To Publish or To Curate?
The answer to this age-old question has been sought after for eons. Scholars debate it. Shakespeare wrote about. Well, maybe not, but it’s still something that needs to be considered when developing a content marketing strategy. So what it the answer? It’s both, actually. We, as marketers, advertisers, and business owners must deliver relevant, meaningful content that is valuable to our audience, particularly when it comes to your social media marketing. To do that, you can go one of two routes, native content or curated content.
Native vs. Curated…..What does this mean? How is it relevant to content marketing?
Quite simply, native content is content that you generate on your own, within your own company or organization. Your website (which sound be the main repository for all of your native content), and all the blogs, case studies, white papers, videos and even events are all great examples of content marketing. Conversely, curated content is pulled from outside sources, but is still relevant and valuable to your audience. There are large-scale content marketing machines that exist right now, and you can leverage this to bring insight and thought leadership to your customers and prospects. The trick is to find the right balance of each, so that you can position your brand as a go-to resource for valuable information.
How Do I Use Them?
Now that we know where are content is coming from, let’s think about how we will distribute the content to our audience. First, how should we balance our native versus curated content? Since it is presumably much easier to post, share, or retweet curated content, it is very easy to fall into the trap of relying too heavily on it. Ultimately, you could run the risk of your audience not viewing you as an expert in your field, rather a parrot to those who actually know what they are talking about. Furthermore, you could end up spending too much of your social media marketing effort driving traffic to other websites which are not your own. It is, however, a great way to build up your following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr or which ever social channel your audience is most engaged. That way, when you do post your own native content, it will reach a bigger audience and drive higher amounts of traffic to your website. Just as with all of your marketing, there are no hard and fast rules to what you should be doing. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should all be treated differently, and you should test, monitor, and refine as your measure your results.
A great example of a way to use curated content is by monitoring timely events and happenings within your industry. This can easily be accomplished by using hashtag or keyword searches in tools such as Hootsuite. Automation is generally not possible when it comes to sharing or retweeting, but online social media management dashboards make it easy to aggregate posts so that you have them all in one place. Just be sure to mix in enough of your own original thought, and maybe you’re content will get curated in return! Speaking of which, it’s always a great idea to align with another brand to help each other by liking and sharing each other’s content.
Likes on Facebook are great, but….
Every marketer and business asks themselves the same thing when it comes to content and social media marketing. How will this get me more business? That will ultimately depend on what type of business or organization you are, who your audience is and what you are trying to achieve. Generally speaking, awesome content marketing should drive more engagement with your customers and prospects, and position you as an expert in your industry. By distributing that content through social media, it can move a much more qualified prospect to your website, which can then lead to a sale, enrollment in a school, or alumni donation. Furthermore, fresh and relevant content can help boost your search engine optimization. The key is to be able to track and measure this activity, but that’s a story for another day!