We've all heard that "Content is King". No one disputes this point, however, many organizations struggle with content development. Marketing and Communication departments will sit down to execute on content marketing best practices, only to reach to a road block. Months will be dedicated to auditing content, identifying the audience's journey, defining personas and ultimately mapping existing content to each of those personas along the audience journey. In the end, a content gap is typically discovered. This gap allows organizations to understand where their content efforts should focus. But what if your gap is more like a gorge? And what if the resources need to rectify the content gorge, just don't exist?
Financial Services organizations face this challenge daily. And to complicate matters, they're not creating content for one channel. Financial Services organizations are developing content that addresses the needs of complex channel sales organizations, B2B audiences, and B2C audiences. With limited resources, restricting regulations, and a growing demand for audience self-education how can this industry satisfy their content requirements? Well, many financial service organizations are turning to content curation.
Lincoln Financial leverages the power of Twitter lists. They subscribe to lists like Financial/Insurance Media and Sponsors (eagle Youth Partnership). They follow Insurance and Finance publications, Reuters, USA Today and other mainstream publications. They also follow their competitors, key opinion leading journalists and correspondents. Most of what Lincoln Financial shares is organic content, but it's content inspired by their social sphere. During a 10 day period I observed a 3.8% increase in their audience engagement through content curation.
Aon Financial relies less on organic content and more on the shared content of others. By curating and sharing content across their social channels, Aon recognized, in that same 10 day period, a 2.3 % increase in engagement on Twitter and a 12.3% increase on Google+. Organizations like New York Life follow relevant non-profit sites like Sesame Street, The Ronald McDonald House, and influential Mommy Bloggers. By following the content generated by these organizations, they can identify common content trends and pull from topical issues their audiences want addressed. By doing this, New York Life added 6,289 new Facebook followers in just 10 days.
A best practice, of course, is to test content across all channels for all audiences. Twitter is a great source for not just pushing content, but for curating content that can be leveraged across other communication channels. When attributed correctly, curated content can be used across various social networks, through owned blog posts, and in targeted newsletters and educational campaigns. Effective social media requires a commitment on the part of the organization. Those companies that publish content regularly, share 3rd party content, and post to social channels daily see a higher increase in new followers.
Ultimately, useful content drives activity. Don't underestimate the value of 3rd party content. Integrate your social strategy into your multichannel marketing strategy. Social tactics should develop advocates, communities, and potential opportunity. Convert unknown visitors to known visitors through form strategies. Use a contact's digital body language to deliver relevant content to the right audience. Gain insight through client interaction, potential content ideas from shared content and follower feedback, and develop a digital advertising strategy by understanding where your audience engages external of your site.