s built over time and it’s trust.

Authority is Built Overtime and Content Curation Builds Authority

Really, that’s what it is. Authority is I trust you to have some kind of knowledge in a market; that I look to you as a leader. So, curation works really good for that because as you hone your ability to curate and as other people realize that in your market they will trust you. In a way, and this is what you really hope for, you want them to rely upon your curated content, rely upon your ability to find stuff that they need to know about. 

If you look at the example of, and this is the drudge report, I use this example every now and then, really that the drudge report has the ability to set the story, be it culturally or politically, on any given day. That’s a lot of power and just simply by creating the top story can create what people talk about, what news organizations talk about and what, really, sometimes the internet talks about. That authority is something that you want to think about for your market or for your niche.

Curation Captures Traffic You Wouldn’t Ordinarily Have

The other thing that curation does I should say, is it allows you to get traffic that you wouldn’t ordinarily have. A way to think about this is we’re typically told to go out there and curate and in curation we’re gonna build authority because we’re gonna be sharing stuff on Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin or wherever else. Through doing that we’re gonna get authority, but we’re sending traffic to someone else. With curation specifically in the type of curation that we talk a lot about on this show where you curate stuff on a platform that you own, that you can monetize right away; that garners traffic.

Now, I’m not saying you should do this every single time, but that’s another benefit of getting started with content curation. Oftentimes, we see this a lot, a lot of people have a following in social media, but when they put curation on top of that, specifically in a platform that they own, they get the opportunity to monetize right away so their permission channels, their email lists, their social following goes up.

Getting Started With Content Curation Also Creates Awareness

Also, and this happens a lot, if you have a product or an idea or something else that really just needs awareness, people just need to be aware of it; when you curate stuff that can create awareness. I’ll give you a good example just from –I could probably give examples that I don’t have permission of from people that have bought curation traffic, but from our own stuff we curate a lot of stuff around content marketing because people that are interested in content marketing would be interested in curation because curation is a form of content marketing. So, we don’t just curate stuff on curation, we curate stuff on content marketing.

That does really well for us because what happens is that people are interested in that topic and then, that gains awareness for our curation platform. So, that’s an example of the same thing you could do in your market. It’s about traffic. The traffic that we generate not only grows our permission channels, but it actually grows our awareness and our sales cycle, and this is something you would know for your own business or your awareness cycle, is typically anywhere from 10-30 days of someone being aware of our platform that would be interested in it for purchase. So, that’s an example of using kind of the awareness traffic strategy in curation.

What Types of Content Will Your Target Market Care About?

The next thing is think about what type of things does your target market care about? What type of things are they interested in? When you’re getting started with curation it’s no good to curate stuff that no one cares about. So, really dive deep and think what challenges, what interests does my target market, does the niche that I want to garner traffic and awareness and attention from; what do they care about?

You can usually find this because there are usually people that are leaders already, thought leaders in your market. There is already specific, maybe, periodicals that discuss this stuff. So you can find this information already. This will help you really get started on the right foot because when you’re finding the stuff that people have already said, ‘Hey, that’s popular. I’m interested in this.’ Then, you at least know the type of stuff that you need to start curating about.

Is Curation a Long Term Strategy?

The next thing is realize, in some ways, curation is a long term strategy. Now, this will depend on each individual. I’ve experienced people that have put curation on top of what they’re already doing and it instantly has paid off. I remember one person recently emailed us and said, ‘Look, I just got your product and it already has created a hundred visits a day.’

So, it depends on where you’re at in your marketing, but that is something that pays off. Some people, if they have the platform already; they have an existing blog and website and following it pays off right away. But, it pays off more and more the longer you do it because the longer you do it the more trust and authority you build, the more that people will come back and keep coming back.

A lot of times what we suggest is that when you curate stuff you want to build in a way for people to subscribe to those curations. So we do something on a lot of our curated platforms where we connect our RSS feed of our curations to our email service and then every fourth or eighth curation that we do, an automatic email goes out. I was amazed one day.

I looked at the open rates and that. Some of our lists have an open rate of 50-60% on those emails and then, every now and then, we get to communicate with them via broadcast or a special offer we send out. That’s a great way and it’s grown over time. At first, that list didn’t open as much, but I noticed it grew over time and that’s because we consistently curate good stuff. We consistently are building authority.

It Also Helps in Permission Marketing

That’s another reason why when we send out, and this is the full circle of the strategy, when we notice that, we then every now and then would send out a broadcast email to that list and the open rates were the same because they were used to getting this value from our emails. I kind of deviate a little bit about it being a long-term strategy, but it’s something that I tell people all the time, with curation, that it’s a great strategy if you have an existing base, but it’s even better the more you do it.

So, if you’re just getting started this is a strategy that pays off the longer you do it. If you’ve already got a base, if you’re kind of this seasoned content marketer; yes, you can get results right away. But, the longer you do it the more it pays off as well.

The final thing is figure out… this is kind of an advanced strategy when you’re getting started with curation and sometimes you learn it more when you do it. But figure out when you’re going to curate and how much you’re going to curate.

 

Here’s some questions to ask:

  • What I mean by that is, are you gonna do all your curations first thing in the morning and is it gonna be content from the last couple days or the last day?
  • Or are you going to curate throughout the day and are you going to then, release it throughout the day? How much are you going to do?
  • If you can find five posts, are you gonna curate five?
  • Or are you only gonna curate twice a day?

Really think about that type of stuff and a lot of this happens as you do it, but you should start with some kind of plan.

How Many Times a Day Should You Curate?

For instance, I would suggest most people in most markets what you do is you start curating four times a day. Maybe not four individual times a day, but what I mean is four specific pieces of content a day, because that should take you anywhere from, if you’re using a tool or curation platform that allows this to be quick it should take you under 10 minutes, especially as you get going. Maybe at first it might take 15-20 minutes to consume all the content, to get the good points and to curate it.

But, as it’s all said and done, after some experience; you can do this within less than 10 minutes a day with four curations. I would suggest four because that gives you kind of enough where there’s four individual pieces on a daily basis that, if someone is following you, that’s enough for someone to consume.

If you do one or two I don’t think you’re covering a large enough target or a large enough surface for your target market or your niche that you might capture them. What I mean by that is if you curate two things there’s not that good of a chance that everybody that follows you or stumbles across your curated site or your curations is gonna find something they’re interested in. But, the more that you curate the more opportunity that someone is following you or stumbles across you will find something they’re interested in.

So, four is the minimum and I’d say four to eight is really where the happy medium is. If you’ve got a market that really likes to consume content, you can do as much as 10-15 a day. You just have to be set up for that. So, that’s some other things to think about.

Here’s Another Important Thing– Keeping a Consistent Schedule

The one thing I will mention, when you’re getting started with curation a lot of it is keeping to a consistent schedule. I mean that’s really the backbone of any marketing strategy, especially an inbound marketing strategy. But, if you can keep to a schedule that’s gonna pay off for your time and time again. So when you’re thinking about employing a content curation strategy think how can I keep this schedule? How can I create a schedule that will garner attention for my target market, for my niche and how do I fit that into my day or into my week? How do I ensure that my team can employ that strategy?

Those are some tips on getting started with content curation and that’s all for this episode. I’ll see you in the next episode.

The 5 Laws of Content Curation

The laws of content curation, should you break them and pay the fine or should you stay legal?

Let’s breakdown these really good series of laws on content curation from Steven Rosenbaum:

The First Law: People don’t want more content, they want less. We’re overwhelmed in raw, unfiltered, context-free data. Humans want it to stop.

This first law breaks down the core need of content curation. It’s also the most important law because this is the foundation of any successful content curation plan. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re going after, it could be celebrity gossip or high end electronics, content curation is the art of sifting through all the content and providing  your audience with the gems, the things that really matter.

The Second Law: Curators come in three shapes. There are Curation Experts — people whose background and depth of understanding makes their curatorial choices valid. If you’re looking for medical advice, you want your video viewing curated by a doctor, not a patient. There are Editorial Curators, who manage the voice and the collections of the publications and sites they organize. And there are Passion-Driven Curators, they love their particular area of focus and attention and bring that single-minded focus to every piece of content they touch.

This is really good insight but one thing left unspoken is you can be one or all of these “shape of curators”. If you follow any site or person that curates you probably follow them because they are experts (or have slowly became the expert), they have good editorial chops, and they are passionate. To be all three is when you crate a curation platform that truly shines.

The Third Law: Curation isn’t a hobby, it’s both a profession and a calling. Curators need to be paid to be part of the emerging ecosystem. What’s a fair fee will depend on how critical the curator’s output is in the category. But an economic basis is essential, and inevitable.

This is another really good point. We talk a ton about this on the podcast and it mainly comes down to being consistent. Let’s say you want to learn to play the guitar. To pick up this hobby if you practiced here and there it would take you a quite a while to get to a point you can wow people around the campfire. Mainly because each time you pick up the guitar  you have re-learn what you’ve learned before, it hasn’t sunk in. But if you practiced each and every day you’re success rate in learning goes up drastically. It’s the same with curation or any form of content marketing… it’s about consistency.

The Fourth Law: Curation requires technology and tools to find, filter, and validate content at the speed of the real-time web. Curation can’t simply be a human with a web browser — the mix of man and machine is essential here.

This is a big one. There’s really two types of curation tools. One like ours that makes it easier to curation content and the other that helps you (or attempts to help you) find content to curate. Sure you’ll find tools that combine both but that’s the crux. We haven’t quite reached a point yet where technology beats the curation of a human. I agree with the mix of man and machine, but I’d add one thing. It’s the mix of man, machine, and systems that enable a successful curation strategy.

The Fifth Law: Curation within narrow, focused, high-quality categories will emerge to compete with the mass-media copycats who are filling the curation space with lists, cat videos, and meme links.

This is spot on and is one of the biggest mistakes early curators make. They go too broad with their topics. When starting out curating try to wind down to the most narrow niche you can own. The most narrow niche that it would be virtually impossible for people to beat you within. That is focus. One of the main reasons why I think people don’t do this is because it feels counterintuitive. The thinking is wider topics more people, the reality is wider topics means more of a mixed message, you want a laser focus message for that is what gets people hooked.

Please don’t take my commentary as these “laws” aren’t great, they are. I just wanted to add some of our own thoughts from our experience of successfully using content curation as one of our main traffic getting strategies.

Image courtesy of thevideoink.com

How Does Content Curation Work?

In this episode we talk about how does content curation work? Exactly what is the process that you follow to curate content?

In some ways we all curate given how we share things with social media, share things with our friends, co-workers, and family via email. But today we talk more about employing content curation as an inbound strategy.

There really are 5 core steps to how curation works:

  1. Decide what you want to be known for.
  2. Find your sources
  3. Curate and add commentary
  4. Publish your curated piece of content
  5. Promote

Let’s break down each one of those with a little bit more detail.

Here’s the Details on How Content Curation Works

The first step is decide what you (or your company) should be known for. What type of concepts, ideas, thoughts, and content do you want associated with? What type of things would you target market care about?

This is probably one of the most important steps because when you define what you want to be known for you set the right foundation for curation success.

Finding Sources

We’ve said this before and we will probably say it again. Your sources are gold. You want to be able to consistently find sources that your target market and the people that follow you will appreciate. That means you don’t curate content that everybody else is sharing or curating. We talk a little bit about this in the Horizontal Content Curation
.

We suggest you also set up a listening platform, like the one we describe in Using RSS Feeds with Content Curation.

Curate and Add Commentary

Once you’ve identified  your sources your next step is to find great stuff to share. That’s when you really want to curate and add your own thoughts.

There’s 2 ways of thinking on this. First, you can expand on the original idea or ideas from your curated piece of content. The other option is to back up your reason or share you reason for curating this particular piece of content. You might even use both of these strategies on one curation but generally your doing one or the other.

Publish Your Curated Content

This part is important and we talk a little bit about it in the episode. The main point I would bring up here is it’s important that you own the platform. Without owning the platform the the question of “How Does Content Curation Work” breaks down a bit.

That’s because curation in my mind only works when you can monetize right away. Sure there’s an aspect of building authority and trust but ultimately I like strategies (and marketing) where I can monetize the traffic and attention immediately. The post I reference above has more information on this concept.

Promote

It’s not just enough to find, curate, and publish. Your next step is to consistently promote your curated site and your curations. This is really where the traffic opportunity comes into play. First there is the immediate benefit of sharing your curations but if you take a long term approach something else happens as well.

People will start to follow your curated site and content. That’s where the authority and trust comes into play. But if you don’t promote on a ongoing basis then the strategy of curation really will never pay off. Ultimately you have to get people to see your stuff so you can gain awareness, grow your permission channels or create sales.

Ultimately following these steps is how content curation works. That’s all for a recap but we cover all these topics in much more detail in today’s episode.

Should You Curate Content From Your Competition?

I’ve often read that it’s a good idea to curate content from the competitors within your market. The advice given is that it’s a critical part of being a “good curator”.

Is it right? Here’s my up front position based on many years of marketing and a few years curating…

Most of the time curating content from your competition is the wrong answer. But I would add it’s a market-specific question with a market-specific answer. Let me explain a bit.

I can tell you that we don’t.

Blasphemy, you say. You’re committing a new media sin, it’s a free flow of ideas, content, etc.

What is Role of Your Content Marketing?

Ask yourself, what is the role of your content marketing, specifically curation? Is it to educate your market or convert leads? I hope it’s to convert leads. Sure, education gains trust and authority, but educating your market can be one of the most expensive and time-consuming activities in marketing.

The same funnel exists for your product, solution, or idea.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited a website for a product or service we were considering (one in which I didn’t know much about the market) only to find a comparison chart to others in their market.

Maybe this is effective and maybe I’m not the typical buyer, but more times than not I’ve discovered others in the market that I wasn’t aware of. Even worse, I actually chose an alternative because I found a feature or something more appealing.

Without that chart I would have dug deeper into their options, their features and how their product could be our solution.

I think this same path can and does exist with content curation.

Help Your Prospects (Visitors) See How Your Product Or Service Will Help Them

Sure, you say, buyers today are more informed, they search things out, they weigh their options. Look at it this way…

When you test drive a car does the salesperson say, “Hey, turn in here at this other dealership, let’s see what deals they have”? No, they want you to fall in love with their car and they want to keep you there as long as possible. Sure they know you’re shopping, but while they have you they don’t talk about other brands, unless it specifically comes up as a concern.

You might say that’s not fair, it’s not how the world works today. Except now more than ever, people are pressed for time and in most cases solutions can be pretty interchangeable. So why not help them see how your solution is exactly what they need.

Here’s an Example of How It Didn’t Help a CompanyFor instance, we use Zendesk for our support management. We knew of Zendesk but when we landed on a competitor’s website they compared their product to 3 others (including Zendesk). We added those others to the list and remembered to loop around to Zendesk. This took us on a path away from their solution. Actually, I don’t even remember the name of that other company (if I did I would have mentioned it above).

If we hadn’t seen that comparison chart we would have spent more time learning how we could have made their system work for us. Isn’t that what they really would have rather wanted? I think so.

So I go back to some of our curation efforts. Why would we curate content from competitors when we believe we have the single best curation platform for WordPress.

Why would we send people away to waste time and effort when they have the single best option right in front of them? Why do I want people to consider another option when I really want them to figure out how our product can fit into their marketing goals?

The Bigger Person Argument

competition curation pepsi vs cokeYou could say, curating ideas and content on your competitors makes you the bigger person/company (brand). I’m not saying we’ve never done it but that doesn’t pass the test either. Have you ever seen Coca-Cola praise Pepsi? What about Red Bull versus Monster? Is Monster going to start sharing and talking about the latest outrageous Red Bull stunt? Why would they? What would they gain?

Curated content can detract from your marketing goals when it gives an option to your market that sends them in another direction – especially one where they weren’t aware of it before. I’m under the assumption that you operate like we do, that is your product, service or idea is the single best option for your market.

You’ll see this in action at our curated site (Curating Content). Look at the curations deeply – you’ll notice few of them come from other curation tools or services. They are usually bloggers, writers and other sources who are sharing and giving tips on curation.

Sure they have something to sell, but it’s not a direct competition to our core offers on that site. Once again this is such a market-specific thing. For some markets there’s no risk or even second thoughts about this frictionless sharing among competitors.

But I think if we got real for most markets is something you have to consider if it redirects the attention and path to purchase.

Are we completely off base here?

Rowers image from flickr user crabchick.

Funnel image from cambodia4kidsorg

Pepsi vs Coke image from Sean Loyless

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).

To get notified the instant that post comes out you can subscribe via email below. You’ll also be the first to be notified on our up and coming webinars and special curation tips we only share with members or people on our email lists.

valuable unique content image courtesy of 10ch

Content Curation Tools -(Podcast)

Content Curation Tools

Selecting your tools can be tricky.

Selecting your tools can be tricky.

Today we’ll talk about Content Curation Tools.

Say that you’ve actually said hey content Curation is a strategy I want to employ for myself or my business.   Now I just need to know what kinds of tools exist. What are your options for Content Curation? That is what we will talk about today.

Well this is a subject we know a lot about because we created a tool called Curation Traffic and why we created that tool is we couldn’t find something that was push-button simple.

We have deep experience with Content Curation tools and when we talk about tools that there’s a couple things to keep in mind will talk about at a high level going to detail.

There is so that is really two buckets of tools :

  • Hosted Platforms – your curating content is hosted by them it’s on their platform and I it’s not something you can easily control
  • Owning the Platforms – this is a platform you control and you own the leads, can monetize the traffic and you decide which tools run your curation strategy

Hosted Platforms  Curating-Social-Sharing

In essence you could say that Facebook is a great Curation tool it allows you to build an audience and easily add content there and build trust with them. The challenge with Facebook is that you can’t really control your monetization.

If you think about it, there is other things trying to get your audience’s attention their, Facebook has its own ads as well, so when you look at the value of and monetizing engaging people on Facebook as a Curation platform you get so many mixed messages how can you really monetize with that? And that to me is really the essence of Content Curation. You’re doing this for a purpose.

Most people want to spread their brand, their idea, their business, their products or they want to build a separate niche site to monetize.

Now you could say that those social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram are Curation platforms  but

I want to talk more specifically about a popular tool out there, a tool we like to use called Scoop.it.

 

Scoop.it is a Hosted Platform:

  • Hosted Platform (You Do Not Own It)
  • Limited Monetization Options
  • Limited Design Elements

I created a podcast called the Defining New Media and I started the podcast because I was new to podcasting on a hosted platform and that allowed me to get up and get up and running like within 10 min.

I had a site. I had all the feed set-up, iTunes set-up, all I did was upload a logo, Small Description and all that was left to release my show, was just to upload a blog post in the MP3 and everything worked.

Everything was hunky dory until three or four months down the road.

I decided I wanted to actually begin monetizing as I was starting to have more success and see an increase in subscribers, But it became a huge challenge to monetize.

Owning the Platforms

It doesn't need to be the one in the subway though.

It doesn’t need to be the one in the subway though.

I really didn’t have total control of the stuff I was creating and that was a huge problem for me to take and tackle.

What I had created and transferred over from Defining New Media to a platform that I controlled was independence. So I can actually monetize and set it up as my original intent was at conception and run my owned ads and set-up shop as I wanted to.

Why I wanted to set it up and in the lesson I would take that is the same way with Content Curation.

You can get started on these Curation tools and they provide the ability for free to going airing user tools and another benefit is that it has a community sometimes the you can easily reach additional people but the challenge is your building something on someone else’s platform.

On Your own platform you have the ability to craft and design your own messaging and evolve your messaging to develop and grow with your market.

Content Discovery Tools

The Secret Sauce Behind Content Discovery is You, as a person, we have yet to find a machine that can help us find great stuff you should be sharing. A lot of this is great stuff that isn’t always directly relatable to your marketing niche quite directly.

Examples often rise in the form of marketing storytelling and it is often one of the most powerful things you can do.

So a lot of times we curate stuff around storytelling that is from writing or from writing in websites, on writing about certain characters around character development and plot development and related to how you can employ this in marketing that’s an important aspect. I don’t know any content discovery tool that allows me to like say and we tested them all to say I want to build a subset of writing type of websites and related to marketing that the human that’s the best thinking that the human element brings. So we use a series of RSS feeds newsletter feeds different tools so that we can be kind of the curator and that’s our content discovery week, Re: self-selected our sources so and I as say this because we’ve been curating seriously one I mean seriously all of our clients curate all of our clients use our platform in a series other platforms but we’ve been curating and using it as a strategy ongoing for the last couple years and we tested just about any listening platform out there and we’ve yet to find one that that saves us time above us just creating a series of really simple systems that we tap into that allow you to curate quickly but this so that we cover in our training but that it’s I guess I am on sharing that here in the curate and tools because that’s one of the benefits that constantly comes up with the tools.

it’s also another reason why Curation Traffic, We have not built a listening platform or content discovery tools into our platform because we teach effective Content Curation and it’s very hard I think to create a discovery platform that allows you to do effective Content Curation we are just not Parroting the market. Thus finding great stuff and commenting on it with depth and resourcefulness and length will be rewarded. Look outside the box and what is trending and popular is often the opposite of what you should be spending your time curating. Look at tools that allow you to own the platform for your tools and develop a great readership of newsletters and filters and RSS that is quick and easily available for you to digest and turn into great curated content.

Content Curation: Advocates, Influencers and Relevance

 

 

The benefits of curation go way beyond just driving traffic and conversions. Often some of the best things you discover as you curate is greater insight into your market. That’s talked about in the piece here that we highlight. Specifically as a brand knowing your audience is key.

We see this often with new curators. It happens slowly at first but after a bit of time they become more in tune with the market. They start to see trends, opportunities, and make connections like never before.

The post that follows dives in a little deeper giving some great examples of how this actually does play out:

The success ofFlipboard, Paper.li and Scoop.it can be attributed to topic filtering and content aggregation. With the recent Linkedin acquisition of RSS visualizer Pulse.me for $90MM visual content access has never been hotter. Tumblr which was recently purchased for a massive $1.1B is in may ways a curation platform. Combining the social graph of friends’ Facebook and Twitter connections to determine what content is trending and advance interface design the renaissance of intelligent content consumption is on.The overall success of social news generation depends heavily on quality content creation and brands are doing every thing to leverage content marketing as the new ad wooing customers to engage.