7 Content Marketing Tips For When You Lack Time & Resources
Content curation is a great tactic for marketers without the resources to produce tons of original content. Columnist Chuck Sharp shares his tips on how to do it right.
The concept of content marketing makes a ton of sense: write great content for your site, get found, and generate sales.
There’s just one problem: Most marketing departments aren’t set up to produce great content.
Most aren’t staffed with skilled writers, infographic producers or videographers. While you can outsource these things, doing so is tricky because you need people who really understand your business — people who are smart enough to write something compelling and useful for your target audience.
The good news is, there’s a solution for those with limited resources — a way to quickly get fresh content on your site to supplement your first-party content production machine.
You probably already do it. If you tweet a cool article with a link, then you are curating content.
But content curation done right is more than merely sharing on your social channels. Solid content curation is publishing your take on something that someone else has written. It’s easy to do, and it’s a great way to demonstrate your company’s thought leadership on a specific topic.
Below are seven tips on how to do it right.
1. Host Content Curation On Your Site And Promote It In Social Media
The whole point of content marketing — at least, in my opinion — is to drive people to your site. Most brands have great content that lives on social media sites.
Your content, including your curated content, needs to live on your site and be promoted in social media. It will increase your SEO value, drive customer engagement, and hopefully push people down your sales funnel.
2. Add Your Insight
People want to know your take on the article. If you just regurgitate what someone else has written, you miss the point of content curation.
In a webinar we held a few months ago on thought leadership, Devin Knighton of Instructure noted how companies typically fall into a “pattern of thought followership.” He noted that companies interested in content marketing first just replicate what’s out there, further stating:
[blockquote cite=”Devin Knighton of Instructure Inc.”]They fail to add anything noteworthy and don’t take a true leadership position.[/blockquote]
In the end, these companies are thought followers not thought leaders. The best practice is to identify the implications for the content and make recommendations on where things should go in the future.
3. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
When you curate from another source, be sure to provide a link back to the original article and notate where it was originally written.
I also suggest that you be careful about the imagery. Authors receive rights to use images for the intended site, but your company doesn’t share those rights.
We recommend pulling images from the Wikimedia Commons image database. Right Intel built that functionality into our curation software. It’s pretty important that you get this part right, or you run the risk of copyright infringement.
4. Be Mindful Of Straight Syndication
Google is now making it clear that sites will no longer receive SEO value from other people’s content. When posting curated content on your blog, a good rule of thumb is to make your insight as long as the content from the third-party article.
Editorializing the content and taking a position in your blog post with a link to the original content is the best way to avoid over-syndicating the content.
5. Marry Curated Content With Original Content
Blog posts, videos, whitepapers and other longer form content will typically generate more traffic. It’s also the type of content you can promote in paid media. It should be the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy.
There isn’t a “perfect” mix between curated and original content, since a lot depends on your industry and what resonates most with your audience. (We have a particularly small team at Right Intel, so we try to hit a 60:40 mix between curated and original content.)
We use curated content to fill in the gaps between the times we publish original content. Our goal is to always have something fresh and useful on the site. If you publish something original every two weeks, then you should publish a number of curated posts in between.
6. Become More Sophisticated In Curation
In The Path of Thought Followership to Thought Leadership, David Malmborg says there’s a hierarchy in the value in content marketing.
At the beginning, brands simply want content. But as they get more sophisticated, the focus turns to generating quality content.
Most brands start by just wanting to add content to their site. Any content will do. As they get more sophisticated, brands start thinking about the quality of content.
As an organization goes up the hierarchy, content curation becomes more sophisticated. It goes from bringing content to your site to show current events to using curated content to support your position.
As your site becomes a destination, you will start to see people and other companies want to publish on your site. At that point, you start to become the source of the content as you curate other thought leaders.
7. Curate For The Sales Funnel
We are strong believers in providing empathetic content geared toward your sales funnel. Below you’ll find the Right Intel sales funnel, which tracks the size of our different funnel stages over time.
As you look at the funnel, you see that our “Qualifying” stage grew significantly in Q3. This chart highlights that we now need content that can help move sales prospects to the “Demo” stage.
Create and curate content that is specifically targeted to moving people from one stage of the sales funnel to the next.
Content that could do that might be first-party content like a short video, which we email to get prospects excited about what we do. Or it could be a note from the CEO saying thanks for their interest. It could also include a few curated posts that help the prospect know that we get them and their business.
With the right content strategy, we should be able to move customers right through the sales funnel. And so should you!