Most children are taught at an early age to share and that everything is NOT all about them. It can be a painful life lesson for some to grasp – especially if they don’t pick it up until later in life – but it’s an important one nonetheless.
This particular life lesson also applies to how brands approach content marketing. In the age of brands-as-publishers and empowered consumers, companies need to understand that what they publish cannot only be about themselves.
Why Drop the Me Me Me Act?
Because you don’t want to be “that guy.” You’re so much better than this.
Brands need to look beyond themselves because in order to integrate their company and content into the lives of their target audience, they have to answer a need or want. Their is an expectation that digital content goes far beyond marketing marketing messages; you can thank all the savvy marketers before you for that. Now, many brands are quite adept at generating their own unique content that connects back to the business in a more tangential way. However, there is an additional way to widen your content scope to complement your original content and become known for more than simply provider of product XYZ – content curation.
For a definition of content curation, I’ll defer to the incredibly wise Beth Kanter, who explains it as “the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.” In other words, the collection and organization of content important to your targeted audience. There is solid evidence that audiences respond well to a content approach that blends original content with curated content.
Back in late 2011, Jay Baer conducted a study to determine how audiences in social responded to the two different content types (that is created vs. curated). What he found was staggering, and still some of the best data on the subject of content curation. Brands that posted curated content linking to 3rd party sites experienced a 33% increase in clicks vs. those with original content linking back to their own site.
Your Recovery Starts Today
Now is not the time for denial! To identify and cure the symptoms of a ‘Me-Me-Me’ brand and prevent a relapse, follow these 3 simple steps:
Does your brand beat its own drum too much? Give yourself an honest audit to determine if there’s room for more content curation in your marketing mix by:
- Analyzing your last 4 weeks of social shares – What percentage of your updates point to your site vs. 3rd party? If more than 50% of your content links back to yourself, there’s room for improvement.
- Evaluating your last 10 posts – On average, how many links do you offer per post pointing to web properties not controlled by your brand? If your average is south of 1, you have some curating to do.
To treat the symptoms of being a me-me-me brand, start by revisiting your content marketing strategy. What topics is your brand striving to be known for? These topics will define how you will collect and organize content. Remember to consider information that know is critical to your audience. Information like:
- emerging trends within the industry
- market conditions that impact your audience
- studies or surveys
- new industry legislation
- acquisitions of competitors
To assist you in the collection of relevant content, there are a wide array of content curation tools that work for any budget.
As you start collecting quality, credible and relevant content, don’t sit on the information – share it, by weaving the curated content into your content calendar. While ultimately your ratio of curated content-to-created content may vary, strive to reach 50+% curated content.
Sharing and providing insights on curated content has the potential to improve some important metrics. Evaluate these KPIs before and after you prescribed your treatment to get a baseline understanding of whether your content curation strategy is working.
Metrics that can help evaluate your effort may include:
- Inbound Links
While creating unique content that is interesting, engaging and super-relevant will always be important, there should be a place in your content marketing strategy to share curated content that meets that same criteria. Doing so will help widen your content spectrum, increase your overall content output and tell the world that you’re not a selfish jerk, but an informed and active member of their community.
Where does brand fall in the content curation spectrum? Are you a recovering me-me-me brand with a story to tell? Share your progression with a comment below.