Not the ‘I want to rule the world’ maniacal mad-man type of power. Oh no.
A more parochial and pedestrian power. The power which wins fans. The power which influence people. Oh yes, please.
So, if you could win and influence people, how would your business be better? How would your life be better?
Would power bring:
- More fans and follower? A vanity metric, BTW.
- More subscribers? Not vanity = cash.
- More clients and customers? Yes please.
- Happier clients? Always a good thing.
- More time with your family, and friends? Always good.
Winning fans and influencing people is in your grasp. You can do this! Ready for the secret?
The not so secret secret is content.
Online, content is the currency to win and influence. Don’t believe me? Follow along.
Content is the fuel of the social web – Aol & Nielsen
Content is the Power (and the Conversation Starter)
Content is the conversation starter. Yep, ‘silly’ ol’ content.
If you agree ‘content is the fuel, then what do you share to stoke the fire’?
I’ll get to that in a minute. First let us answer the question:
What is Content Curation?
Content curation is selectively sharing other people creative works
Ah yes, ‘selectively’ is operative word. Not sharing everything – that would be the village idiot parroting – but, selectively sharing.
‘Content’ (the over hyped catch all phrase) is everything we see, hear, read, or experience – be it video, audio, images, written, and music.
Content Sharing from one of three Buckets
Not all content sharing is equal. Take for example these three:
Aggregated Content — sharing other peoples’ content without adding insights, perspective, or commentary – remember the village idiot parroting!
Branded Content — your own.
Curated Content — is aggregated content you collect, filter, and add your insight, perspective, or commentary.
Avoid aggregation as it is the Black Plague of the internet. Aggregation adds noise and dilutes your brand.
The Long Game of Content Curation
If history has taught us anything it is that, anything worth achieving requires big effort. And the long game of curation is the time required to build trust with your tribe.
Winning friends is ‘easy’, building trust takes time.
The Long Game — the 5 Steps to Power and Influence
Before you saunter up to your nearest Tweet button or glide over to your friendly Facebook share button, take a few minutes and understand the basics of content curation marketing.
Cream of the crop marketers know:
- Which audience to serve and attract
- Interest of their audience
- They only share high quality content
- They curate consistently
- They brand themselves and not their company
When you know your audience, and their interests then content curating is half-done.
Yet, why oh why should we curate content? (Yes, to win and influence however, let us dig deeper than top level goals).
Why Oh Why Should You Curate Content?
…curation distills the signal from the noise (of the internet). You become a trusted, authoritative resources in your field…if you are the source of truly important and useful information, you will stand out even in crowded marketing arena and then earn significant audience. – Rand Fishkin
Curating and sharing is edutainment to your tribe.
Life would be perfect when you open your email, Twitter, or Facebook and the best of the best of the web is ready and waiting for you to read, consume, and enjoy. That would be my ideal life.
Three Examples of Content Curation
I’ve hit the mini-jackpot and found people who are excellent at separating the digital wheat from the digital chaff. My favourite curators are:
Brain Pickings Weekly – by Maria Popova – she describes her weekly newsletter – “as a ‘one-woman labour of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why’. An inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more“.
NextDraft – authored by Dave Pell signs off his daily newsletter as ‘Managing Editor, Internet’ :). His curated newsletter contains “The Days Most Fascinating News from Dave Pell” with his unique perspective.
: The Exponential View by Azeem Azhar. Zaeem is the founder and CEO of Peerindex. His weekly newsletter covers Exponential change: technology, business models, political economy, & society.
These three are my chosen examples of niche curators.
Don’t be Fooled by one Marketers Overindulgence
Life is easy when one humble marketer suggests curation is a good strategy and then offers a few examples. 🙂
Not surprising 85% said they curate content to establish thought leadership. Wait. What? Become a thought leader buy curating content? Wow.
Crazy still is 80% said they curate to elevate their brand visibility, build ‘buzz’, and and 65% said they curate to boost their SEO efforts.
Thought leadership, more visibility, boost to SEO. All from content curation. Yes, I’ll take two slice of each please. Oh my. Oh my.
How does curation help you win and influence? Curaton:
- Opens relationships. When you Tweet a link drop a ‘via @thoughtleader’ into the Tweet. Or when you share on FB and tag the owner. Either way @thoughtleader gets notified.
- Curating builds credibility, and influence as a thought leader. When you become known for sharing breaking news, or vegan receipts, or deep videos on running techniques, then you attract people interested in your subject.
- Curating is faster and cheaper than creating your own content. Read, enjoy, add commentry, schedule, then Tweet, what 3 minutes? Tops.
- Curating makes you more interesting.
- Curating makes you smarter (because you are reading more, right?)
- Fans / followers have broader interest then what you can produce on your own. So, entertaing your fans and followers by posting a broader range of content.
The Two Curation Questions
When you buy into curation the next thoughts are:
- How much content should I share?
- What ratio of each type of content should I share?
1) How much should you share?
…to know ’what is the BEST’ is impossible. You can only predict, measure, test, and improve…
How much should we share when our Facebook feed is full of pictures, articles, videos, quizes, and memes?
Intutivelly, you have a good idea what your audience likes. Begin with those topic and curate. Then wash it all (look at what resonated and get attention), rinse out the bad (contnet with no attention), repeat the good and do again.
Secondly, every audience is different.
How much you share depends upon your market, number of fans/followers, how engaged are your fans, and which channels you are using.
Content curation is the delicate balance between being informative and not annoying
No doubt about it, informing versus annoying drives to the heart of how often you should post.
One content utility rule states share until you begin losing fans and followers – then reduce. Yep, that is ‘driving sitting backwards’ situation, but, hey it works.
The ‘Start Here’ sharing guidelines:
Twitter — 4-10 / day Buffer shares 14/day, I tweet between 4-10/day
Facebook — 2-3 post / day,
LinkedIn — five posts a week or 20 posts / month as noted will reach 60% of your audience.
Remember to schedule posts when your audience is online and when the engagement is highest.
2) What ratio of content should you share?
The aspirin a day social sharing ‘rule of thumb’ follows the 70:20:10 ratios. Seventy percent is curated, 20% own branded, 10% lead generation content.
This blog post “Curating Content to Win Fans and Influence People“ is my 20% and your 70% – so please share…
How to Curate Content to Win Friends and Influence People
Scour the web; filter what you find; add perspective; schedule, and post.
Urban’s coup de grace Content Curation System in five simple steps.
1) Find, 2) Filter, 3) Comment with perspective, 4) Schedule, and 5) Post.
This, be all to end all, curation system takes one hour a day and fills my sharing queue for days and often the entire week.
…21% of Facebook users say they unfollow brands that post repetitive or boring content. AdWeek
1) Finding Content
Finding content is easy, finding the right content is difficult.
Curation and marketing nirvana is when you know the fear/desires/asperation of your audience. Great marketers find a variety of content which solves for all the fears.
Find content – put together a list of 15-25+ blogs sites, news sites, industry associations, competitors, and collaborators. Choose blogs and website that publish the highest quality content.
Plug the list into a RSS reader. An RSS readers allow you to ‘subscribe’ to content without giving over an email address. An RSS reader uses (the Really Simple Syndication protocal) and the RSS readers allow you to aggregate blog posts and articles into feeds.
Pick an RSS reader. I use Feedly. But, InoReader, Digg Reader, Twitter lists, Feedbin and many more are available. The paid features, of some, allows full integration with social media management tools – Buffer and Hootsuite.
Separate the digital wheat from the digital chaff.
2) Filtering Content
Not all content is equal and not all content from the same source is equal.
Remember curation without filtering is the village idiot parroting.
How to you filter is proverbially $64,000 question.
The 3 Pivotal Filtering Caveats
1st caveat – your mood affects what you read and what you share. This is normal. Do not freak out. Do the best you can on the day and proceed with caution.
2nd caveat – be selective and do not share every article you have aggregated. Mind the parroting.
Third is add your perspective.
3) The Value Add –> Your Perspective <–
Your Perspective is your Content Curation USP
…adding perspective…is the art of curation. Distilling a concept, adding personal views on top of the original piece…
“Adding your perspective” is your ace in the hole card trick to win fans and influence people.
Most importantly, your perspective is why fans and followers are your fans and followers.
Further your perspective, is a mixture of everything that makes you you. Your upbringing, education, personal experience, work experience, what you have read and not read. These things are your unique selling proposition.
Here are my ‘Best practices’ when “adding your perspective”
- Read the article (sorry for stating the bleeding obvious, but, the obvious escapes many, sadly)
- Extract A discussion point and elaborate (mind the 140 character confines)
- Add the ‘discussion point’ to the existing title, or modify the title to suit
- Schedule/ Post
- Go to step 1 – with next article
So, with that responsibility taken care of and before you share ask three important questions:
- Will the lives of my fans improve?
- What problem is this article solving for my fans?
- Which funny bone am I tickling?
Three filters. Pass one and you are golden. Pass all three and you are building authority!
4 & 5) Schedule, and Post
…19% of people say they would unfollow a brand on Facebook if the brand posted too often (more than six times a day) AdWeek
Curate to Win Fans and Influence People
The simple to say, easy to read, hard to do 5 curating steps.
1) Find, 2) Filter, 3) Comment with perspective, 4) Schedule, and 5) Post.
Let me know in the comments your top curating tips.