Thought leadership or unique and specifically-created content for your business or your customers is often considered to be the “holy grail” of marketing. Generate useful and easy-to-digest-information and watch the customers roll in, right!? That’s not always the case. Curated content can be equally as engaging, tailored, and impactful to your target audience as original content. Curated content is content such as news articles, videos, blogs or memes that you did not create but that you share through your social media feeds.
While curated content isn’t your content, done right, it can ultimately contribute to your bottom line and further develop your brand in the eyes of your customer.
You become a trusted expert and have the power to recommend new ideas, products and services to your customer base. This is powerful because they trust your recommendation which makes you an appealing content advertising partner for other companies potentially providing you an additional source of revenue. It may also help you open up new demographics tangential to your existing customers and create a broader usage base for your social media. You demonstrate that you care about your customers by posting relevant articles addressing their other needs and not just the ones you sell to.
For instance, your primary audience may be fitness professionals. You post your own content explaining exercises and trends and occasionally sell your equipment or other services directly. You also post curated content about financial services for individuals since many fitness professionals are independent contractors or non-salaried employees who might not have access to traditional retirement savings. Posting content in this way shows a more holistic approach and takes steps towards creating a community around your brand.
Choose your partnerships either specifically or inferred wisely. A bad product or hard sell in an article or blog – even when it’s not your product or content but is something you shared – may frustrate or upset your customers. Set guidelines for what news sources you generally feel comfortable sharing that your audience also considers reputable. Major news outlets and magazines like the New York Times, Forbes and the Harvard Business Review are recognized for their quality content. Other sources may have pertinent and compelling content that is more targeted to your industry. Don’t discount bloggers or potential influencers because they don’t have an established brand. Do your research and see where your customers get their trusted information and see how you can relevantly share it.
Several digital entities such as I Can Haz Cheezburger (the original funny cat site created when the Internet first discovered how funny cats were) and George Takei (best known for his acting in the original Star Trek series) now exist almost entirely off curated content reposted from a variety of sources. They have grown their social media reach by creating a consistent community that expects a specific kind of content and now they are able to promote their pay-for content to a much wider user base and provide advertising opportunities for other companies.
While it may not be appropriate for your business to become a clearing house of cat memes, you can still use the same concepts to improve your use of curated content and further clarify your brand. Are you the helpful company? Are you a funny company? All your branding and thought leadership combined with reposted curated content contribute to your reputation and the overall “vibe” of how you are seen by your customers.
Generally, we recommend using a mix of your own unique content and company news interspersed with curated content and direct sales calls to action such a product launch, scheduling a demo, a coupon or simply buying your regular service for your social media. The exact percentage mix of each depends on your posting frequency and industry needs. Once you have established a frequency — stick to it. Post at the same time on the same days. Give all your material a similar look and feel and of course, make sure your curated content is hitting the mark.
For advanced marketeers already comfortable with this concept, consider using Sniply in conjunction with curated content shared on social media. Sniply adds your custom call-to-action to any web page, driving traffic to your site or other landing page. This provides insight into customer behaviors and more clearly tracks the connection between marketing and sales efforts.