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January 24, 2014
Content Curation as a Way to Boost Your Online Reputation
There is a wealth of advice about social media marketing and how it plays into an overall content marketing plan. It can be difficult to figure out where your business fits into the industry and where you can best allocate your resources to shore up your online reputation.

According to a recent study by Digital Marketing Ramblings, Facebook holds approximately 1.19 billion users, with YouTube (1 billion), Twitter (215 million), Google+ (300 million) following behind. Meanwhile, Pinterest (70 million) and Instagram (150 million) continue to gain users at a rapid rate.

For many businesses, developing original content is a regular frustration. In fact, a Content Marketing Institute survey last year noted that producing content was the single greatest challenge for content marketers. Here’s how to combat that challenge: content curation.

Adopt the Art of Content Curation
As a curator of excellent content, you can develop an intelligent content marketing campaign built around finding, sharing and organizing the most relevant content about your industry, your products, your services and any other aspects of your business. You can quote directly from someone else’s content, but try to create commentary that will add value to your post. Allow readers to see a variety of perspectives by reflecting different points of view. It will give the audience a better understanding of the industry and explore issues that matter most to them.

Sharing content from different sources will demonstrate your awareness and knowledge of industry issues and trends. If you demonstrate a consistent ability to finding informative and entertaining content that will resonate with the audience, fans and followers will return to your website and social media channels on a regular basis. They may even share your content with colleagues, friends, and family members.  Content curation requires a keen eye so that your readers will continue to be enlightened.

Engage in Social Media Sharing
After sharing all of this fascinating content, make sure that you’re participating in the online community through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the other tools at your disposal. It’s perfectly fine to link to other sites and sources of information. In fact, it can be a perfect opportunity to connect with people in your field. One day they may even return the favor. Everybody’s an expert, at least in the science of social media. While many of these tech-savvy individuals know what’s best, others will continue to barrage audiences with a bevy of sales-focused messages that cloud their overall intent.

Direct Readers to Your Website
Engaging your audience is made easier through social media. As the next step, you must successfully drive them to your website and all of your digital assets and convince them to purchase your services or products. After carrying out your carefully devised plan, analyze your results and make tweaks as necessary.

Although small businesses may not have the wealth of resources available to bigger firms, they can still make a considerable impact by working smarter, not harder. By selecting relevant content and organizing it in an attractive fashion, you can share across several platforms with a single click. Give readers an interesting array of materials, and you’ll have an advantage over your competitors.

As a final step, it’s easier than ever for businesses to execute promotions, contests, and advertisements, so you can cut through the clutter by knowing exactly what your audience needs. Your target audience will likely be smart about filtering out unwanted content. You should list a set of goals for your particular business so that you add value for all members of your audience. Don’t simply follow all the other competitors of your industry. Any business should be committed to solving the problem of its current and prospective customers. 

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Blake Jonathan Boldt has contributed effective and educational content to a variety of businesses and organizations. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and digital media outlets.
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