Welcome my friends.
This content curation systems has been a LIFESAVER for me over the years. It means I can share awesome, engaging, relevant content my community will love, without having to create it all myself. Now I’m not suggesting that this replaces your own content creation, far from it. Your own content should form the foundation of your content strategy, however this is a very handy addition to ensure you’re sharing other stuff your audience will enjoy
You can watch the video here, it’s just over 15 minutes long so it’s a quickie, rather than lovely long session. But if you’re more of a reader, the words are below.
UPDATE: When I first started using this process, it was all free. I’ve had the pro accounts for Buffer and Feedly for a while, so I wasn’t aware that there’s a cost to integrate Buffer and Feedly now, which is $5.41 per month. Personally, I think it’s worth the investment.
The thing with content curation is it allows us to share other people’s content that’s going to be really relevant to our community, and what we need to remember is it’s not all about us.
If we just talk about ourselves, if we are just promoting ourselves, then it gets a little bit uncomfortable for our audience and frankly a bit icky, so curating content from other sources is a really nice way of sharing something else that will be useful for them. It also shows you know your stuff without actually having to create anything, which is a bonus.
How this works for me
I’ve been using this system for years. It’s really quick and easy. Curating great content for my tribe is really important to me, and as I said at the beginning, you’ve got to get the balance right of how much of your own stuff you put out there against how much other stuff. I tend to curate content which is generally connected with business strategy, online business, social media, digital marketing, but I also share some fun stuff as well, we all like a laugh.
It also allows me to stay front of mind, so even when I don’t have anything going on and I don’t any blogs or promotions going on and I’m buried deep in the middle of project work or creating something wonderful, this helps me to stay front of mind because people can see me sharing this stuff, adding my own opinion to it.
This is the content curation process.
Basically you find your content on Feedly, share it to Buffer, get some insights from the results … AND THAT’S IT!
If you’re not doing anything like this already, it might blow your mind a little bit because it’s so easy to do and it doesn’t take up a lot of your time. The added bonus is that while you’re scouring the internet for this fantastic content, you’re learning stuff and picking intel up from that, so it helps you to stay up to date with trends and changes in your niche.
Why is content curation important?
Without it, all you’re doing is talking about you, you, and then more of you, which becomes overly promotional. So what we try to do is curate other people’s content to get something different in the mix.
Now, there is a general rule of thumb that 20% of the content you share should be about you and 80% should be other stuff that you curate. This can be informative, entertaining, fun, whatever it is. So long as it’s relevant to your tribe and they like it, then it’s all good, but generally, the ratio is 20:80.
It also helps you to show that you know your stuff by curating content that’s genuinely useful to your community and also adding your opinion to it, so if you share something, add your opinion to show you know your stuff
The point to note here is when you’re regularly sharing the content of other influencers it helps to grow a relationship with them, because they see it and often thank you for sharing their stuff. They might also keep their eye on you, boosting your influencer outreach efforts tremendously.
This is the process, in step-by-step detail
1. Identify your content sources
What you need to do is think about your audience, your tribe, your people. Think about who you want to engage with. You might have a whole list of those guys. Segment them into different groups or types of people. For me, for example, it could be entrepreneurs. It could be small businesses. It could be agencies, brands. Once you’re clear on that, think about what they need to read, what issues they may need addressing, what they like. Do some research on these guys to see what they’re sharing, asking, chatting about as this can help you understand what’s important to them. Also use Answer The Public, pop in your main business topic (e.g. mine could be digital marketing or social media) and see what people are asking. You can then find content that responds to those questions, knowing that it will resonate.
Find where they hang out online, what blogs they read, what Facebook and LinkedIn groups they’re members of, what they’re pinning on Pinterest, who they follow on Instagram and Twitter. Really do your research and then start to pay attention to the stuff they engage with and share. This will help you to understand the topics they’re interested in and also where they’re sharing it from, so it can give you a good idea of a few new sources.
Once you have these topics, you need to find the popular content and who is publishing it, so what you need is the right blogs written by the right influential people, and there are a range of tools you can use to use this.
BuzzSumo is one of my favourite tools on the Internet. It’s great for finding popular content and influencers on topics, so I would delve into that first. All you need to do is pop the topic in the search field and it will come up with a whole bunch of blogs and sources that are really influential on that topic. Have a read, and if you think they’re right then make a note of them. Scoop it is also great for finding popular content.
Then once you find your top blogs also look at the blogs in their blog roll and add any that look relevant. Follow the author for these blogs or online magazines on social media and see what content they share, because those will also be useful for you.
Then think about who the influencers are in your niche. You can use BuzzSumo for this too, just pop in your topic and click on Influencers, and it will give you a list of the biggest influencers for that topic. Follow them on social media and make a note of who they’re sharing. All of these blogs and online magazines can also be added to your list.
2. Set up your tools
Create a free account on BufferApp, if you don’t have one already. Add your social media profiles, and then go into each one of your social media profiles on Buffer and add your content schedule. It will allow you to pop in what times of day you would like to share content on that profile and which day.
For example, on Twitter I have one per hour between 8am and 8pm. On Facebook and LinkedIn I have four per day, but do what works for you. You don’t have to have as many as me. I tend to share rather a lot.
Now you need to create a free account on Feedly.com, and this is where you’re going to add all of your content sources. All of those lists of blogs and online magazines that you found that were really useful, this is where you’re going to add them all together so you only have to go to one place to find that content to share, so all you do is click on add content, add all of those blogs or content sources, and they’re all added to your Feedly.
You will then be able to view the latest posts for each blog or online magazine that you’ve saved, so you can see you can easily flick through and see what might be useful, but when you first use this you need to have your Buffer account open. Click into a post. It can be any post, because you’re not actually going to share it. Click the Buffer icon, and it says, “Do you want to integrate Feedly and Buffer?” You just click yes and then it’s done, and the two things are linked up. (You can watch me do this in the video ^^ up there).
3. The process
Now let’s look at how to do it. Every day or every few days, hop onto Feedly and browse your posts. If you think any of them are worthy of a share with your community, have a good read of them, make sure they’re relevant, and if you think they’re good, click on the Buffer icon, and then select the social media channel you want to share it to. You can select a few of them at the same time if you want, but if you’re sharing to Facebook you’ve got more space for text than if you’re sharing for Twitter, so I tend to share them separately so I can give more of an overview and more of an opinion on Facebook or on LinkedIn and then, obviously, something much more succinct on Twitter.
Then, as I said, add your opinion to put your stamp on it, and then you simply add it to your Buffer. What Buffer will do is share all the content you’ve saved to it at the times you’ve scheduled. You can add as much content as you like as Buffer will only publish it at the time that you’ve schedule, and that’s it. It really is that simple.
Now there are other tools out there that automate this process, however I much prefer this as you can’t beat the human touch. I like to select what I think my community want to read, and also, I don’t just want to go for the big trending topics that everyone is sharing, which is what the automated tools tend to do. I want to go for stuff that actually might be a little bit more individual and a little bit quirky.
I use it both on my iPhone and on my desktop, so if I’m sitting on a train or if I’m sitting in a café or sitting in front of the television, I can just look on my phone, flip through Feedly, see if there’s anything useful to schedule.
Once a month, do take a look at your analytics. Buffer has some fantastic data where you can go back and see what was popular and what wasn’t. This gives you a really nice idea of what you should be sharing in the future and what your community really, really wants.
Okay, so these are the actions I’d love you to take away from this short masterclass:
- Research and make a list of your sources, so your blogs, digital magazines, anything that you find that would be really useful for your community.
- Create an account with Feedly and add all of those sources to it.
- Create an account with Buffer. Add all of your social media profiles, and then add your schedule for each of those social media profiles.
- Regularly add your curated content to Buffer. You might do that daily, you might do it a couple days a week, you might do it weekly, whatever works for you, but just make sure it’s topped up with really relevant content that you can share with people.
- Review the results in your analytics monthly.This will show you your most popular content, what your audience really is engaging with, and this will help you to select the right content for them going forward, and these are the tools that you need.
- And that’s it.