One of the many challenges of marketing in the digital world is that there are so many digital channels. Among those channels, social is often the hungriest.
From a digital marketing perspective, posting content to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds are most successful when the content and overall tone matches the audiences’ needs – in other words, social content needs to be valuable and relevant to potential customers.
Company-centric (read: sales-y) posts simply won’t get traction in today’s cluttered landscape.
So, how do you keep up?
While some marketers may up their investment in original content to fuel these channels, many are realizing that they can effectively engage social audiences when by sharing relevant and interesting third-party content on their feeds. By sharing curated articles, videos and images that appeal to audiences, brands have the opportunity to build valuable connections amid the noise.
Audiences are responding to the authenticity of curated content because, let’s face it, no matter how much effort you put behind a content marketing strategy to ensure it’s not perceived as a sales pitch, it is still shaped by the need to drive sales. And in the social landscape, audiences are quick to scroll past what they perceive as inauthentic content.
So how can curation help?
First, it’s important to understand that effective social curation is more than recycling content from your own feeds. Establishing the brand as a go-to resource for insight and news is key and simply contributing to the echo of already widely-shared content won’t get you there. Content must be relevant to your audience and business, but also unique enough to make it stand apart from the rest. That requires that you dig deeper to find the right content.
How you find that content leads us to a second key to curation success: approaching social curation systematically. If you’re simply relying on the natural flow of information to fuel your curation, you’re both missing out on the full opportunity (and the more unique content) and wasting time. By establishing a system for curation – and that system could be as basic as a set hour in the day when you focus on content discovery or more advanced in that you use a discovery tool – you can more efficiently maintain both the cadence and quality that are so critical to social success.
But even the most optimized curation initiative does require a bit of time and financial investment. That’s why it’s important to understand the cost benefits of the practice. Curation is, quite simply, more cost effective than generating original content.
Whereas with original content, you’re paying for the creation of the content – and that includes the time spent on ideation, production, reviews and approvals – curated content is available at no cost. Secondly, there’s a lot of content to draw from, so you can easily up the frequency of posts (and resulting engagements).
Rather than, for example, doubling your original content budget to increase your impact on social, you can double or triple the number of posts without additional costs through curation. If you’re in charge of a brand’s social media, you know volume is key. Curation helps you get there more cost effectively.
Smart marketers will likely point out that social posts don’t automatically translate to revenue and they’re right. But you can leverage curated content to drive traffic back to your website in two ways. The increased activity driven by curation provides more visibility which can translate to clicks on your website link in your profile.
A more aggressive approach, however, involves feeding your blogs with curated content – that is, generating curated blog posts that introduce and, importantly, add your own unique insight to a particular article. That additional insight gives your audience a reason refer back to your website rather than clicking directly to the source article. That’s more traffic, more opportunities to convert, and it’s still more efficient than creating posts from scratch.
It’s no secret that curated social media represents an opportunity to connect with consumers, but those hungry channels can drain your resources quickly. Curated content allows you to build a stronger and more meaningful presence in social and more traffic that can be converted into valuable leads and sales.
Christian Jorg is CEO of Opentopic, a content curation platform for media publishers, agencies and brands.