Earlier this summer, I wrote about how curation and content monitoring are powerful tools for content creation. However, there are two additional key strategies I also use at the beginning and end of content creation that help me produce content I know will be useful and relevant for my audience: testing and promotion.
Testing Content Subjects and Types
How do you know that certain content subjects or even types (e.g., videos, infographics, listicles, reviews) will resonate with your audience? Knowing your readers and customers is important in Content Marketing but you can only tell so much by analyzing CRM and web click analysis. Sometimes, you need to test things out. Before you spend hours writing new editorial work or hiring a writer, content curation can help you see how your audience responds to a new idea, interest, or concept you’d like to build out.
Find a few articles, videos or infographics on the subject you would like to explore, add your commentary to put it into context for your audience, and invite your audience to comment on the content. Through interaction and click tracking, you can see how the article performed and the response will help you decide if that kind of content (subject or type) is right for your audience. By using curation instead of researching and writing an original piece, you produced your test in far less time and at a lower cost than creating original material on an untested subject. In the process, you may also spark other ideas from your feedback and get a better idea if the format or new subject is right for your business.
Promoting Your Content With Real-Time Curation
Promotion is as important as the content you produce because, of course, you fail to engage every reader who doesn’t see your article. And while tech and social expert Guy Kawasaki says you should just tweet everything out four times, there are some compelling ways to promote and even A/B test your amplification efforts with real-time curated content that won’t have you just repeating the same message.
If you keep your signal directed on your industry, you can find newsworthy content that you can curate into your publishing channels as an article or post related to your own material. Social links, powered with hashtags, can effectively drive traffic back to your curated post and a link to your original material.
There are two ways to approach this idea: broadly or deeply. Tying your content to the latest news item outside your industry (e.g., viral videos like the ALS Challenge, celebrity antics, or other entertaining ideas) can get you more eyeballs but the other option is to keep a laser focus on your audience’s interests and find promotional opportunities that resonate with them. Going broadly can get you mention and interest, while focusing deeply on your industry will help you develop thought leadership since you are both promoting your content and sharing worthwhile third-party material that is useful to your audience in a timely fashion.
When you get results, see how your content performed with your own headlines, with those that linked your content to another industry-specific story, and even those that were connected to something funny or generally popular. Which one performed best? This kind of A/B testing will help you do better with your next series of posts because you may just find that you draw more traffic with the broadly interesting articles but perhaps you close more sales, get more follow-up page views, or just attract a better return audience when you stay topical to your industry or space. You know have the knowledge to optimize as you go.
With the right tools, curation and content monitoring can bookend your content creation process effectively by harnessing the power of real-time content, saving you time and improving your reach. Testing content types and subjects before you invest heavily in them will keep your production efficient and promoting your content by riding the social and the right always-on waves of news will help ensure that your audience finds your content. In this way, curation can truly play a key role in the whole life cycle of content production, expanding what you do while supporting your efforts optimize your publishing output.
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