Content Curation is Required to Feed the Ever-Hungry Social Media Beast
There are a few givens in life such as dying and paying taxes. In marketing, givens include social media and the need to feed its insatiable thirst for relevant, high-quality content.
These facts have emphasized the need for content curation. What follows is a detailed description of how eBiz ROI curates a steady stream of relevant, high-quality content.
The 80/20 Rule of Content
A good rule of thumb when sharing content online, is what we call the 80/20 rule of content which means sharing other’s content 80% of the time and sharing your own the remaining 20%.
There are two great reasons to adopt this approach:
- Creating content, especially high-quality, differentiated content, requires a significant investment.
- Readers overwhelmingly trust third-party content over content published by vendors, often interpreted by readers as advertising.
Business Buyers Use Content in Vendor Selection but Distrust Content produced by Vendors.
The findings of a recent CMO Council revealed 88% of 400 business buyers believe online content plays a major to moderate role in vendor selection, yet just 9% of respondents think of vendors as trusted sources of content.
Weave Your Story with Others Content
Unless you are a publisher focused 100% on content creation, content curation is a required tool in your digital marketing toolbox. Savvy marketers share content from trusted industry authorities, weaving a story to help them make their case.
The good news is that there has never been more high-quality content available to share. Read on to learn how to find it consistently and efficiently.
5 Proven Content Curation Techniques
The key is honing in on the signal (quality, relevant content) through all the noise (useless, self-promoting dribble) efficiently and effectively.
#1 – Curating Content with Twitter Lists
Twitter is one of the best tools for content curation. The challenge comes when the number of twitter users followed becomes large, such as more than 1000.
Given the large number of relevant, high quality profiles to follow, profile organization on Twitter is a must for content curation.
That’s where Twitter lists come in. @eBizROI has a number of twitter lists that we have constructed over time to enable us to filter our tweet stream based on topic areas relevant to our followers, including:
- Email Marketing,
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization),
- Social Media Mavens,
- Marketing Analytics,
- Internet Marketing News,
- WordPress just to name a few.
Twitter lists help users organize the Twitter profiles into topic areas. Lists can be used to expedite content curation. By way of example, see our Internet Marketing News Twitter list (click image below to goto list).
Twitter lists you create should be centered around your brand. Use curated content to creates awareness and bolster your brand. Share content from established industry authorities to establish your brands authority.
If you don’t have time to create your own lists, why not subscribe to public Twitter lists from trusted brands? For example, all of the lists listed above are public and available for any twitter users to subscribe to. Brands by Mashable is a list that we subscribe to follow companies tweeting deals and news.
The other nice thing about using lists is that you can add a profile to a list without having to follow that profile. This is beneficial if you are bumping up against follower limits based imposed by Twitter but want to follower key influencers in your niche.
#2 – Curating Content with RSS Feeds
RSS sands for Real Simple Syndication and is a popular way for users to track new content, especially blog posts, in one place, through their RSS Feed reader.
The approach to using RSS is to subscribe to RSS feeds through an RSS Feed reader. Google Reader used to be a popular feed reader, but was retired last year. There are a number of good RSS Feed readers to choose from if you Google “RSS Reader”.
I am old school with respect to how I manage RSS feeds using Microsoft Live Mail as my feed reader application. Microsoft Windows Live Mail comes free on Windows. I also like the fact that Live Mai allows me to store messages, which is how Live Mail has becomes our searchable curation database over time.
As of this post, we have nearly 72,000 topically relevant articles to search, though because in social media, freshness matters, we generally sort by date and start with last in posts first.
Another benefit of RSS feeds is that you don’t have to divulge your email address or clog your inbox with a ton of extra data. Just subscribe to get ready access to the latest content from sources that you have vetted and trust.
Regardless of the RSS reader you use in aggregating curated content, RSS is a great mechanism to track what’s going on in your industry, once you have compiled a list of relevant sources that support RSS.
If you would like to have instant access to this carefully curated list of Digital Marketing RSS Feeds in the screen capture below, then read on!
eBiz ROI Readers Bonus: For those curating Digital Marketing content, here is the same feed list via OPML file, that eBiz ROI uses to curate content for our social networks.
This list took years to create and contains over 1000 active feeds on Digital Marketing and related topics. As a readers bonus, we are providing here as a free download which readers can download, then import into your OPML compatible RSS feed reader.
Here’s how to import an OPML file into bloglines, one of the popular RSS aggregators.
#3 -Curating Content with Email Newsletter Subscriptions
Email is a great way to discover new content at the point it is released. If you already have trouble managing your inbox, you might want to proceed with caution on this tactic.
For eBiz ROI, we subscribe via email only to the top industry sources that warrant that tighter level of monitoring than RSS.
The great thing about email is that we all read it anyway. Using email to subscribe to top content curation sources allows subscribers to build content curation into their existing workflow to create efficiencies.
#4 – Curating Content with Content Aggregator Websites
Top minds in virtually any industry today are online and sharing and voting on the value of content. Many are familiar with the expression that “cream rises to the top.”
The key from a content curation perspective is finding relevant niche sites with a high-quality content, with an active community engaged in crowdsourcing and ranking content. The best ones incorporate voting on content quality and relevancy.
For example, on of our favorite relevant industry crowdsourced sites, inbound.org is a great curation source for Digital Marketers, albeit in primarily a peer context.
Anytime I need an article related to Digital Marketing to share on one of our social channels, I can quickly see what is trending in the digital marketing niche and find something of value that has been submitted, then vetted by the inbound marketing community. It’s a hard system to game.
A key factor when curating content is differentiating between customer and peer personas. Some content sources may be more appropriate as peer-focused such as inbound.org in this example, as opposed to end-user focused. This is why it’s critical to know your audience and map them to content curation sources.
The core of curated content should be focused on and relevant to your customer as opposed to your peers. Just because it’s interesting to you, it may pass right by customers, and eventually, erode your market following due to lack of relevancy.
#5 – Curating Content with Buffer Suggested Posts
Buffer is our social scheduling and sharing tool of choice. The Buffer blog is also a great source of relevant, high-quality content for the digital marketing niche.
In addition, Buffer has a great feature to assist with content curation called suggested posts.
Though usually the mechanism used when there isn’t time to use sources 1-4 above, we have found that Buffer’s Suggested Posts are usually on topic and of high quality.
This new Buffer suggested post feature is a great feature and is available in the freemium version of the Buffer social sharing platform.
When stretched for time, it’s possible to add Buffer Suggestions to directly the Buffer queue for scheduling. Just because you are busy, it doesn’t mean the social sharing has to stop.
Though this post and certain examples are focused on Digital Marketing content curation, readers can feel free to substitute Digital Marketing with <your industry> and the methods described here will equally apply.
Share Your Own Content Curation Tools, Tips & Techniques
The five content curation techniques above have served eBiz ROI and its clients well for efficient and effective content curation efforts, but are far from an exhaustive list. I have found that content curation is more of an art than a science.
What content curation tools have you used to support your efforts? There are many other techniques and best practices to share. Please share yours in the comments below.