Across social-media platforms, marketers can use owned, curated or promotional content to reach audiences. “What’s The ROI of Content Creation?”, a recent white paper from OpenTopic, offers four ways to measure the effectiveness of content curation:
- The number of followers and subscribers
- Higher levels of engagement
- Brand recognition
- A better bottom line
Followers and subscribers. Curated content is typically shared on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest, where the number of followers is easily tracked. The goal is not to simply have “more” followers. Rather, you want to understand the extent to which curated content helps attract an audience.
Engagement. Services like bit.ly provide users with the ability to track when readers click on links to curated content. Measuring what your audience actually does with your shared content also helps fine-tune your curation.
Brand recognition. OpenTopic makes a strong case for considering the impact of curation on overall brand awareness:
One of the major reasons to engage in content marketing is to increase “brand lift”—how familiar an average person is with your brand and what you do. While this metric can’t be measured based on your website visits alone, an increase in branded keyword searches to your website when you are not running any concurrent digital marketing campaigns is a sure sign that your brand recognition is increasing. You can also conduct your own research with a brand lift survey to help you identify how much your content curation and content marketing efforts have boosted recognition of your company. Curation should be thought of as a long-term initiative—with long-term, sustainable results.
The bottom line. OpenTopic points out three ways curated content can deliver results that drop to the bottom line:
- Improving the rate at which you can convert your audience from prospects to customers
- Lowering or avoiding the cost of developing original content
- Allocating time to marketing efforts with the greatest return
Goal-setting is an area where a fair share of content marketers fall short, but it’s always worth defining what constitutes success. Start by setting both short-term and longer-term goals, then track actual results.
Done well, curated content can provide significant value. For companies that make an investment in curation, success can be found in larger audiences, higher levels of engagement, improved brand recognition and greater profitability.