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When we’re talkingabout Digital Marketing, like your website, social media, email marketing, one of the main things you’re thinking about is content. You have to be sharing content. You have to be saying something. Let’s talk about what it is you need to be saying and where you’re going to get that content.

Developing a Content Approach

The best way to look at the kind of content you’re using across your digital landscape, including social media and email marketing, as well as social media and your blog, is to divide it into three types. They are:Creation,Curation, andCreative Curation.

1. Creation: Original Content

Creation is your original content. This is what you believe, what you know, what you help people understand. It’s maybe entertaining, it’s maybe a how-to. It’s nuggets or long pieces – and we can be talking about a blog here or we can be talking about social media posts. But it’s information that comes from you. It takes time, and it takes effort. It’s an opportunity to let people know what you have to offer, and really put your body of work out there and inform people.

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There is a concern often about whether or not you should put everything out there. I really am talking to service providers when I’m saying this. You don’t put your entire world out there; you put out the things that people are asking you about, like Frequently Asked Questions. You put out things that people need to know as they’re considering whether or not to work with you. There’s a whole strategy in there.

2. Curation: Using Other People’s Content and Sharing It

Curation is using other people’s content and sharing it. So you’re on Facebook or on Twitter, LinkedIn, any social media that’s out there. Somebody shares something original, and then you share their content. We do this with news articles, we do this with Buzzfeed. We do this with all sorts of content that we see out there.

As a business owner, there might be a concern of “Am I allowed to do that, or isn’t that stealing?” It is not stealing if you reference the original person who posted it. When you share the article as it exists, you are helping that person get bigger exposure. And you’re also saying, “I believe this; I agree; Hey, isn’t this interesting?”

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That’s something to keep in mind: don’t share things that you don’t believe in or support. You want to make sure as a business owner that your brand and the content you share are in alignment.

One of the benefits of curation is it takes a lot less time than creation: you see something you like, you share it. It’s really that easy. It’s a great way to fill up your funnel of content, because you need to share content on a regular basis. So, a combination of creation and curation starts to make a nice foundation for your digital marketing.

There is one more tool in your toolkit: creative curation. This is often underused and a really interesting opportunity for businesses. Creative curation is when you curate content, but then you make a comment about it. When you’re in a social media, you’re sharing someone else’s content on your own page, but then you add a comment of your own in your post.

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There was a post I saw that said, “The Top 5 Foods that Runners Should Eat.” I was very excited, because #3 was chocolate – Yay! So the comment that I made was “#3 – Chocolate, yay!” in my Twitter feed, and shared it. It was one of my Twitter posts that got the most likes and shares. It got a better response because I made it interesting and I put my own voice up there. It has nothing to do with my business, but it is something that I do. And when it comes to sharing content, being a little more personal and sharing some of your own interests is something that may garner more response from your audience, even if it’s not directly tied to your business. So that’s a great example of just adding my own voice to someone else’s content.

One of the concerns that I hear about curation is that when I’m sharing someone else’s content on my website, is people wonder if it’s a problem because it belongs to someone else. But as long as it’s clear that the content still belongs to the person who originally published content, and you link to it if you’re able, those are the kinds of things that make curation okay. What you’re doing, in fact, is a bonus to the person whose content that is. You’re helping them get a wider audience, and it’s a complement to them. So I encourage curation: it’s a good thing.

About Suzan Czajkowski

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Suzan Czajkowski, M.A., PCC, is an award winning communication coach and digital marketing consultant. She helps small business owners design their own marketing strategies, communicate effectively about their businesses, and make good marketing decisions that generate great results.

Suzan started her business, TheCommCoach, in 2009 after leaving her last corporate job as a Marketing Manager with an international publisher. She has worked in a variety of different industries including fitness, technology, academics, and the military. She has a B.A. in Communication from the University of Delaware and an M.A. in Communication from the University of Montana.

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