Content curation has evolved to become one of the most effective ways for brands to bond with their audience online. Through the power of social media sharing and the ability to seamlessly interact with consumers, leads, or simply fans of your company, it’s possible to build a thriving online presence without having to dedicate hours towards generating huge volumes of fresh content alone.
By curating the best and most relevant content for your industry online, it’s possible to generate smarter social engagements, whilst demonstrating your knowledgeability and establishing new connections online.
(Image: BKA Content)
As we can see from the chart above, curated content consists of around 48% of the links that marketers post on social media – with ratios reaching and exceeding 50% for Twitter and LinkedIn respectively.
Such figures demand to be taken seriously across the marketing landscape, and although relevant organic content can be an extremely effective avenue to bolster your SEO performance, sometimes finding and sharing your thoughts on a relevant news story, or repurposing user-generated content on your social channels can make all the world of difference to your engagements, website traffic, and subsequent conversions.
With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look into how content curation has the power to help businesses to generate smarter, more time-effective, social engagements:
Smarter Time Management
Because content curation, by definition, refers to the process of sharing content that isn’t your own, it can make for an excellent time management strategy. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll still have to spend time locating the ideal text, video and audio content to suit both your business and wider audience.
To supplement this, be sure to allocate a time that makes sense for your content organization cycle, and curate all of your content on a recurring basis.
“One of the best things that I do is I curate content in chunks of time,” explains Peg Fitzpatrick, author of The Art of Social Media. “You know you’re going to have to post a certain amount of times per week – if you waited and did that every day, then every day you’re spending so much time finding things.”
Once you’ve allocated your time to pre-scheduling your content for the week ahead, you’ll have effectively freed up more time to better optimize your blend of content moving forward. However, be sure to monitor the performance of your social media content and measure the reception your posts gain from your followers.
Harnessing the Power of Hashtags
The beauty of hashtags, which can be embedded across social media posts on a range of platforms but are heavily used in places like Twitter and Instagram, is that they not only help to make content more discoverable but they can also massively boost engagement among your audience.
In the example above, we can see that Starbucks has not only set up a free offer for its customers, but the company has also strategically used a hashtag to engage directly with an audience that may not be following its Twitter account but instead could be following National Coffee Day in the US. This helps to make content more discoverable, and thus easier for users to engage in.
Hashtagging also works wonders when it comes to discovering new content to curate, too. By discovering and searching through industry-specific hashtags, you can find a wealth of content that’s shareable for curation purposes – helping to set up more efficient levels of audience engagement.
Stay True to Your Curation Principles
The best curated content is discovered and shared based on a set of principles that best serve your business and the audience you have. Be sure to create a set of filters that can allow you to serve only the most effective, engaging and relevant content to your followers. Some marketers may call these principles ‘content standards’ or ‘editorial guidelines.’ They can be specific to your business needs but generally adhere to the following rules:
- Avoid sharing content that’s been produced from direct competitors – as this can help to aid their growth ahead of your own.
- Never opt to curate content that hasn’t been read in full by someone within your organization
- Try to steer clear of sharing politically contentious content. Divisive posts may risk splitting your audience. However, if your company’s target audience largely subscribes to specific ideologies, it may be advantageous to curate content that they may find politically relevant.
Although such measures can seem restrictive to marketers, they can also be liberating in terms of the hits you deliver to your audience.
(Image: CB Insights)
In the example above, we can see the dangers of not adhering to your content curation principles, as British Airways opted to share a marketing post from a direct competitor on Facebook back in 2016.
Always Look for a Unique Touch
Just because you’re sharing content that isn’t your own, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add your own unique and personal touch to it. Whether you’re demonstrating expertise on an emerging industry news story, or adding some humour to a viral video, offering an element of your own personality to your curated content can be a great way of generating greater levels of engagement for your followers.
For instance, your comments can help to summarize the content that you’re sharing. This may actually help to improve engagement because it offers a TL;DR solution for readers who may not have the time to read a full article or watch the video at the time.
You may also be able to ask a question on top of the content that you curate, asking for your audience’s opinion on the subject matter. Another engagement-boosting time save is to pull a quote from the content – this can be a great way of hooking your audience in if the quote is unusual, thought-provoking or debatable.
Keep of Top of the Data you Produce
Finally, all of this curation generates scores of data about the audience you’re engaging with. Analytical platforms like Google Analytics and Finteza are capable of studying metrics surrounding arrivals from various different sources to provide a greater understanding of how long your newfound traffic stays on your site, whether they browse multiple pages, and if they’re inclined to convert.
As we can see in the image above, Finteza compiles various traffic sources in straightforward, colour-coded visualizations. This allows businesses to see what types of content generate the best traffic and whether the new arrivals on-site are willing to stay for longer. This can be particularly significant because if you’re curating content that’s drawing scores of traffic that’s generally unwilling to carry out a purchase, the data can help you to revamp your strategies.
Fundamentally, content curation, when performed effectively, can help businesses to generate smarter social engagements with less time and effort spent on building original content. This can free up more time to engage in meaningful ways with customers across more social platforms. In an age where social networks are keeping the world connected, businesses can’t afford to lose out on their engagement opportunities.