Published on November 12, 2012
Curated ContentDirectors Briefing January 2012WWW.DIGITALTOMORROWTODAY.COM
Curated ContentCurated content is a hot topic right now due in part to the growth of Pinterest which has dominatedheadlines in early February 2012.If you’re not familiar with Pinterest,it is a social sharing site where you ‘pin’ images and videos thatyou like to a virtual ‘pinboard’. These pins can are then available for others to view and like or ‘repin’(share). Pinterest has gained a lot of attention for its own growth but also the traffic [and sales]potential it is offering other websites. Some recent reports have put the traffic driving potential [ofPinterest] above Google+ and other social networks.We believe Pinterest is an important channel and a great ecxample for the power of curated contentfor both consumers and brands. We will look specifically at Pinterest for a future briefing. In thisDirectors Briefing we look at the overall market of curated content, how it works, how brands canharness curated content and what sites or tools can be used to great effect.What is curated content?In essence, curated content is any online content that has been shared through a social network. Thiselement of curation has been picked up and translated into ‘curated hubs’ or websites that displaycollections of curated content. Some websites hook into social streams to automatically curatecontent based on a theme or content shared from a group of people. Active Social Network users whoregularly share unique, timely and relevant content are often seen as ‘curators’.Curating content is different to creating content, in that curators are sharing content not creating theirown content.Two examples of curated content sitesPinterest is currently the hot site for curated content. It is a social network of users connected byexisting relationships (e.g. Facebook friends) and or by shared interests. Any users ‘pins’ content theylike to their pinboard. Usually the user creates multiple pinboards based on their interests, e.g. oneboard for infographics, another for interior design ideas. These boards are seen by anoyone followingor when the pin is liked or repinned. In essence this is a visual version of likes and retweets on Twitteror likes and shares on Facebook.Pinterest users can find content either by resharing other pins or using a bookmarklet to pin anycontent seen on the web. In the main all of the Pinterest content is visual or video in nature.Pinterest is currently populated by consumer pinning, there is no automated content curation - unlikeanother example Paper.li02 / Curated Content
Curated Content You may have seen Paper.li updates on Twitter. The standard headline appears as ‘The xxx daily is out…’. Paper.li is a smart, automated content curation tool that creates a daily ‘paper’ of curated content. The content is relevant to the user, either by scanning and including content from the users’ Twitter account or by content, identified through keywords. Every day paper.li creates thousands of ‘papers’ and shares them on Twitter. By including the ‘@’ reference of Twitter users included in the paper, Paper.li encourages visits , retweets and occasional thanks in your Twitter stream without doing any work! Benefits of Using Curated Content Consumers, or ‘social network users’ can often grow their audience and standing (authority, reach, influence) by seeking out unique and relevant content to share. This sharing grows the presence and potential reach of a consumers’ social profile without the need for creating unique content. At the very least, retweeting content to their following has a potential value if the networks are not connected. (e.g. retweeting Mashable articles if other followers are not connected to Mashable. In the main, curating content removes the need to actually ‘create’ unique content in order to achieve social network relevance. The automated solution, like Paper.li turns this into a push button method of growing your social content without doing much03 / Curated Content
Curated Contentwork. You will find references to curated contentin many of the ‘How to become a Twitter Ninja’ or‘How to grow an audience with only 10 minutesper day’ type of article.The Relevance of Curated Content toBrandsCurated content has a great opportunity tosupport brands on social networks. We identifythreee different types of curation that will helpbrands.1. The consumer curates your content, drivesincreased social awareness of your content andpotential site link benefit.In simple forms, encouraging your readersand followers to share your content is the firstvaluable step to gaining benefit from curation.If the content is good enough to be shared,there is potential for your brand to reach a wideraudience. With curated content sites like Paper. By curating relevant content your brand accountli and Scoop.it - there is even wider potential to adds value to followers by delivering timelygain exposure and to generate traffic. and relevant content without just talking about yourself. This removes some of the strain ofSome of these curated sites also work well for keeping the channels supplied with fresh content,SEO listings. Therefore a listing in Scoop.it may allowing you to deliver the key messages at thealso deliver additional benefit through SEO links right time and to a more engaged audience thanon the web. would be achieved with sporadic periods of silence and updates.To succeed with this first point you mustensure creation of good content with easy By creating a paper.li account @flyawwway alsosharing functions like AddThis buttons or the works to share others’ content which in turnpersonalised Like, Tweet and +1 buttons from the brings interests, thanks and additional retweets.major social networks. Don’t be afraid to shareyour content more than once in the day or in the In most cases the curated content is sharedweek to ensure it reaches the maximum possible on Twitter/Facebook - linking directly to theaudience. Paper.li, for example, picks up recent source. In the case of Flyawwway we wantedtweets to create their paper. If you have shared to look more about the benefits of “on site”content you can benefit from the paper.li and curation could achieve for site traffic. It isother curating tools. our belief that curated content can also help2. The brand curates relevant content on their brands grow site traffic by hosting curatedsocial channels. content on their own site and using social channels to drive traffic to their own siteContent curation has the potential benefit to from which they can pass on curated content.add content to the daily social updates suchas Facebook and Twitter. Look at Twitter.com/ This approach is effectively what paper.li,flyawwway for an example of how a brand can scoop.it and others are doing from whichuse curated content to drive tweets and grow they can sell ads.followers.04 / Curated Content
Curated Content3. Curated Content on your site to drive traffic Every update is then shared on Twitter which inand search indexing turn grows the audience base and the traffic.The challenge with much of the curated content Google also likes this content as 50% of ouris that the SEO value benefits another site, not traffic now comes from Google. As we usedyour own. The other downside for curating Google approved content [from its news portal]content is the additional ‘step’ created between it is ‘pre defined’ as good content. The frequencyyour social audience and site traffic. If a consumer of updates only adds to the value assigned byclicks on a link they are taken to the curated Google to this site.page, not directly to your site. The consumercan then potentially click on to your website For other brands curated content could be usedbut the curation has added another step to the to generate traffic to lesser focused parts of theconversion process. site or to help populate micro sites allowing time to focus on the key content and other sellingWith the right tools, the brand website can points of the business or brand.become the place for content curation. Againlook at www.flyawwway.com as an example. This The combination of frequent content updatessite is almost all curated content. plus automated tweeting [and Google+/ Facebook] offers the potential for traffic fromUsing IFTTT.com Flyawwway is updated which to build other strategies.througout the day with content from GoogleNews, defined by us [all travel content, airlinecontent etc.] The Pitfalls of Curated Content for Brands Brands and indeed consumers have little control over curated content if it is automated. Therefore if you are sharing content that is ‘branded’ you run the risk of assocation - your brand sharing innapropriate content.05 / Curated Content
Curated ContentContent Curation Sites & Tools PinterestPaper.li Pinterest will be the subject of our next briefing.An online ‘paper’ connected to a Twitter account. In short Pinterest is a great way of sharing ‘visual’ content from photos to images, infographics etc. By using the ‘pin it’ boomkarklet you can share images from their source website. Pinterest then includes the click through link with the image which in turn has the potential to generate traffic to your site. IFTTT.com IFTTT stands for ‘If This then That’. It is still relatively unknown because it is so good! With IFTTT you hook in API’s and create actions. For Flywwway we check the Google Travel RSS feeds every ten minutes. If there is new articles meeting our criteria we post them to Wordpress. Another task then tweets new blog articles which generates the automated tweets and ‘fire andwww.paper.li forget’ site growth.Scoop.it A nice feature of IFTTT is the recipes, allowing you to share your tasks or to see what otherScoop.it is similar to Paper.li but allows only one smart tasks have been created form IFTTT.com.curator per topic. So you need to pick your topicquickly or use someone else’s. For example, the IFTTT.com is still invitation only.flights topic may already be curated meaning youcannot benefit directly from those links nor can Ask if you need one.you choose the sources to curate from.To embed the Scoop.it data into your site and tobrand it yourself will cost from $79 per month. Trythe free version before committing.06 / Curated Content
Curated ContentSummaryCurated content is a hot topic today but has beena valuable marketing tool for some time and willbe long after the Pinterest hype dies down.For brands looking to enhance their socialpresence or grow site traffic, curated content hasthe potential to help. Do remember, the pitfallsof connecting your brand to others content, withlittle control.Curated Content can help as part of a marketingstrategy, not as a marketing strategy alone.07 / Curated Content
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