5 reasons to curate content plus actionable tips for executing your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
Do you have a content curation strategy in place? If not, it’s time to start thinking about one.
Content is now king: It impacts every aspect of the modern B2B marketing model, and that means you need a comprehensive strategy that weaves content throughout all of your activities. While creating original, high value content that fuels this model is important, no one expects you to create every piece of content on your own — nor should you. That’s where content curation, or the process of finding and sharing content from respected third parties, comes into play.
Here’s what you need to know about why a content curation strategy can prove so valuable and how to get started with executing one.
5 Reasons to Curate Content
- Mix up content types and voices: A strong B2B content marketing strategy can help bring variety to your content in two different ways. The first is in terms of the types of content, as curation allows you to easily share different types of content with your audience without having to worry about having the right specialists to create those pieces. The second is in terms of voice, which is especially important in breaking up your own original content to avoid seeming overly promotional.
- Keep up with demands for new content: As content becomes the backbone of modern B2B content marketing strategies, many teams struggle to create enough content to keep up. Curating content can help fill in the gaps and alleviate the pressure on your team by supplementing your original content with outside pieces.
- Increase audience trust: Nothing helps boost trust like having a third party validate something. Therefore, having another person or brand back up the same message you’re promoting can go a long way toward building trust with your target audience. The more well known and trustworthy the source of the content you curate, the more this point rings true.
- Create an engagement stream with influencers: Curating content from influencers in your space creates an opportunity to engage more closely with those influencers. This engagement can lead to more opportunities, such as those influencers featuring/sharing or even contributing to your own original content, that can ultimately broaden the reach and boost the quality and credibility of your content.
- Keep a pulse on hot topics: How do you keep pace with changing customer preferences and up-and-coming trends in the industries you serve? Content curation can help with that too by allowing you to keep a pulse on popular topics. In turn, this knowledge can help you have more targeted conversations with leads and customers and help you create more relevant content of your own.
5 Steps to Execute Your Content Curation Strategy
- Find content with social listening tools: The first step toward executing your content curation strategy is to figure out how you will find the content. There are several social listening tools that can help. For example, you can create Twitter lists to quickly comb through posts from a group of select influencers as well as keyword and hashtag searches to find content on a specific topic. Outside of social media, it pays to sign up for newsletters from partners, industry publications and even customers to see what they’re talking about (you can also visit their sites directly if you’re worried about email overload). Finally, consider using RSS feeds or tools like Scoop.it and feedly to find content from all over the web. You’ll be best off using some combination of all of these so that you can pull from a wide variety of sources and gain a comprehensive picture of what people are talking about.
- Establish guidelines for selecting content: There’s a lot of content out there, and that means once you figure out which listening tools you want to use, you need to determine how you will pick which content to curate. To ensure you share the highest quality content and position yourself to achieve the benefits that content curation can provide, you should establish guidelines for content selection. For example, you might set rules for authors and publications from which you pull, timelines for when the content was originally published (e.g. nothing older than one year), topics the content discusses and so on.
- Determine where you will use curated content: The great thing about curating content is that the possibilities for how you can use it are endless. In fact, that’s so much the case that using curated content is one big exercise in creativity. Some common places to start include sharing it on social media, using it in email nurture campaigns and publishing a blog post of your own that’s a roundup of top content from the web on a particular topic. That said, those are just some ideas — the more creative you can be when using curated content, the better.
- Add your own take: Wherever possible, add your own take to the curated content to give it that personal touch. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy, even just a couple words of agreement in a tweet can do the trick. The idea here is to add your own two-cents to let your audience know your take, what you might add, where you disagree, what you agree with most, etc.
- Take advantage of sharing tools: Building on the point above about adding your own take, tapping sharing tools like Sniply or Start a Fire can help keep your own brand at the forefront when sharing curated content. For example, when you share third party content via Sniply, viewers will also see a pop-up with a call to action that you created. Similarly, Start a Fire adds a pop-up with other pieces of recommended content (such as one of your own blog posts) from your brand. Tools like these can help you reap the benefits of curated content while also giving people a clear path back to your site.
Find the Right Mix for Your Content
While content curation provides significant value, so too does original content that’s created for and speaks directly to your target audience. Therefore, it’s important that you find the right mix between original and curated content for your brand. There’s no one-size-fits all here, but a good place to start is the “social media rule of thirds,” which dictates that ⅓ of your content should promote your business, ⅓ should be curated and ⅓ should build your brand (consider this non-promotional original content).