Content curation is continuing to rise among Fortune 500 brands, and understandably so; companies that include a balanced mix of created and curated content on their social media profiles see a 10X higher conversion rate than those that don’t. Beyond conversions, curating valuable content from credible sources also helps to position company executives and employees as thought leaders, increase brand awareness and raise earned media value. Suffice it to say that brands are scouring the interwebs for content that’s worthy of curation.
You see where we’re going, yeah? Getting your content shared by top executives at these companies can raise awareness, improve reach and increase earned media value for your own brand. Keep in mind, though, that these companies have standards in place for what they will and won’t share. So, if your goal is to get your content curated, you’ll need to keep these tips in mind.
Step One: Write relevant content
The topic of your content is critical. Executives look to curate content around specific topics that make sense for their audience. These include:
Events. Corporations that host or participate in live and virtual events love to share news about upcoming events and recaps of recent events. If you attend an event writing a recap of the highlights and/or what you’ve learned is a great way to get your content shared.
Product/service launches. If you are a fan of a particular brand’s products or services, write an honest review of anything new that launches. Brands will undoubtedly share their own press releases, blog posts and write ups of the launch, but they love to share unsolicited news about their brand, as well.
How-to. Step-by-step instructions for how to set-up, use, or manage a product are especially helpful for new customers and young professionals. Include screen shots and clear explanations, along with pro tips to add value to your content. Brands are on the lookout for content that provides value for their audience, and this style of blog post is a no-brainer!
Trends. We do love our trends, don’t we? Articles that offer predictions for the future are popular with every audience. And if those trends include a technology, product, or service, provide readers with an example of a brand that’s doing it well and those brands are more likely to share your content.
Research. There’s nothing like a great stat to capture attention and get people clicking. If you’ve come across a new study that’s relevant to your audience, write a blog post around some of the more compelling stats. Draw data-driven conclusions, pose interesting questions or offer a unique point of view. The participants, sponsors, and creators of that study are likely to share your article with their own audiences.
Case Studies. Sharing case studies that tout your own products and services aren’t likely to get shared by others, but if you can find a case study that offers strategic ideas others can pull from, or
Step 2: Write for your audience
Now that you’ve got a good idea of topics, you’ll want to make sure the content you write appeals to the right audience. Try writing a different style of blog post for each audience. For example, let’s say you’re writing a Product Launch blog post about a new project management software. If your audience is beginners in the industry or new to using this type of software, you might write a how-to style article. If your audience consists of mid-level pros, you might focus on sharing compelling insights, stats, and pro tips. To reach experienced executives, you could write a high-level piece that explores the why rather than the how of project management software tools. Writing all three pieces lets you cover all the bases and triples the content you’re putting out there: a win-win!
Step 3: Give the title (and image) its due
When content curators are searching for relevant articles to share with their networks, they need to make quick decisions: should I or shouldn’t I? Keep or pass? Worthy or not? In much the same way that we make a decision about someone based on our first impression of their appearance, voice and/or body language, your content’s title acts as a first impression for your article and your brand. Choose a title that conveys the main message of the content. Also, remember that when curators share content from outside sources, they’ll want to add an image – if your blog post already has one, it’ll make the curator’s job that much easier.
Step 4: Don’t be a bully
Content that is written with a negative tone or that talks poorly about another brand is off-limits for most corporations. Companies don’t want to come across as “bullies” and most work to avoid talking down to or criticizing other brands, even competitors. If you really want to compare two products (the iPhone vs. the Samsung, for example), go ahead and write that article, but we recommend writing a separate blog post for each, as well. That way you stand a better chance of getting the appropriate article shared by both companies. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be honest; if a product doesn’t live up to the hype, by all means, let your audience know. But cutting down one product won’t always make its competitor want to share it.
Step 5: Avoid typos and grammatical errors
I’ve come across some great articles but have been unable to share for clients simply because there are too many typos or the article is poorly written. And listen, we get that mistakes happen. This is not the grammar police telling you that unless your content is 100% perfect, it won’t get shared. The truth is, great content with an accidental typo or two will still be shared, and irrelevant content that holds no value isn’t going to get shared even if the grammar is perfect. But it does help to have fresh eyes give your content a once-over before you hit the “publish” button. I’ve been a professional writer for 15 years and I’m still unable to proofread my own work. It’s just difficult to see typos when your eyes have been staring at something for days.
Creating curate-worthy content should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. Want to learn more about content curation? Read: Why your marketing strategy should include content curation (+ 5 rules for success).