I’m not ready.
I’m like the rest of the people who land on your website – 97% of us don’t want to buy something today.
But 70% of us will buy something similar to what you sell in the next 2 years.
The goal of content marketing is simple: capture that 70% so people buy from you, not your competition.
By creating and sharing content your customers love, you can start building a relationship with them. And when they’re ready to buy – either today, tomorrow or 2 years from now – you’ll be top of mind.
Here’s the problem.
The dirty little secret
Creating content takes a lot of work.
It can be exhausting to continually make content that your readers love and that’s relevant and engaging enough to convince them to become customers.
In fact, I wrote a post last month explaining why you shouldn’t blog, and how blogging can actually harm your business.
This may sound strange coming from me, as I’m a huge fan of blogging!
Yet I also know that if you don’t create an effective blogging strategy, you’ll rush into it with gusto and post like crazy for a few weeks, then you’ll slow down. You’ll get distracted by pressing matters, and since you won’t see a huge return from your blog (it can take 3-6 months to start seeing results), eventually you’ll stop.
If you make it past the 3 month cliff and build a highly trafficked blog, it still takes time to create, publish and promote each post. Even top bloggers like Neil Patel and Jon Morrow can spend up to 8 hours writing an article.
Time is one of the most precious assets you have.
This is why I wanted to share an alternative that doesn’t require blogging.
Here’s the deal: there’s a difference between creating and curating content.
This is a hack about curating a content marketing strategy.
Create vs Curate
Create = Make
Curate = Find, Comment + Share
It’s that simple.
You can create a STRONG and successful content marketing strategy by curating great content, if you do it right.
That’s what we’re going to go through in this post – how to curate a content marketing campaign using Twitter (this strategy can also be adapted for other social networks).
Rule 1: Find and Share ONLY the BEST
If you’re going to hack content marketing by curating, you need to be the best curator. To do that, you can only share amazing content.
I still make this mistake.
We schedule an average of 10 tweets a day for Spokal. Sometimes I’m in a rush to finish scheduling our tweets and I find an article or video that’s okay. So I use it.
The problem is that it’s only okay.
#mediocre = the death of content marketing
When our followers click the link and arrive at a mediocre product, even though it’s not our product, there’s a bigger chance they won’t click a link we share again. We lose credibility. And when you’re curating to drive conversations and customers instead of creating, that’s a lost opportunity you can’t afford.
On the other hand, if you find and share something your followers will love every time, that will be enough to establish your authority, drive engagement and win customers.
How do you find great content?
There are 2 resources I use religiously to find relevant content fast.
It’s easy to get started. Simply enter blogs that your followers (and potential customers) are interested in, then check Feedly once a week to pick your favourite posts to share.
Instead of searching for articles based on your favourite blogs, ContentDJ allows you to discover articles you’re interested in by searching for topics.
To get started, enter a few topics that your customers are interested it, and ContentDJ will show you the most popular posts on that topic at any time. And like Feedly, you can pick you favourites to share once a week.
Schedule 1x a week
The real beauty of ContentDJ is that you can schedule everything right in their platform, so you can find and curate content all in one place.
If you use Feedly, you’ll need a way to schedule your content. I recommend Buffer, a free social app that allows you to schedule messages for all your social networks and only takes minutes to set up. You can also Hootsuite if you’re a more advanced social athlete.
Now you know what to share and have a way to schedule it, use this resource to figure out what time of day you should schedule your tweets so they have the maximum chance of being seen.
(For the record, we have no affiliation with Feedly, ContentDJ, Hootsuite or Buffer. We’re just big fans and use their services religiously.)
How much content do you need?
The sweet spot is to tweet 4-5 times per day.
Social scientist Dan Zarrella discovered people get retweeted 200% more when they increase their tweeting frequency from 2-3 times a day to 4 times a day. And companies that tweet 4-5 times a day get retweeted 300% more than when they tweet once a day.
And… you want to be retweeted because it will help increase your online reach, which will help you find customers.
The trick is to schedule your content once a week so you can get into a flow. While it only takes 5 minutes a day to curate for Twitter, it’s faster and you’ll feel more productive when you batch your efforts.
You’ll need 1 minute per tweet.
I’ll explain why in a minute.
So, depending on what how often you’re sharing, it will take you an average of 28 minutes a week:
3 tweets/day x 7 days = 21 mins/week
4 tweets/day x 7 days = 28 mins/week
5 tweets/day x 7 days = 35 mins/week
Do what makes sense for you. If 4-5 tweets a day is too much, start with 3. Be consistent, you can always add more later.
Now you know how to find great content, when you should share it and how often, you need to curate.
This is the most important part.
Rule 2: Curate = Comment + Credit
Sharing great content isn’t curating, it’s simply sharing great content.
To be a good curator, you need to curate.
Think of how an art gallery hangs pictures. It’s not just about the picture or the artist – where it’s hung, the quality of light and even the time of day affect how we view it.
It’s the same when sharing content, especially blog posts. It’s not just the post or who wrote it – where you share it, the time of day and what you say affects how your readers will view it.
The body of a perfect tweet.
Your tweet needs 4 things to get customers.
1) A comment
Commenting adds humanity, and humanity is a good way to show your personality and build a following.
So, always say something. This is why it will take you an average of 1 minute a tweet, not 10 seconds.
You’ll get better at this with practise. To get you started, here are 3 of my favourite hacks.
- If it’s a list of 10 things, choose one point to comment on:
- Ex: “Love 1, not sure re 5” or “100% agree w 4” or “1 + 2 = hilarious”
- If it’s a compelling post that’s worth reading word for read, say that:
- Ex: “Awesome read –>” or “#MustRead” or “Perfect for a rainy day”
- If it’s short and a good overview, you can say:
- Ex: “Short + sweet” or “Quick refresher” or “Perfect 30 sec break”
2) A shortened link
Most of you use shortened links already.
If you need a quick refresher, shortening links gives you more room to comment on what you’re sharing.
Bit.ly is a great resource to shorten links. (And yes, it’s free.)
3) The post title
This is straightforward.
Use capital letters to show what part of your tweet is the article title.
And feel free to shorten titles that are too long. Remember, the goal of your tweet is to increase your reach and get customers, not quote the exact title of a post.
4) The source
Tweets that have Twitter handles in them get shared more.
Plus, crediting where the content you share comes from is good etiquette.
So, always include a “via @source” when you curate a tweet.
Rule 3: Invite Your Followers on a Test Drive
As you grow your following, capture people who are most likely to become your customer.
Don’t wait until you have a huge list.
Making connections on Twitter isn’t about the number of followers you have, it’s about the strength of the community you’re building.
One way to convert your followers to customers is to occasionally invite them to try you out, and give them an added benefit as a bonus for being a follower.
Here’s how you can do that:
Make Occasional Offerings
What can you do that would interest a potential customer?
If you’re a service provider, can you provide a discount for first time clients or a free consultation?
If you sell products, can you give a sample to new customers? Or include a bonus product that only your followers get if they buy something?
When you know what you’re going to offer, tweet about it and include a link to a landing page for someone to claim your offer.
p.s. Feel free to use the same offer multiple times as your followers might miss it, plus you want to give new ones a chance to sign up too.
Capture Potentials with Landing Pages
A landing page is where you capture potential customers.
In this case, it’s a page on your website that you make for each offering.
The page is simple with one clear message and no menu or sidebar. Make sure the title of your landing page matches the offer your follower clicked on. And include one action for your visitor to perform.
Basically, why did they click the link?
If they’re signing up to receive something, make sure you capture the contact information you need.
You can also share something with your followers that isn’t your service or product in exchange for their email. For example, you might curate a resource gallery, like the Founders Collective does, and someone has to join your email list to see it.
Social Capture Hack
I’m giving a lot of love to ContentDJ in this post. And here’s why.
You don’t need to create a landing page to capture someone’s email – you can do it with every piece of content you share using ContentDJ.
When your followers click on a link you share, they land on your ContentDJ Playlist. Think of this as your social media landing page. Basically, it’s a place where you can make a quick offer and capture someone’s email address.
You can learn more about ContentDJ’s social landing pages here.
Rule 4: Nurture Slow Movers
Landing pages are great to get your followers to take an action towards becoming your customer.
Based on your offer, they’re either trying your service or product, or you asked for their email so you can build a relationship with them. Or both.
Now for hacking the email.
When you email your followers, promise me one thing.
Don’t send a weekly email.
It takes time to create a great email once a week. And if you’re not blogging weekly, you won’t be able to send a summary of your post instead, meaning there’s a higher chance you’ll stop your weekly emails when you see your open and click through rates decline.
The goal of nurturing slow movers is to build relationships and convert them to customers, not send a weekly email.
So try something else. Send 1 compelling email a month.
Here are 2 options for your email.
1) Curate 1 Piece Of Content
This is your chance to find and share something remarkable.
Yes, just one thing.
It can be anything – a blog post, an article, a TEDtalk, a photograph, even an infographic.
Include a comment saying why your readers will love it and what they’ll get out of it.
1 piece of content.
2) Create 1 Piece of Content
You can also create something.
Keep it short, concise and actionable.
For example, if you’re a physiotherapist, you can share one exercise people can do at work to relax a sore back. Or if you sell natural food wrappers, you can share one of your favourite packaging tips for picnics.
You can create anything, as long as it’s related to what your potential clients will enjoy.
The key with both of these emails is to occasionally include an offer for yor readers to try your service or product, just like you did with the landing page.
BONUS: Add Clarity to Your Twitter Bio
Clarity is a service that allows you to connect with people and provide advice over the phone.
It helps establish and share your expertise in almost any industry. You get paid for the calls you take, and you can also donate what you charge to a charity or give your calls for free.
Clarity is a great way to contribute to your community. Plus, you can use the conversations you have to build a network of clients, either directly through the call because people love what you said and want to keep working with you, or through recommendations to their network because they loved the expert advice you gave them.
You can setup your free Clarity account following this link. And when you’re done, add the Clarity link to your Twitter profile, as I’ve done in the example below, as it will also help you convert followers into customers.
Final Thoughts: Content Marketing Hacks
Getting someone to try your service or product is one challenge that you can solve by curating content on Twitter.
The real opportunity is keeping them delighted so they become regular customers and recommend you to their network. This is something I believe every business should strive for.
So, what do you do to delight your customers? And what are some of your favourite content marketing hacks?