Last time I published, it was on the secret sauce of content marketing – content curation. Ideally, all business owners would have the time each day to sit down and write about their products, services and how they’re helping new customers — but it just isn’t possible. Instead, they can leverage content curation to assist in keeping their blog publishing and social media updated.
As mentioned in my earlier post, content curation a type of content marketing where businesses can select, organize and add value to content created by others. In doing this, they are playing a role similar to that of a newspaper editor or museum curator. It’s like plucking gems from the rushing river of content that appears online every day and presenting the best of it as a service to their customers.
There are bonuses for the businesses in content curation, too. First, by monitoring content topics and choosing the best pieces, they automatically keep current with developments and new ideas in their industry. Content curation takes less time than content creation so they have more time to run their business each day. Finally, because they’re up to date with the latest and greatest, everyone’s impressed and their reputation as the go-to pro in the field grows tremendously.
In order to curate content that attracts customers, the business must first answer a few questions.
Defining the Content Curation Scope
So, what exactly should they curate? The answer to this begins and ends with customers, and not necessarily current customers only. They’re important, but attracting new customers and audience segments that are beneficial for the business is just as crucial.
1. What kinds of topics relevant to the business are current customers likely to find useful or interesting?
The business should look to their invoices and sales receipts to help answer this question. What other items did the customer buy? Identifying the interests of current customers based on what they purchase is the perfect way to get to know them better. What products or services have sold especially well lately? Are there any backorders or items that just seem to fly out the door the minute they hit the shelf? Alternatively, is anything sitting on the shelf, gathering dust?
The business should definitely turn to the analytics on their website, too. Popular products, articles and click-throughs are strong indicators of what’s interesting to current customers.
2. How would the business describe the prospective customers they most want to attract and what will capture their interest?
To answer this question, the business needs to think about the customers they would love to attract to the business. Where do they live? What work do they do? How do they dress? Do they have kids? Are they into sports? Birdwatching? Content curation topics should draw in the audience they hope to engage.
3. How can the business organize or frame those topics to inform, entertain or challenge prospects and current customers?
This one is a bit tricky. There are boatloads of content in all formats created, curated, churned and channeled all day, every day. To offer a relevant, fresh perspective, the business needs to connect the interests of the audience(s) to pop culture, current and trending events.
Let’s say, for instance, they run a chain of regional hardware stores located along the Gulf Coast. Rather than curating a hodgepodge of home decor and do-it-yourself projects, consider focusing on projects that customers can do to enhance their living space while also helping the local economy. Highlight content about restoration projects and gardening for wildlife. Curate a series on sustainable home design.
Content Curation Can Equal Success
It’s important when the business defines their area of content to curate to keep it focused and not take on more than they can handle. A topic that is too broad quickly becomes overwhelming. It’s far easier to expand a search for curate-able content than it is to dig out from under a pile of 500 articles. Next time, we’ll talk about tools to help manage the content curation process.
It’s important to keep in mind that content marketing is only one component for helping a local business reach more customers online. Learn more about how our all-encompassing local presence management solution can help you and your customers today.