7 Content Curation Tools for your Social Media Marketing Strategy Part 1

7 Content Curation Tools

7 Content Curation Tools for your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Part 1 – Working with Feedly and Pocket

Content curation is the practice of finding valuable content and sharing it with your social media followers. For instance, a local Noblesville restaurant might want to share a great review of a California Cab that the restaurant happens to serve. Or a Fisher’s clothing store might want to share a press release of the new spring lineup for one of the clothing brands it carries. Or perhaps that clothing store could share an article on the benefits of freezing jeans versus washing them. The idea is to share content (articles, videos, pictures) that you think you’re followers will find value in and to establish yourself as a thought leader in your business’s industry. But how do you find that content and how do you share it quickly and easily with your social media followers? I give you 7 content curation tools that will save you time, establish yourself as a thought leader in your business, grow your following, and keep your business top of mind for the services and/or products you sell.

1. Build a Content Feed with Feedly

You could spend half a day checking blogs, doing Google searches, and reading news sites for valuable content that you could share with your social media followers. Even if you bookmarked your favorite sites and sorted them into corresponding folders, it would still take a lot of time to go through each one to catch up on the latest stories and posts. That is why I recommend Feedly. Feedly is an RSS-type reader that is really easy to set up and has a great mobile app which is important when I look at digital marketing tools. Before Feedly, I use to use Google Reader which was great and very popular but is not around anymore. There are similar tools to Feedly, but it seems to be the most popular. You simply create folders on Feedly and add URL addresses of pages or sites that you want to see the latest stories and posts from. You can also add RSS feeds if the site has one. And there is also a “Discover” option that lets you add popular sites in popular categories.

From Feedly, you can quickly browse the headlines and read the stories you want to read right on the app. You can also quickly share the content via Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media channels. You can also save the content for later and add tags to the content for easier sorting. You can flip through the latest content or you can flip through content in a folder you’ve created. I usually flip through the latest content and when I see something that I might want to share or read later, I could save the content on Feedly but I save it to Pocket which is my next important tool for content curation.

2. Save Content with Pocket

I love the Pocket app as a reader for my phone. It is an offline reader which means that it will save the content on your phone allowing you to read the content without needing a wifi or cell signal to load the story. This is great for people who commute on the subway or for those wanting to lower their data and battery usage.

I save all the content from Feedly that I want to read for later or to share with Pocket. Both apps work very well together. When I am on Feedly, I can simply hold down my finger on a story and it will save to Pocket or I can simply hit the Pocket icon on Feedly and it saves it just like that.

Pocket has lots of options allowing users to customize and use it the way that works best for them. For me, I primarily read the content in the My List section which is all the content I saved. Pocket does save the content according to content types like articles, videos, and images and you can view the content by type. You can also add tags to the content in case you want to sort the content by the client or subject matter. There is also a favorite section where you can save the best content. Pocket has also added a ‘Recommended’ section which serves you content from other Pocket users who have “recommended” content that is similar to the content that you save.

When you click on the content, it opens it up for you to read or look at. From there you can “recommend” the content which then shares it with other Pocket users or you can share it via social media channels, messaging and email. While I could share it directly using the Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn apps, I usually use Buffer to share my content. In Part 2 of 7 Content Curation Tools for your Social Media Marketing Strategy, I will dive into Buffer, bit.ly, Google Alerts, and other tools I find valuable for content curation.

Overcoming Duplicate Content on Franchise Sites

Overcoming Duplicate Content
Overcoming Duplicate Content on Franchise Sites

A small business owner in the Indianapolis area recently came to me wanting help in getting his site to appear more often in Google search results. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a common request from many small businesses and there are some straight-forward steps one can take to improve the SEO for their site, with fresh content and unique content being top priorities. But this client was different. This client was a franchisee and their site was furnished by the franchise and contained the same content as every other franchisee’s site out there. So what was this franchisee to do in order to break from the pack of duplicates and improve their SEO?

When I first checked out the client’s site, I did a quick check on Google where I grabbed a couple lines of copy from the site and searched for it on Google with the lines being in parentheses. This quickly showed me that the same lines of copy were appearing in over 400 other sites. The first thing I would recommend a client do is to rewrite every page with unique copy but in most cases with franchises, as was this one, the franchise doesn’t want you to change or switch up the copy. This makes sense since the franchise probably spent lots of money paying a marketing firm to come up with just the right copy for their brand strategy. So if you can change the copy and content and make it unique to your business, do it as it will help your site greatly with its SEO. So what’s the next step if you can’t rewrite the copy?

If you can’t change the duplicate content that you find on the home page and the services pages and other duplicate pages, you may find there are some pages where the franchise will allow you to add unique content which will help with SEO. In this client’s situation, the franchise had a testimonial section, a before/after section and a blog section where each franchisee could add their own content as long as they followed certain brand rules. In taking a look at the client’s site as well as the other franchisees in the area, I noticed some took advantage of the easier sections like testimonials and before/after pictures but none of them took advantage of the blog section. This was my client’s opportunity to stand out from the rest of the franchisees and to increase SEO to help them rank for the services they offer. By writing blog posts on a regular basis talking about the services they offer and what areas of town they service as well as educational and best practices blog posts, my client can slowly but surely start to rank higher in search results and eventually with continued focus be able to show up on page one of Google search results for the keywords that they are targeting.

If you are unable to change any of the duplicate content on your site, you may not be completely penalized by Google for duplicate content. Google has stated that they have an understanding of franchises’ duplicate content issue and are a little more lenient with their sites. With most franchises serving a certain area, their sites are optimized to show up when users search for their services or products in the specific areas. With that said, it is important to make sure that your contact information like the businesses address is on the site somewhere. You also want to make sure you submit your business to Google Business and associate your site’s URL to your business. This will help Google to know where your business is and be able to serve up your site when users in that area search for you.

There are other options to consider in getting your site to appear in Google searches. The easiest but most expensive way is to pay Google for your site to appear in one of the first 4 spots on the search results page with Google Adwords. These are CPC or Cost Per Click ads which means that you pay Google every time someone clicks on your ads. This can be really good ROI or terrible ROI for a business depending on competition in your area and the popularity of the keywords you want to be listed for. By spending some time researching the best keywords and best areas of town to advertise using tools like Google Keyword Planner, you can get some great results with Google Adwords. And Google Adwords isn’t the only CPC ad network that you can use. There is Bing Ads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other ad networks out there. I recommend doing some research on your demographic to find out the best ad channels to use to target them before jumping into any of them.

Another option that I would look into is social media marketing. Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, your customers and clients are most likely on social media in some capacity. You can participate in the social media channels that they are active in and contribute to the conversations they are having. While social media marketing primarily costs just time, you can promote your social media content and advertise on most of the social media channels. I would personally start out by joining the channels where your demo is, add content to the channels, follow and interact with your demo on the channels, and build up a community before spending too much on advertising on the channels. If you add helpful and educational content, your followers will think of you when they need a service or product that you provide. Or they may refer your business to a friend as you have gained their trust by being a part of the community and not an outsider advertising to the community.

So whether you can remove duplicate content or you have to live with it, there are many options to overcome it and help your business show up in searches and elsewhere. Some options are easier, some are cheaper, but they all will help grow your small business and increase sales online via your business’s site and its social media pages.