The Lean Marketer Blog

5 Content Curation Tips for B2B marketing

If you spend even the minimum time online on social networks for business, you’ve probably noticed articles being posted by your connections on LinkedIn or professionals you have never met in your groups. But why are these people posting articles and starting discussion and how can it help their business? Shouldn’t they be busy selling their products and promoting new features?

If you noticed the article on your feed, they must have been doing something right. Perhaps the topic that they wrote about was relevant to make you stop in your tracks and comment on their discussion or share their article to your contacts.

This is what is known as shareable content or content curation. At the Lean Marketer, we’ve helped quite a few companies promote awareness of their brands and generate valuable leads through the distribution of articles relevant to their companies. And now we’ve decided to share some tips to help you optimize your content curation strategy.

Tip #1 Keep articles relevant and recent

We suggest that you start with a list of trending topics and key words relevant to your industry. If you don’t know where to start, see what kind of articles your competition is sharing and keep a list.   Once you have compiled a list, you can search for articles using Google News, Feedly or industry online publications. Feedly is an RSS reader that lets you search and share for content that interests you. You can define the publications and topics you want to follow so that it automatically populates your news feed every time you visit the site.

Tip #2 Spark controversy rather than scandal

LinkedIn Company UpdateMake sure you read the articles before you share them. You might love the headline but not the content that follows. It’s no fun to be a cog in someone else’s clickbait scheme. Don’t be afraid to be controversial, since that helps get conversations going. In the company posting above, the social post opens discussion with a question. But be careful. Choose interesting articles, but try to avoid ones that criticize your industry or product to the point that they can devastate the reputation of your brand. Balanced articles are better. Also be cautious of articles that may paint a tainted picture of your valued customers.

Tip #3 Promote content across multiple, yet targeted channels

Each B2B business knows its key target audiences. LinkedIn is probably the most natural choice for B2B content distribution, as you can post to groups that you belong to or post on the profiles of influencers within your company. Posting content on a company page will expose your content to people who follow your company but anyone who doesn’t follow the company will not see your postings, so ask people from your company to like, share and comment on the content to amplify its reach. Facebook groups may also be relevant for this purpose.

Tip #4 Bring readers back to your site

One of the first reactions that marketers may have when learning about content curation is “why do we want to direct people to other people’s sites?” It’s nice to share ideas and spark conversation, but if I’m bothering to share something, I want it to have a direct impact on my business. We recently discovered a very useful tool to help with this, called Snip.ly. Snip.ly is a free (up to a certain point) tool that lets you overlay your own call-to-action banner on almost any other site, while simultaneously shortening the link. The image below includes a Sniply overlay on the Wall Street Journal home page .

sniply

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say you have found a great article from the New York Times that you have posted on your Facebook page or simply linked to another site: Instead of using a regular New York Times link, you use the Snip.ly backend to configure a shortened link, that leads to the page, with your CTA banner on it! Snip.ly also provides analytics so that you can track how many “snips” you’ve made, click rates, engagement and conversion rates, etc. As you can see, the advantages for Snip.lying are two-fold –you’re offering an interesting article to potential leads or customers and a free promotional option on the article itself. The only disadvantage with Sniply is that not all websites are supported.

Since starting to use Snip.ly for several of our clients, we can track new sales leads that came to the site directly as a result of content curation.

 Tip #5 Schedule and distribute content effectively

There are several social media distribution tools available. We primarily use Buffer and Oktopost. FYI, LinkedIn has prevented most third party tools from posting automatically to its groups. A few tools retain the privilege of posting to groups, but honestly they don’t do such a great job, and we recommend that you post to groups manually.

Figure 5

Oktopost (pictured above) lets marketers distribute large amounts of content from multiple company influencers, and across several social media platforms. We usually run our content curation campaigns for several weeks so that the articles can reach potential leads at different times of the day and week globally and that we can provide robust and frequent content to our customers’ social media targets. We don’t run them much longer than that since the articles get a little stale.

Once you’ve been running campaigns for a few weeks, it’s best to take a look at your analytics (either through Google analytics, or the built in reporting tools in your social media posting to see what times and days are getting the most engagement. You can also use tools like Tweriod to have a better overall view of when your followers are online, although this works just for Twitter.

You should also analyze which types of content are the most interesting for your audiences, and which social networks seem to be performing the best.

To sum up, these are just 5 tips for implementing a B2B content curation strategy. Got some more tips to share? Add them in the comments!

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