Category: Curation

Without content a blog can not exist. But without consistency, your readership will never grow. By creating an editorial calendar, it can help organize your stream of thoughts and ideas while turning blogging into a regular habit.

  1. Start with your core values and strengths. This will help identify your blog’s theme. At Firebelly, we make sure our posts cover anything and everything relating to social media marketing. By incorporating our values and expertise into every post, our readers get a unique perspective they can not find anywhere else.
  2. Develop messaging that is supported by curated or created content. Everything you collect (curate) or write about (create) needs to be geared toward your blog’s theme. Deviate from it too much, and you’re going to confuse your readers. Remember, you don’t always have to create new content. Curation is very important as well because it establishes you and your company as a knowledgeable resource. Infographics, articles, and even videos are all suitable curated content.
  3. Include both casual and serious content.  Don’t feel like you have to write in a certain style with every post. Mix it up and have some fun.

Oct. Calendar

  1. Show the human side. You’re writing for real people, so make sure every post is more than just a recitation of dry facts and statistics. Try to inspire as much as you inform.
  2. Now you can begin developing your editorial calendar. Build a long running background story related to your theme that will help your audience discover who you are. (Remember, most people will not follow your daily or weekly adventures — many will show up as a result of a Google search, not regular reading — so it’s important to briefly re-introduce your key themes every so often.)
  3. Find out where to distribute your content across multiple platforms. It’s important to understand where your audience can be found. You can’t make them come to a network or platform, you have to go to where they are.
  4. Finally, make sure you have a way to measure your results. Set some goals for the kind of readership you’d like to reach, and then write the content, promote it to the networks, and measure the results. Figure out what tactics result in the best traffic and then figure out how to repeat that.

Today’s article is a guest post by Jason Bean, Internet Marketing Sherpa at Bnpositive Communication.

Relevant Social Content is Visual, Spatial and Mobile

I recently wrote a post that discussed how Major League Baseball used Instagram to really connect with their fans. For that post the main focus was on Instagram and how MLB was taking advantage of the photo sharing activity of their fan base using the popular photo editing and sharing app to create engage content for their own site, and the sites of the other teams involved in the post-season.

What you and your business needs to be aware of is that the “MLB” and “Instagram” are just components of the equation for creating content that can be interchanged as needed (and should be regularly) for your own business goals.

If your business is trying to connect in different ways with your audience, it’s not about coming up with something brand new every time and trying to guess if your target market is going to like it. Just take a look at where your target is already engaged and give them another handle to connect with you and your business. That handle = content.

When it comes to sharing content across social networks and platforms you should remember these three things about what content becomes popular quickly these days.

Social is Visual

Content is more visual now than perhaps it’s ever been. Apps like Instagram become so popular because we want to “see” things around us. Do I really need to see another photo of the Circle of Lights in downtown Indianapolis? No, not really, but because it was something a friend of mine saw and shared, then it’s more interesting because I’m connecting in a way with that friend and their life experience. Pay attention to apps that are already sharing visual content and then determine a way to engage visually with your audience and potentially your products on that platform. How can your business connect visually with your customers?

Where Are You

Foursquare, Google Places and other geo-location based sharing apps aren’t really new, but they continue to pick up speed as it becomes easier to quickly identify where you are in a spatial environment and share your location with others. Literally connecting with your audience where they are can have a huge engagement benefit. Creating and highlighting content that’s relevant because of my location in relation to that content can have a huge value. How can you share content that becomes more valuable to your customers based on their location?

Constantly Moving Targets

I was reminded recently as I traveled out-of-town that our ability to be mobile in this country is amazing and we don’t really give it a second thought. More powerful cellphones, smaller computers and other devices allow us to be just as productive away from a desk as we are in the office (whether or not that’s a true benefit is a blog post for another day).

In less than 24 hours I traveled across three states and reconnected with old friends from high school, college and post-college. I shared text and photo content regularly from my phone to my networks. I also looked for the deals on dining, attractions, gas prices and traffic all along the route.

The point is I’m not sitting still and neither is the majority of the rest of your audience. What content can you share that will be helpful for your customers? Give it to them where they’re at and make it easy for them to find it on the devices they’re using.

Today’s article is a guest post by , Internet Marketing Sherpa at Deep Ripples.

A social publishing approach is the cradle-to-grave, beginning to end approach for audience-based content development, distribution, and measurement.

social publishing approach

Conversations and conversion need provocation. Audience-based contextually relevant content that can be measured is the linch pin.

It encompasses the entire process of audience-based editorial planning, content development — curated and created, content-triggered conversation management, distribution and, of course, consumption and conversion measurement. It includes keyword research and usage, monitoring across the social web, and conversion analysis.

8 tips on developing a social publishing approach for brands

1. Remember your core values and strengths. This set of values is constant for every month, every year.

2. Develop messaging that is supported by both curated and created content. Develop a vision of what you want to share and discuss.

3. Include both casual and serious content — longer form, as well as in the form of conversation starters.

4. Remember that conversation needs provocation. That is the role of contextual content. Create content that gets people talking.

5. Show your human side. Absolutely empathize with the audience via niche and general real time news and events.

6. Once you’ve got the approach for the month written out, develop an editorial calendar and use an arc for consumption and conversation. Think of it as a process of discovery for your audience. Remember most people will not be engaged all the time so its important to re-introduce the key points from time to time.

7. Next, distribute the content across multiple platform at different times. It’s important to have a deep understanding of how your audience uses, and consumes, content on these platforms.

8. Measure, report and repeat (or tweak)!

I’ve been talking a lot lately about content curation lately, and our contributor, Erik Deckers, is all about content creation, which has led to some “Tastes great! Less filling!” types of discussions. But the one thing that we’ve both agreed on is the importance of publishing of our content, regardless of where it came from.

Publishing is the overall approach of content and conversation. It’s more than just publishing a post to your blog, or uploading a video to YouTube. It’s the strategy that not only includes the development of this content, but the effective distribution to its audience.

A curated collection of airplanes

Someone created these planes. Someone else curated the collection. But who let people know they’re available for viewing?

This last part is important, because that’s where social media is taking us.

Thanks to the Internet, many people are writing some pretty good stuff, while others are creating some pretty awful stuff — not you, of course! You’re great!

It’s falling to the curators to make sure the best stuff is shared, while the bad stuff is ignored. We’re acting as a sort of editorial board to our networks. That’s why publishing carries some pretty important expectations that everyone should know, whether they’re creators, curators, or just want to have conversations about these bigger ideas.

1. You need to know what your audience wants.

What types of content is your audience interested in? What subjects do they want to learn about? What formats will they consume? How long can your content be? How often do they want it?

This varies from audience to audience, and even group to group. A B2B marketer is going to reach her audience differently than a B2C marketer. She’ll reach executives differently than she’ll reach middle management. The B2C marketer will take advantage of mobile video consumption among Gen Y while still reaching out on laptop and desktop users who want to read text.

2. You need to know what your audience is talking about.

What does your audience care about? What are the issues they’re facing and the problems they’re dealing with? Most importantly, what terms and keywords are they using to talk about those issues?

A lot of marketers make the mistake of trying to get customers to use the “official” language of the brand and industry, rather than adopting the language of the audience. So they lose out on all the search traffic to the companies that keep up with what the audience talks about. Use their terminology and their language; save the official language for the back pages no one ever visits.

3. You need to go where your audience is.

Where does your audience spend their time? If you’re a B2B marketer, then LinkedIn and Twitter will be your best bet. But in the B2C world, it’s Twitter and Facebook. And of course, you’ll want a blog to be able to send people to for more in-depth information.

That means you need to be a regular user of the social networks your audience is on. You can’t just join and use it like a broadcast station, occasionally pinging out new blog posts like some lonely beacon in the middle of nowhere. You have to have regular conversations with them, and learn about the things they like and want. It means being a valuable resource that they can turn to for answers.

It also means you can’t let your IT department stand in your way. If they tell you they don’t allow social media access in the workplace, remind them that it is you, and not them, who are responsible for generating revenue for the company. If your audience is on Facebook during the day, then you should be too. If your audience uses Twitter, then you need full Twitter access.

As the line between PR and marketing blurs in this 2.0 world, the line between content creation, curation, and promotion are also blurring. You can’t just create content in a vacuum, or curate it for a group of people who don’t care.

Publishing is a new way of thinking, and the smart marketers have already been embracing it. Are you ready to get started, or have you already been doing it?

Photo credit: Chris Devers (Flickr, Creative Commons)

You’re curating content on your Facebook page. You hope and think your fans appreciate it, but how do you know? Here are 3 indicators that will help give you a clue.

Facebook Content Curation

Interactions

Okay, so this one’s a little obvious. But if the content is getting a lot of positive comments, Likes and shares, then there’s a good chance it’s going over well with your audience.

Consumptions

Are people actually clicking through to read the articles you’re curating? This is more of a hidden indicator, but one you shouldn’t ignore. You can find this data in your page Insights.

Negative Feedback

Another less visible indicator that shouldn’t be ignored. If a significant number of fans are clicking to hide your content, or report it as spam, then you want to rethink your content approach. Check page Insights.

How do you gauge your curation efforts on Facebook?

The ContentPlus Infographic: The Anatomy of Content Marketing below depicts the importance of an integrated marketing approach. This approach includes content marketing through curating, creating and promoting the brand’s core ideas and values to its clients. The infographic highlights the significance of the having the following:

  • A corporate blog to increase visibility
  • Thought leadership content to engage the audience
  • A word of mouth strategy  to increase buying decisions
  • Social media assets to create awareness

Do you have an integrated marketing approach? How can you improve your strategy?

Social Curation is the big new buzzword this year in social media circles — collecting information in a strategic amassing of selected information that’s presented in a new way to draw out the subtleties and patterns that might not otherwise be noticed when looking at the group in toto.

Curation is an art form into itself. While it’s not as pure and noble as content creation, it’s more than aggregation. Much more.

Beer can collection

Are you a curator or an aggregator?

Aggregation is an amassing of content. Just like little kids who collect rocks, grabbing at every rock and pebble they can find, aggregators find any and all pieces of content that relate to their chosen subject.

But a good curator, like a good collector, will focus on a specific niche or seek out that subtle pattern that can only be discovered when the pieces are assembled.

A real collector might only want books about women aviators written by women. An aggregator will get books about airplanes.

A real collector will only collect Merlots that were bottled in 2008. An aggregator will gather Merlots of any kind, or even just “reds.”

A real collector will only collect old Underwood typewriters made during the 1930s. An aggregator will amass as many typewriters as they can cram into their basement.

So how do you content curators compile your own collection? What’s your process? Do you rely on Google’s algorithm and hashtags.org to tell you what’s popular and trending? What kinds of special tools are you using? Do you compile a list of the individuals whose values and behavior you’re comfortable with providing you with a lens into a specific area?

I’m not a big fan of Paper.li and other so-called “curation” sites, because they’re less about curation and more about gobbling up and spitting out mass quantities of information. Everyone who was mentioned in the creator’s Paper gets tweeted so they’ll come and visit the page to find their lone tweet. It’s just this much shy of spamming as a way to build page traffic for Paper.li.

This is why I like my colleague Chad Richards‘ posts so much. He looks at just a few articles per week or day, and shares them with our readers on the Firebelly blog.

He’s more interested in small collections that I can easily digest, a curated magazine of sorts, rather than a fire hose of information that will drown me in the first two minutes. That’s the kind of information I like to receive, and he is one person I absolutely trust to provide me with the information I need to know.

That is real curation. Finding the nuggets, the little bits of gold amid all the silt and dirt, and sparing me the worthless pebbles.

Today, I’m at the Social Curation Summit in New York, speaking on a panel of smart people, talking to a room about smart people, about the art of curation. I’d love to hear from you. What is your process? Who do you listen to, and where do you get your information? Leave a comment and let me hear from you.

Photo credit: Chuck_Heston (Flickr, Creative Commons)

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