In this interview, our friends at Pressly bust myths about content curation, talk about their own content strategy and more.
Brands are often applauded for creating amazing original content, but rarely are they recognized for curating it. Publishing original content is important for any content marketing strategy -- and so is content curation. Not only is it good content karma to show off amazing content from other brands, it's also a great way to get to know your audience. This is just one key takeaway we learned from interviewing Pressly's tiny, but very talented, marketing team -- Erica Kim and Alex Peron. We first met them a couple months ago and were impressed by their passion for content marketing and overall fearlessness in the space. Here's what they had to say about the current state of content curation, their goals as a content team and more.
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Scripted: Let's talk about content curation. Why should brands include it in their content strategies?
Alex: The reason why content curation isn't something you can skip right now is because we're past the time where brands could get away with talking about themselves. It's boring. As individuals, as humans, we don't like people who constantly talk about themselves. Brands can't do the same anymore. It's very important for everyone to stop focusing on their own brand.
Don't be scared to show people good stuff that's being created outside of your own brand. When you come to actual execution, it's really hard for a company that isn't a giant to constantly publish original pieces of content every day.
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Erica: Yeah, the no-brainer point is that it's cost effective. We find that a lot of younger companies and brands, when they're getting started with their content marketing, aren't entirely sure who their audience is.
We suggest that, in the beginning, you start out by curating different types of content. Figure out which one gets traction, which one gets engagement, and focus your custom content creation efforts on those specific types instead of trying all of them and seeing which ones stick.
Scripted: What would you say are some common misconceptions about curating content? Is there some truth to them?
Erica: The common misconception is if there's a shortcut, people are a little suspicious of it. There's this idea that if you're using someone else's content, it's akin to stealing - but when in fact, everybody is creating content for it to be shared. And that's the whole point of it.
Another misconception is that it's a lazy way to do content marketing. That it's impersonal because you're not directly creating something for your audience. But again, it all comes with how you curate the content. You're adding extra value to it instead of pretending like it's your own stuff.
Scripted: So, how do you measure the effectiveness of content curation then?
Alex: You're looking at different metrics depending on what you're trying to achieve as a content marketing team. However, there's one that never lies and applies to everyone, which is the bounce rate.
If you build a blog and people are spending 10 seconds on your destination, you know the content you're publishing sucks.
The second one is engagement. Engagement is a very complicated topic because everyone talks about it, but no one really knows what it looks like. And the truth is it's very different for every company. Engagement can be everything, whether it's people liking your stuff, sharing your stuff, commenting on your stuff, subscribing to your newsletter, giving you lead data so you can call them and sell them.
See also: 5 Influencers Tell Us How They Measure Content Marketing
Scripted: Can you tell us a little about your own content marketing strategy at Pressly?
Alex: Our number one strategy is when you come read Pressly's stuff or the stuff we've curated for you, you're going to go back to your work and you're going to be able to do something new. That's the number one thing. If you come and read something that we've built, or curated for you, you learn something and you're able to take action at the end of it.
Scripted: What would you say, have you found, is the type of content that your audience is really responding to?
Erica: We're being transparent about what we've tried. They seem to respond well to those blog posts. Infographics and all that stuff work well. Our e-book did really well, as well. Usually, we try to stick to blog and long-form content.
Scripted: Finally, what blogs are you reading on a regular basis or do you look to for content inspiration, and for fun, and for work?
Erica: We have an internal Press.ly news hub for everyone on the team. We have one place for everybody to put up relevant links or whatever they want to share. That's usually where I get a lot of my daily content. Go in and pick out whatever people have posted.
Other things that I like for work is Programming for Marketers. For me, I don't have a technical background in marketing like all the tracking, and Google Analytics, and scraping, and all that. They are new to me, so this blog has been a really good resource in learning the basics of all that stuff. Honestly, otherwise, I'm mostly a podcast/Reddit type of person.
Alex: I read Paul Graham's blog, every day. I try and take time to read him, figure out what he's trying to say, and I love it. The other guy who's killing it is, Steli Efti. I don't know if you know him. He's a sales guy.
Scripted: Cool, thanks guys! We'll check those out.
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