We've all heard it: now's the time to start using content curation as a part of your content marketing strategy.  There seems to be an endless supply of articles, blog posts, and tutorials on curation - we've done the research, read the articles, learned about all of the benefits and best practices. Now, there's only one thing left to do: actually get started.

After taking in as much information as possible on curation best practices, techniques, and tools, it's possible that you find yourself asking, "now what?" 

At Scoop.it, we have the answer.

At Distilled's SearchLove in October of this year, SEOMoz CEO Rand Fishkin channeled his inner Beatles fan with a presentation called "Can't Buy Me Love." Of course, unlike Paul, George, John, and Ringo, Rand isn't talking about the "love" of a lady, but instead he's referring to the love of your audience.

To be completely honest, I never really understood search marketing. If I'm searching for something in Google, odds are I'm probably going to click on the search result for what I was actually looking for, rather than an ad that [may or may not be] related to what I typed in. I'm not saying that search marketing does't work, but I do like to think that there are better (and cheaper) ways to get people to click on your website.

That said, it's not surprising that I'm a pretty big advocate of content marketing - creating content that, while it may be optimized for keywords, is actually valuable to your readers and gets clicks because it's interesting and relevant.

I know I'm not the only one to say that content is going to rule 2013. To me, it already ruled 2012, but now it seems that it's becoming more commonplace for those who were unsure of it last year. We're seeing an increasing amount of "brand journalists" and "brand-as-a-publisher" mentalities, and I have a feeling this isn't going to stop any time soon.

My name is Ally Greer. I'm a marketer with expertise in content marketing and curation. You've probably never heard of me.

With over 500 million users on Twitter, 175 million on LinkedIn, and over a billion on Facebook, you probably haven't heard of most people on the Internet. The bad news is that this also means most of those people probably haven't heard of you either.

That said, I'm certainly not here to tell you how flooded the Internet is and discourage you from jumping into the information pool. In fact, I'm telling you to do the exact opposite. Although it isn't likely that all 500 million people on Twitter will be following you by the time you're finished reading this (or ever), there are a few ways to look what we call "information overload" right in the face and use it to your advantage.

In a digital world characterized by an overwhelming amount of noise, everyone is struggling to find relevant content from people and brands with an expertise on a specific subject. Content curators are the ones who step up to the plate.

Most content by brands serves only to promote the brand. This is not a conversation. This is a content marketing echo chamber.
-Michael Brenner
It’s been a while since I’ve heard about the term “echo chamber,” and the last time I investigated it it was mostly concerning the social graph and surrounding yourself with the same people and the same ideas.

I always like seeing how social phenomena convert over into the business world, and this is a perfect example of that. If the entire online presence of your brand, including your content, only consists of talking about your own brand and encouraging others to talk about your brand, there is no room to grow, and no actual value to the content you’re providing.

Michael Brenner says that “good content educates, entertains or even amazes your audience because it starts with a focus on them, not you.” Get out of the echo chamber and stop throwing around generic praise and information about your brand, and start telling your story and demonstrating your expertise.

See on b2bmarketinginsider.com

Not long ago, a few members of the Scoop.it team began discussing the answer to the all too popular question: how do I do content marketing if I’m a startup or professional without a big budget? With that in mind, we created the Lean Content Marketing meetup. 

This evening, we were happy to host the co-founder of the awesome social media tool BufferApp, Leo Widrich (@LeoWid), who shared five awesome lessons that he’s learned over the last two years of developing his very own content marketing strategy.

Two years ago, Leo Widrich and Joel Gascoigne were students in the UK. Who would have thought that Joel’s technical side and Leo’s marketing side would come together to create what we now know as Buffer App in Joel’s college bedroom?

At the time, the new Twitter app they had created didn’t have any users and its two young founders tried relentlessly to get any tech blogs to cover them. When this didn’t work, they asked themselves, “if no one else will write about us, why can’t we just write about ourselves?”

Since Leo was the “marketing guy,” he was charged with putting out as much content as he could to spread the word about Buffer App. Two years and a highly successful social media app later, Leo has learned some of the most important lessons in content marketing:

With big changes at Facebook afoot, what will it mean for marketers?

If you’re a company focusing a lot of your efforts on Facebook, it’s time you rethink your content strategy for this increasingly “pay to play” platform.

Similarly to Google, Facebook’s new algorithm shows only the best/most viral content as well as the content whose creators pay for it to be seen.

For smaller businesses who don’t exactly have the pay-per-click budget, it’s time to get creative. Post the most relevant and interesting images and pieces of content, and encourage engagement by posting “Shareables,” my favorite term for (obviously) content that’s likely to be shared.

See on bronto.com

[Note: I originally wrote this for the Scoop.it blog.]

According to a recent survey conducted by Econsultancy, 90% of respondents (1,300 marketing professionals) believe that content marketing will continue becoming increasingly important within the next year, but a surprisingly low 38% of them actually have a content strategy in place.

It’s hard to say that a day goes by for marketers without hearing, talking, or reading about some type of content marketing strategy. This is clearly demonstrated by the 73% of respondents who believe that brands are becoming publishers. Why is it, then, that only 38% of companies currently have a defined content marketing strategy and only 55-58% say that they are planning one?

The Content Marketer’s pledge:

I, [Your Name], pledge to create something remarkable. Something that people will love. Something they will want to share. Something I can be proud of. And if it fails to achieve my marketing goals, I won’t give up. I will try again. My failures will be the practice I need to earn future successes and future customers.

-Rand Fishkin

If You’re Not Content Marketing, You’re Not Marketing

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.