12 Most Effective Strategies for Corporate Blog Curation
In my last post on launching a corporate blog, I listed “the identification of content sources from across the enterprise” as an effective content generation strategy. Another strategy some corporations find successful is to curate 3rd party industry content instead of that which their internal teams created. This tactic becomes increasingly important for businesses wishing to evolve into a Social Enterprise, which is (in part) defined by their transparency & openness with their audience and community at large.
However, curating content from outside sources is as much an art as planning and authoring your own blog posts. If done well, it can increase your business’ connection to your customers; if done poorly however, it can increase corporate risk. And this applies to content curated for all social feeds including newsletters and emails, not just blogs.
So here is my list of the 12 Most Effective Strategies for Corporate Blog Curation to help set you on the right path.
1. Really get to know your readers
To differentiate yourself from the thousands of curated blogs sites out there, you must go beyond a standard demographic and psychographic profiling and drill down to the minutia of your audience’s business and what stresses them. Then use that fine detail to choose content that addresses their specific needs & desires.
2. Allow readers to customize their feeds
The more detailed you allow your readers to get when setting their preferences and profile date, the broader the range of interests, needs and categories you’ll be able to identify and support. The point is, don’t force-feed content to everyone. Build a blog platform that allows for RSS subscription to specific categories, themes or even keywords. Better yet, provide your readers the option to select a “my page” that presents content from within the site based on their stated content preferences.
3. Focus on recency
If you look at the best curated corporate e-newsletters, you’ll discover that the articles shared are rarely older than 14 days. In the best cases they are less than 3 – 5 days old. Recency or “freshness” of content is critical to make the audience feel like they are “in the know” if they continue to subscribe to your blog/RSS feed.
4. Consider archival relevancy
Another content filter is the relevancy of the content when reviewed in the future. If someone searches your archived blog posts, will that content be historically relevant? Meaning: will it be worth re-reading in the future for benchmark analysis, business trend review or has some business value? Or is the article simply opinion based on a current fad, gossip or innuendo?
5. Consistency still a virtue
Is your publication daily? Weekly? Are you tweeting every hour? Twice an hour? There’s no best strategy in my opinion but you need to be consistent, whatever frequency you choose. Let your audience lead and when you pick a frequency, stick with it.
5. Research competitive blogs
Has your competitor already established a well-read curated blog? If so, ask yourself: can you really do it so much better than they are in order to steal their readership? If not, look at a niche that they may not be serving well and focus on that, build the audience and expand from there.
6. Extend your network
Don’t fall into the trap of using the same few popular news sources for all your curated content. Everyone already subscribes to the popular industry blogs now. Curation is not an excuse to be lazy; you’re better served monitoring a dozen or so smaller or up and coming sources to add a unique perspectives among the leading or celebrity news.
7. Let the clouds in
After the years of negativity created by the economic crisis we’ve been living through, many have a tendency to gravitate towards – and promote – only good news stories. Who wants to be a downer right? The reality is that there’s a place for both negative & positive stories. Choose content based on its relevancy to the audience’s business and that provides insight and education, not based on its positivity, catchy titles or feel-good quality.
8. Don’t over-automate
Too many curated blogs simply post RSS feeds from the curator’s favorite blog sites. Again, this is the lazy route and will not provide any value to your audience. They can set up their own RSS feeds from those same sites and probably do. A good curated blog – like an original blog – has a Point of View that makes it different. Let your businesses point of view shine through by choosing articles that represent it.
9. Be selective
Those that follow curated blogs do so to save the time of scouring many blog sites and email newsletters to find relevant content. Be sure to share content that is very specific to your industry and the audiences stated preferences. Be selective and ensure you’re tagging each article with the very specific sub-topics and themes that allow the customer’s self-identified filters to display more relevant content.
10. Don’t be afraid of the competition
Curating relevant 3rd party content for your customers provides a valuable service and keeps them on your site vs. your competitors. Don’t be afraid to showcase content or references to your competition in the articles you choose to share. Being so open and transparent shows your belief in the superiority of your product and in the end, keeps the audience on your site longer.
11. Give credit where credit is due
The point of curating a blog is to share other source’s content. Be sure to give credit if you’re sharing their content. Provide a link to the original post and reference the source and author on your site. You’ll find you get more link backs and promotion from those authors and news sources when you’re willing to promote them too.
12. Provide insight & analysis on the articles you’re sharing
If you really want to show your expertise, provide a paragraph-long analysis of the article you’re sharing. What is the key point you wish the reader to take away? Or simply provide an executive summary for those that wish to skim all the articles. This is a valuable service for the reader and also showcases your point of view and personality.
The key take away here is that a curated blog is not a short cut for those who don’t want to produce original content. It’s a unique strategy, not necessarily a time-saving one. Choose to produce a curated blog over an original blog based on the value to your audience and business — not the perceived simplicity of curation.
What strategies do you use? Would love to hear them in the comments below!