I've spent the last several years looking at ways to generate sales leads through social media with varying degrees of success. One approach that has consistently delivered leads is using curated content to augment social networking and blog posts. I think everyone has said something to this effect as one point in time regarding social media or blogging:
- I can't generate enough content
- I don't have time to generate that much content
- I don't have anything interesting to say.
No question this is one of the tougher problems to solve when it comes to embracing social media. The good new is that you don't have to go it alone. Content curation is a process where an individual or an application screens content from social networks, blogs, websites, etc. in search of high quality content that meets certain criteria. Once the content is identified then the user simply creates a blog or social media posts that comments on the points within the original story. The end result is your able to provide a valuable service to you customers / followers by sharing something that is most likely going to be of interest to them and by adding your commentary your able to demonstrate thought leadership in that area.
5 Steps to a successful content curation strategy
- Know your audience - I can't stress this enough, before you start looking for high value content you have to know what your audience is interest in. Define your customers, your markets and your companies overall culture and associate these traits with the personas your looking to reach. The good news is this exercise will help you learn a lot about your customers and you'll also have the criteria that you'll needs to find great content.
- Create a schedule - Create at least a three month content schedule for all your postings / newsletters, etc. and keep it up to date this will help drive the process and allow you to stay on track. The schedule should include the personas your marketing to, the channels you're using and any campaigns that the content is linked to. The schedule is also a critical artifact to leverage as your doing your analysis on the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
- Find your voice - This might seem like the easy part but it's something that you should consider very carefully as it's critical that you stay consistent in your comments. Convention has it that you should only use around 100 words from the original article and your comments should be more than a 100 words so you'll want to be sure to cherry pick the best quotes from the original article. Then it's your turn to demonstrate your knowledge through the commentary. Keep in mind that your audience can get this content from anywhere but they're looking specifically for your take.
- Market your marketing - Now that you have this great content that you've curated and commented on share it with your networks, but don't stop there. Encourage your followers to share it with their networks this will enable you to get new followers and ultimately new leads and customers.
- Review the numbers - The last step in a successful content strategy is unfortunately not always followed. Use your analytic's to inform your strategy, figure out what's working and what's not and make changes.
Although it may look like a lot of work to nail down your content curation strategy, it's worth it as you will begin to see the benefits very quickly.