Short on Content? Content Curation and Other Techniques to Help Your Content Marketing

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Content marketing is not easy—the pressure of deadlines combined with the need to be creative on a daily basis can be overwhelming. Almost 80% of marketers say they are overloaded and understaffed, making it difficult for them to produce high-quality, relevant, and original content it on a consistent basis.

With 93% of business to business (B2B) marketers now using content marketing to grow their business, you can’t afford to lift your foot off the gas—you have to find a way to keep going.

Don’t worry, I’m not going ask you to work more hours or hire more people. Instead, you can use these avenues below to improve your content production.

In this article, we will be focusing our attention on the last point. Here are few ways to create less content, but with more impact.

Be reactive to trending events.

Over 2 million blog posts are written daily. Coming up with new, unique, and relevant content that drives visibility requires a lot of resources—competing with the rest of the content out there is even harder.

To keep up, marketers should incorporate reactive content to their content strategy. As Liam Corcoran describes—this is the practice of tailoring your content to the water cooler conversation topics of the day, hour or even minute.

Reacting to a trending topic doesn’t require as much research as conventional content, and it isn’t always long form. Check out this tweet by Snickers after Uruguayan footballer, Luis Suarez bit a player from the opposing team during a World Cup game.

Here are a few things you should remember while incorporating a reactive content strategy:

  • Be creative, and witty.
  • Social media trends move fast. It’s crucial that you move as quickly as possible.
  • Though you can’t plan for reactive content, you can stay prepared for events like movie releases, new product launches or sports games.
  • Social listening tools or news monitoring tools will keep you up-to-date.
  • Make sure the topic you select fits with your brand voice.

Getting reactive content right can result in traffic, brand visibility, and press coverage—all in a matter of few hours. The added benefit—it helps your brand stay relevant.

Supplement your content creation with content curation.

Content curation is the collection of relevant content on the web presented meaningful and organized way. It is one of the best ways to fill your content voids.  

“One of the most successful blog posts on my own blog was a round-up about how to start an SEO company”. – Krystian Szastok, Digital Marketing Manager at RocketMill

Usually presented as a compilation of useful articles related to a particular topic from around the web, they must be relevant to your followers or your target audience. Add a small summary or review of the articles to add context to your post. Always let the author of the post know before compiling the round-up.

You can also implement the same tactic for your email newsletter campaigns. Here’s an example from Intercom:

Curated content works on your social networks too, there are even a lot of curation and discovery tools to help you out.

Another large benefit is that it gives you a platform to connect with some of the major influencers in your niche. They might even share your round-up post on their website or social networks.

Try out newer forms of content.

When you are short on content ideas, take this proverb to heart, and try out new things that require less time and effort.

“Necessity is the mother of invention” – English Proverb

Here are a few interesting ideas that you can try out:

  • How-to guides. Sift through customer feedback to identify the areas or topics customers have trouble understanding or difficulty with. Based on these insights, you can create content that will help customers solve these problems—like a list of best practices or a simple breakdown video.
  • Short form content: content can be in the form of GIFs, short videos (like vines) or blog posts below 1000 words. The key is to make sure that the content is timely, relevant, easily-scannable, and mobile-friendly. IFL Science has made some viral short form content. Have a look and find out at how they are doing it.
  • Email series: For instance, a helpful article or video with actionable tips can be divided into small digestible parts and sent to email subscribers on a weekly or daily basis. You should target subscribers who will find the content relevant. This can tremendously increase its chances of getting read.

    When writing an email series, use simple and concise language, wait until the series is complete to publish the articles on your blog, make sure the language flows, and have a word limit in mind—200 to 250 is ideal. Check out this 9 part automated email course by Campaign Monitor.  

New content formats have dual benefits. Firstly, you are keeping your subscribers engaged by delivering meaningful and relevant content on a regular basis. Secondly, it curbs the need to produce more content.

Repurpose and update old posts.

With so many touch points available to content marketers, repurposing content has become really popular.

Instead of blindly repurposing content on different platforms, find channels that drive the most impact. Analyze each channel by relevant metrics like reach, audience type, and engagement before choosing one for repurposing content—the goal is to reach a new audience.

Pick an article from your blog that didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped. After updating the post, you could use these tools to create an infographic and distribute. Check this out to learn more on how to repurpose efficiently.

Updating old posts does not generally require the same kind of effort as repurposing. Identify content that performed well in the past but is outdated at present, then make necessary changes to improve its relevancy. This will help extend the shelf life of your best blog content and you will be able to continue to benefit from its high search rankings.

Here is a checklist from the experts at HubSpot on updating content:

  • Remove irrelevant content.
  • Update outdated content.
  • Replaced outdated data and stats with fresher, more timely ones.
  • Update screenshots (this is particularly important for step-by-step product guides, etc.).
  • Add new best practices (and remove older best practices).
  • Check and replace internal links (particularly if there are now better resources or lead gen offers for you to link to).
  • Update the post’s call-to-action (CTA).

Get others to do your job.

Yes, you can actually get other people to create content and distribute it for you. All you need to do is let people know you are interested in collaborating with them.

Here are a few ways in which you can get other people to help you create content:

  • Start accepting guest posts. Identify content gaps and encourage guest bloggers to create content along those topics.
  • Invite influencers from your niche. Have them participate in podcasts, interviews or webinars.
  • Organize Twitter chats. Feature influencers and peers.
  • Distribute wisely. Get employees or teammates to share your content on their network.
  • Encourage employees to create content. For example, ask a customer support manager to come up with an article about customer support best practices.
  • Encourage cross-promotion. Use tools like Viral Content Bee.
  • Curate customer content. Encourage customers and users to create and share content with you by holding contests.

Content marketing cannot be a stop-start activity, it has to be consistent. Implementing these tips will help ensure that your content engine doesn’t stop and you can keep going even during those times when you feel like you’re in a content slump.

Niraj Ranjan Rout is the Co-Founder and CEO of Hiver, a tool that has all the features you need in a Help Desk. Right in your Gmail.