Content curation is the practice of identifying, summarizing and sharing high-quality articles, blogs and other relevant content with your target audience. It can be an incredibly effective (and inexpensive) tactic for raising awareness of your brand, if it’s backed by a solid content marketing strategy.
The beauty of content curation is that you don’t need to be a skilled writer or experienced subject matter expert to offer out timely, thought-provoking insights. Really, you just need a clear understanding of your audience’s needs, a sense of what types of content align with your marketing strategy, knowledge of where to find relevant material and a platform for sharing it. Below, I’ll discuss three easy best practices that will help you drive successful content curation.
Getting a Handle on Your Message
Before you get caught up in sharing any and all articles related to your industry, remember that addressing too many topics in your curated content may not help you attract legitimate leads. While content that is general or speaks to many diverse issues may be successful at engaging a high number of readers, they may not necessarily be the right people who would be interested in buying your products.
But when done correctly, content curation can be an efficient and low-cost way to deliver valuable content that engages serious prospects. A good first step to content curation is to sit down and develop a plan for what you’re going to share, how, where and when. This plan should be aligned with your overall content and sales strategies, and also take key factors into account such as your buyer persona needs and behaviors, and where your prospects fall in the buying cycle. This way you can ensure you’re reaching the right people with the right message.
Once you have your curation strategy documented and in place, you can move forward with curating relevant content. Take a step back and define a couple of specific topics that you want to address with your target audience. Then, aggregate and share only quality assets that directly speak to these issues.
As with all of the content you produce, ensure that your themes are customer-centric and address pressing issues that your audience genuinely cares about. Strive to share articles that help solve real customer problems. At PropelGrowth, we’ve found that these types of problem/solution stories are very effective at capturing interest.
Finding Content to Curate
Building yourself up as a trusted source of information takes time and effort. But, as a content curator, an integral part of gaining this reputation will be filtering out the clutter and offering your readers only quality insights from highly-regarded news web sites and other relevant sources.
For example, FinTech professionals often pay attention to reports generated by third-party research firms like Gartner, Forrester, Tabb Group, Aite Group or Tower Research that address many of the trends and key challenges of technology today. So, if your company subscribes to any of these analysts’ research, it’s often worthwhile to summarize and share important statistics and other snippets directly from them. This is of course dependent on whether the analyst firm allows you to share insights from their reports. Check your agreement to be sure.
B2B Fintech customers also typically find articles written by the industry’s thought leaders to be useful. You can find these in financial news sites such as TabbFORUM, Wall Street & Technology and other industry publications. Consider summarizing relevant articles you find there, giving your readers an abridged version to help them decide which articles to read themselves. (It’s worth noting that TabbFORUM’s entire web site is devoted to content curation.)
Content curation can be as simple as tweeting a brief description and link to an article. Or it can be more involved. One effective way we curate content at PropelGrowth is through sharing a group of related articles or blogs in a summary blog post. We also will often share our own spin on the issues.
For example, if you are a FIX technology provider, you might want to create a curated blog post around the value of upgrading your FIX connectivity infrastructure. You could go about this by identifying and summarizing three quality articles authored by industry experts that support your message, and also include your own perspective on the issue. Then you could share these insights in a write-up you place on your blog. Remember to always give credit to the author of any content you share, and also link back to the original article as it was published.
Leveraging Conferences for Material
When looking for curated content fodder, you might want to consider conferences. These events will typically offer you a wealth of information and new ideas that you can package up nicely and send out to your audience.
We recently created a blog post on takeaways from a FIX conference that we attended. It turned out to be a worthwhile effort, because not only did it fuel us with content for our own blog, but we were also able to get an excerpt from the blog published on the conference organizer’s web site. Remember, that most of the time, conferences are conducted under “Chatham House Rules.” So, quoting speakers directly may not be allowed unless the speaker tells you otherwise.
Publishing Curated Content
The most obvious place for publishing your curated content is on your corporate blog. Here, readers will be able to easily navigate to other interesting, relevant assets on your company’s web site. You can also send out curated content in an email newsletter. The John Lothian Newsletters are a perfect example of very effective content curation. When doing this, be sure to include a link back to related materials on your website to engage and convert your audience.
Social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ work well for sharing curated content with your followers. As another example, check out Flipboard. It’s an excellent tool that allows users to collect articles on a particular topic of interest and place them in a centralized location that looks like an online magazine. Plus, it’s free.
If you have the resources to go the extra mile, you might also consider creating a microsite dedicated to a specific news category. This could serve as a resource for your customers and prospects to have easy access to a grouping of content all focused around a targeted theme.
Content curation is great way to increase your marketing reach without having to put out a tremendous amount of time or budget. If you are consistently sharing quality content over time, your followers will come to regard you as a trusted source of information and hopefully eventually a company they have enough confidence in to do business with. They will also be more likely to share the insights you post with their own followers, amplifying your message even further.
To make the most of this approach, always make sure the content you curate tightly aligns with your content strategy.