Content is how we communicate why the product is important and it needs to be purchased.

Content is also the way we bring traffic to websites.

It is the way we keep the traffic coming back, and with enough interaction, eventually we convert this traffic into paying clients.

Both content creation and content curation is important for content marketing guidelines.

In this article we will explore:

  • Content creation versus content curation
  • How to improve content creation
  • How to improve content curation

Content Creation Vs Content Curation

Content creation is what most writers, and marketer are already familiar with.

It means generating original content for your clients according to their requests. This can include writing original articles, taglines, press releases, website content and any other material from scratch.

Content curation is a relatively new term, and many of us are still unclear as to what exactly it is.

Curating content means researching, discovering, gathering and organizing [existing] content to deliver it to a client.

Generally speaking content curation and content creation are both essential elements of a good content marketing strategy’s guidelines.

The idea is to first curate a lot of content, and then proceed to create original content according to your research.

For example let’s use a marketing team that takes on a project dealing with animal food.

The content curators would research the market, the current issues, the industry leaders and gather all relevant information.

They would then present this information to the content creation team, and the content creation team would look at the findings. Based on the findings they would create new, better, original content for the client.

Content curation is a process that most writers are familiar with. We do tend to look up information just to confirm facts, or see if we are on the right track.

However since digital marketing is now a vast arena, many marketing and content companies are separating content creation and content curation for efficiency.

How to Improve Content Creation

Content creation takes a lot of practice but at the same time, there are a lot of techniques you can employee in order to optimize the process.

Before trying to optimize your techniques make sure that you have solid content marketing guidelines in place.

Then proceed to fine-tune the guidelines.

1.   Know Your Audience

It is important to meet with the clients and try to align with their vision and mission. It is critical to know their target audience, so you adopt the right style and tone.

Knowing the audience is more than just styling and tone. It will help the team with their timing and the launching of the campaigns.

Building a Buyer Persona for each one of your clients is critical when you are first mapping out your content strategy as well.

2.   Establish Key Marketing Metrics

Key Marketing Metrics, or KPIs, are critical in optimizing all marketing activities.

I used to hear KPis here and there, everyone dropping the term in conversation like it is a well-kept secret.

For those who do not know KPIs let me clarify, it is anything you consider important for achieving growth.

KPIs are essential for optimization of your content marketing guidelines. Without KPI’s is like you are trying to correct your make-up in the dark.

For example some KPIs include:

  • Website Traffic
  • Sales
  • Time Spend on a Page
  • Refunds
  • Add to Cart % compare to Website Visits
  • Repeated Clients

There can be hundreds of possible KPIs, depending on your client’s product or service.

Once I understood KPIs, and learned how to use Google Analytics, it was like having a magic lens that helped me see in the consumer’s mind.

We knew exactly what to do and where.

For example if we were getting 100 Add to Cart clicks BUT only 2 fully checked out, then we knew we had a problem on the payment page. So we played with the content and the UX features to increase the %.

Or for example if we were getting 10000 people landing on the home page but only 100 clicked to check the client’s product or service, we knew that the landing page message needed to be altered.

KPIs and Google Analytics will have your clients think you can do magic!

3.   Assign Responsibility

In a team clear assignment of tasks and responsibilities is a must.

If everyone knows what is expected of them, then there are not unpleasant surprises or arguments.

4.   Stick to the Branding

Branding is key for any and all products and services, for professional content marketing guidelines always include branding information.

This means as a marketing team you need to have someone in charge of making sure that all clients have given you clear branding instructions and guidelines.

Then communicate this information to the content creator [s] and once the content is delivered, make sure that branding guidelines were kept.

5.   Use Project Management Tools

  • Asana
  • Basecamp
  • Podio
  • Workzone

Plus another 100 or so you can find looking online.

Project management tools make communication between members of your team, or even cross department communication extremely efficient.

If your marketing team is not using a Project Management tool, see to that right away.

6.   Experiment with New Tools and Software

Daily I see new branding software, logo makers, content software and other media creation software offer free trials on my social media feeds.

I will be honest, I have clicked and tried a few and discovered some real gems that are now a stable in my daily work routine.

7.   Have a Long Term Plan for Each Client

When your marketing team first sits down with a client, it is critical that they take time to understand the long term feasible goals (based on budgets and other elements) of the client.

For example if the client is just launching a new product and would like to sell at least 2000 units the first year, then you can prepare a plan to make sure you come close or meet the goal.

Now let’s look into content curation and how to improve it.

How to Improve Content Curation

  1. Identify the most relevant, interesting, thought-provoking content to share with your audience. Don’t spam people just to share something.
  2. Use reliable sources when searching for references and collecting data
  3. Allocate a budget to pay for access to research sites (for clients that might require in depth research and data)
  4. Curate content from a variety of sources – blogs, social media, newsletters, etc.
  5. Collect and collate your content sources and put them into an RSS reader to save yourself time.
  6. Identify where your targeted audience usually hangs out on social media and focus your sharing efforts on this channel.
  7. Engage the audience in interactions
  8. Organize your content delivery in a manner that allows your content to ‘rest’ and you take a final look, applying some final curation touches before sending it out.

Stay curious, research, collect information, create content marketing guidelines, and above all use common sense.