Why would I want to post other peoples articles when I have so much content already – my product descriptions, sale pages and reviews? These are the key pages that I want indexed high in the search engines too.
First off, you need to stand out from your competitors, and having some interesting, relevant content besides your product information can make your site more engaging for your customers. In addition, content that is not just about your products can help you establish some authority in your product niche. Not only do your customers see that you are keeping up with the relevant news, trends and ideas. The search engines also like to see this broader content.
This is called Content Marketing, and it is becoming the key focus of marketing for Ecommerce businesses big and small. Content curation is a key part of this effort, and focuses on finding articles and information related to your business that provide value to your clients.
Why Content Marketing?
While you can write about your products and services, how they can help your customers and discuss use cases and tips, you also need to come up with content that is not just about you or your products. This content could include news about your industry, design trends in your product niche, news and ideas about items related to your products, maybe new technology that may impact your products in the future. This has several advantages.
- You build authority by discussing and reviewing overall trends in your industry or niche.
- You are providing new content that your customers value, and they’ll come back to your site to read it.
- Search engines see a wider range of content and keywords that makes your site look deeper and authoritative
- Search engines see regular, new content showing up on your site, and they love active sites.
Finding this related content is what Content Curation is all about. There are people already writing about your products or niche, many of them great writers with a large following. Finding the best of these sources and articles and bringing them to your site for your clients is the focus of content curation. Some examples of how your Ecommerce site might use curation include:
- Create a blog on your site that highlights trends and ideas related to your products.
- Build a News menu item with timely articles related to your niche.
- Get your curated content out on your social networks adding more diversity to your posts
- Curated content can be a great addition to your email newsletters and announcements.
To make this effective, you need to add your comments and opinions about the articles and news you post – and always provide an attribution link to the original article. Start with a paragraph about why you think this is valuable for your clients. As you get in a routine, you can start to expand your writing. Maybe you write a longer discussion of how this trend will affect new product design or releases in the future. You could also post quotes from several articles and discuss the difference between their viewpoints.
The more you personalize and write your own discussions, the more effective content curation will become for your site. It is your voice that not only builds authority and engagement with your clients and prospects, it is what also creates ‘valuable’ content in the eyes of the search engines.
MyCurator makes Content Curation Easier
MyCurator is a WordPress plugin that helps you make content curation a regular practice. MyCurator works in the background, finding articles that meet your interests or niche topics. By having new material readily available, it inspires you to review and curate the best articles to your site when you have time.
Curation itself is easy to do. An article with an excerpt, image if found, title and attribution to the original source is automatically created. You can update the quote or excerpt by just clicking on relevant paragraphs of the full article text available in the WordPress editor. Similarly images that are included in the article can be added to your curated post with a click.
Of course, it will now be up to you to start writing a short discussion of why you think this article or post is important – no tool will make that easier! Start small though, and focus on getting an article curated once or twice a week. After a few weeks, you can start expanding your writing and discussion.
To help you with longer curated discussions and even writing your own content, MyCurator has a Notebook feature. Like Evernote, only embedded in WordPress, Notebooks let you save important articles found by MyCurator for later use. You may then easily add the full text of all the articles in your Notebook into a metabox in your editor as you create a post. From there you can easily click to copy quotes, images and attribution into your new piece.
With MyCurator Notebooks, and regular curation, you will find yourself expanding from simple curation to more complex discussions and opinions. After that, its not a long step to creating your own post. With Notebooks, you can research and save articles from the web, using them as background material and quotes for your original content.
Curated Resources for Further Learning
Most important to an Ecommerce site is building your search rankings. This article by Pawan Deshpande in Forbes lays out the key elements of why content curation can build SEO value.
The battle for top billing on the search results page is fierce – and sites with fresh, relevant content are the ones that come out on top. Sounds like an easy formula, but maintaining SEO performance is often easier said than done. As any marketer will tell you, continuously creating, publishing and promoting original content is no small task. That is why many are turning to content curation tools that help find, organize and share content online to ensure that their site is constantly delivering updated, highly topical, keyword-rich content – making it a natural winner in the battle of Search Engine Optimization.
To get the basics of content curation, the first post to read is the most referenced discussion of content curation by Beth Kanter –
Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information. A content curator cherry picks the best content that is important and relevant to share with their community. It isn’t unlike what a museum curator does to produce an exhibition: They identify the theme, they provide the context, they decide which paintings to hang on the wall, how they should be annotated, and how they should be displayed for the public.
This article provides a wide list of ideas for content curation, pick and choose those that resonate with you.
Curation is not an opt-out or quick fix. It happens over time. When a brand does a good job of defining what it stands for, demonstrating a commitment to an editorial calendar that remains on-topic will play a powerful part in building consumer trust online. Of course it cannot exist in isolation, being active in relevant social networks, industry events and of course originating your own content play a part. Curation can play the central role in creating awareness and credibility when it’s well integrated. It could be that as much as 80% of your content can be curated too, it’d depend on your marketing objectives and strategy.