Are you a startup or a small business with limited resources and time on your side? We all know how important it is to have a content marketing strategy in place that is aligned to your business goals.
However, I’ve struggled doing this and I am still learning. In July and August, I published a couple of blog posts. The next month, the number increased to seven. The following month, i.e. October, I went into hibernation. ZERO posts.
Not that I forgot about what I wanted to do, but I was too caught up in giving excuses about not having time, being busy with my full-time job, taking care of four dogs, headaches, and the list goes on. Beginning of November, I went through a series of articles on content curation. That’s when I realized that all this while, the world of content marketing had given me a wonderful opportunity and I had just overlooked it.
So what do you do, when you’re busy doing all the work for your company? Avoid content altogether? Well, that’s not a possibility, because without content there’s no way you can tell the world what you do. But fear not, content curation is an extremely popular way of keeping your content marketing strategy on track, as long as you keep in mind a few of the following best practices.
1. Choose your theme carefully
Remember, for every business, one of the primary goals is to increase brand awareness. Imagine you own a restaurant, but you end up curating content on shoes. It’s not going to help you, right? Seems pretty obvious, but that’s one mistake that a lot of content marketers are guilty of.
Choose your themes and topics based on your industry, products and services. At the end of the day, you want to inform and educate your readers about their challenges related to what you do.
2. Scour for new, unseen content
Yes, sometimes, the best content can remain buried under heaps of “viral” blog posts and articles. If you rely heavily on curation, you need to bring to the table content that your readers will LOVE to read.
There is nothing that screams “shallow” more than content that is repetitive and adds no significant value. Watch out for the latest industry news and trending articles using tools such as Scoop.it or Storify or even simple Twitter Lists. Other great ways to find valuable content is to fall back on those newsletters and RSS feeds you subscribe to.
Share content that will resonate with your audience—something that addresses their concerns and is unique at the same time. Most importantly, share what YOU want to read. This will make your readers become evangelists for your brand.
3. Use automation to save time
When you use a content curation tool, it allows you to choose which channels (your blog or social media platforms) you want to publish your article to. Use this automation mechanism to your advantage. Integrate this with other social media management software to decide when and where to publish your content.
A great practice to observe when you do this is to space it out over a period of time so that your content has more chances of generating user engagement. It is also important that you keep in mind the optimum number of posts you can make to each social media channel a day.
4. Decide how many times you’re going to post curated content
Ideally, 2-3 times a week is more than enough to look for new content. Give yourself time to read and digest whatever you research. Once you’ve made that into a habit, posting at least 3 curated articles a day is a good number to start with.
If you’re aiming at organic reach, regular posting of content is essential. Sometimes, your post fails to reach your intended audience. Thus, to keep the momentum going and increase chances of reader engagement, posting on a regular basis is always a good idea.
5. Gather insights from your team
If you’re a one-man show like I am, this probably isn’t for you. However, even if you have a small team in place, it’s a great idea to collaborate with colleagues to find out what content they find value in.
This not only gets everyone on board, but also saves you time and effort. Tools such as Buffer can make this collaboration effort between you and your teammates simpler.
6. Tweak those headlines
It’s all done and dusted when you curate a post and tweet the headline of the article automatically. But where does your personality shine through in this? Establish yourself as a thought leader by changing the headline to add context to your post. I’ve made this mistake ‘n’ number of times, and I’ve never seen engagement.
So resist the urge to rush into things, take your time out and tweak the headline every time you post on different social media channels. This is also a great way of A/B testing your headlines for free!
7. Add a little bit of yourself
Granted, content curation is not content creation. So what? A bit of time and effort on your part, to personalize curated content can go a long way in establishing your authority in your industry.
Instead of following the copy-paste method blindly, you can write the introductions to the posts yourself. Play around with the descriptions for each link and add your own visuals to make it more fun. I am not a designer, but I swear by the potential tools such as Canva or Pablo has.
8. Give due credit
There’s nothing more damaging to your company’s reputation than having someone complain you stole their content. Always ensure you share content ethically. This can go a long way in building trust and a healthy relationship with original creators of the articles.
They will be pleased to have you help in their content promotion and in turn they will help spread the word about what you publish.
While the best practices involved in content curation don’t end here, these are a few guidelines to help you get started. When you’re strapped for time and resources, curation is a good way to keep your content marketing system alive.
If you like what read, please share. In case you have anything else to add on, go ahead, the comments section below is all yours.