Content Curation is rapidly becoming one of the buzzwords du jour, as we all drown in a sea of content coming at us from every direction, through multiple devices and on a 24/7/365 always on timeline.
What is content curation? My definition may be somewhat abridged from industry pundits – here goes: “organizing and sharing the most relevant content on a finite subject.”
Why is content curation important to your brand or business? Simple answer – if you want to connect with your potential customers and market segment your content has to be relevant, concise and “speak to your market” in a meaningful way.
According to latest news, our ability to store, communicate and compute content has been growing at a rate of 23% per annum since 1986. (Science Magazine). We are all drowning in a mass of content, encompassing digital assets, including photos and videos coming at us via the web, email, smartphones. Information overload rules the day!
Ten Steps to Content Curation:
1) Get a grasp of your market focus. Who are you trying to communicate with, impact and/or influence? And what is their preferred method of receiving your content? A Generation Y or Millennial type is warm and fuzzy getting a message from you via a Tweet, YouTube Video and may find an email boring and “so yesterday.” A baby boomer is comfortable getting that now staid newsletter from you, with an offer to connect via a URL link.
2) Understand what topics are important to and will resonate with your target market. What do your market demographics want to hear from you and what’s going to impact them in some meaningful way.
3) Who are the thought leaders, influencers, bloggers, editors/reporters/digerati you want to connect with. It’s cool of your latest Tweet gets mentioned by someone with say a few thousand Followers. But, it’s much cooler if Robert Scoble Tweets about your hot startup. He’s got 165K Followers and your definitely going to pick up some interest if Robert mentions you.
4) What content platform will reach your target market. By platform I mean web site, blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, Flickr, LinkdedIn and others. Where does your target market live online? If you pick the right platform you are building a brand and engaging with the right market demographics. As an example, if you are a Spa located in Phoenix Arizona, engage with consumers via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Yelp – a presence on LinkedIn conversely would not generate much consumer interest.
5) Timing of content publishing and curating is essential. Reams of digital press have been written about how critical it is to Tweet on Twitter during 9-5PM EST (we west coasters are at an inherent disadvantage). Your simply going to get your messaging out in front of more online eyeballs during standard business hours, versus nights and week-ends. The right timing equals greater marketing ROI.
6) Create good content and the market will follow. It’s not quite that simple. But, if you don’t have content that as perceived as being valuable you aren’t going to get much traction in the marketplace.
7) Be original – pick your band or rock star encompassing Bruce Springsteen to Lady Gaga. There’s a creative muse that is readily apparent in every piece of content they touch (music, videos, interviews, Tweets, smoke signals…..you get the picture).
8) Organize your content so it can be found (Search Engine Ranking) and easily listened to, read and/or most importantly, engaged with. Viral videos are a great content source – Volkswagen’s The Force was an instant commercial success with millions of view prior to it even being shown during the Super Bowl. It was engaging to say the least!
9) Be discerning when sharing content. Your content reflects your core branding and people on the social web can be like hungry wolves at times. Meaning, they can devour your content or turn on you and overwhelm with dislikes, critical comments, etc. Jump on Quora and post a weak answer and you’ll feel the wrath of this very discerning community.
10) Set your content free! An important component to content curation is leveraging the time and energy you spend creating it. I tell clients to reuse content on an order of 3-5X across the social web. A blog post can be shared on Quora via an answer, Tweet out referenced via a wall post on Facebook.
As always, no words were harmed in this post, depending on your perspective.