Tag Archives: content marketing

Content Creation Or Content Curation: Which Is Better?

Content Creation Or Content Curation: Which Is Better?

Everyone’s doing content now; companies are becoming publishers. This question comes up continually: content creation or content curation? Content curation is cheaper, the thinking goes, but which is better?

(BTW, thinking that content curation is cheaper is incorrect.)

Bottom line: it’s what your budget allows. It’s also what your marketing plan requires. Many companies are committed to traditional marketing, so content marketing needs supporters within the company.

Content Creation: Original, Compelling Content Is Ideal

Original content is always better. It gets you out there. You get the attention of customers you’d attract in no other way, because your traditional marketing channels never reach them.

Once you’ve got their attention, you can build on that. At a minimum, you create content for these personas:

  • People who’ve never heard of you;
  • People who are aware of you, and interested;
  • Current customers;
  • Past customers.

If you’re baulking at all this content, consider that you don’t need to create it all today. Or this week. Or this year. You create content over time, and your content lasts. It’s on your website. You can refresh the content as needed.

Content Curation: More of a Challenge

Wikipedia defines content curation as: “… the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.”

In an either/ or situation, content creation is always better. You’ve created it for your audience. With content curation, you’re promoting others’ content. This isn’t a bad thing in itself. However, it’s a challenge to mould that curated content so that it achieves your marketing goals.

Here’s why:

  • You’ve got to find good content which will help you to meet your goals. You’re promoting it, so what you choose says a lot about you. Finding this content takes time;
  • You’ve got to organize that content, and add your own insights to it. Analysis takes time. So does writing about the content you’ve found.

The Solution? Use Both

Why not not use both content creation, and curation? Content curation has benefits: your curated content may get links and shares from others. At the very least, you’ll get recognition, and you’ll show that you’re aware of what’s important to your audience.

I suggest to my clients that if they’re using both, they make sure that for each curated article, they post at least three pieces of original content.

The original content doesn’t need to be text. It can be images. It take seconds to snap a photo, and a few minutes to edit that photo, and provide a little commentary.

Get More From Your Original Content

Before you create content, or have it created for you, know where it fits into your content strategy. If the content is text, add an image (at least one), and a call to action. Make plans to get more from each piece of content before it’s written, too.

You can get lots of benefits from each piece of content. You use an an article as:

  • Social media shares:
  • A PDF for sharing;
  • An infographic for sharing;
  • A news release (rewrite it into the third person);
  • A section of a newsletter and/ or part of an email marketing campaign.

In summary, both content creation and content curation are valuable, and can form part of your publishing strategy.

If you need help with your content, get in touch.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Content Bonanza: 4 Ways to Create “Instant” Content

Content Bonanza: 4 Ways to Create "Instant" Content

Everyone’s touting the benefits of “content“.  Marvelous. Just how are you supposed to find time to create content? You’re running a business, not a media company.

However… You’ve just spent your monthly marketing budget on an ad which didn’t work. Now what? The world’s changed. You used to be able to advertise and predict roughly how well you’d do, and you could set your marketing budget with confidence.

Maybe you are a media company, and you’d better find ways of creating content fast. Luckily, there are ways you can create content, almost instantly.

1. Snap a Pic, and Post It

Instagram’s hugely popular. It may be an excellent marketing venue for you. Not for me, sadly. I snap images on my phone which are interesting only to me — whiteboards in meetings, pages from my paper notebooks, and ideas for my Christmas list when I’m at the mall.

Instagram

If you’re selling stuff — anything from houses to your crafts on Easy — Instagram is a no-brainer. Be there. Snap images as you go through your day.

As you can see from the image, Goulet Pens does a great job on Instagram.

Don’t forget Pinterest. Publish your images to Pinterest too. I created a slide  deck (see below), on Pinterest tips for bloggers.

 

2. See It, Say It

Love to chat? Share your thoughts and insights on SoundCloud. Podcasts are popular, and Soundcloud gives you a simple way to get your podcast onto iTunes.

Keep your podcasts short. Skip the long chatty intro: get to the meat, and get out.

3. You May Quote Me

If you’ve said it before, say it better, in a tweet, or in an image. There are dozens of apps to turn your quotes into images, so that you can post them on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, et al.

Tip: create 20 or 30 at a time; and repost them again and again, especially on networks like Twitter, where people can easily miss a single tweet,

4. Share Great Stuff

In How to Repurpose Campaign Content for Different Channels (And Never Waste the Leftovers), Kevin Barber suggests:

You can easily curate great content from around the web and repurpose it through your channels. Write a review of a relevant book, blog about a really cool infographic, create a video covering the main points in a webinar you listened to.

When you find great stuff, share it with your audience.

Bonus Tip: Reprise Great Stuff From Your Blog

Blogging’s wonderful, but once a blog disappears into your archives, it’s out of sight, out of mind. Reprise evergreen content, and content which is relevant to your audience today.

If your blog’s been active for a few years, it’s simple to write a “this time last year” post. Extract snippets from the article, or republish as-is, with a couple of paragraphs about what’s changed, and what hasn’t.

Make Content Part of Your Marketing Funnel

Pull all the pieces of your content together for your marketing funnel — whether you consider yourself a writer or not, you need a content strategy.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 58: Stop Thinking, Keep Doing

Writing Journal 58: Stop Thinking, Keep Doing

My writing journal for Thursday, October 9, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Got a great start this morning. The mystery novel is gathering steam, and I managed 2,200 words. I had to force myself to stop. I’m very pleased, but I try to avoid getting too excited, and telling myself that this novel will be EASY. Huh. You can have a run of great days, and then a run of horrible days, in which the words come slowly.

I try to convince myself that easy or horrible, it’s just another writing day — but I can’t help smiling.

On to the two nonfiction books. I manage 1,200 words. I’ve got the books planned in Scrivener, with complete outlines. I’m not writing them straight through. I write whatever I want to write. I’ve no idea why some books get themselves written this way, but they do.

Sometimes you can write from go to whoa, starting with the introduction, and writing each chapter as it comes. Other books insist on being written in little pieces. Part of one chapter, and then part of another. It’s not my preferred method of working, but I’ll take whatever comes, as long as the book — or books, in this case — get written.

After giving Honey her breakfast, I skim through email, and write a few responses while I eat my toast. Then I look at my schedule for the day. I managed to get a little writing done last night, but I’m still behind on what I wanted to do this week. Firstly, there was Monday’s rush copywriting project, and then yesterday the meetings ran longer than they should have done.

Next, I outline a couple of content marketing projects which developed from the meetings. There’s more content than I can manage on my own, so I need to tee up a couple of writers. I write a project brief, and send out a slew of messages to colleagues to gauge interest. I’d like to get these two projects out the door within a couple of weeks, but that depends on how many writers I can find who can handle the material, and slot it into their schedules.

Next, a couple of blog posts completed, and published. One of my own, on an easy exercise for story beginnings, and the other a post on a client’s blog.

Time for my walk.

Back again. More client blogging, then it’s time for lunch, while browsing social media.

I’ve got a mile of phone calls to return, so I do that. Next, a stream of email messages from clients and students.

Stop thinking, keep doing

One of the most common things I tell students is: “you’re over-thinking this.”

Many (all) of my students could be doing better if they’d stop second-guessing themselves and started deciding. And would charge more. We talked about procrastination.

Indecision is form of procrastination. Some of my students have a mile of unfinished work on their hard drives – they just can’t “ship.” This is one of the reasons I developed Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits.

Some writers can’t/ won’t ship because they want to be guaranteed success. I can guarantee this: you need to fail your way to success. If you’re unlucky enough to be successful (yes, I said unlucky) instantly, you’re in big trouble. Instant success teaches you nothing. Failure, on the other hand, teaches you plenty. No one likes failure — and yet, failure is inevitable. It’s more valuable than success, because you’ll learn from it — the most valuable thing you’ll learn is that failure is OK.

Some words of wisdom on failure from Business Week:

“The only barrier to failing fast and failing cheap is your ego. You must be willing to fail, fail, and fail again if you are going to win in today’s competitive marketplace. Remember, even if you’re falling flat on your face, at least you’re still moving forward.”

Stop thinking. Decide. Create. Move forward. Whatever you’re doing, do it. Worry later — for ten minutes — then get back to doing and creating.

Enough advice… :-)

Onward with a full afternoon of on-going copywriting projects for clients, as well as working on my new website. I’m starting to see daylight, thank heavens. I’ve created a plan, and need to carry it out.

More phone calls before the end of business, then my daily review, and the day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 52: Traffic From Ebooks

Writing Journal 52: Traffic From Ebooks

My writing journal for Friday, October 3, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Another busy day ahead; a meeting this morning, which cuts into my day. Not to worry.

Happy days — I’ve finally settled on a sleuth for the mystery novel who’s perfect for the series. I wrote a long screed to the client, putting my case for this sleuth, so we’ll see what the verdict is on it. Words: 2,600.

With that load off my mind, I focused on completing the book proposal for the memoir. I’ll do a little more on it tonight, then I’ll send the draft off over the weekend. Words: 1,500.

Breakfast for Honey. I have breakfast while writing a bunch of email messages.

Then, it’s time to prep for my meeting. I organize my schedule for the day, and try not to think about everything I need to do. Action, rather than thinking about it, is the key.

I’m back. The meeting was great, and I managed to pop into the library to do some fact checking for the book proposal, and for another project.

A client asked about ebooks for her business. She’s got an ecommerce store, and is getting fewer sales because traffic is shrinking. Paid advertising isn’t helping as much as she’d like.

She’s wondering about content marketing, and how ebooks play into that. So, let’s look at it.

Traffic from ebooks, and the rising tide

Traffic is hard to get in 2014. In 2015, it will only be harder. A tsunami of content flows onto the Web each day: millions and millions of pieces of content.

Many companies are using content marketing today. It’s the new big thing but it has challenges. Many, many challenges. Why content marketing fails for many who try it is explained in this excellent slide deck from Moz, Why Content Marketing Fails.

Basically, here’s how it works. You post content. You get recognition. You build trust. People remember what you’re selling and when they have a need for it, they may buy. As Rand points out in the slide deck, you fail, fail, fail… and then you succeed.

Content marketing has been part of the Web since there was a Web. Now there’s a fancy name for it, but it changes nothing about the way it works. It’s all about trust and recognition, and being persistent until you succeed.

So, how does traffic from ebooks play into that?

I tell my students: be everywhere. Spread yourself around. The more people who hear your name, the better. Amazon is a search engine too. So are the other ebook retailers. iTunes has a search engine. And YouTube.

Someone sees your name in your ebook description on Amazon, and remembers it. If they read your ebook, you’re lucky, but the point is — Google indexes Amazon.

Content marketing and SEO

You have a website. You’re on Twitter, and Facebook and Google+. And now you’re on Amazon too. Google indexes ALL that, and as Rand points out in his slide deck, the rising tide of SEO lifts all boats. So, you’re building a profile, as someone who’s here, there and everywhere, and Google takes notice.

You just keep going and going, and your “everywhere” thing grows. You get more traffic, and make more sales. Along the way, you make connections, which also help.

That’s how you get traffic from ebooks. You’re on Amazon, and everywhere else, too, and your boat (profile) is lifted everywhere. That’s the macro point of view.

On a micro level, what the hey — you may sell a few ebooks AND get traffic. Remember to put your URL and info in the front and back matter of your books. :-)

It’s late afternoon now. I spent a busy afternoon on several copywriting jobs which grew out of my meetings this week. I also assessed my content calendars for clients’ blogs.

Finally, a quick overview of today’s activities and word count, and a longer review of what got done, and what didn’t get done this week. And that’s it for another day.

Oh woe, oh junk folders…

Before I forget. I posted a quick note on the freelance blog about Team Up. Several people mentioned that they found the ezine messages in their junk folder, and were upset about potentially missing out, since it’s the final coaching program for the year. We’ve extended Team Up enrollments until this Sunday to help.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.