Content marketing is the latest go-to tool for driving business and creating customer loyalty.If you can provide your customers and potential customers the right content, it will connect them to you and create positive feelings towards your store or brand. It can bring more people into the funnel. It can establish you as an expert. It's even the new driver of SEO and how much traffic Google will drive to your site.
But, if you're a busy retailer or small business owner, how do you find the time to create good content? You can add extra hours onto your already long days. You can hire someone to do it for you. Or you can curate good content that others create - providing a lot of the same benefits with a fraction of the work. It won't be as effective as having your own content. It won't give you the SEO benefits of original content. But it can do just about everything else.
Even if you have the skills and best intentions, consistent content creation is hard to do when you're running a business. For instance, I'm a writer who is in charge of content here at Yaffe - both as the Exec Creative Director and the social media guy. In my heart, I'm committed to creating 3 blog posts a week here in this space. Or, at the very least, getting one done each week for our #RetailTuesday post. In reality, it's been two weeks since my last post here and you have to go back 3 weeks before that for the previous one. But that doesn't mean we haven't been sharing content in all that time. In fact, The Yaffe Group posts content 6 - 12 times a day on our twitter feed along with content sharing on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. How? Content curation.
Once you have the right systems set up, you can provide content for your customers in just minutes a day.I spend the first 15 - 20 minutes each day culling content while I have my morning coffee. Then I go back to it several times throughout the day - never taking more than 10 - 15 minutes at a time. It doesn't need to take hours to do. You just need two things: a set of sources for finding content and a way to deliver them.
You don't want to deliver all your content posts at the same time. So, you need an automation tool to schedule when each post goes out. There are a lot of free tools you can use. The free versions of Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or SocialOomph are good tools that are fairly intuitive to use. Once you get advanced, you can upgrade to a paid version for more features. But chances are the free versions will suffice for what you need.
Set up systems to deliver good content to you. There are a number of ways to find good content that will provide your customers and potential customers with valuable information. First make a list of all the areas customers would be interested in that relate to your business and what you provide - whether you're selling furniture or consulting services. Then find places that will provide you with multiple stories, infographics, videos, podcasts and other content at once.
Signing up for eNewsletters is a good source of content. Find companies or experts who send out regular emails with multiple stores in each issue - relating to each of the topics on your list. SmartBriefs offers daily emails on almost every category you can think of - so they are a good place to start. This may clog up your email, but it gives you an easy source of content delivered straight to your inbox every day. Choose which articles would be of most interest to your community and share them through your store or company's social channels. Subscribing to blogs on the subject matters you've listed will also bring good content straight to your inbox.
Create lists and keyword searches. Another way to get good content is to create a twitter list of experts who are sharing good content Check the list every so often and pull stories from there. In fact, from this method, sharing content is as easy as hitting the retweet button - just don't over do it on retweets, a feed of nothing but retweets will turn people off. Also, set up a column for keyword searches on twitter and find articles others are sharing about the subject. Keyword Google searches or alerts will also bring articles to you. Then all you have to do is curate everything that comes in and share what's relevant to your community and to what you want your store or brand to stand for.
Those are a quick few ways you can curate good content in just minutes a day. Got other suggestions or good curation tips? I'd love to hear them!