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Yohei Guy - Sunday 2nd August 2020

How To Fill Your Content Calendar With Content Curation

Content curation has always been an important part of any social media strategy and in the current context of COVID-19, has become increasingly so. The main reason for this, is of course, due to the tightening of marketing budgets as a result of the pandemic. With limited resources for in-house or external content creation, content curation, by contrast, offers a much more cost-effective way of engaging the community through your social media channels.

The real question then becomes how do you fill your content calendar with content curation or, more importantly, how do you do it effectively and well. We thought we’d share a few ideas that have been successful for us.

Topicality is always a good starting point

There’s no shortage of content already in existence on the world wide web – a fact that few would argue with. This presents the challenge of trying to figure out where and how to actually get started when it comes to curation given the magnitude of choice. The market and niche you belong to will define, to some extent, what’s relevant to you and your business. Even then the options can still be overwhelming.

To narrow it down, look at the topics that are currently trending and being discussed within your industry today. There are a number of ways of doing this from following industry leaders, discussion forums, trending hashtags – even Googling relevant search terms and looking at the news results can give you a good idea of what’s currently in the public sphere.

If you start your content curation with what’s topical you will give yourself a foundation for content that is fresh and relevant which will have a better chance of being unique and engaging. You’ll also probably find that it helps bring your other ideas for content curation (and content creation for that matter) into focus which will permeate through your entire social schedule.

Monitor your competitors

Another thing to make a habit of is to monitor and take note of what your competitors are doing. Content curation is a very well-established strategy and nearly everyone partakes in it to varying degrees. Seeing what your competitors are doing and witnessing the results of it from an engagement metrics point of view, can be extremely helpful when thinking about your own schedule.

From it, you can see what content they are curating (obviously), the frequency of their curated posts, how they are framing them, attributing them, encouraging engagement and more. You can then use these findings to inform your own decisions to give yourself the best chance of finding success.

As with the case for researching content that is topically relevant, monitoring your competitors’ activity should be something that is done regularly, if not daily. If they, for instance, start doing things that are extremely successful and engaging, you don’t want them to sustain that advantage while you sit back idly and oblivious.

Diversify through multimedia

When curating content for your social media schedule it’s important to consider not just the nature of the content itself but the form in which it is presented. One area where social schedules can be let down when it comes to curation is that it can become patterned and monotonous.

This is detrimental for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can look awfully lazy if every curated post, for example, is a 3rd party link to a blog post or news item. Laziness is definitely a trait you don’t want your business to be associated with and you’d be surprised how easily people will attribute this type of action to your business as a whole.

Secondly, your followers will soon get bored with it. Using the example above, one blog post will soon look like the next and the next and so on and so forth. In no time at all, you’ll find that people stop engaging with such posts and you may even see the attrition rate of your followers start to increase.

Finally (though there are more), social media algorithms don’t like pages and accounts that basically don’t make any effort and are more akin to platform spamming. With repeated poor engagement, you’ll find that your Organic Reach on platforms like Facebook and Instagram will start to be negatively affected which will limit the potential for your page to prosper and do well.

Videos, photos, image galleries, podcasts, blogs, animations, infographics, quizzes, polls – there’s an endless variety of multimedia avenues you can explore and share with your followers to get their attention and keep them genuinely interested.

Engage in dialogue

The way you use curated content is just as important is the curated content itself. Social media is as you all know, a platform to be social, but it’s surprising how quickly and easily those who are responsible for accounts, forget this.

You don’t have to look hard to see examples of pages that share a link with minimal/superficial copy and hope that the content itself does the talking. Instances, when this happens, are those that almost universally sell themselves short in terms of their potential for engaging the masses.

A good way to frame curated posts is to think of it as a conversation starter. Perhaps it’s sharing your thoughts on the content in question and asking your followers for theirs? Perhaps it’s questioning the authors directly, developing an idea that’s been established? Perhaps it’s a chance to engage other thought leaders or influencers to get their views on a particular issue?

However you decide to frame it, you’ll likely find more engagement if you seek it by encouraging dialogue and inviting the opinions of others in a meaningful and authentic way.

Curated content can come from your followers too

While many of your sources for curated content will come from established leaders in your industry and/or sector, an often overlooked opportunity for content can sometimes be found from your followers themselves.

Successful businesses often owe much of their good fortune to the passion and loyalty of a strong base of customers many of which have great talents of their own. Smaller businesses might have an easier time of discovering these given the greater likelihood of more direct interaction but for larger organisations, getting to know your customers with that level of intimacy can be difficult.

One way to make this easier is through competitions, ideally where the mode of entry is some sort of feat or creative output. This may require a decent carrot (by way of a prize) but the returns, if done well, could be extremely fruitful.

You may well be surprised by the quality of entry received and the engagement you get through those. You can then repurpose the best in a finalists or winners announcement sharing the best of the best. Taking it even further, you may even explore working further with these individuals in the context of content creation.

The point here is to keep an open mind about your sources for content curation as you might find some great bits of content from places you least expect.

Let your content curation evolve over time

As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to curate content as a cost-effective way of filling your content calendar/schedule. Like all things creative and social, it should never remain static and always be developing and evolving over time. In doing so, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your content fresh and unique and keeping your followers engaged.

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