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7 Elements Of A Successful Editorial Calendar

  
  
  

Randomness is the enemy of profitable content marketing. You need a content plan. And you need content planan editorial calendar, because that provides the foundation for your plan, helping you think through and execute your marketing tactics.

Newspaper and magazine publishers wouldn’t think of working without this tool, and content marketers have learned why. An editorial calendar is actually the first step in any successful publishing effort, regardless of whether the medium is traditional print or some online format.

What can an editorial calendar do for your clients?

Whether you’re managing only your client's website and a blog or your content plan calls for myriad formats and delivery channels, a calendar enables you to get organized and stay focused. It streamlines your content creation and distribution process and provides a coordinated, single-source matrix that significantly simplifies management.

An editorial calendar helps assure you’re reaching all your target audiences, at each of their various buying stages, and that you’re taking advantage of all the formats and channels you want to use. That ensures that your content has maximum value.

You can more easily integrate your entire marketing program and make better use of repurposing to get the most mileage from content you create – you’re creative and efficient, but never redundant.

A calendar saves time and improves collaboration among marketing team members. It helps you maintain a consistent publishing schedule and avoid missing marketing opportunities. It gives you a double-check to be sure you’re addressing your overall business and marketing goals as well as specific campaign goals.

Your editorial calendar will spark ideas. And it will force you to think in advance about how to most effectively implement your content plan.

Your content management software probably has a built-in editorial calendar. But there also are plenty of free templates online. Try one of these two.

What should you include?

Ultimately, that depends on the complexity of your content plan. A spreadsheet format lets you see everything at a glance, and it’s expandable. There are several essential elements to a successful editorial calendar – actions you need to take, things you need to think about. Five of these elements come from journalism.

1. Who

  • Target persona.
  • Target buying stage (engagement cycle).
  • Name of the person responsible for each action.

2. What

  • Keywords.
  • Topics.
  • Title/headline (or at least a working title, you can finalize it later).
  • Call to action.

3. When

  • Initial content due date
  • Editing due date, if applicable
  • Publication date.

4. Where

  • Format (type of content -- text, image, video, etc.).
  • Delivery channels.

5. How

  • “Notes” – reference citations, key talking points, links to include or other content highlights.
  • “Think tank” – store ideas for future content all in one place, where everyone can see them and contribute as something comes to mind.
  • Keep track of upcoming opportunities to tie content to your own, industry or community topics such as product introductions, events such as trade shows, specific campaigns, seasonal promotions and company achievements.

But a successful editorial calendar requires two more elements:

6. Flexibility

Your content plan is constantly evolving, as is the world around you. Be prepared to go off-schedule from time to time, as current events or new opportunities crop up.

7. Celebration

Because content marketing never ends, it can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, we all know that celebrating small successes along the way creates a sense of accomplishment and boosts morale.

An editorial calendar builds accountability, because everyone can see who’s responsible for specific actions and whether things are being done on time. But here’s the best part: you can check off action items when they’re done. Good job! Color coding is a simple way to do this.

It’s a tool, not an end in itself.

Include everything important for your process – at your level of complexity – without cluttering with extraneous detail. But remember that it pays to be organized. If you have a large marketing team, an editorial calendar enables you to be better coordinated and collaborative. If you’re a marketing team of one, using the calendar will save you time and help you be more effective. No matter who you are, you’ll be more successful.

Your client's content plan requires quality and timeliness. An editorial calendar ensures you continue to offer both, systematically and effectively. 

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7 Ways To Capture Customers With Business Blog Content

  
  
  

Blogs are everywhere. From gossip and entertainment to parenting and crafting, no matter what business blog contentcustomers' interests are, there's a blog for that. Business blogs sit in a different area than some other blogs, however, because they must keep an eye on marketing objectives if they are to be successful.

So what does it take to create business blog content that captures customers?

1. Solve Problems

You'll see this over and over and it has made it to the top of this list because it is that important. If your client's business blog content is not solving the problems of readers, then you can stop right here. Content marketing exists to find customers while they're actively seeking solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. Before you worry about anything else define the reader's problem and then answer it.

2. Focus on Your Personas

Business blog content can't be plain, informative, and written to appeal to a mass audience or you'll bore everyone. Instead, you want to be lively, funny and entertaining to the small percentage of people who are the most likely to become customers. How to make that happen depends heavily on who you are talking to.

Some people will find authenticity in the occasional curse word, others will discredit you entirely for it. Some people think puppies are the answer to all of life's problems while others think they're a nuisance. Know who you are talking to so you know how to appeal to them and don't worry about everyone else.

3. Good Structural Foundation

Before you start, make sure you've got your structural pieces in place. Start with a good headline that gets attention and makes a promise that your content will fulfill. Make sure you have a good call-to-action ready to place at the end of your client's posts. Make sure you're following other common guidelines such as breaking up paragraphs by using bullets and subheadings and using a clean design. By having all this in place before you start writing you'll ensure that the reader doesn't have to do any work in order to get the message.

4. Be Enthusiastic

If you're bored with what you're writing you can be certain that whoever is reading is even more bored. Or, more accurately, they're probably not bored because they've already left your page and are somewhere more entertaining. Don't just write about your business, teach the readers about the individual aspects of your products and services. Show them why you think you're so much better than the competition – and believe what you're saying.

5. Form a Bond

Copyblogger suggests finding a common enemy as a way to bond with the reader. Now this doesn't have to be the competition or some “bad guy” that you go off on a rant about. The idea is to establish the feeling that we're all in this together and that you're here to help out.

For example, let's suppose you're a mechanic. Your common enemy can be greedy, deceitful outfits that take advantage of customers that don't know much about cars. They're bad for customers because unnecessary repairs are often billed and they're bad for other mechanics by harming the overall reputation of the industry.

6. Get Emotional

If you can make your readers feel a certain way you can help convince them to take the next step. Whether you want to create a sense of urgency, a sense of security, or some other feeling with your client's business blog content, giving your readers an emotional attachment will help them visualize themselves needing your products or services and then being satisfied when you deliver them. The images at the top of a blog post are part of the content too, so use that opportunity to give an emotional jump-start to your words by beginning with a compelling image.

7. Leave the Sell Behind.

Advertising is not the same as content marketing. Advertisements need to start the conversation and get the customer thinking about your products using only a brief moment to speak a thousand words. You, on the other hand, have a thousand words at your disposal. Use them to have the conversation instead of just starting it.

Write content that is simple, direct and makes the reader feel confident. Avoid business blog content that is overly creative and leaves too much to the imagination. Remember, you want to compel the reader to take the next step, not think about taking the next step.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Content Marketing ROI: Tracking The Elusive Beast

  
  
  

Studies show marketers are spending more on content marketing this year. Obviously they believe content marketing ROIthe return is worth the boosted investment, but how do you know for sure? It’s not always easy to measure ROI, because the results can be intangible and develop gradually over time. That makes it hard to prove dollars-and-cents value for a content marketing campaign.

And of course not every campaign has a direct sales goal, making tracking ROI all the more elusive.

In 2012, HubSpot reported marketers who allot more than half their lead generation budget to inbound marketing saw an average cost per lead of $135, whereas those who spent the majority of their budget on outbound efforts paid $346 per lead. That’s a whopping difference. But while cost per lead is an important number, you can’t judge the success of a content marketing campaign by one metric alone.

HubSpot went on to note that the top three inbound channels out-performed all outbound techniques, with impressively low costs:

  • Blogging, 52% below average.
  • Social media, 45% below average.
  • SEO (organic search), 38% below average.

While that’s good news in the aggregate, it doesn’t tell you how you’re doing. You need to know the “engagement return” -- what’s working and what needs correction -- before you launch your next content marketing campaign. You also need to know the financial return on your marketing investment.

Calculating the financial side.

It’s not hard to figure out what you’re spending on each content marketing campaign – as long as you’re entirely honest. The tough part is definitively relating sales conversions to online triggers. Stephen Bateman offers an excellent, detailed guide to determining your costs for content production and delivery, to help identify true ROI.

These days, you can amass enough web-based analytical data to thoroughly overwhelm yourself. And just because you can’t attach a financial value to some content marketing benefits doesn’t lessen their value. Things like brand awareness, community-building and reputation reinforcement -- yours or your company’s -- all contribute toward customer desire to do business with you. 

Zeroing in on what matters most.

You can measure virtually anything -- new and repeat visitors, length of stay on your site, number of pages visited, lead generation, sales funnel progress, dollars spent by customers and dollars spent by you to acquire them.

You can track long-term loyalty and identify dollar-specific customer lifetime value -- something that’s often overlooked by harried marketers and business managers, even though it’s an important business indicator. We all know it costs less to retain a customer than to recruit a new one.

The key is to remain focused, identifying the metrics that are most relevant to your long-term business goals and specific campaign goals. After all, you can’t possibly know if you’ve achieved results unless you know what results you wanted. That means you have to start with the end in mind.

What are you trying to accomplish with this content marketing campaign? How will you know if it was successful? The answers point to your most relevant metrics, whether they’re direct conversions or more like “progress points” along your sales funnel:

  • Building brand awareness – measure traffic, page views, bounce rate, time-on-page and social sharing.
  • Building brand perception – use surveys, focus groups, etc. to solicit feedback.
  • Lead generation – measure content downloads, subscriptions, contact form submissions and overall lead generation stats.
  • Engagement and loyalty – measure opt-ins to your blog or enewsletter, repeat site visits and social media sharing.

Keeping it Real Time

With data available in real time, you can evaluate ROI of a specific content marketing campaign while it’s still in progress. If it’s lagging, you can modify elements to improve performance. Another way to ensure you’re getting the strongest possible return on every content marketing campaign is to track the quality of your content so you can continuously fine-tune it. You can’t expect a good return with poorly produced or inappropriately distributed content.

Although the vast majority of businesses are using some type of content marketing to inform prospective customers about their business and products, many of them suspect things aren’t going as well as they should. If you take the time to implement well-targeted metrics and tracking processes for your clients, understanding their content marketing ROI will be far less elusive.

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6 Ways To Maximize The Impact Of Any Content Marketing Campaign

  
  
  

“If you build it, they will come” only worked in the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. In real life, content marketing campaignespecially in content marketing, merely launching a content marketing campaign will not attract eyeballs or sales. While having the content is the first step, what you do with it – and what kind of content you produce – is what will maximize the impact of your client's campaign.

To get more from your client's content marketing campaign, consider these six tips for getting the most bang for their marketing buck:

  1. Start with a foundation of sharable content. To get the most out of content marketing campaigns, you’ll need reach. That reach comes from content that is sharable: well-written blog posts, helpful Tweets, fun to read (yet very useful) infographics, ebooks and white papers that hold solutions to problems, case studies that customers identify with, and quality video. Plan content accordingly, and it will be something that you and your customers will be proud to share with others.
  2. Share prolifically. Content marketing campaigns are great for SEO purposes. But that tactic to gather views only works when a prospect or customer is actively searching for keywords in your ebooks, special reports, blog posts, or other content. Take to social media, where your customers are, and post links, commentary, and tidbits from the content that will entice them to click through to the full piece.
  3. Make it easy for prospects and customers to share content. Your shares are important, but customers and prospects also want to share great content with their peers. Include share buttons where appropriate so that visitors can easily click and share to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest (especially if your content marketing campaigns use cool infographics).
  4. Synchronize your sales cycle with your content marketing campaign. All the content in the world won’t increase sales if the sales team isn’t on board with the campaign. For example, if your company is launching a new product that the sales team is planning to push, now is the time to create white papers, data sheets, and other information around the new product so that not only will the sales team have collateral to bring to customer appointments, but prospects will be primed to contact sales for more information or demos.
  5. Repurpose content where you can.  An ebook or white paper doesn’t have to just be one piece of content. An effective content marketing campaign takes content and repurposes it to the company’s advantage. If you have a great video series, that can be turned into an ebook or a series of blog posts. Snippets from blog posts can be turned into tweets. Research can be turned into cool infographics with the help of a talented designer. And all of it links back to your site to start the lead generation cycle.
  6. Define KPIs, then measure your ROI. Before you launch, define what metrics you will use to measure the success of your content marketing campaigns: shares, clicks, leads, all three, or other indicators? Then measure regularly and fine-tune your content to what seems to be working best with your audience. For example, a case study on how a customer was able to automate payroll with your solution may be widely shared, but you’re noticing that blog posts touting the benefits of automation aren’t as popular. Add more case studies, which in this case are gold.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to maximize the impact of your client's content marketing campaign, shorten their sales cycle, and get the best ROI possible.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Zerys From A Writer's Point Of View

  
  
  

As hundreds of marketing agencies and their clients already know, the Zerys Content Zerys Content MarketplaceMarketplace is a powerful tool for managing content projects.  What many agencies may not know is that the writers in the Zerys network are some of its biggest supporters.

Without the tens of thousands of professional freelance writers in the Zerys network, we would be nothing.  And we like to think that agencies who use our platform share our appreciation.  Recently, a member of our writer network took the time to write a review of Zerys.  We would like to share it with you.

David Shrauger is a freelance writer from Seattle who also happens to be a Zerys writer.  In his article “Interact Media’s Zerys platform a good option for freelance writers”, he offers some insights into the platform.  It’s information that could come in handy for any agency who wants to know more about how Zerys works from the writer end.

We are proud to receive this review, and we are proud of our accomplishments.  This year we went live with an upgraded writer platform in an effort to streamline the process of managing content projects.  And, we are excited to be able to soon offer Zerys agencies their own new and improved platform in order to provide them with the best possible user experience.

It means a lot to us that we’ve created a platform where writers from the U.S. and around the world can work from home in an environment that offers not only convenience, but a commitment to the best support for both themselves and their clients.  Check out David’s review, and see why we have so much to be excited about!

About Zerys
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace  that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.

Local Customers Mean Big Business For Small Business

  
  
  

It was once said that on the Internet, nobody knows if you are a dog. At the same time, it used to belocal search that the Internet was a placeless space where geography had little to do with a user's experience. Today, location-sensitive content is the norm on the Internet and, used properly, it can be a major driver of opportunity for your client's small business.

While the Internet might seem to be a great leveler, letting local businesses compete for customers on a global scale, you've probably found that local search and other tools that drive nearby customers to your client's door are becoming more and more important as a source of both leads and sales.

If you aren't fully leveraging this marketing opportunity, here are some ways that you can localize your clients' content and grow their business:

  • Localize Your Site. Search engines have changed the way that they report results to realize that many users are searching for nearby content. They know that there's a good chance that when someone searches "roses," they're looking for nearby florist. While at one point, local businesses had to optimize for location based keyword strings, they are now getting a short at ranking for non-specific searches, just based on their location relative to the user. For this to work, though, your site must be written to attract local searchers.
  • Localize Your SEO. One of the ways that search engines identify your local bona fides is to look to see how often your business's name comes up along with basic address and location information. The more that you can generate links from other nearby sites, the more likely you are to get the search engine results that can drive local traffic.
  • Embrace your locations. More than ever, having a separate page for each of your locations -- or for each community that you serve from your single location -- is key to getting search engine results. If you serve San Francisco, Oakland and San Rafael but only have Oakland on your website, there's no way for local search algorithms to connect the dots to the other communities.
  • Make time for NAPping. One of the keys to successful SEO is to distribute your NAP -- name, address and phone -- to the right places. The more that is is linked to your business' name in prominent databases, the more likely it is that you will come up in local search results.

Local Content for Local Search

Generating local search traffic isn't just about optimizing your site, though. It's also about providing content that is helpful to the local area that you search. If you sell the best cheese in Des Moines, you probably also know the top 7 places for a wine and cheese picnic in and around central Iowa. that kind of local content doesn't only drive eyeballs to your site. It also helps to establish a brand that engages local visitors.

Mobile Content for Local Search

Part of succeeding in local search is also to embrace mobile devices. Creating a responsive site is an important first step to ensure that your content works as well on the small screen as on a big screen. Since mobile users are social media users, putting time into building a social media presence to drive users back to your blog posts, videos and other content can help grow your presence. If you can tie your interactions to when a user is within walking or driving distance of your business, you can potentially even gain more business.

While Internet content marketing has been revolutionized by local search, in a way it also represents a gigantic step backward. The key to success today is to find a local niche, provide what it needs, and connect to it. It's both a cutting-edge marketing strategy and one that has worked for hundreds of years.

Photo courtesy of scottchan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Successful Content Marketing Agency?

  
  
  

Good question!content marketing agency

Like any other endeavor, there is no "one size fits all" winning formula for agencies and their clients.  But, you might make an argument that some principles and techniques seem to apply universally.  There is also a lot of advice about the topic out there, lucky for you.

I came across an article by Jay Baer of Convince & Convert (you may have heard of him) that breaks it down nicely.  It explores the new commitment to content that many agencies are making, and what it takes to be successful at it.  Like all recipes, there are many variations and they all produce something good.  But they all work off of the same core ingredients. 

Whether you are an established marketing agency already producing content for thousands of clients, an existing traditional agency starting to branch out into content marketing, or just getting your brand new agency off the ground, you can take these principles and strategies and adapt them to your clients' content needs, as part of a comprehensive content marketing campaign.

Ask yourself:

  • Can my agency produce enough content so that clients can blog at least three times a week?

  • Do we have the human and monetary resources necessary to "decentralize the content" i.e. publish to many channels?

  • Can we establish and maintain clients' presences on social media and other Internet gathering places?

  • Is senior leadership willing to get involved in content creation, or are they going to sit on the sidelines?

  • Can we make a commitment to the ongoing production and distribution of powerful, problem-solving content?  Are we going to make content marketing a priority?

Sound too expensive?  Jay covers that as well.

Check out his tips for successful content marketing for agencies

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Mobile Marketing Strategy: 5 Tips For Success

  
  
  

Given that users are turning to smartphone, phablets and tablets more than ever before, mobile isn'tmarketing strategy something for your clients to add on to an existing marketing strategy. Today, marketing is mobile, and if their company isn't building a mobile plan, it's falling behind. Here are five tips that can help you successfully introduce mobile technology into your client's branding and marketing.

Change The Priorities

Traditionally, designers started from the assumption that their site would be viewed on a large computer. Then, they bolted on mobile functionality. The idea was to create a scaled down site that could simulate the desktop experience in a good-enough fashion on a mobile device.

To have a successful mobile marketing strategy in 2014 and beyond, you will need to change priorities. Now, sites should be designed from a mobile-first perspective. Adopting this approach means you ensure that a mobile user can get everything they need, and that their experience can then be scaled up to add additional features (or just to look better) on larger devices.

Just Be Responsive

Given the large number of mobile devices, it can be challenging to build a strategy that suits all of them. If you have a large and established mobile marketing strategy, you might choose at some point to create some unique and differentiated products.

Especially when you're getting started, though, setting up a single presence that uses responsive web design lets you reach every device from a single platform. Responsive designs are those that can automatically modify themselves to fit just about any screen or platform, letting your web presence work as well on a small smartphone screen as on a desktop computer with a large and high-resolution monitor. Setting up a responsive site saves you from the complexity of managing multiple systems.

Have Clear Hooks

A marketing strategy that leverages mobile technology accepts the reality of the mobile user's attention span. It's pretty short. This means that the best content is designed to grab attention quickly and retain it. Here are some of the ways that you can build effective content for the mobile setting:

  • Write attention grabbing headlines that use evocative language, are relevant to what your audience cares about and clearly define the benefit the reader will get from spending time on the piece.
  • Embrace multimedia. Many users might not read text on a small screen but will look at images or watch videos.
  • Offer a mix of content, but make it all scannable. While short form content is generally better for mobile devices, a truly dedicated reader will go through a very long piece on a mobile phone. Breaking up long blocks of text with lists or headings can help, though.

Embrace Localization

One of the many features built into most mobile devices is location sensing capabilities. Not only do mobile devices know where they are, but they can also let you know where they're viewing you from. This gives you the opportunity to share information on your local offerings, direct them to your nearest location or give them content that is tied to the local area or to local events.

Check Your Metrics -- All Mobile Devices Aren't Equal

Once you have your client's mobile marketing strategy up and running, loop back and measure what is happening. Given the right data mining tools, you can identify patterns between users of similar devices. If mobile phone users are always looking for store locations, you can send them inducements like one day coupons to get them in the store. Tablet users might want to see your video content, while desktop users might need access to your support pages. Understanding this can help you expand your responsive design strategy by back filling it with more device-specific targeted content.

While the popularization of mobile computing is causing significant changes in marketing strategy, mobile devices also make some basic truths about marketing that much truer. Content is still king and users still like content that is applicable to them. With that in mind, a mobile marketing strategy might not be that different from the strategies that preceded it.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

SEO Content Marketing: 5 Simple Strategies

  
  
  

Your client may have the best looking website on the Internet. Their blog and other content on the SEO content marketingsite may be top-notch. They are showing themselves to be an expert in their field. Your client's entire online presence has been molded and sculpted to be the best it can be.

But does this translate into visits that convert into sales? If your client isn't happy with the results they're getting from their website, they might want to take a look at their SEO content marketing campaign. 

SEO Content Marketing - Your Key To Online Success

SEO is the tools and methodology used to increase traffic to a website. The goal is to rank high in the search engines so your business can be easily found. Content is all of the information on your client's website. This includes landing pages, product and service descriptions, photos, videos and perhaps most importantly, the blog. 

It all has to work hand in hand. The keys to online success are having people find the site, interact with the site and then, at some point, decide to do business with the company. How do you ensure that this process happens?

Strategies for SEO Content Marketing

Let's look at a few of the things you can do with your content to help the search engines find you and your business:

  • Keywords - The blog and the rest of the content on your client's site has to contain relevant keywords. In a nutshell, this is the name of the game. Keywords, and phrases, are what search engines "see" when they look at a site. These have to pertain to the industry. There are many applications, such as Keyword Planner, that can help you to decide which keywords and phrases to use. Research and choose your keywords wisely.
  • Blog - If your client's website is too static or does not change often enough people will not engage. You may ask, "But how often am I am doing to change the description of a product or service?". The answer to that is not often. Your blog will be the most dynamic part of your website. Don't let it sit idle. Get on a regular schedule and update it regularly. Give followers and potential customers a reason to visit the website again and again.
  • Don't be vanilla - This means don't just put mainly words on your website with some pictures. Be dynamic. Use as many means of presenting information to people as you possible can. Some of the possibilities are: videos, webinars, eBooks, podcasts and whatever else you can think of. Some people may be content with reading information but others may need to see and hear it. Still others might need different forms of graphics to engage with you. Give people many ways to digest information on the website.
  • Get help - Blogging and keeping up with the content on the website can be a daunting task. You don't have to do it all by yourself though. Invite others in the industry to guest post a blog for you. You can offer to do the same on their sites. Always link back to your site when you do this. Use experts in the company to share information and expertise they may have on the blog. Don't go it alone. Get help. 
  • Not just content, good content - You've probably seen the statement "Content is king". Many people mistakenly believe that this equates to more content. Not necessarily. The goal is not to produce more content but quality content. The information has to be timely, relevant and useful. Strive to give website visitors great content. "Wow" them if you can. Don't just give them a lot of words to read.

SEO Content Marketing - Do It Well

Content marketing is nothing new. John Deere published a magazine in 1895. Jell-O had a cookbook in 1904. Sears produced a radio program in 1922. Those companies and many more, including yours, know that getting information about your company out is vital to your business's success.

What has changed is the method of delivering that content. The tips listed above should help your clients with their online marketing. When search engines can find them, customers can engage.

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7 Tips And Tricks For Effective Content Curation

  
  
  

Have your clients ever asked you, what is content curation? Maybe they've seen it or heard of it, butcontent curation just didn't know what it was called. Content curation is sorting through the incredible amount of content on the Internet and presenting it in a new way, usually around a specific theme. Just as a museum curator cherry-picks the very best artwork and brings it together in one place, a content curator gathers information useful to his niche audience and presents it in a way that makes it easy to find and digest.

Content curation is different from collecting links. It's not about hoarding vast amounts of information or becoming a theme-specific search engine. It's about vetting, organizing, annotating, and presenting select information in a thoughtful way.

The following are 7 tips to help your clients create effective content curation:

1. Identify Your Audience. Who will be looking at your content? Again, think about museums. Curators of children's museums organize their information very differently than curators of natural history museums. Once you have identified your audience, you can significantly narrow your field of vision.

2. Choose a Theme. With the incredible amount of information always at our fingertips, it's best to be as specific as possible with your theme. Instead of curating material around the theme, "marketing," narrow your focus to "infographics" or "Twitter." It's easier to reach niche audiences than general audiences, so think about your audience and their specific interests.

3. Know Where to Look. Where will you find all of this content to curate? Social media is very helpful for helping you to identify trends and see what people are talking about. News aggregates and blogs are also helpful. Personalize your news feeds for the topics you're currently curating to get the latest information each day.

4. Choose Only High Quality Content. Your reputation as a curator depends on your ability to choose impeccable content. You're the filter. Others depend on you to filter out the junk and promote the gems. This is what helps you to develop a reputation as a thought leader.

5. Be Consistent. If you curate only once in a while, you'll lose your audience. To be consistent, create a curating calendar with specific goals. Maybe you want to curate twice a month. Mark your dates on your calendar and stick to them.

6. Think Ahead. With your dates on your calendar, you have time to think ahead. Along with your dates, put your topics on your calendar. Those topics will percolate in your mind, and you'll be able to collect great content and images as you go along, knowing that "E-book Publishing" is your topic for late next month.

7. Use Social Media Wisely. As you gain success as a curator, you may be tempted to start widening your audience and maybe even your topics. But stay focused, especially with social media. Don't let your bigger audience go to your head and start tweeting about your dinner invitations or your frustrations with your neighbor. Keep your social media focused on your curating to keep your professional edge.

Content curation can be an effective means of marketing your client's brand, so give it a try.  When done right, it's an effective way for them to become the go-to resource for their target markets.

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