Tag Archives: thought leader

Content aggregation vs content curation: How to compare?

One of the biggest questions we get is the difference between aggregation and content curation. A recent post from smartmediatips talks about the difference between content aggregation vs curation. While it’s important to understand the difference there’s a much more powerful idea to point out.

What if you could combine the two–both curation and aggregation? A really good example of this type of combination is TechMeme. If you’ve ever visited the site you see right away that they’ve curated the tops stories. Then below the main story they’ve highlighted there is an aggregation of the same topic or news. Very powerful stuff and something I think is worth striving for.

There are a lot of differences between Content Curation and Content Aggregation. Content curation is the new trend nowadays but it should be done correctly and properly in order to deliver real advantages, brand awareness and thought leadership.

Let’s have a look to the main differences to understand when content curation begins to be the right tactic as opposed to content aggregation that is taking place from ages.

This post was easily curated with the Curation Traffic Plugin.

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

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.

8 Tips for Content Curation Success

So we saw this post on Hootsuite about content curation. It has great advice and we wanted to add to it a bit. Mainly from what we’ve’ seen that works and converts with content curation. Let’s start with the first tip:

1. Identify your topic(s)

This is one of the most important things in curation. Identify what you want your audience to remember about you or your company. For most people finding the right topics isn’t all that tough but it should be something you should sit down and plan out a bit.

2. Follow the key voices

I think this is a good tip with one major exception. You should follow the key thought leaders and voices in your market but I would think twice about sharing or parroting what they are putting out int he marketplace. Here’s a little bit more of our thinking on this… should you curate from your competitors.

3. Curate content from a variety of sources

This is a must. One of the biggest mistakes people make in curating is always going to the same well of content. Ultimately that doesn’t add any value and eventually makes your curating stale.That’s also why we suggest you create a series of listening platforms. That way you are always finding new sources (sometimes not even related to your market or niche).

4. Add your own commentary

While I agree adding commentary is important sometimes it isn’t necessary. I like to use Digg.com as an example. If you had a destination site like Digg for your market or niche I would consider that a win.That’s not to say commentary isn’t important it is but it’s not always necessary to succeed with curation.

5. Retitle everything you curate

I agree here but the reality of most curation is this isn’t done. It’s also tough to do because often the title is a good headline. The challenge I have with both this point and the last one is you can be wildly successful with curation while not adding commentary and using the same title.

6. Quote short excerpts only

I agree 100% here. The question many people have is what is short? That depends but I can say we see a ton of curated websites and most people have a good judgement where this comes into play.Our tool Curation Traffic actually is built for short form curation and we encourage short excerpts.

7. Credit and link to the original source

Huge and should be done not only on curation but for ideas. Most curation tools, ours included attribute the original source automatically.

8. Encourage sharing

I’d go even beyond the word encourage. I think it should be one of your core traffic getting strategies. That’s why we built the sharing process right into the post process. We knew that the best way for us to get traffic to our curated platforms was to share it.Overall these 8 tips are very good and Pawan in the link below provides spot on advice, visit below to see hist breakdown of each one of these tips.

Image courtesy of hootsuite.com

6 Strategies to Execute Content Marketing

However, some brands have found ways to reliably produce content and feed the content beast. Heres a look at six ways to make content marketing sustainable as well as the pros and cons of each approach. Hiring a Dedicated Content Creator Many brands have a full-time content strategist or a team of content creators whose main responsibility is to create content and repurpose thought leadership from senior employees on a regular basis.

1. Hiring a Dedicated Content Creator

2. Crowdsourcing Internally

3. Outsourcing Externally

4. Collecting User Generated Content

5. Licensing Content

6. Curating Other People’s Content

I’ll use this post to launch into a few more ideas. It’s clearly focused on large organizations or brands but what if your an individual or a small company?

It might not be possible to hire a dedicated content writer but the best alternative is to put it into the calendar and make it happen. That’s the biggest secret we’ve seen to effective content marketing.

Now crowdsourcing, with a small team or even solo you can still make this happen, you’ll just have to use a tool or a series of tools. I suggest you start with a tool like SocialMention.

Number 6 is also a standout. If you have had any trouble put into play a content marketing strategy I suggest you start with curation. It’s lightweight, easy to execute and allows you to test the waters of content marketing. Of course, we have a good tool that allows you to easily curate content.

Image courtesy of boston.com

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

Thoughts on… The flawed perception on curation

If you follow curation for any length of time you’ll come across discussions amongst educators. These discussions range from librarians to thought leaders working out how curation fits within the modern educational environment. It’s a great discussion and something we talk more about in our book Content Curation Success.

One such conversation recently was from Zef at Yellow Sequoia. What I found interesting was the take on the role of an educator and how this plays into curation.

In today’s connected classrooms, students have access to all the world’s content. Standing up in the front of the classroom and talking is not a relevant teaching method anymore. Educators need to facilitate not teach; and curation is an important skill to enable facilitation.

I think this is a good way to look at curation. Often we talk about being the authority or the expert but what if you are the facilitator for your target market? While functionally the process of curation remains the same, this shift to a facilitator has the potential to be more powerful. Allowing you to not only gain from the perspective of being a thought leader but also part of your target markets educational process.

Read more below…

Image courtesy of yellowsequoia.com