According to data from Curata, social media is the biggest platform for distributing curated content: A whopping 76 percent of marketers share curated content on social media, and this number is expected to further increase.
Research also shows that more than 50 percent of marketers that curate content report experiencing increased brand visibility, thought leadership, web traffic and buyer engagement.
This makes sense when you consider the fact that the social web thrives on content and lots of it; when you don’t have enough resources to create original content at the pace social media thrives on, the solution is to turn to curated content.
Social curation without a strategy is usually recipe for failure. Here are some of the benefits of a good social curation strategy:
- It establishes thought leadership: 85 percent of curators cite establishing thought leadership as their main objective. If done right, a social curation campaign will help establish you as a thought leader. If done wrong, however, it can damage your brand.
- It improves your reach and visibility: Most businesses have a limited budget that they can invest in content creation; this puts a cap on how many people they can reach. Thanks to social curation, you can aggregate and share other people’s content and benefit from the increased reach their content generate.
- It keeps you in the minds of your users: Keeping in touch regularly with your audience in a world of declining attention spans is tough, especially when you feel that you have nothing new to say. Social curation makes it easy to keep in touch with your audience regularly, sharing something of value with the, from others, without you having to be the source of the content.
- You can take advantage of other people’s creativity: The social web thrives on speed, and virality is often bolstered by creativity. Even with the biggest marketing budget, there’s a limit to how much content your brand can creatively create and to how fast you can create it. Social curation enables you to take advantage of other people’s creativity by keying into already successful content to boost your social reach.
For a successful social curation campaign, it is important to consider the following tips:
- Define your goals and target audience: The very first step to an effective social curation campaign is to define your goals: Why are you curating content in the first place? Does your curation approach complement your current marketing strategy? It is also important to define your target audience: Who are you targeting your curated content to, and why? Having a clear understanding of your goals and target audience helps you ensure consistency in the nature of content you curate.
- Add your own commentary to curated content: It is easy to curate content without necessarily commenting on it, but that won’t yield the best results. If done right, one of the key benefits of social curation is to establish your thought leadership. It is important to let your readers know what you think about the content you’re curating. Tell them why you think the content is important, and encourage debate around it if possible. This type of personal branding is great if you like to nurture sales leads with follow-up emails, because it positions you as a thought leader who has your audience’s best interests in mind.
- Make multimedia a core part of your curated content: Your social curation strategy is incomplete without multimedia. Research shows that content with video attracts 300 percent more traffic and infographics attract up to 832 percent more shares. The social web is becoming increasingly media-driven, and tapping into the power of multimedia will boost your reach beyond expectations. People don’t trust branded content like they trust the authenticity of user-generated posts. Yotpo, a platform that enables companies to generate online reviews and content, makes it easier to identify and curate images from Instagram, allowing marketers to search for the perfect visual, obtain permissions and deploy to their websites’ front ends, all from within their Yotpo dashboards.
- Monitor social metrics and signals to find out what resonates: What works for one audience won’t work for another, and the best social curation strategies aren’t rigid. The thing about the social web is that you can’t easily predict what will work from the get-go. At one point in internet history, what was trending was the blue-and-black or white-and-gold dress. At another point it was Psy’s Gangnam Style. The point is, social media is ever-evolving, and your social curation strategy should evolve accordingly. Pay special attention to content that is getting a lot of engagement, both on your platform and those of others in your field, and let this influence your curation strategy. Tools like Start a Fire make this especially easy by tracking clicks on your social posts, as well as clicks from the third-party publications you share back to your own content. Start a Fire makes it possible to drive traffic referrals from any publisher’s pages to your own by adding a branded “badge” to the articles you curate.
- Make your content a core part of your campaign: While you don’t necessarily want to make your social curation all about you, it helps if you can ensure that your content is regularly featured in your curated list. More often than not, you have hundreds of different pieces of content in different places. It could be content on your site, content published elsewhere, contributions you were invited to/involved in or features about you/your brand on other publications. The more avenues your curated content gives people to discover you, the better.
That said, successful social curation means you shouldn’t be all about you; however, you should still feature enough of your content to make it impossible to miss you.
John Stevens is a business consultant and marketer who regularly contributes to Adweek, Entrepreneur and other major publications.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.