WriterAccess Webinar Archive
Content Curation Rules for Success
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – 1:00 PM ET
Let's face it, finding the hot topics for writing projects is the bottleneck for success. Curation engines help you find the winners, but the methods and strategies for repurposing content are largely guesswork. Until now.
Host Byron White and guest Michael Gerard, CMO of Curata, will show you how to put curated content to work the right way, with a careful balance of sourcing, enhancing and bettering so it engages readers and keeps them coming back for more.
Attend this webinar and learn...
- The latest evolution in content curation
- Fair use and copyright laws for marketers
- Tips for ethical and effective curation
- Top and bottom of the class examples
The slidedeck from this webinar is available for download.
Byron: We’re very excited to have everyone here today. I’m going to show you a couple of fun facts for your entertainment while Michael and I are getting ready. My name is Byron White, and I’m the founder of WriterAccess and ideaLaunch, our parent company. We’re very excited to have Michael join us today. Michael, thanks for being here.
Michael: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Byron: Right on. Michael, your company, Curata, is one of the experts and leaders with regards to content curation methodology and technology, so we’re super happy to have you on board here today to straighten us out and guide our ship in the right direction.
Michael: Well, thanks for having me; appreciate it.
Byron: Right on. I’m going to run through my deck which you’re going to see, and in a few minutes I’m going to take about 10 or 15 minutes to spin my way through that. Right now, I’ll offer some tips and advice on content curation from our perspective here at WriterAccess as it relates to both writers that are tuned in today as well as the clients that are looking on board. to kind of get a feel for what’s happening in the curation world, and particularly duplicate content issues, etc. But, a couple of words of wisdom as we pass along. Michael will have a much more in-depth presentation about pirating issues and best practices which I think you’re all going to enjoy. I took a look at the deck and it’s really great stuff that Michael’s put together, so thanks for that, Michael.
But, a couple of ground rules for you.
Both Michael and I love hearing your love. We like doing that on Twitter. You’ll see that if you can send me an @Byron White, how you like the presentation or even what you don’t like about the presentation; it’s great to get some archived feedback from you so you’ll see some links to that.
We also will field some Q & A at the end of the presentation today, and really hope that you might ask some questions throughout the presentation, which I’ll be monitoring, and I’ll throw out a quick answer to you after I speak, while Michael is speaking, if you ask something. We’ll also get to those questions in the end so everyone can learn what you’re learning with a question. So please, please, please fire questions; any questions would be great. We love the connection, the communication.
So, without further ado; one more announcement; there’s a really cool new tool here that we put up just for this presentation. It’s a great topic-finding tool. You’ll have access to that in just a few minutes and it will be fine for everybody to play around with. It’s free. It allows you to pop in a keyword phrase and get some suggestions. I’ll explain, that are on topics that you might create content around. It’s brand new; just watch live today. So, we look forward to everyone trying it out, kicking the tires, and giving us some feedback on that.
So, that’s what I’m looking for to talk about. Let me carry on here and move through this serb, your email I am on my walkthrough, sort of some quick curation methodology and technology, and get some other feel for the big picture, what’s happening out there right now.
Then I’ll turn things over to Michael.
Let’s look at the first challenge we have here, and that’s to understand where curation fits in the overall content marketing workflow. This is a screen grab, actually from the ideaLaunch site that we had up and running for many years as a full-service content marketing agency. We first discovered the power of curation and its critical element as we were building out content plans for customers. They would pay us a lot of money to try to figure out how much content we needed to create for them, how frequently we should be publishing it, where we should be publishing it, distributing it, how good it should be. There are the challenges and questions that everyone needs to put into their content marketing strategy. Curation was a separate line item of our pitch to prospective customers, an education frontier for the world and how we like to explain this process, and this was happening back in 2005, 2006, 7 and 8, when we were really a full-blown content marketing agency, and even back before.
Curation was even in the really early stages of business, of understanding, more really how it could help you advance your business and your work flow. So, what we looked at back in those days and, even now as we’re building content plans, is curating, certainly, all the content assets out there for all the competitors and being very granular in how we dissected all that content and studying it, looking at the quality and frequency of the publishing. We also looked at just the competitive analysis alone; you look at that more granular nature that, breaking out all the assets and the different groups, and we also, of course, curated what’s happening in the SEO space, page rank, inbound links. What is really happening out there, you know, with regards to a particular domain name in comparison with others.
Here’s some of the content assets breakdowns that I was referring to. We need to look at lots of content assets and lot of different content assets, compare that with each of the individual competitors that our companies were looking at to begin even thinking about developing ideas for content creation and/or optimization. And, essentially when we finished all their contact, we’d roll it up into a plan that make some sense and offered some very specific ROI metrics, declaring to a company that the concrete answers to those questions that I began with – how much content, how frequently to publish it, where to publish it, how good does it have to be -- we’d develop a plan saying, “Okay – da da! – this is how many assets you need in each category group, you know. Now go out there and create that content.
As it turns out, creating their content is very difficult. As a couple of famous people and copyreaders and writers in this industry have noted, writing is, in fact, not very easy. So, clearly, we’re looking for inspiration. I truly understand that, and I understand the power of inspiration in creating content. We need examples; we need guides; we need samples; we need references; we need sources. We need to read and comprehend and digest, and then morph our knowledge and that information into stories, and telling those stories really becomes the art of it.
There are a lot of different ways that we create content and we look for that inspiration, you know, ideation and brainstorming can happen with teams or even yourself. Listing is critical. We just list into “braindom” some ideas. Mapping different visual representations of the topics that we could write about becomes an interesting plan, or just, BOOM! Creating a rough draft, there you have it. Or, of course, going into more of a journalistic approach, with when we’re talking more about who, what, when, where, why; and then try to develop a story based upon asking those questions and doing research.
What we also learn about that, that magical inspiration that writers need to possess ad have is that some writers are more of an expert in one topic versus another. When you’re an expert on the topic, it means you, of course, dove very deeply into that topic and have a keen sense for not only the quality writing in content that’s happened in that space, but future exciting topic ideas.
At WriterAccess, we certify writers after we begin not only seeing work on our end from an internal perspective, but we certify their work once we analytically start to see customers rate their work as exceed expectations in various topics, and what we’re able to do with that is [RDS weekend market and promote] individual writers that are experts in particular topic areas. So, that’s how we do it, and how we market [object that] the services of our talent by , you know, promoting their expertise in topic areas. So, where do these experts, where do these people find their information? My guess is they’re all using social media; they’re all following various blogs; are following their peers and experts in their industries; they’re in tune, in touch with what’s happening in their industry. It’s much more difficult to do that if you’re a generalist writer trying to write content for multiple topics. It’s difficult if you’re not an expert in that industry; you, therefore, need to go out and do research and find the content. So, how do you do that?
Well, you know, for starters, if you’re a client, you have a real luxury. Writer. You can suggest, “Okay, writer, pitch me ideas.” Writers, then, if they’re going to win the project, need to pitch an idea back to the customer that’s relevant, that’s timely, that’s interesting. The client then accepts that idea.
Most writers need to use SEO tools to find the popular keyword phrases that people are searching on. When you find that popular phrase you can then suggest topics that revolve around that phrsase, or maybe a customer is giving you keywords already that you need and want to search for, in which case you can use some cool tools, and here’s a tool that I mentioned.
This is called the topic-finder tool update. It’s being watched the first time where you can type in a keyword phrase and it will pull up search phrases that start with how, where, who and what. In other words, informational long-tail keyword phrases that are appearing in search engines as a result of the keyword phrase that you’re popping into a search engine. You can take a look at this tail tool; try it out.
Hopefully, it will offer some inspiration for you to create topics that are popular, that have a high value because they have a high pay per click price. This tool is also integrated with our content planner which is all another story itself and I’ll save it for another time. We also have content feeders that have been around for a while. Content feeders are not really that popular these days, so let’s sort of skip this over, but for those of you that are experts in topic areas that you know, I have been for some time using some of these tools to feed in relevant content about particular areas.
There are some other new things happening that are quite interesting. There’s a company that we’re partnered with, our content planner, that provides some local SERP result propositions for our customers, and they’ve created a new tool that ranks authors by city or by keyword phrase, you know, the most popular writers that are creating content around particular keyword phrases. Here’s an example of this search that we can pop in keywords, locate your search – the United States – and it will pop up top bloggers that have written content using those keyword phrases, based on their popularity in the depth of their circles and some other analytical data that they’re pulling together.
Certainly, following popular authors is another element and looking at what they’re writing, and what they’re creating is another interesting and creative way to curate.
Naturally, we’re here to listen to Curata today. But, there are a lot of curation platforms out there. Some are better than others. So, have at it, use them, start poking at the curation process.
So, what does all this curation want to do for us in the end of the day? It wants to guide our creation process and make us relevant, make us, certainly, in the know with what’s happening in a particular industry or about a specific topic.
Let’s look over some bad practices, and all get on the same page with what isn’t working, and what is essentially an infringement of not only the code of ethics we have at WriterAccess, but in general the code for professional writing. So, lots of duplicate content. I don’t even like to call it plagiarism, by the way, but if you’re duping content or spinning content, you’re in trouble with lots of engines out there that will detect that.
This is what a Copyscape report looks like: A very clear violation, where a writer has attempted to spin content. You can see the matches are in light grey that are being picked up by another web site. The writer has clearly grabbed that article and just changed a few things in a few sentences, but you can see the consistency continues to be throughout the entire article. You can open that particular link up and see the full version of the violation, but the net is that this is not tolerated and it basically means immediate termination as far as we’re concerned.
Another thing that we’re seeing is title matches where you’re going out and doing research and someone comes up with nine tips and you’re then creating an article that parallels theirs. You’re even using the same title.
If you’re an author trying to protect your work, you’re going to have engines running trying to detect anybody out there publishing work like yours. That’s just what’s happening. It’s not just companies like ours running Copyscape to check for writers. It’s the original authors checking for duplicates, and you know because each one, tags and titles of blog posts, for example, are so prominent and are getting actual listings in the search engines. It’s very easy to detect this. Beware of title matches.
Sourcing is something that’s truly remarkable to me that more of our writers don’t essentially completely protect themselves by putting in the source of where you may have found some content. It covers you, for starters, to explain where you sourced something, and I can assure you it will never, and it should never be used against you unless that source is dubious, unless that source is a spammy website or an easy in site that collects garbage in and garbage out and it does not have merit or authenticity for that particular profession. That is, certainly, not somewhere you should be sourcing content anyway. So, you know, if you are putting sources in, as far as we at WriterAccess are concerned, you are protecting yourself. If you’re plagiarizing content with exact matches, that’s a different story.
So, adhere to both, or understand that you’re in trouble.
So, you know, another interesting thing that is happening out there with regards to copyright infringement is writers are evilly, you know, call it whatever you want, are delivering the same original article that they created to two separate clients and, in so doing, are creating a significant problem which would immediately be cause for termination once again. But, what will happen as a net result of that is the first client that publishes that content will be the winner, and with algorithmic changes like Panda and Penguin, you can really be in a danger zone, because the second client that you created this supposed original content for could get penalized and could actually receive harm and damage as a result of your duplicate content.
This is a very serious issue that I, you know, we all know the ramifications of Panda, then Penguin, that has cost many e-commerce web sites and publishers hundreds of millions of dollars because of this change in the algorithm structure that penalizes duplicate content and, of course, other issues like falsifying link popularity. But, this is a serious issue and one that will not be tolerated.
All right, so what are the best practices here?
Here is another Copyscape report on our end that shows the writer has actually put quotations around a particular quote from an article that they wrote, and by doing so they’ve completely covered themselves; they have sourced it in the way they have entered it. It does show up as a Copyscape match, but it also ties in with their sourcing and, therefore, no harm, no foul. Sourcing and linking is becoming an essential element to the quality of any blog post particular. We are essentially now judged by Google on who we’re quoting, who we’re linking to, what our sources are. Very few websites – or blog posts for content, particularly blog posts, are posted without any links.
Readers expect links. They may not click on the links; they may just hover over the links to see what the links are going to. There’s a lot of interesting studies being done right now on the critical element of links and belief.
Joe Paluzzi made a great post the other day; or, I think it may have been on Facebook. He said, “I don’t even trust blog posts any longer that don’t have a date on them.” You think we’ll ever get to the day where we don’t trust blog posts that don’t have links to authority websites? I don’t know. Maybe.
Multiple sourcing is also relevant and interesting, where you’re not just going to one source, but you’re linking to several sources throughout the course of your post or your article or content, once again validating your command of the art of curation and of doing the research in finding assets out there that are relevant and that are worthy of mention in the asset you’re creating. Quotes are certainly important as well as best practice. We’re seeing this more and more. Opinions are also relevant and important with regards to curation in showcasing your opinion about a particular quote that you might have and how you’re moving in another direction or thinking something different, which is really what you’re displaying in your writing.
But, betterment overall is really what you’re looking to do. In many ways, when our customers fill out a creative brief and take the time to do that, they’re telling you the tone and the style they want and it’s your obligation to do that. It’s great to go research other articles and go source other references and use curation engines to find the great content, but what you really need to do is morph that content into much better content with the type of voice and tone displayed that our customers demand. Image quotes, I think, are also interesting. I’m sure everyone’s seen the data on the importance of imagery in your posts and articles, and here we have quotes aligned with particular people that made those quotes which are obviously linking back to the posts as well.
So, finally, we get to this sort of understanding that if you’re going to be a premium writer, you need, whether it be a copywriter or a tech writer or a journalist; in WriterAccess we have new, I think, higher level certification for the best writers at our marketplace that we’re rolling out the marketplace, as we speak, where we’re really putting our stamp of authorization and validity on quality writers that are continuing to exceed the expectations of customers.
Whereas our standard rates are 2 cents to 9 cents per word, ranging in the two to five star level, premium orders start at 10 cents per word and go to as high as $1 per word, but you need the skills. You need the expertise. You need the engines. You need the technology to make that happen.
So, without further ado, you can grab this link. Everyone will be getting a copy of the above, a link to download my free book, but if you want to go grab it right now, or after the presentation, you’re more than welcome to.
Without any further ado, I’m going to turn it over to you, Michael.
Michael: Great, thanks, Byron. That was a great overview in setting the stage here for curation. Let me picture and show my screen correctly, here.
Okay, how’re we doing here? You see that okay, Byron?
Michael: Okay, wonderful. Thanks, everyone, for joining us. I’m Michael Gerard. I head marketing at Curata. Curata is the leading business great content curation software, and essentially what we’re doing is we’re helping content marketers to feed their content beast, so to say, to feed that content engine. That goes from going out there and finding and discovering great content across the web, bringing it to you to enable you to create organized content and then one click share out there. So, I think the important thing going into this is you know we’re talking about curation.
More specifically, we will find the most recent research talk over 500 marketers that you got 71 percent increase in content marketing in the coming year. So, people are investing then. They’re putting their foundations in content marketing with executives in place. But, from a mix perspective, we see the ideal mix folks are targeting is about an almost two-thirds of their content being created, but 25 percent curated; less than 10 percent syndicated, so content curation is going to continue to play a bigger and bigger part as people leverage it to take greater advantage of resources, because you can help feed a content beast with curated content.
It’ll help you supplement that fact trying to consistently create great content and also the buyers, your audience, they want to see third-party perspectives. So curation plays a great role there. But, as we’re talking about curation, it’s really important to understand a little bit about the copyright laws and ethics and fair use, and to help ensure that we’re not accidentally pirating content, for our benefit as well as our audience’s, and certainly the publisher of the original content.
So, just to kick us off here, we are going to use a story going through this whole process, and we have a marketing Mary here right now who’s sitting at her desk trying, I think, to get another blog post out.
I think we can all empathize with her – having writer’s block and trying to figure out what do we do next. I think, Byron, you had mentioned this in a couple of your slides, and one of those situations certainly is, you know, reaching out, looking across the internet and we could say , at an inspiration or an ideation phase, where you might be looking at Google, or feeds or readers, or our curation solution specifically.
You know, we have an entire discovery engine that goes out and finds this content, and brings it back, and it is self-learning and orders your queue by relevancy, so regardless of how you do that -- you know, get through that ideation phase -- Marketing Mary here found a blog post, a content marketing pyramid. Coincidentally, it came from Curata, so that’s what we have for an example here.
She liked what she saw and said, “This is great; I want to share this with my audience.” So, she reworks it a bit, brings in a similar title and introduces it: “Here’s a great post,” puts some quotes on it and sticks it in there. I think, as many of us, you know, we are curating in our work, working away; we do this, we click “Publish,” and sit back. We’re excited we can move on to our next step, maybe take a break, get a cup of coffee. But, then, we start to think, “Well, hey, did I do that right? Did I put the right things into it? How did it read? How did it finally publish?”
As we look at what went on here, at how Mary did it, accidentally, she pirated content.
Right. She didn’t know it. It wasn’t planned. There are a couple of things in there: That title, the contextualization, excessive reproduction, no source; there’s a lot of that in here that happened as a result of her curating the piece as she did. So, we’re going to go through this in more detail, in a more structured manner, and I’ll offer some best practice tips along the way.
We’re going to start with a definition of content curation. A couple key parts to it in our definitional outline; then we’ll get into our fair use copyright laws and this is for marketers. I’ll provide some tips we put together: 12 best practice tips in an e-book that’s referenced at the end of this deck. I’m just going to go through about 10 of these tips.
And, then, finally, I want to try to provide some anecdotes as specific examples and we graded these too, to help you understand them. They go from an A all the way to an F. So, let me start by a bit of my 10 years or so being at IBC running their CMO practice. I always like to start off with a definition just to make sure we’re on the same page on a specific topic, and so the definition we have is for content curation. Read through it here. We’ve put this together over the past seven or so years that we’ve been doing this.
Basically, there are specific words in here that have meaning. So, I’d like to go through these. So, content curation is when an individual or team is involved, so an algorithm that’s doing it in automated fashion would be aggregation, and you definitely want to have folks who are domain experts, that are able to step in here and identify what is the best, most relevant content for an audience, and this clearly is more challenging as you get into a more complex field , for example, a very technical field. The next part of this is this individual or team where they’re consistently doing this curation. It is a long-term strategy; it wouldn’t be, for example, a museum curator. A museum curator may curate a piece of art, and that piece of art may sit on the wall for a period of weeks or months, or years in some cases. So, as content marketers we have to stay on top of an area, and that helps us not just to develop our own expertise, but to build a trust with our audience
As we’re doing that, we’re certainly going out, were finding it, we’re discovering new things, but we’re adding value to it, perspective; we’re organizing, we’re categorizing it; we’re tagging information, we’re annotating it and putting our own thoughts and viewpoints into a piece that we are curating. Relevancy, high quality, no doubt, right? We want to be selective and I always think about less being more, and then having a laser focus on a specific market like ( ????) long-tail, and this is going to become more and more important as content marketing continues to expand in the coming months and years.
So, think about that definition of content curation, and then putting it on top, layering it on top of a specific process. We have this part where we go out and we find specific information, right, so much that I mention, be it Google or readers or feeders, etc., whatever you’re using to discover that best content, the curation solutions do have some sort of discovery engine. Ours specifically has one that goes out there and it’s self-learned so that, based on what you like and don’t like, like a Pandora thumbs up, thumbs down. So do, you know, figure out what’s the best process for you to go out and find that information, and then as it comes in think about organizing it for your audience just like a museum curator would do. Animation, annotation, contextualiztion. We’ll get more into that detail.
And, then, get it out there. And, this is where I think a lot of marketers come up short. Market your marketing. Get it into your additional property. Leverage social media. Connect with other folks across the web and, really, just the curation process on its own is going to help you with connections, especially here, for writing, for example, attributions for the original publisher. That’s going to recognize them as a good source for information and they’ll reciprocate to you in the future as part of that process.
Okay, so that was a little bit about the definition of curation and what does a high-level curation process look like from start to finish.
So, let me shift now into just a couple of slides here about fair use and copyright; this is specifically for marketers as we get into this. While copyright protection laws, you know, are very broad, but they do have several examples to allow fair public access to copyrighted work, and one of the main exemptions is this Fair Use Statute.
Let’s talk about how this would specifically apply to curation. The first thing I want to mention is where fair use can apply. You can see some examples here on the slide:
Quotation of excerpts or in a review or criticism for purposes of commenting, of contextualizing.
Quoting short passages in some technical works; this might be something you had done in college, for example.
Use in a parody of some of the content. I think we’re all familiar with Saturday Night Live in the parody they do on some of the advertisements or movies.
And, certainly, a summary of an address or an article with some quotations.
So, these are all areas where fair use would apply. There’s a lot more detail, certainly, in the U.S. Copyright Law and I think it’s Section 107 of the Copyright Law that goes into the fair use. Just some real high levels here, and also in the e-book that’s referenced in this deck, that we did not ethics in curation. It’s on Curata.com, and it goes into much detail there, much more detail.
Fair use considerations, once again, Section 107 of the Copyright Law, is a grey area, no doubt. Let’s look at specifically what’s in the law, and then we’ll go into some interpretations that we took on this to try and put a bit more of a framework around it, more boundaries for you. First consideration here is the purpose in the character abuse, including whether it’s for commercial or non-profit. Most of us are using it for commercial purposes but we could certainly argue in this new realm of inbound marketing and content marketing that there’s a big educational element to it.
Secondly, the nature of the copyrighted work, so for example, repurposing content.
Next one, the substantiality of that portion of the content that’s being used -- a very important part there.
We’ll talk about that and try to find some examples. And, finally, various considerations. Think about the effect abuse has on the potential market of that copyrighted work. For example, this would be a more traditional example. Somebody publishes a book and then a couple years later on, you know, I put out a book and I reference a significant art of that original book, and I even pull a lot of it in there. Even if I’m quoting it, you know, and referencing that book, I could be taking away, impacting the success o that book from a market perspective.
So, that’s our high level of copyright and fair use as it is in U.S. law, specifically. To make it more actionable here, and help us out as marketers we developed 12 best practices in total for ethical curation. I dropped it down to 10 here so we won’t go over the amount of time that we have, and I think before we tap into it, just a disclaimer. I’m a chemical engineer, a marketer; I’ve done sales, a bartender at one point, even a CPA, but I’ve never studied law; I’m not a lawyer. For your professional advice, speak to your company’s legal counsel.
I’m going to walk through out 10 best practices here with respect to a specific example, thinking back to Marketing Mary when she went out there and found that post that she thought would be of value for her audience. This is the Content Marketing Pyramid: Are You Hungry for Content? (There is a section here that is unintelligible – I cannot make out the name!) the CEO of Curata, and he came up with these 12 best practices that I’m referring to today.
So, this article about the content marketing pyramid – we can look to the next slide and we see that if we copied it 100 percent, that would be piracy, right, if you did that. You’d be copying that entire thing. Now I want to step through each of the best practices, and you’ll hear that there’s certainly some similarity to what Byron mentioned earlier and as we walk through these best practices, we’re going to morph these base posts to a point that when we get to where we are here, at least from a Curata perspective, a content marketing perspective, we think it’s appropriate to publish.
So, the first best practice here is to reproduce only those portions of the headline or article that are necessary to make your point. So, don’t reproduce the story in its entirety. You want to be an ethical curator. Right? You want to reduce the amount of content you are sourcing, you want to improve your own credibility as an author, right? You want the audience to identify that work that you’re curating as the original publisher, and so it’s very important that you don’t bring all that information straight forward.
Now, this one I want to reference the note on the bottom here, so Kimberly Isbell from the Neiman Journalism Lab had originated a best practice very similar to this, as well as several others in here. So we pulled in several of Kimberly’s, modified them slightly, and then we added some as well so I want to make sure we give her some clear attribution there.
Okay, so when you think about Google, even if you do a search on Google, what they bring back, they do a thumbnail of the image; they take a part of the whole thing. They don’t give you the whole thing. Certainly, spacewise, that’s important, but they also are conscious of the fact that they want to bring the whole thing in under their own name, right? And, not to mention, if you bring something in and you want to reproduce a significant part of it, that’s going to result in duplicate content, and that can really hurt you from an SEO perspective.
So, what does that mean for your base, our post that we looked at initially? We’re only going to take the highlighted excerpt that we see here in the slide. We didn’t take all of it; we only took a part of it.
Second one here: Try not to use all, or even a majority of the articles from a single source. You want to limit yourself to the articles that you take from a specific source. You don’t want to just pipe it in from a single source. You want to be selective. It enables you to stay on one topic, certainly, but it’s not good for, once again, establishing your own credibility. You want to add more value for your audience, too, by bringing in other perspectives. Our example here is one post, so we’re not going to be able to illustrate this, but it’s a very important best practice that you should abide by.
So, always be conscious of the fact that you’re pulling information, articles, posts, videos – whatever it might be – from different sources.
Prominently identify the source of the article. You do want to demonstrate that you’ve curated content from a variety of sources, reputable ones. That makes you more credible.
Now, this sounds pretty basic, right, to properly identify it, but there are slews of examples out there of folks who have not done a good job of that. One of the things that you can see that we did here is right at the top, so easily you know Michael Gerard, Arcata, published a great framework for how to think about content marketing. A bit of a switch there, I know. Pollens was initially our CEO, but we both put this together so think this is another post that we brought this from originally.
Okay, so I always like to start off by saying, you know, “A wonderful post by so and so, that they wrote.” So right away you’re telling the audience that here you recognize who you are. It gives credit to the author as well.
So, Number Four here. Always link to the original article, and be very prominent about it. A lot of folks that first get interested in content curation get a bit hung up on the fact that linking to the original site may drive traffic away from my site. It may seem like you’re giving away a valuable audience, but ultimately it’s going to increase your credibility, and it’s also going to help you establish and sustain a relationship with key influencers out there and they’re going to show you the love back. Also, as an example, if the New York Times has a great article, and I’m curating it; I have a link, a very clear link there, it’s also a good sign that, hey, the New York Times says they’re talking about it and bring it in to my own site. They have an article that supports my own perspective, so it’s increasing my credibility.
We have to realize that. Many studies have shown us, buyers – the top two sources they look to for
intelligence, are their peers and other third party sources, you know, such as analyst firms, influencers out in the marketplace, etc., and the third is the vendor. If you’re to bring in third parties, and their peers as part of your content marketing strategy, that’s only going to help your case, and help your credibility and bring more value to your audience.
Let’s go back to our example here. You can see that in the bottom right that we put very clearly, that to read the full framework with an illustrative example, check out the original post. We bolded it, and we put a hyperlink in there.
You can see we’re slowly building out and going from this 100 percent pirated post to an appropriate and ethically curated piece.
Best practice Number Five. Whenever possible, do provide context, insight, guidance in the material that you use. As marketers, why do this? The more reasonable content that you provide, the more of your message you place on that third part content, you can draw connection to your own messaging, to your own organization, and your positioning and to support it. Also, it certainly adds more value from the perspective that you’re adding some more insight, some more value, some original thought.
And, it’s a great place, too, if you disagree with something somebody says, you know, do that. They may come back to you if they like your commentary. I would like to say, put your analyst’s hat on here; certainly from an SEO perspective that helps sell with putting some original content in there. You’re creating as part of this curating process.
So, back to our own post. We had put it in here, the specific part where we had some quotes, we did some block quotes. It’s a good way to demarcate yours as opposed to the source. And, as we did that so we could separate out the quote area from your own text, your own content, we actually put in some commentary there. So, the framework’s important these days. Eighty-seven percent of marketers report that the greatest challenge is publishing sufficient content.
It takes time, but it’s highly, highly valuable. We do it a lot in our content curation marketing dot com, our destination site. We’ve seen over the months and years the more original content we put in there the more value we get from having that content up there.
So, Number Six here. When sharing images, unless you have explicit permission to share a full size, always share an image thumbnail and, t most, is two key words here, right? This is the most you really should share from a visual, a picture perspective.
Just like we said in best practice number one, just sharing a portion of an original article is ideally where you want to get to. In our post here, we did a thumbnail of Curata’s content, the marketing pyramid. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s okay to do that because you did a thumbnail. But, it does put you in a better position from a fair use perspective. The best thing to do really is to either get approval from the source or, what I do, and I think is even better from a curation standpoint, is to put a unique picture in there that you’ve licensed. For example, I use Shutterstock, and I use any other company that provides you access to approved images. I love to put in some unique image that’s going to capture my view better. It might draw a better connection between this curated piece and the audience that it’s trying to appeal to and to connect with and to then engage with as part of my nurturing process.
Best Practice Seven. If you’re reposting an excerpt from the original article, make sure your excerpt only represents a small portion of your original article. Best practice one says don’t republish an entire article. There’s still a lot of latitude here. What does this mean, more specifically? It is that you want to cut down on the amount of experts, so for illustrative purposes, I took a little bit from ours.
If you’re reposting an excerpt from an original article, make your commentary longer than the excerpt that you’re posting. I think this is a nice one; as I’m curating, it’s a bit of a check – that I want to give more than I take. So, going back to our own post, here, I’ve added more. I’ve added some more commentary; I dropped a bit the amount of text that I pulled from it; so I’m in a better position from an ethical perspective, but I’m also adding more value. I’m creating more as part of my curation process. Do retitle it, right?
If you don’t retitle it, there’s the risk that you’re going to be competing with the same title as the original author, which you don’t want to do. It’s not ethical. It’s not fair to that original author. Once again, like adding your own image, you can add your own perspective to that and you can pull in your own keywords. Part of the inspiration process might have been specific keywords you wanted to get at to improve things from an SEO perspective. We changed the title here in our post.
Don’t use “No follows” on your links to the original publisher’s content – “no follow” attributes, hyperlinks, they tell search engines not to give SEO credit to the site they link to. Basically, they are small tags on links. Originally, they were developed to avoid search engines identifying links in comments, versus links in source or original article posts. Historically they tended to be very scammy. So, don’t do that. If you’re using any type of solution that’s curating for you, make sure there are no “no follows” in there.
As we look at this final view here, the original on the left and the final on the right, they are significantly different. Our own perspective is in there; we retitled. We took a thumbnail of the image; we did some block quotes. So, this all may seem daunting, but certainly as you do it more and more you’re going to get better at it. You’ll know what to do when, and get more creative, and tie in with your audience. You’ll have a lot of fun. Certainly, from a technology perspective, thinking back to our curation process where we’re finding, we’re organizing, annotating or publishing, and even for Curata’s curation solution specifically, there are things that we’ve built in the solution that help you with this whole process.
From the refined part of going out and finding great information with this self-learning relevancy engine to the creation part where it enables you to put in a new title very easily. There is automated attribution, it brings it in automatically. There’s SEO attribution built right in to help you out.
So, just before we finish up here, I wanted to provide some examples from the top and the bottom of the class you will love – curation in action. The first one here, a Talking Points memo that we pulled in: Snowden mentioned ‘direct access’ with the Guardian. They did retitle it; they cited The Guardian right up front there which is great. They’ve taken some small quotes, but they’ve added their own perspective, and there is good and clear attribution to the original source.
I think there are some really good elements in there, and so I’ll give that a grade of “A” as a result.
Business Insider: They’re pulling together some links and what’s happening in the industry from a technology perspective, and you know there are some good things in here with respect to some links are right in there so you quickly get to the original source, but there’s really no commentary added, or any insights. There’s really no sort of information or value that an audience would directly pull from this. A couple of these others like title don’t even apply because they didn’t get into that level of detail. So, I’ll give them a grade of “B” as a result of that, so it’s now approaching more aggregation.
Next example here is Outsell. It’s a curated newsletter. They pick abstracts, link backs, yes, but they don’t actually indicate the source for each one of them in the text. They don’t add any commentary, and I think there’s a lot of value in having that, so I’ll give these folks a “C” as a result of not having those things. Not having any text and not indicating the source, I think, are the big things there.
As we work down our scale here, this is a piece from Scoop.It. They scooped a piece of content. Why a grade of “D” here? First thing is the title is the same as the source. It’s not fair to the original author and the publisher of the piece. The picture’s full size which is risking getting in hot water from a copyright perspective. The post has full content of the article, so it brings all the content right in there which, as you know, we talked about in our best practice number one, is really a no-no. And, you can’t see it, but in the hyperlink to the full article, or source, it uses a “no follow” link. Therefore, the original publisher is not getting SEO credit, and so that’s a really big no no from a curation perspective.
Finally, our last example here is from Pex Hill. As you can see in the bottom right, we had a piece in Content Curation Marketing. What was done here was, actually, the entire piece was brought in and copied by Pex Hill Marketing, so we notified them and, as a result of that, they immediately took it down. But, as a result of that, they got a grade of “F.” But, they’ve resolved that.
So, to go back to our example of Marketing Mary: She had taken that post, and she had inadvertently pirated it. She still took the piece; she retitled it, she added a thumbnail image, made it clear right up front who wrote the post, and she put a couple of links in there to help the audience; she block-quoted the quotes that she brought in from the original post, she put some nice commentary in there; she added a link that went right back to the original post. So, thumbs up to Marketing Mary. The final piece that we have is a good, ethically curated piece and it’s going to complement well her company’s creative content, add a lot of value to her audience and bring in that third-party perspective.
So, just to wrap things up here:
Do curate content. Many folks, historically, that a significant part of their content was created content have realized and will continue to realize that you need to complement your created content with curation.
For the benefit of your organization, a better-leveraged resources and continue to create great stuff in the marketplace on a consistent basis, but also continue to bring your audience that third party perspective.
Do get familiar with these fair use and copyright laws. Check out the e-book that we have on Curata.com, and read more about that. Follow those tips that we put in there. And, you know, continue to learn from, not only the practices we have on here, but as you look around the content marketing space, a lot of us content marketing folks out there, we continue to talk about these best and worst practices. They’re great learning opportunities.
This e-book goes into much more detail, certainly, and you can check it out on Curata. com. Also, I referenced that content marketing tactics study that we just completed. There’s some good data in there.
Byron: Terrific, Michael, you did a really fantastic presentation today. Great work.