If you aren’t publishing a mix of custom and curated content in your digital marketing program, you aren’t enjoying all of the benefits available to you.
Let’s quickly outline what I mean by these two categories of content. Custom content is anything created expressly for your website or social media accounts. Curated content is content created by others that you republish or link to.
Virtually every online publisher I see works hard to create custom content, whether its blog articles, podcasts, videos, graphics, etc. However, very few take advantage of curated content.
How to use custom content
Custom content allows you to establish your unique voice and develop an audience that relates to your voice and the information you provide. You can think of yourself as a “rock star” in whatever niche you want to carve out for yourself.
For example Larry Winget and Tony Robbins are both motivational speakers, but Winget – who bills himself as the “Pitbull of Personal Development” and the “World’s Only Irritational Speaker” – appeals to very different audience than those who flock to see Robbins.
I believe that one good approach to creating custom content is to imagine yourself sitting across the table from a person with whom you’d like to establish a relationship. Think about the conversations you would have. Remember, you’re trying to help this person, so you have to create trust, hold the person’s attention, and have valuable information to share. To meet that last requirement, you need to understand the person’s needs.
How to use curated content
Curated content is a bit different. It should fulfill the last requirement above (provide valuable information) but publishing curated content also helps you build a relationship with the original creator of the curated content.
In some cases, guest posts can be considered curated content. If you find an article someone else has written, ask the author’s permission to publish it on your website. Unless there are some specific copyright problems, most will be glad to give you permission to republish. Further, it puts you in a position to ask if someday you can contribute to their site.
I do a “roundup” of curated content each week. I publish an article that provides brief descriptions of and links to articles I’ve found in the previous week that I feel would benefit my audience.
I try to always mention the original author’s name and in many cases I send a note to the authors telling them that I’ve included them in my article. That helps build a relationship between me and the authors and usually they will be kind enough to mention my roundup article in their social media accounts, which drives traffic to my website.
Let me also point out that including occasional curated content makes your life a little easier; you can take time off from creating custom content on the day you publish curated content.
Frankly, I’m surprised so few publishers regularly include curated content in their digital marketing. If you’ve neglected this powerful strategy, now’s the time to get on board!