I’m sure you’ve often heard, content is king. But does that mean that you have to write everything you share? There isn’t enough hours in the day for that!
Content marketing’s role in the continued growth and development of your business cannot be overstated. However, unless you are running a news agency, it is unreasonable to expect that you would be producing nearly all of the content you share on a daily basis.
Doing that would not be productive in the greater scheme of things (as it would prevent you from focusing on other critical parts of your operations). It would also be unrealistic to assume that this can even be done in the first place.
Lastly, because creating original content 100% of the time is likely to make you stick to the same, tried and tested types and methods, it creates a bubble that stops you from seeing what other kinds of content you should be producing for your audience.
This is where content curation comes in. Simply put, content curation involves going through relevant content online that would be of interest to your target audience, then making a list of items and corresponding links that you can share with your social media followers.
The benefit of content curation is twofold: Not only does it keep your online presence fresh by giving you new things to share, but it also provides you with some valuable insight on the topics that are worth writing about.
When used right, content curation can give you enough inspiration and ideas for your own content marketing – and perhaps, even provide a solution to any hurdles you might be encountering in providing services for your clients.
Before we continue, though, I’d like to clarify the difference between content curation and content creation, as the two terms are not interchangeable. Content curation involves sharing content from other sources, while content creation is creating and sharing your own content.
Content curation it’s more important to social selling than you think
Content curation in itself provides some crucial benefits to your social selling efforts. Make time for content curation in your marketing strategy, because sharing content actually helps you:
1. Build credibility and trust.
There is a tremendous amount of content online and it’s important for you to know what to share with your followers. With content curation, you can improve your credibility and build trust by only sharing verified information – you must be meticulous when it comes to the things you share online.
Of course, it might be challenging for you to sift through all the fluff and rubbish, just to find the real content gems to share. That’s why we employ content curation tools to make the job easier.
2. Position yourself as an authority in your field.
Content curation can also provide you with the answers to your audience’s most important questions. This will help make you appear to be a true expert at what you do – an industry authority that they can count on.
All you have to do is to learn how to properly choose the content you’ll curate and share. Mastering this simple skill will greatly enhance your reputation.
3. Maintain consumers’ top-of-mind awareness for more effective social selling.
With content curation, you’ll always have something to share with your followers. Thus, they’ll always be seeing you in their newsfeeds. By providing them with valuable answers to the problems they face, you’ll become the top-of-mind option for them.
With the right mix of visibility, activity, and credibility, your relationships with your customers will ultimately become stronger and more profitable.
4. Build and grow your sales pipeline.
Of course, when you can fulfill a need or provide useful answers to your target audience’s problems, you are actually helping them to move further along the buyer’s journey, effectively increasing your sales pipeline.
Over time, with consistent sharing of valuable curated content, you’ll see a community grow and include people who share your values and vision — people whom you won’t have a hard time in convincing to convert.
How to increase the results of your content curation
The next question is: With curated content, how can your strategy make you stand out, given that Google has already indexed over 30 trillion web pages to date? How do you shine among the rest, despite such an overwhelming number? Here are a few tips:
1. Add your own perspective.
Don’t just take existing content out there and share it as is. Put some effort into it by personalizing it. You may simply add quotes or insights from within the curated content, or preferably you can share your perspective on the piece of content you’re sharing.
2. Engage with your audience – ask questions, respond to comments, and show them your brand’s human side.
It’s also not enough to just keep sharing links to articles with your audience. That’s like starting a conversation without bothering to continue it. Ask them questions so that you can better understand what they think or feel about certain topics that are relevant to you, and respond to their answers to show them that their opinions and input matter to you.
Content curation mostly involves sharing other people’s content, sure, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get creative to have it better suit your needs.
3. Make sure to have a CTA in place.
Sharing curated content without a proper call to action (CTA) is a missed opportunity to get your audience to take a particular action. Your call to action may be as simple as asking them to comment, to share or to take some other action. People are more likely to take action when you tell them specifically the action you want them to take.
7 tools for effective content curation
Earlier, I mentioned why we employ content curation tools to make the job easier.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite content curation tools
One of my favorite tools, Feedly offers two options when it comes to content curation. You can visit one site at a time, grab the URL, and paste it where you’ll be sharing it. Your other option is news aggregation, which simply involves adding your favorite sources of news to your account. This will enable you to browse these feeds from just one device via Feedly.
Choose your topic of interest and Scoop.it will find the most relevant articles on this topic for you to view and share. It will also suggest complementary topics and other Scoop.it users you can follow. Receive daily email updates of the topics you follow. This tool has both free and paid versions available.
Through Pinterest, you’ll have access to an astounding amount of visual content: including pictures and infographics. Pinterest is easy to use, which means the process of picking out images and saving them for later use is hassle-free.
Using boards, you can organize the content you’ve picked out; you can keep collecting ideas and then choose the best out of all of them later on.
With Facebook’s “Saved links” feature, it has become a useful content curation tool as well. It also helps that a considerable chunk of online users are on Facebook, which means being on the social networking site helps you get a better feel of what your target audience is looking for. This knowledge can subsequently guide you in curating content.
Owler is a business insights platform that delivers curated content about your industry straight to your inbox. You may choose from its three offerings, depending on which suits your needs best: the bite-sized Instant Insights, a day’s worth of content compiled as a Daily Snapshot, and the week’s best presented under Weekly Showdown.
6. Google Alerts
No content curation tools list is complete without Google Alerts. This tool allows you to set up multiple alerts about anything from your brand, industry, competitors, giving you a glimpse of the conversations happening about your chosen keyword/s and who’s talking about them.
Google Alerts will send you notifications via email whenever it’s able to match an alert you’ve set. You can also set multiple alerts to keep track of more than a single topic at a given time.
Last but not the least is Curata, an online tool that creates content lists for you based on what it finds on blogs throughout the internet. With Curata, you can look at each piece of curated content and pick out the ones you want to share.
Think of it as an assistant that takes the time-consuming work of looking through blog after blog off your shoulders. Pretty useful, isn’t it?
Activities for Content Curation in the Social Sellers Toolbox
Here’s a quick list of other ways you can make the content curation process faster and more efficient.
- Focus on the news/information from social accounts that’s relevant to your ideal clients.
- Have alerts set up (on the aforementioned Google Alerts and Owler tools) for the companies you want to do business with.
- Read and respond to trigger events on companies/prospects you’re interested in.
- Interact or engage with your network of decision makers for the companies you want to work with by liking, commenting on, or sharing their social media updates.
- Share relevant third party content to your prospects (scan key trade publications in their industry, industry blogs and thought leaders).
- Have an RSS stream set up (like Feedly) with relevant content, and use a scheduler to post several things throughout the day (basically, content dripping).
- Pay attention to the comments others make on your posts and turn those comments into new connections.
Now that the significance of content curation is clear, it’s time to put it into practice and apply it in your social selling strategies. Do your content curation properly, and you’ll enjoy a strong following, a solid reputation, and a steady publishing schedule of unique content that’s relevant to your target audience.