In previous blogs, I’ve explored the importance of content generation for attracting site visitors and encouraging repeat visits (see Keep your content rich, engaging, and fresh to help SEO and ensure repeat visits). Today, I’d like to talk a bit about content creation’s cousin, curation.
Content curation has become, arguably, one of the most popular activities on the social web. Whether you’re sharing your favorite web links, playlists, videos or collections of images, users and tools have conspired to create a human-driven source of collecting and categorizing that is making the web more relevant. How better to find new music than to visit the collection of a friend or “netizen” who has similar tastes?
Social Media and Content marketers have been taking advantage of the curation craze by collecting, repackaging and promoting other peoples’ content through blogs and emails, thereby keeping themselves on top of prospects’ minds and branding their company as a source of “thought leadership.” Not to mention creating hundreds of keyword-rich back links as their curated blogs are syndicated and reposted.
I must admit, I have jumped on this bandwagon and I’m happy to say that after looking at several tools (including Pinterest, Pearltrees and a couple others) I settled on a pretty cool one that not only makes it easy for me to collect and lay out the content I discover, but it also gives me some pretty powerful customization tools to create a branded experience for my visitors. The tool of which I speak is called Scoop.it (www.scoop.it), and I am a user at the “pro” level.
Here are some of the ways that Scoop.it Pro makes my life much easier:
- Places all my content in a beautifully laid-out digest format, with easy and intuitive access to social sharing and reaction tools,
- Allows me to curate Images, headlines and content, making it more useful to me than Pinterest as a B2B user,
- Makes it incredibly simple for me to post, schedule and share relevant content through an easy-to-install and use bookmark bar,
- Allows me to create multiple topics, so my content can be as general or as specific as I want,
- Allows me to share curation responsibilities with a team by affiliating up to 5 contributors to each topic I curate, and
- Assuming I post, share and maintain content relevant to my topic on a daily basis, My “Scoop.It score” continues to rise and give me access to greater and greater numbers of readers – which is actually kind of fun and rewarding. It’s a little like playing with one of those “Tomagotchi” toys I had as a kid – but with a real pay-off!
From a branding perspective, I’ve been able ALMOST to white label the tool. Scoop.it Pro’s customization feature lets me “host” my curated content on a sub-domain of the Ayantek website, and also gives me the ability to customize fonts, colors, background images and header HTML to the extent that the digests fits into a pretty seamless branded experience for our visitors. In fact the integration is so seamless I’ve added links to my digests from the primary navigation of Ayantek.com. If you want to see the digests in-situ, feel free to check them out at mobiledigest.ayantek.com, socialdigest.ayantek.com and designdigest.ayantek.com.
Results? According to Google Analytics Scoop.it has now become a primary source of referral traffic to the site. I expect this traffic to grow as I continue to keep my curated content green and relevant. I’m not certain yet whether I am getting any SEO “Juice” out of the drastic explosion of keyword-rich content on my site – especially since so much of my search traffic shows up as “keyword not available” in analytics. I fully expect however that links to my site from these digests should up our ability to show up high in SEM results.
Some challenges I still face are actually using the traffic as a source of lead generation. As powerful as the tool is, I don’t have the ability to change the layout of the content which makes it hard for me to place banners that might go to topic-specific landing pages. I will be experimenting with beginning to intersperse promotional items every ten posts or so, to provide tangible opportunities for folks who are actually shopping for our services to get into our marketing funnel.
Are you using content curation in your marketing efforts? I’d be interested in hearing what tools you’ve found useful and also what parallel programs you might be running to improve the “synergistic” impacts of these efforts.