Archive for January, 2013

As general as the term may be, content marketing is the trend of the year . According to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America  survey by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs , 9 out of 10 marketers will be using content marketing in 2013, with an average of 12 content marketing tactics, a significant increase when compared to previous years, when they were only using 8 tactics. The statistics reveal even more: in 2012, B2B marketers were spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, and 54% said they will increase their content marketing spending in 2013. With so many marketers competing, you will need to define a content strategy that works for you. We’ve hand picked 100 content marketing tools and sites that will assist you in your efforts. From places to source content ideas for your blog, to content curation sites that allow you to reach broader audiences; from sites that allow you to create visual content with ease; to professional tools that help you monitor content marketing strategies employed by your competitors; the list below features some of the trendiest, most popular sites and tools for content marketers. B2B Content Inspiration and Ideas; Research; Creation and Content Curation; Publishing and More DivvyHQ is the Content Marketing Industry’s first spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application built specifically for professional content producers. Within one easy application,  you can manage your content ideas, editorial team, production process and deadlines. With DivvyHQ, it is possible to organize and successfully execute your demanding and complicated content marketing initiatives. Scribe delivers the exact content marketing process that helped Copyblogger evolve from a simple blog into a software company with 100,000+ customers – and it will work for your business, too. WordPress users are advised to check out  Scribe for WordPress. Intigi helps marketers find, curate, and share engaging content so they can build their company’s thought leadership and increase qualified website traffic. The Content Marketing Institute : the clue is in the name. The site offers educational resources to help you navigate how to get started or improve your content marketing efforts. HubSpot Academy : superb resources, including ebooks, hot to articles, webinars, and much more. Check out the Marketing Grader to see how you’re doing with your marketing online. LinkedIn : LinkedIn Answers will be discontinued January 31, 2013 – a puzzling move, given the [...]

The Do’s and Don’ts of Content Curation

This is one of the best blog posts I have seen discussing the “Do’s and Don’ts” of content curation. You can definitely use this as a template for learning the most effective ways to curate content as part of your content marketing plan.  As always, please add your comments below

The Do’s and Don’ts of Curating Blog Content

Curating content is a great way to stock your blog with fresh topics and increase traffic, but as with everything in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.  But first things fist.

What is curated content?

Content curation is the process of sorting through the seemingly endless amount of content on the web, selecting what is relevant to your audience and presenting it in a thoughtful, organized manner structured around a specific theme. Right and Wrong Ways to Curate Content

Don’t just collect

Anyone can collect and gather online content.  As a content curator, your job is to handpick the content most relevant and important to your community. This involves searching, vetting, organizing and presenting a customized selection of content on a particular topic.

Do position yourself as an authority

For organizations and brands, curating content is a great way to establish thought leadership and become the go-to authority on an important topic or issue.  Visitors don’t want to waste time hunting around the web for info; they want to go straight to a source of customized content selected based on a common interest, niche or industry.

Don’t get content fried

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the daily overconsumption of content directed at us. Digesting content in a meaningful, thoughtful way takes time, patience, discipline and perseverance.

Reduce distractions and budget timeslots for researching so you don’t succumb to data overload.

Do know your audience .

It’s impossible to deliver content of value and interest to your visitors unless you know who they are. Taking the time to learn about their world, their pain points and their concerns will enable you to better research, collect and present topics of value to them.

Don’t just repost

Add value by making sense of the information for your audience. This can be as simple as how you annotate shared links or writing a blog post using links or summarizing key points from a presentation. Be sure, however, that your opinions support your organization’s communication objectives.

Do play follow the leader.

Find the best content curators in your industry and follow them.  You will learn a lot from experienced curators: how they have honed their craft, established workflows, tools to use, and general how-to tips.   Don’t steal . Curating content isn’t [...]

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It’s become almost conventional wisdom by now that the rise of social-media tools and networks like Twitter and Facebook have killed blogging , but you wouldn’t know it by the number of blog-like services that have sprung up recently, including Medium (from former Twitter CEO Evan Williams) and the new blog features launched by the question-and-answer community Quora. In a recent blog post about at this phenomenon, Hunter Walk of YouTube argues that these platforms are “the rebirth of content farms” — but it’s probably more instructive to see them as curation engines. Content farms appeared on the scene several years ago, as publishers tried to figure out how to drive search traffic to their websites, since Google had become one of the top traffic sources in the industry. As SEO or search-engine optimization became a crucial part of the business, some took this principle to its logical conclusion and started creating content specifically to attract Google and profit from advertising keywords ( Note : We’re going to be talking about alternative methods of monetization for content at our paidContent Live conference in April). Content farms had an explicitly financial motive One of the most prominent players was Demand Media, which owned eHow, an early attempt at SEO for content . The model was simple: pay a large stable of freelance writers very small amounts of money (often as little as per article) to create or aggregate “service oriented” content around specific ad-heavy topics. This version of the business was more or less killed by Google via updates to its search algorithm, which pushed low-quality content further down in search results. Walk argues that Medium and Quora’s new blogging platform (which converted what were message boards into individual blogs) as well as the blog network Svbtle and LinkedIn’s Influencer program share many of the same features as early content farms. Among other things, he says they offer : Article-based construction : In other words, a blog-style layout and format with multiple, dated posts written by an individual author Cross-promotion : Visitors come to one blog post and are shown others by the same author or different authors to try and entice them to stay Easy to use publishing tools : Medium and some other players offer lightweight content-creation features that make it easy to write and publish For me at least, the main difference between what Medium and [...]

Curation is a tactic of driving engagement through online product promotion. Curation is a subtle (we think subliminal) technique of setting a tone (or you might say it is a process of building a theme ) with content, or for that matter, products. In our opinion, a definition offered by Minter Dial, What is Social Curation? The 3 key success factors (http://themyndset.com/2012/01/what-is-social-curation-3-key-success-factors-for-excellent/) is helpful on the topic, and certainly worth a read. Curation is nothing new to the Internet. In fact, Delicious (http://www.delicous.com) , which has been around for years, is an almost pure example of curation . What’s different about curation in 2013, and of interest to us from an online product promotion perspective, is the opportunity afforded to tech businesses to pursue joint marketing opportunities, reciprocal blogging and even linking, within the context of an active content curation program. In fact, strategic alliances can be presented, quite effectively, to an audience through a shared content theme, which has been assembled by curating specific content which is presented, consistently by all parties in the strategic alliance. Certainly every social media venue, whether one looks to Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or LinkedIn, is built on curation. In the case of Facebook, at its purest level, the content curated amounts to the personal artifacts of friends who all like the same things. These artifacts can amount to no more than electronic scribbling on Walls. Not to be outdone, the same process can be accomplished with Google Plus, LinkedIn and even Twitter. We think the day has still not arrived when curation will successfully demonstrate its usefulness as a method of driving engagement. For example, do Twitter users really care about who they follow for any other reason than to attempt to capture an opportunity of collecting a new follower as the result of re publishing someone else’s Tweet at just the right time to capture the interest of a new set of eyes. On the other hand, if a tech business marketer understands the role, which we think is a subtle one, that curation plays as a nevertheless essential method of building an appealing, familiar surrounding for one’s audience, then we think the important points will have been communicated. For the record, we have no success, to date, implementing curation as a method of driving engagement. Further, from what we understand of the history of Delicious, we think that a [...]

Content Curation Tips to Get You Started

Today’s guest post is from  a friend and fellow member of the Social Solutions Collective , Laurie Thompson. Two of the biggest buzz words surrounding Social Media are “Content Curation”. I see those two words pop up in my Hootsuite dashboard almost every five minutes. What exactly does content curation mean, and should you be curating content? Let’s start with a definition from Jennifer Hanford of B2B Inbound Online via her article Content Curation Sources for Online Media : “Content curation-the activity of sorting, collecting, and condensing content from all over the internet so you can share it with your target audience.” There are plenty of content curation tools out there that can help you ease into obtaining information to share and hopefully start engaging with your customers! Here are a few basic tools to help you get started: – Google Alerts – Type in some key words that relate to your business field, decide what type of results you would like (blogs, books, everything, etc), how often you would like the results, how many results you would like, and where you want the results delivered! – Google Reader -If you do not want all of your Google alerts coming to your email, you might consider having them sent to your Google Reader. In the reader you can set up folders to organize all of your content. Some of the folders I have are: Blogging, Curation, SEO, and WordPress.  You can also subscribe to your favorite blogs using their RSS feeds, and pointing the feed to your Google Reader! – Pinterest -Yes, Pinterest is a content curation tool! Every time you “pin” an item from the web, you are gathering content and putting it onto a content board! I curate Social Media Infographics on my Pinterest account. I have content boards such as Twitter Tweet Tweet, Linkedin Linky-loo, and YouTube Sees You. The only downside to Pinterest is when posting content from a board is you should thank the website/person you obtained the information from. This can be tricky when information is being pinned left and right, so be wary of that when using Pinterest for content curation. Now I have just pointed out three content curation tools that are a great starting point, and only skim the surface. There is no right answer as to how you curate content, but you have to figure out what your customers [...]

B2B businesses are making significant social media efforts without generating business ROI. Our customers tell us that the amount of time and energy that goes into daily social media marketing seems obtuse; they work hard to share a lot of content on a lot of channels, but that content does not lead to more sales or more qualified prospects. So why invest in social media? Most businesses know they should, but do not know how to do so effectively. According to Dr. Neil Hair of the E. Philips Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology, “ Only one in seven companies have a formal process in place for deploying social networking tools .” Use social media to become the influential voice of the big issue that impacts your customers. Do not just share your content. That’s what everyone is doing and it is not the advantage for smart B2B businesses. Your prospects want a dependable, reliable resource to filter out all the irrelevant content flooding their information searches. In a CNN news column, Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable , a popular blog about social media , named content curation as one of the 10 Web trends to watch in 2010 . By curating content online and sharing that content across your integrated marketing channels, you will attract qualified leads who want to hear more from you, and you will create a relevant social media presence that will bring customers to you. Content curation delivers consistency across your integrated marketing channels; your prospects can go to any number of resources online to get the information they need, but they will come to you if you provide them exactly what they need, when they need it. You must ensure that your voice is the one resource online where prospects can browse all relevant information available. Blogs, news, and research are necessary components of a relevant social media presence – share from all of these, but share only what is relevant. Most social media sites do not provide the level of relevance and precision that B2B businesses need to convert prospects into customers. Social media channels are just another marketing channel; Twitter provides a means to tweet, but becoming a brand leader depends on what you tweet. You need to identify what industry voice you want to own and use that voice online to create and share resources that validate [...]

Why Social Curation fails for B2B Marketing

Why Social Curation fails for B2B Marketing – Curation Models Part I There are several models for content curation as a part of a content marketing strategy.  Content can be curated by an editor/curator, by a crowd (social curation), or by a machine (algorithmic curation).  In this multi-part series, I will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and which ones are most appropriate for each scenario, especially with respect to marketing. Social Curation is a manifestation of the “wisdom of the crowds”.  Sites like Digg and Reddit are some of the most popular destinations online.  Other than comments, there is zero original content on these sites.  Rather the content is sourced by an army of users who continually find, group, organize and share the best content.  In concert, these swarms of users are essentially playing the role of a content curator as per its definition . In the business world, many content marketing managers salivate over the idea that a swarm of users can come together and create a vibrant buzzing destination with fresh curated content.  A few brands have been able to pull this off and pull it off well.  For example, a few years ago, Dell launched IdeaStorm where thousands of users submit product ideas and only the best and more relevant are rated to the top by the collective user base.  In fact, the popular pre-installation of Ubuntu came out of IdeaStorm.  Since then, Salesforce has productized the underlying platform of IdeaStorm as a part of their offering. Over the past few years, I have heard the desire of many B2B marketing executives express their desire for such a brand community.  The bad news is that for most B2B spaces, unlike Dell, it’s near impossible to gather a community of users who can continually curate and contribute content on a regular basis.  In most B2B markets which are narrow and specific, you will be successful if you get a few hundred users.  Furthermore, even if you do get a few hundred users, far fewer will be contributing content following the 1% rule . Users don’t come to an online destination, unless there are: [1] other users there (as in social networks) or [2] content for them to consume (as in a blog). But social curation relies on content being gathered by other users.  In essence, social curation puts us in a chicken-and-egg loop: which [...]

A content curation software for SMBs

As this article illustrates, Curata is a powerful, B2B curation platform designed primarily for SMBs. Both its functionality and its price point takes is out of the typical Internet Marketer’s range.

That said, it looks to be one of the leading solutions for SMB to effectively brand via content curation. Please comment below

Content marketing is an effective way for brands to maintain a presence for their online audience. Curata finds content for companies in an efficient way that learns from user behavior.

The content discovery tools for consumers are many and diverse, but companies need their own way to curate content that is meaningful for their customers, fans or followers. While having a consistent stream of content is essential to keep their social network optimized and attentive to brand activity, doing it manually is extremely time-consuming and otherwise resource-intensive.

Curata  is a software that helps brands find content, organize it, and share to networks or sites, in order to create a solid marketing strategy based on content curation. Content curation allows brands to position themselves as thought leaders in a field, or on specific topics. Customizable Find pulls from sources and suggests content Find is the tool that a social media manager will rely on to uncover content from around the web. Find retrieves relevant material from “news, blogs, feeds and social media sources,” and creates a “content flow.”

The user determines sources, then indicates words or phrases of interest that must be included, filtering each of them in custom source tuning dialog boxes. As Curata learns more about what type of content the user prefers, Find prioritizes and suggests other content and sources.

A bookmarklet adds convenience to add pages while browsing the web. Other Curata tools help users build context and recognize trending topics After using Find, the Organize function helps the user create a taxonomy to group content and navigate it more easily. Organize also learns from usage, so it becomes aware of how content is grouped and responds accordingly. By scanning content regularly, Organize also identifies trending topics, and creates optimized search result landing pages.

After being contextualized, content is ready to be brought into Share, which can directly publish to an HTML5 site or blog, social networks and email newsletters. Curata aims to help businesses build and monitor a content marketing practice while addressing challenges like limited budget and minimal staff.

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Curation as a part of your content marketing strategy allows you to provide your audience with a broad range of information within your specific niche.  This article discusses the need to focus on a specific topic that best encompasses what your target audience is looking for in order to allow you to become an authority in that area and still have the time to have a life!  Please add our thoughts below…

Photo Credit: www.allysongreer.com

Choose A Specific Topic (or Topics) That You Plan to Focus On One of the most important elements of creating an online collection of curated content is having a focused topic that all of the content relates to.

This will help your customers more easily find your content and be able better understand and follow it. Further, one of the biggest values of curation is that it allows you to give your readers context.

Providing the best context for the content that you are curating and sharing all starts with establishing a specific topic that all of your content will fall under.

With Scoop.it Free, you can have up to five different topics for your account. Does your business have various different elements to it?  Think about creating an umbrella topic for your industry, then additional topics covering the different sectors that you cover.  When you sign up for Scoop.it, the first thing you will be led to do is create your topic.

Make the name specific and unique, like “San Francisco Restaurant News” and make sure to add a brief description that explains why this topic is important to you and your readers. You can also add keywords to your topic so that Scoop.it can search the web for the best content to provide to you. Make sure your keywords are aligned with your topic so that you can discover the best content to publish. Establish Your Editorial Line Once you have created your page, it’s time to get curating!

At first, it may seem overwhelming, but as you experiment, it becomes more natural. Going through the suggested content from Scoop.it will help you to find some great content that has to do with your topic or brand. If it doesn’t, you can optimize your keywords or even feed the suggestion engine with RSS feeds of sites from which you often share content. Scoop.it gives you an option to take this even further.

With the Bookmarklet, you can add a Scoop.it button to your toolbar and post content from around the web in one click! This works great for content that you find through other methods than suggestions from Scoop.it Do you use Google Alerts or another system that allows you to find content that mentions your brand or your industry? Once you find content from there, you can use the Scoop.it bookmarklet to post that content directly [...]

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“Curation is replacing creation as the primary mode of self-expression” Jonathan Harris” — Is curation becoming a primary mode of communication amongst young-users? While primarily self-evident, one could argue that a Tumblr (and similiar platforms) can quickly become a self-narritave and curation is the mechanism that drives that personal story.

How a user chooses to present their micro-blog is a reflection of an intended public and promoted values. Tumblr makes it easy for digital content to be the primary communication tool. An Adidas ad: First paid advertising campaign on Tumblr. Social CMEs (computer-mediated environments) collapse the border between material and immaterial, the real and the possible (Schau and Gilly, 2003). Consumers no longer have to purchase or be in proximity with a product to identify with what the brand stands for. Tumblr users collect content and they become digital possessions.

Possessions to which there is attachment, help narrate a person’s life story (Kleine, Kleine III and Allen, 1995). Tumblr allows users to create “portfolios of attachment”. An attachment reflects different combinations of affliations. A portfolio is built depending on what a user’s seeks to present to their public (Klein et al, 1995). Websites give consumers greater freedom to express their identities through digital association rather than ownership or proximity. Thus, consumers’ ideal values may be revealed more clearly in a personal Web space than in real life. Consumers create depth and give meaning to their digital selves through the association of branded content. A brand’s content may become an integrated piece that helps build personal narrative or generate a more developed piece of the individual.

That Adidas ad exemplifies youth culture and creates an association with adventure. One doesn’t have to own that bag to prove this. What does this mean and why is it important? It could be inferred that self-presentation is a strategic attempt to gain celebrity within a desired public or reach out to others with similar interests or values. What I find surprising, is how branded content is often the catalyst for both- on sites like Tumblr. Furthermore, and what may be more specific to Tumblr, is the association with branded images allow for desired marginality and social constructivism. Enthusiasts can interact with content and marketers can take advantage of feedback loops and recursive action that this environment creates (O’Guinn, Muniz, 2009). As social-beings, we seek out shared experiences (Brooks, 2011). Often, it is well-developed content that [...]

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