Over the past few years, content marketing has emerged as one of the most effective strategies for establishing a business as an expert within a specific sector, engaging and winning the trust of customers, and building credibility by dispensing relevant and useful industry knowledge. Data from the Content Marketing Institute states that in 2014, 93% of B2B marketers and 90% of B2C marketers were using content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy and with content marketing spending set to rise over 2015, we can expect this trend to continue.
2014 data from Curata Research showed that curated content should account for a quarter of the content marketing your business produces. The skill of selecting highly relevant and targeted content from other sources, organising it and presenting it to your audience is highly valuable. You are finding and putting together the pieces of a jigsaw so that your audience can see the whole picture, presenting your business as a thought leader in your industry.
Curated content is not a replacement for creating content. But in terms of assisting content strategists with two of their top editorial pressures – lack of time and producing enough content – it can form an invaluable part of your overall marketing plan.
There are many useful tools out there to help businesses locate excellent, relevant content. Some of the most popular include Scoop.it, Learnist, Curata and Spundge. However, there is an area much closer to home that can prove invaluable for your content curation: Your customers.
Content curation masters such as Amazon and Tripadvisor are perfect examples of how users can provide convincing and effective marketing content. Both these curation giants organise and provide context to users’ content, delivering it according to customer need and taking into account their history. Both use customer reviews and ratings as well as integrating information from the seller to fully engage and inform their respective communities.
Utilise your customers and prospects by asking them to contribute to your content, reading the comments on your popular current content or reviews and analysing them for the key information in which your target audience is interested. Pull out the relevant details, organise and deliver.
Other sources businesses might potentially turn to could include speaking to experts on your particular topic – why not organise a panel discussion focusing on one specific question? Targeted focus groups and market research teams can provide excellent sources for curated content too.
How to avoid running low on content
The aforementioned data from the Content Marketing Institute discovered that marketers with a documented content marketing strategy rated themselves as more effective in every area of content marketing when compared with those that did not have a strategy. Define the role of content marketing with clear objectives, deliverables and markers to measure success. Ensure you have a specific team or dedicated staff members to put this strategy into effect and stick to a clear schedule, regularly and reliably updating and publishing content.
Striking the balance between content creation and curation can be hard to master but involving your audience and giving your strategy a clear, defined plan will ultimately boost your reputation as an industry influencer. And in 2015, a business’s online reputation and presence is everything.