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How Content Curation Became a Winning Formula for the Social Media Marketing Campaigns of Startups

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While content creation remains an important aspect of generating brand awareness and nurturing leads on social media, adopting an approach that incorporates content curation into your strategy can be an excellent and impactful time-saving tool for businesses–particularly startups with smaller marketing teams.

Unlike content creation, which revolves around creating and promoting your material from scratch, content curation involves utilizing content from alternative sources and brands, rather than solely creating it yourself.

As social media becomes more pervasive, marketers’ level of access to useful content has grown exponentially. In some cases, brand social media accounts can command a strong audience simply by repurposing existing content in an engaging way.

For startups that may be operating on smaller budgets with a smaller marketing team, content curation can be an excellent way of building a presence across multiple platforms without having to dedicate more time and resources to the creation process.

Assessing the Benefits of Content Curation

Content curation comes with a wide range of handy benefits that can generate a positive perception of your brand on social media, they include:

Time-Saving Tool: Creating SEO-friendly content from scratch can be rewarding for brands, but from a timing perspective it doesn’t come close to clicking that ‘share’ button on a pre-existing piece of discoverable and thought-provoking content.

Curating content saves both time and money, because your startup won’t need additional team members and designers to help create organic content campaigns online.

Great for Relationship Building: Curated content can also be excellent when it comes to networking. When you discover content that you want to share, tag them in your post or send them a message. Because sharing comes with free exposure for the OP, it may become easier to generate a new connection with another company or industry expert.
Content Calendar Diversity: While the content you create will feature your brand’s own voice and opinions, curated content can take you out of an echo chamber and place new thoughts and approaches on center stage. This can help you to generate new conversations and connections with your audience.
Display Expertise: Have you ever seen a viral post that you’re capable of adding your voice to? Sharing your thoughts on a trending topic can be a great way of positioning your brand as a thought leader to your audience to raise their perception of your capabilities.

These perks can help to deliver excellent levels of engagement for brands in a way that could compete with the performance of many content creation methods–all in a less time intensive and expensive manner.

But how are brands using content curation to take their social media engagements to the next level? Let’s take a deeper look at some key examples of how curation is best used on social platforms:

Build Trust by Adding to a Conversation

Although it can be tempting to simply share a thought-provoking piece of content, there is plenty more value to be found in sharing your thoughts for your target audience. After all, your followers are there to follow your opinions, so your perceptions will always be engaging for them.

Thought leaders can be industry experts in their niche, and generate a dedicated following because of their measured points of view. In the example above, we can see a website dedicated to student financial advice sharing a relevant post along with the hashtag #UniMentalHealthDay. This approach ensures exposure and carries a relevant point that expands on the shared content.

For the brands that perform content curation well, they recognize the importance of providing valuable information to bring to their followers. To add a personal twist to your shared content, consider taking some of the following approaches:

Ask a question
Share your opinion (even if it’s different to the original content)
Quote or pick a statistic from the source material
Summarize why others should read

There’s no set rules for generating engagements through curated content, but the approaches listed above can be a great way of sparking a conversation and drawing in more impressions for your content.

Generate a Social Proof

Content curation can also be a great way of social proofing your products or services. For many online shoppers, user reviews are considerably more trustworthy than the direct communications of brands.

According to FinancesOnline data, 66% of potential customers agree that they’re more likely to buy a product if it’s had positive reviews, and 88.8% of customers claim that their trust in a brand decreases if it’s received negative reviews.

As we can see in the Instagram content above, glasses brand Ray-Ban has curated content from Brazilian influencer, Jade Lanzoni to showcase its big selection of sunglasses in a more natural environment–showing customers the quality of the products without the need for gimmicky branding or expensive edits.

For startups hoping to encourage more users to generate their own social proof content, it could be worth launching a competition challenging customers to take the best selfie with their product, or to photograph it in the most unlikely location.

Utilize the Right Technology for Success

With the right tools, you can ensure that you have a strong feed of quality content to curate on your social media platforms. Tools like Pocket can be great for quickly saving articles or websites that you stumble upon online for later reading. If you believe that a specific piece of content could be useful to your audience, you can use Pocket to quickly save it for later consumption and sharing.

It’s also worth embracing classic tools like RSS feeds and Twitter Lists, both of which can help you to gain more direct access to the articles that could resonate the most with your audience online.

Although it certainly pays to take your time to find only the best content to share with your audience, content curation stands as an ideal way to continue engaging your audience more prolifically without having to invest in a large digital marketing team or dedicate many hours to building content from scratch.

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