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    1. How to Optimize Content Curation in 3 Steps

      How to Optimize Content Curation in 3 Steps

      Content marketing continues to mature as a process, and with this evolution comes the refining of many techniques, such as content curation. The best-in-class marketers find that the best content marketing mix is 65% created content, 25% curated content and 10% syndicated content. In this post, TopRank's Lee Odden offers three best practices to optimize your content curation efforts. One of these best practices is choosing the correct types of content to curate. He provides a list of several formats such as:

      • Useful resources relevant to your target audience: blogs, news, training, tips, networking and industry events.
      • Content created by influential people of importance to the target audience
      • Statistics, research and reports
      • Compelling or provocative industry news
      • Videos: YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler
      • Slideshare presentations or search Google.com for .ppt file types
      • Whitepapers, eBooks and case studies
      • Infographics and other data visualizations

      To find out the other two best practices surrounding content curation, read the rest of Odden's post. Be sure to also check out Curata's many resources about curation, such as our eBook 5 Steps to Becoming a Content Curation Rockstar.

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    2. Create Content That Works: An Interview with Ann Handley

      Create Content That Works: An Interview with Ann Handley

      With all the craziness taking place at Content Marketing World last week, Lee Odden of TopRank got a chance to interview writer-extraordinaire, Ann Handley, CCO of MarketingProfs. Handley shed light on how to create "ridiculously good content" and what she sees for the future of content marketing. A common question among marketers is what the balance should be between content that empathizes with the customer and content that communicates important information to lead prospects down the funnel. Handley took to this topic and offered up her opinion:

      Those two things are the same thing, to me . . . So content that helps people make important decisions about their lives is a kind of gift you can give your customers or prospects. The key is to take your product or service out of the starring role – and let it play the supporting role of helping the customer."

      Handley's interview addresses additional topics such as writing rules, ideal lengths for blog posts, catering writing to different social channels, and much more. With writing being an essential part of creating "ridiculously good content", be sure to read the rest of Odden's interview with Handley.  

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    3. Keep the Content Current Flowing

      Keep the Content Current Flowing

      Many content marketers think producing content is like running a race they will never win -- because there's no end in site. These marketers try to set an editorial plan in place months in advance, but still don't have enough content. That is where repurposing can come in, says Lee Odden:

      Really great repurposing is a lot more like personalization, customization or localization. For example, creating an eBook (as we like to do) and then creating a supporting infographic, individual statistics and quote graphic tiles, social shares, blog posts, short video montage and even a print version of the eBook are all ways to provide the same information in different media formats."

      Are you spending the time to repurpose your content? If you don't have enough resources for a steady stream of created material, this is a great way to keep the content flowing. 

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    4. Curation in the Content Marketing Mix

      Curation in the Content Marketing Mix

      Today, best-in-class marketers are only creating 65 percent of content, and curating 25 percent. Curated content is a great way to support your creation strategy as it allows marketers to publish consistent, high quality information on their topic - in a fraction of the time. Curation can also help marketers cut through the all of noise of today's online publishing industry. Lee Odden continues on the TopRank Marketing blog,

      Information Overload – More information is created digitally every day than ever before and many consumers feel lost in a sea of data and content. Thoughtful curation of content stands out as readers connect with the personality and perspective of the curating source that brings them useful information from a variety of sources with context and perspective.

      Curating, and annotating, a weekly newsletter of high quality articles for readers provides diverse information from a variety of sources and represents your own unique perspective as well. Pulling together these valuable pieces of information adds to your credibility and provides a convenient resource for readers. 

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    5. 5 Actionable LinkedIn Marketing Tactics

      5 Actionable LinkedIn Marketing Tactics

      At Social Media Marketing World 2014, Jason Miller of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions presented 5 tips to help marketers get the most out of this leading social platform. Step one was of course, establishing an optimized presence using images, content and product/service descriptions by linking to other social channels and using relevant keywords. The remainder of Jason's tips are as follows:

      2. Attract a Following: The key to growing your following on LinkedIn is to provide value to the community

      3. Empower Advocates: By engaging with the right people in social, brands are able to achieve much greater reach through exposure to audiences outside their immediate circles. This kind of marketing is hard to put a price on.

      4. Amplify Through Paid Promotion: For brands looking to achieve more amplification to their presence or generate leads, LinkedIn advertising is worth looking into.

      5. Analyze and Refine: LinkedIn has powerful analytics capabilities built into the platform, including their recently launched Content Marketing Score and Trending Content reports, which together help to quantify the impact of your content across areas of LinkedIn (groups, influencer posts, sponsored updates, etc), rank you against competitors and show which topics are resonating with specific audiences.

      These are all great tips for content marketers looking to get the most out of LinkedIn. Providing value on your LinkedIn page and measuring the impact of your LinkedIn strategy are perhaps the two most important tips. Valuable insights and opinions will give readers a reason to come back, share your content and recommend your page to their peers. Analyzing the impact of your LinkedIn page after implementing certain strategies can provide insight into what tactics work and which ones fall flat. 

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    6. Getting the Most out of Marketing Events

      Getting the Most out of Marketing Events

      According to a survey by Stan Ventures, 67% of content marketers believe event marketing is the most effective tactic. Events are a great way to network, learn from influencers and have your voice heard. In this article posted on the TopRank blog, Lee Odden shares tips on how to get the most out of marketing events you attend. 

      Content Marketing is hotter than ever but sourcing content is probably one of the biggest challenges for companies getting into the content publishing realm. The good news is that events from Twitter chats to webinars to keynote presentations and breakout sessions all provide opportunities to capture, curate and even create content.

      Examples of this include live blogging, interviewing other attendees for blog posts or video roundups, curating articles on the conference happenings and also keeping track of who's mentioning you. All of these can create fodder for great created content and provide interesting information for readers.

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    7. How to Increase your Blog Following

      How to Increase your Blog Following

      Lee Odden, CEO at TopRank Online Marketing, gives us five ways to grow blog communities and increase readership. To start, content on your blog must be brand relevant and topic-specific, but it takes a lot more than that to keep readers coming back for more. Lee continues with great advice:

      It’s not about you, it’s about them. Empathize with whatever market or audience you’re after. Put yourself in their shoes when thinking of topics, pain points and goals. Write about the journey to solving those problems. Think about what your readers care about in the context of what you’re trying to communicate. 

      In addition to focusing on your readers, make sure content is engaging and provides value that they're able to put into action. Remember that the quality, not quantity, of content you publish is what really counts. Distributing content to multiple channels can also help you reach a wider target audience. Use newsletters, blogs, social media, etc. to get the most mileage out of the content you publish.

      Be sure to check out the rest of Lee's tips on growing your readership. 

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    8. Content Marketing Quantity vs. Quality

      Content Marketing Quantity vs. Quality

      Lee Odden does an excellent job of diving into the details which separate a content marketing strategy that focuses on the quantity of content, from a strategy that targets the customer's experience. A "more content" strategy tends to be focused on improving SEO, hopefully leading to increased site traffic and sales. A strategy focused on provides quality content for target customers aims to provide value and guide them through the sales cycle. Which one's more effective? 

      I would argue that investing in a quantity of content for search and not a customer-focused experience, can be costly for companies. The content might “rank” in search, but how does it contribute to the buyer experience? 

      Providing quality content, not just quantity, resonates better with readers, provides more value and establishes a higher quality of brand awareness. Giving potential buyers valuable content can help develop trust in your brand. Optimize content for the consumer experience to increase the quality of your leads. 

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    9. Content Marketing Interview: From One Rock Star to Another

      Content Marketing Interview: From One Rock Star to Another

      Lee Odden does a nice job of interviewing Jason Miller in his recent TopRank blog post. Jason Miller, Sr. Manager, Content Marketing & Social Media at LinkedIn, is responsible for leading the social media and content marketing efforts for LinkedIn Marketing Solution. I like Jason's point about the need to have a balance between standing out with an occasional amazing piece of content, and connecting with your audience on a deeper level through more consistent delivery of high quality content. Jason also offers good insight into what it will take for B2B marketers to succeed in 2014 from an organizational structure perspective:

      The most forward thinking companies will be combining social, PR, and content into one team that works hand in hand with demand gen reporting to the CMO."

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    10. Content Curation through Embedded Widgets

      Content Curation through Embedded Widgets

      Lee Odden of Top Rank has published a list of ten publishing platforms providers who offer embeddable widgets that you can insert into a blog post to effectively "curate" content.  Using a Storify-like approach, you can build a narrative around several of these widgets to add your own perspective around other people's content that Lee compares to an Oreo cookie:

      A classic form of this type of efficient content sourcing is the Oreo Cookie blog post: Find a compelling, informative article written by someone you’d like to better connect with and pull an excerpt of it into a blog post (the stuff in the middle). Then write an intro paragraph to identify a problem that empathizes with the reader and a conclusion offering insights into the way forward (the top and bottom of the cookie). 

      Previously, we have called this technique as quoting in our guide to content curation annotation. It's an easy way to create a post that not only incorporates other people's perspectives but also your own as well -- much like this very post.

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    11. 9 Examples of Social Content Curation Sites

      9 Examples of Social Content Curation Sites

      TopRank has compiled a list of 9 examples of social content curation sites. Unlike expert content curation, where a single curator or small group of curators is determining what content should be published, social curation sites leverage a large audience to bubble up the best content.  You should use social curation if your brand has:

      1. An active social presence on multiple social networks and media sites
      2. An active consumer or buyer fan base on the social web that frequently mentions your company

      For inspiration, read through this blog post to see real world examples of content curation powered through social means.

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      Mentions: Dell CMS IBM
    12. Should your online marketing strategy be built for SEO or Content?

      Should your online marketing strategy be built for SEO or Content?

      Should you create content for your end audience or for your search engines?  Lee Odden of TopRank dives into this topic asking a slightly different form of this question of whether your content online marketing should be performed by a SEO agency or a content marketing agency.  Ultimately he concludes that content and value come first before SEO.  Later in the post, someone comments:

      Just like you write for your readers not the AI. I believe content should lead your strategy. Human being are what matter at the end of the day. People buy.

      What do you think? Create content for your audience or create it for search engines to draw in the right audience?



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    13. Three Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing using Content Curation

      Three Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing using Content Curation

      Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing discuss 3 best practices for curating content. When getting started with curation for your business, keep in mind that finding the right topic is the key to your success with curation.

      Curation is the cornerstone of being useful on the social web by finding, filtering and adding insight to content online and sharing with social networks.

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    14. Content Marketing: Creation, Curation, Repurposing & Collective Social Wisdom

      Content Marketing: Creation, Curation, Repurposing & Collective Social Wisdom

      Lee Odden of Top Rank explains why you should curate and repurpose content while avoiding duplicate SEO issues:

      The cost and difficulty of scaling content creation has boosted the desire to find something that taps into the stores of existing content and digital assets. Creative content repurposing is an effective way to do that.

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    15. @Toprank Blog | Content Marketing: Definitions of Curation & Context

      @Toprank Blog | Content Marketing: Definitions of Curation & Context
      Within the field of content marketing, curation is becoming a popular topic of discussion. Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content. Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Content curation can provide the best of both.
      Read Full Article
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