How to successfully engage your audience with a blog

How to successfully engage your audience with a blog

What happens after you publish a new blog post? Views, clicks, responses, and sign ups that you know your post deserves…

…or is there a painful silence?

You want your investment of time, energy, budget, and skill to pay off, but even with a solid strategy in place, you just can’t seem to make it happen.

If you feel like you’ve done everything right with your blog, but you’re not seeing the results you want, this guide is for you. We’ll show you exactly how to engage your audience with your company blog.

1. Know your audience inside out

The first step to building an engaging blog is knowing exactly who you’re building it for.

Even if you have a general idea of your target reader, such as their job position, industry, or basic demographics, make sure you dig deep enough to understand their needs, goals, and pain points standing in their way.

Here’s the audience statement you can use to define exactly what you want to achieve with your blog, as recommended by CoSchedule:

{Insert your company} creates content to attract {insert target audience} so they can {insert desired outcome} better.

For example, for Scoop.it, this could be:

Scoop.it creates content to attract marketers and business intelligence professionals so they can curate, share, and read content that boosts their credibility and grows their business.

If you don’t think you know enough about your audience to create an audience statement, spend some time observing them online. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do they want to achieve in their job or their personal life (depending on whether you’re B2B or B2C)?
  • Which platforms do they spend time on?
  • Answers to which questions are they looking for? Where?
  • What do they read, watch, and listen to online?
  • What do they spend their money on?

To get the full picture about your target audience, look into your website’s analytics and identify pages and blog posts that keep your visitor the longest. If you have an existing audience, use a tool like SurveyMonkey and Typeform to survey people that already trust you—this will give you some more clues.

You can also go to Quora and type in your most relevant topics to see questions people ask about it:

Another great way to listen to your ideal customer’s questions is Twitter search. Type in your topic into Twitter search and add a question mark like the example below. This will help you surface questions your target readers are already asking organically:

Look up any forums and other online communities where your target audience may be hanging out. Reddit, industry forums, Slack communities, and Facebook groups are just a few of many possible options.

Finally, dig through your own data because your existing customers may have already shown you exactly what they need. Great places to look for these clues are:

  • Customer support queries, including chat, email, and phone calls
  • Sales calls
  • Social media interactions between you and your customers
  • Public reviews

Once you gather everything you can about your target audience, write your audience statement and create a bullet list of all relevant audience questions you’ve found. These questions will guide your blog topics.

2. Publish unique content

If you haven’t seen the engagement with your content that you wanted to, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to create content that stands out.

In other words, unique content doesn’t require some grand idea that no one thought of before. It simply means you should bring your unique expertise, experience, and stories to your articles—you already have those!—instead of replicating content that already exists on the topic.

Here are some ideas to help you make it happen.

Interview experts in the field you’re talking about. You already know a lot about your topics—there’s no doubt about that. But if you bring outside voices and share their quotes and experiences, you’ll enrich your post in a way you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Here’s an example of this approach, when I interviewed various sales experts when writing a guide on hiring sales people:

Seek out case studies and examples you can reference. Case studies are great because they help you paint a vivid picture that goes beyond words and imagination. Case studies are real life, and your reader uses them to imagine themselves implementing your guidance.

Look for and link to case studies of your own or even from another company. On top of that, you can use examples, screenshots, screencasts, and similar ways to showcase exactly what you’re writing about.

Feature and link to third-party quotes, articles, videos, and more. You don’t even have to interview an expert to get them to contribute to your piece. When there’s a particularly strong point you want to make, spend some time to research books, studies, videos, conference talks, articles, and interviews and add them to your article. Of course, don’t forget to credit the original source.

Here’s how folks at CoSchedule have done it with an article on marketing tasks checklists. They’ve mentioned Atul Gawande, his book The Checklist Manifesto, and featured a video of his talk:

Create original images from concepts you’ve shared in your post. When you share powerful statistics, quotes, comparisons, reviews, and anything else that can shape your reader’s thoughts on a topic, you can make an even stronger impact with original images.

You can do this for your original ideas, quotes, and statistics, but also for those you’ve featured from third parties (again, don’t forget to credit the source of information in that case). Use tools like Canva and Venngage to build original graphics in case you don’t have a dedicated designer or a budget to hire one.

Here’s a great example of an original image to showcase a concept from Nextiva’s guide on VoIP security:

Feature expert writers and/or empower your employees to contribute. Bringing various voices to your blog will bring diverse angles to the table and help you cover many aspects of the topics you write about. It’s also a great way to expand your reach to audiences of writers you’re featuring.

3. Encourage sharing and engagement

Once you’ve made sure you’re publishing unique content that speaks directly to your target audience thanks to your audience statement, your next step is to focus on nudging engagement and sharing by making it easy and obvious to do so.

Here are some small, but powerful tweaks you can make.

Add social sharing buttons to your blog. This will help your reader share a blog post that resonated with them quickly and easily, without having to manually copy its URL over to their favorite social network. You can use a WordPress plugin like Social Snap to add social sharing buttons.

Here’s how these buttons look like on Blogging Wizard:

Add a featured image that makes social sharing look good. If your blog posts don’t have a dedicated featured image, there’s a chance that the social network it’s shared on will pull a random image from the post to display it. A much better option is choosing a relevant featured image for the post—it makes it look much cleaner.

Here’s an example from Twitter:

Link to your relevant blog posts, and link to the new post from other relevant blog posts. This will do two things for your blog engagement:

  • It will keep readers of your new post longer as they may click through to other relevant articles you’ve published.
  • It will bring readers of your other blog posts to the new blog post that they otherwise wouldn’t read at that time.

Find your relevant blog posts by searching for “site:yourwebsite.com keyword,” for example:

Add click-to-tweet links. Make it easy to share quotes, statistics, and takeaways from your blog posts by pre-writing tweets for your readers. Use the Click to Tweet service, which allows you to write the content of the tweet and then add the link your reader can click on to your post.

Here’s what that looks like:

Explicitly ask for comments and drive readers towards social media discussions. Ask your readers a question within your blog post, but don’t leave it at that. Tell them exactly where and how they can engage with you.

For example, you could say:

  • What do you think about [topic/pain point]? We’re in the comments below!
  • What is your experience with [topic/pain point]? Join your peers in this Twitter thread to let us know.
  • Want to chat about [topic/pain point]? Head to our latest Instagram post and leave a comment to share your thoughts.

4. Curate the best resources on topics your audience cares about

If you want to become the go-to resource your target reader uses to stay up to date, you’ll love content curation.

Content curation is the process of scouring the web for the best content there is and organizing it for your audience. This includes finding, sorting by themes, enriching, and sharing third-party pieces of content.

In a way, content curation helps you give your audience shortcuts to the best content on a topic there is.

Curating content brings you many benefits, including:

  • Consistency in publishing and showing up across all channels that matter to your audience
  • Scalability of your content efforts as it reduces the time it takes you to share valuable information
  • Building brand awareness, credibility, and thought leadership because you provide instant value by saving your audience’s time
  • Building relationships with companies, influencers, and other relevant players in your field

Great content curation goes beyond simply sharing third-party content on social media—you can publish curated blog posts, content hubs, and curated email newsletters.

How does content curation help with engagement on your blog? By publishing curated content hubs and blog posts, you can feature other people’s work—meaning you’re focused on the ultimate value for the reader—but still own the traffic that engages with that content.

By owning the traffic, you can then drive their attention to your lead magnets and other offers on your website, run retargeting campaigns through Facebook pixel, and much more.

The best thing about content curation, especially in your content hubs, is that you can feature as many diverse, creative formats as you want to, without having to create them on your own. This includes:

  • Videos, including YouTube videos as well as videos hosted on websites
  • Infographics and other rich visuals
  • Podcasts and other audio content
  • Ebooks and PDFs
  • Whitepapers, industry reports, scientific studies
  • Webinar recordings and similar video trainings
  • Case studies and customer stories
  • Social media content
  • User-generated content

The best part? If you’re a Scoop.it customer, none of this has to take a huge amount of time on your end. Creating engaging content hubs won’t take up any extra time on top of your regular content curation efforts, which Scoop.it makes really easy to do.

If you run your website through WordPress, you can make the most out of the Scoop.it and WordPress integration. The integration is as simple as connecting a specific Scoop.it topic page to WordPress and configuring settings such as images, excerpts, and categories.

Curating content for your audience on your own blog will help you deliver the right information in the right format across the entire customer journey. You will be able to:

  • Provide content formats you otherwise can’t create frequently enough
  • Become the source for timely reports and resources
  • Streamline your content curation by connecting WordPress to your standard content curation practice on Scoop.it

As a result, you’ll create a meaningful, engaging experience for your target audience and drive business results with your blog.

Want to see how you can make this with Scoop.it? Be sure to get a demo of Scoop.it so you can see first-hand how it can transform your blogging efforts.

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Building content in a fake news world : fact checking

Building content in a fake news world : fact checking

We always talk about how beneficial it is for businesses of all sizes to publish content that helps their audience and their customers, including both created and curated content.

Since this includes many channels—website, blog, email, social media—we also show you how to save time researching, writing, editing, and curating the best content you can.

But there’s a potential downside to working fast and publishing content efficiently: the rise of fake news and the lack of fact-checking. This is not a surprise when you consider the environment that writers, curators, and marketers work in today:

  • Tight deadlines and high publishing frequency
  • Racing with competitors and aiming to be the first to cover a trend, a story, an industry event, etc.
  • Too few team members, too much to publish
  • Insufficient knowledge of research methods and statistical analysis

Whether you write your own content, hire in-house or external writers to do so for you, or curate third-party content on your own channels and platforms, fact-checking is a must.

Untrue or misleading stories coming from you, even if you’re just sharing them, can harm your reputation, trust, and voice you’ve spent years building.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the tips and tools to help you check and verify the sources and data in the content you write and/or curate.

Why fact-checking matters in content marketing

We’re used to hearing about fake news in the realm of online journalism, broadcast television, and daily or weekly newspapers. So why are we talking about fake news in content marketing?

Think about it from a consumer perspective. As you consume content from an influencer you like, a company you occasionally buy from, or an industry connection, ask yourself: what is their ultimate goal with this piece of content? What action do they want me, the reader, to take afterwards?

This isn’t to say that everyone has a bad agenda; but more often than not, they have some agenda. Content exists to get you to:

  • Trust someone, and if you trust them now, you’ll be more receptive to their future messages
  • Think about a topic in a specific way
  • Buy a product or service
  • Vote a certain way

For those reasons, it’s important to keep in mind that even facts from authentic sources can be packaged in a way that serves the agenda of the person publishing it. By the time it reaches you, it has little to do with the original, credible sources.

And in many industries, this is accelerated by the virality of certain content. A single piece can win hundreds or even thousands of shares, retweets, Reddit upvotes, and comments.

When this happens, we often forget to verify the accuracy of the piece as writers and curators. We rely on the social proof of the piece—if it’s shared this much, it has to be true, right?

By now, you know that’s not always the case. If you want to see this happening in real life, check out this case study by The New York Times on how fake news can spread so fast.

4 tips on checking your facts and sources in content writing, editing, and curation

If you don’t have a predefined way of checking the accuracy of content pieces you’re writing or curating, chances are you just won’t do it. Here are four tips to help you get started and make fact-checking a regular part of your content processes.

Use an accuracy checklist

In his book The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande emphasizes the value checklists can bring to a range of fields, including medicine, disaster recovery, and businesses of all types.

Fact-checking is no different. Canadian journalist Craig Silverman wrote about an error-preventing checklist in his book Regret the Error, and based on it, late Louisiana State University scholar Steve Buttry published his own version of the accuracy checklist, which you can see here:

Use this checklist as a starting point and build up from it as you develop more of your own, company-specific practices on fact-checking.

Look for the true source

When you reference a piece of information, a data point, and anything that isn’t common knowledge and needs to be verified, make sure you’re looking at the true source of that information.

Here’s a hypothetical example to help you master this tip.

Let’s say you want to emphasize how important Black Friday is for online retailers, and you find a statistic that US retailers see a $1 billion turnover on Black Friday. To credit this statistic, you link to a “Black Friday statistics you need to know as an ecommerce business” article.

However, the article you’re crediting for that data credits another source—a third-party infographic. The infographic lists another list of statistics as their source… And so on.

Five or six clicks later, you discover that the $1 billion statistic is almost a decade old, but it’s still being packaged as current because pieces linking to it are called “[Current year] statistics you need to know about [topic].”

Below is one example of this: the statistic is quoted on a 2020 blog post, but the infographic it links to is from 2015.

Be ready to dig deep enough to find the genuine source of a piece of information. Look for interviews, expert research, databases, and similar verified sources.

And as BuzzFeed noted in their News Standards and Ethics Guide, Wikipedia, IMDb, and similar websites anyone can edit should be a starting place for a research—not the place you verify your facts.

Verify the validity of research

Survey tools and easy access to large audiences have democratized research. The tricky part? There’s always a chance that the statistic you’re quoting is taken out of context, based on an inadequate audience sample, and/or based on biased questions.

As writers and curators, we typically use statistics to support our story points and validate our message. But we need to remember that the authors of the report often support their own business messages with that report. Dive into the details of the methodology they used and the audience the report is representing.

Here’s the recommendation from the ethics guide of the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBP) on how to share third-party research:

“As in any editorial content, care must be taken to confirm that all research methodology is valid and reliable. A clear and complete discussion of the methodology, including methodological and analytical limitations, should be published to allow the reader to make informed judgments about the validity, reliability, and value of the content.”

On top of that, BuzzFeed News Standards and Ethics Guide suggests asking the following questions, among others, when reporting on a study or poll:

  • Have the authors included a detailed methodology?
  • How many people did they study?
  • Do the authors have any conflicts of interest?
  • How, precisely, were the questions worded?

Look out for plagiarized content

Plagiarism is the practice of presenting someone else’s work as your own. It can happen unintentionally, which can often be fixed by simply crediting the source of the original idea.

However, plagiarizing becomes a larger issue when ideas are taken directly from their source and presented as original ideas. If you rely on plagiarized content—use it as your source of information, link to it to support your claim, or even foundational research—you’re gambling with your reader’s trust.

Beware not to hurt your reader’s trust just because you didn’t take the time to correctly credit original authors of ideas you’re sharing.

Tools you can use to fact-check your content marketing

Here are a few simple tools to start your regular fact-checking practice with. You can always add more advanced ones later on, but these are a great foundation.

Reverse image search

Using an image that someone else published (i.e. not an image you created yourself or a screenshot you made)? Make sure you know who published it first.

In many cases, you can rely on the image credit below the image itself, on the page where you found it. But if the credit isn’t there, or if you can’t confirm it’s correct, run a reverse image search.

You can use a service like TinEye, or head to Google image search, click the camera icon, and searching for your image by either adding its URL or adding it from your device:

This will help you make sure the image is coming from the right context, as well as find its original publisher.

YouTube Data Viewer (Amnesty International)

The YouTube Data Viewer from Amnesty International lets you enter a YouTube URL and extract hidden data from the video.

You can see the exact original upload time, which is useful to identify the original version of a video when dealing with more than one. You can also see all thumbnails of a video, which you can then look up using reverse image search to find previous versions of a video.

Copyscape

Copyscape is a leading plagiarism checking tool. As a content marketer, it benefits you in two main ways:

  • You can use it to check existing URLs to make sure they haven’t conducted plagiarism. For example: you’re linking to a source and want to make sure it’s the genuine source of information.
  • You can use it to check your own content for plagiarism before you publish it, both when you’re writing, you’re hiring writers, or you’re curating content. This is Copyscape Premium and it costs 3c per search up to 200 words, plus 1c per extra 100 words.

Use these tool libraries to find the right tools for your industry and needs

The three tools above are a great fact-checking toolkit. Once you’ve built them into your process, review these libraries and lists to find specific tools that match your needs and your specific field:

  • CredCatalog by Credibility Coalition: a library of fact-checking groups, tools, academic research institutions, and more. You can filter them by category, language, location, and more.
  • Verification Junkie by Josh Stearns: a directory of tools for verifying, fact-checking, and assessing the validity of eyewitness reports and UGC. Includes plenty of relevant links alongside the tools themselves, so you can see them in action.
  • RAND Corporation – Fighting Disinformation Online: a well-categorized list of tools that fight disinformation. Categories include credibility scoring, disinformation tracking, verification, bot/spam detection, and more.

Don’t hold off your source checking process any longer

Remember: your content is how you exist online. By not having a process to verify and check sources for your original and curated content regularly, you’re risking your audience’s trust in you.

By delivering the most relevant, high quality, well-credited content, you’ll help your ideal reader reach their own goals—which will help you reach yours, and build a reputation you can rely on.

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How to grow and engage a community on social media with content

Are you seeing results from your social media activities? Or is it just another thing to worry about on your already full plate as a marketer?

If your answer is closer to the second option, you’re missing out on the benefits of an engaged community on social media. Unlike some other platforms, social media is ideal for a two-way communication with people who support and buy from your brand.

Don’t forget: social media is meant to be social.

But if you’re struggling to get comments, shares, likes, and click-throughs on your posts, engagement can feel like a catch-22. If no one is engaging with your posts right now, it’s harder to attract engagement—and vice versa.

In this guide, we’re sharing six main ways to adjust your content on social media for engagement.

Tell a visual story with images, videos, and emojis

The fact that people crave and engage with visuals isn’t new. People like, share, and respond to content that grabs their attention in their social media feed. If it doesn’t, they’ll scroll past it.

Sprout Social reported that consumers want to engage with images and video more than any other type of content:

If you want to make your content more engaging, when you’re working on a new post, ask yourself:

  • Could an image communicate this in a way that stands out?
  • Would a GIF or a video share this story in just a few seconds better than just text can?
  • If I used emojis, would it improve the tone of the story?

The best thing about using visuals in your post is that there are no limits and options are endless.

Here’s a great way that Shopify used an illustration to champion both their employee and small businesses:

On a platform like Twitter where adding an image or a video isn’t a requirement for posting, emojis can add dynamics, clarity, and engagement. Here’s an example of emoji use from Revolut:

When it comes to emojis, reports have shown that:

  • Using emojis results in 25.4% more engagement on Twitter
  • Using emojis results in 57% more likes, 33% more comments, and 33% more shares on Facebook
  • Almost 50% of all comments and captions on Instagram contain emojis

Images, videos, GIFs, and emojis are a great way to get creative in your social media posts and drive meaningful reactions.

Give your customers and community a voice

Think of all the ways your company impacts the world. This could be the results your paying customers are getting, changes in your local community, online connections you’re facilitating, fundraising, and more.

Take note of these results and outcomes and share them on your social media.

If you’re sharing a customer success story, direct quotes are ideal. No one can speak about your customer’s experience better than the customer itself. Here’s an example from Intercom:

In a tweet like that, you can always experiment with tagging the person and/or the company you’re featuring as this can spark a conversation.

Here’s another great example from Intercom in which they’ve shared their conversation with Black Tech Unplugged around the racial inequality:

When you give others a voice on your platforms, you make your wider community feel seen and heard. This will help you set a lasting foundation for engagement.

Talk about your topic in a way that brings value

As we’ve said many times before, content marketing isn’t about you, but about the people you serve. In other words: stop talking about yourself.

People come to social media to feel good: relaxed, entertained, educated, empowered. They want to feel better than they did before they opened the app. This is why it’s crucial to create posts that focus on your audience and how they can benefit from what you have to say.

What kinds of topics and posts will help you achieve this? Here are some examples:

  • Answers to questions people frequently ask you about your area of expertise
  • Short tips and tricks
  • Demonstrations of processes or products on your topic
  • List of steps to achieve a result (think recipes)

Here’s a creative example from Diana Briceño, a social media strategist (she shares the tips both in her caption and in the carousel images):

Of course, food recipes are the ultimate way this works: you teach someone how to cook a delicious dish in just a few minutes. Here’s how BuzzFeed Food shares their recipes (and gets huge engagement on these posts):

Think of recipes as a great framework to share valuable tips and steps in a way that’s easy to take in.

You can also answer this question to get inspired: If you usually write longer, educational content for your blog, how can you boil those topics down to its main parts to share on your social media?

Share useful content from other people

Now take that same approach from the previous point and apply it to content you don’t own.

Ask yourself:

  • How can content from other people contribute to the topics you usually talk about and your community cares about?
  • Are there other, surrounding topics that would make sense for you to share that others are experts on?
  • Which companies do you want to build a relationship with, and share their content as part of your efforts to do so?

You can share content from other people and companies by directly curating it to your social media feeds, or by reposting what they’ve posted (for example, by quote-tweeting it or sharing an Instagram post to your stories).

Content curation has many benefits, including staying consistent on social media, building credibility, connecting with others in your space, and scaling your content production.

Check out this example of curated content from Buffer. They’ve shared a study that shows how consumer behavior changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This topic isn’t specific to their focus on social media, but their audience is made of marketers who will benefit from knowing about those changes:

Another great example is this one from Melanie Deziel, content marketer and international speaker. She shared a podcast episode that mentioned her book, but she focused on sharing the actual episode and tagging the podcast and its guest first:

Scoop.it can help you curate content to specific topics and content hubs and easily share it to your social media feeds. Not just that: you can schedule it so you can curate more content at once and publish it on a staggered schedule, and you can add your own insights and thoughts to add even more value!

If you want more tips on content curation, this content curation strategy guide is for you.

Reply to customers and supporters

As we said earlier, social media is about being social. Even if you do all of the tips we listed so far, but never proactively engage and reach out to members of your community on social media, your results will suffer.

The best thing you can do as a brand is to show that you aren’t just another faceless brand. Without people supporting you, your company wouldn’t exist, so spend time cultivating a two-way relationship through your social media channels.

This will help you keep the conversation going and stay top-of-mind.

You can take the approach from folks at Buffer, who send supportive responses to people mentioning them in their daily updates:

 

 

You can also run searches on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find posts to engage with. For example, you can:

  • Search for keywords related to your main topics
  • Search for hashtags your audience typically uses
  • Find accounts of people and companies your audience also engages with and look for posts, comments, and discussions you can participate in

Ask questions

Finally, what better could you do to drive engagement than to ask your followers to engage with you?

In other words: ask questions, run polls, conduct surveys. People love to share their opinions, struggles, and comments.

Many native social media features let you do that on the platform itself: Instagram stories polls and Twitter polls are the best examples of it.

Here’s how Hootsuite made the most out of Twitter polls when Instagram introduced hiding likes, a highly controversial change in the world of social media:

Hundreds of people answered (it only takes a click!) and a few dozens replied or shared a comment when retweeting this poll. Great polls will make your engagement explode.

Another, more clever and creative way to get your community involved is by asking how you can help them—and getting super specific when you do it.

For example, Jamie Oliver asked if anyone needed inspiration for dinner on a Monday night:

This was a very successful post: it got hundreds of replies and many retweets with comments. But the best part was that Jamie Oliver (or his team that runs the account) replied to many of the replies with a relevant recipe or tip. Win-win!

It’s time for genuine community engagement on social media

That’s it—you now have the tips for showing up on social media feeds of your target audience in a way that will make them feel good and get them to engage.

Remember: This isn’t as simple as posting X times per day or showing up at the exact times you’ve predicted your audience will be online. It’s about adding value to their lives instead of adding noise.

It’s time to take action. Start with one or two tips from this list to create your next social media posts. Expand from there and track your results so you can keep improving!

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Curating on mobile: the key to content curation consistency

Curating on mobile: the key to content curation consistency

One of the biggest challenges of content curation is staying consistent with it.

Content curation will support your long-term marketing and business goals, but only if you’re able to commit to it in the long run. If you curate every couple of weeks or months instead of multiple times a week, you just won’t see the results you want.

This applies to everything in your business, from internal communications and employee engagement through to email newsletters and content distribution. Consistency is key.

However, it’s easy to fall off track. As marketers and communicators, we get busy with more urgent tasks and projects. Our work supports product launches and revenue goals, so it can seem impossible to take our eyes off those goals to focus on long-term content curation efforts.

The solution lies in tweaking your workflow so that content curation is easy, no matter how busy you get.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to integrate mobile content curation into your process and how Scoop.it can help.

Why content curation on mobile is a must-have

Let’s go over some benefits of curating content on mobile.

Curate content even when you don’t have the time for it

You probably go through busier and quieter seasons in your work.

The quieter times allow you to structure your days and weeks strategically. You get to step away from deadlines and mountains of emails and set up a foundation for your marketing processes—including content curation.

But the busy seasons can significantly reduce that time you want to spend strategically. Some examples would be product launches, live events, intense community efforts, or anything else that requires high energy and lots of time.

The first thing you can do to save some time? Drop your weekly blocks of time when you curate content with purpose.

With a mobile content curation process in place, you can ensure that your channels—social media profiles, content hubs, and newsletter—don’t go quiet. Instead, you’ll be able to use much smaller pockets of time and add freshly curated content in minutes.

How? Your smartphone is always with you, so you’ll be able to quickly curate content during:

  • Short breaks between meetings
  • On your commute
  • When catching up with emails and social media on your phone

Instead of waiting to have larger blocks of time you usually do, a great mobile curation workflow will let you curate in just a few taps, no matter how time-deprived you may be (we’ll show you how Scoop.it helps you do this in a later section).

Time spent on smartphones is increasing

As a marketer, you’ll naturally look for ways to stay efficient even when you get pulled into multiple directions and campaigns.

But this adjustment may not come naturally to other teams in your company. If you want to encourage employee advocacy through content curation, but only enable it through a desktop workflow, you may struggle to get buy-in and commitment from those teams.

As we already wrote before, content curation is most effective for employee advocacy when it:

  • Relates to their specialties
  • Sparks their genuine interest
  • Helps them bring fresh insight into their networks

It’s important to add a fourth key element of effective content curation for employees: the ability to do it from all devices, not just their laptop or desktop.

Here’s why:

US-based data revealed that desktop media consumption slightly lowered from 2013 to 2019 (144 and 128 minutes respectively). During that same period, media consumption on smartphones went up from 88 to 203 minutes per day, surpassing desktop significantly.

This means that people spend more than three hours on their smartphone every day. If they come across a piece of content they can curate (in their email or while browsing news), but don’t have an easy way to do it, they likely won’t do it at all.

Mobile curation is even more important when you consider the amount of time people spend specifically on social networks when they’re on the go. Mobile-only social network users keep growing, while there’s a steady decline of desktop and laptop social network users every year.

A lot of the content your employees could curate likely comes from their social networks. If they access them frequently from their smartphones and you haven’t made mobile content curation easy for them, you’re missing out.

How to curate content on mobile with Scoop.it

Scoop.it’s powerful content curation engine is now fully available on mobile through the Scoop.it mobile app. Both iOS and Android apps were recently updated so you can make the most of content curation wherever you are.

Whether you want to curate the pieces you’re reading on your phone, finding on social media, or directly from the Scoop.it engine, the app makes it easy.

Here’s an overview of all the ways you can make mobile curation happen.

Get suggestions for your curated topics

The first section of the app, Curated, gives you access to all the topics you’re curating.

When you tap on one of your topics, you’ll see all your curated scoops in that topic and the option to see suggested content for that topic.

Here’s what it looks like:

  1. My overview of topics
  2. Inside my topic on content marketing
  3. Suggested content I can curate (available from the top right corner on the previous screen)

To add new pieces of content to a topic from the available suggestions, all you need to do is tap on a piece you like, add your insight and tags, and tap Scoop. It only takes moments to do that!

If you want to tweak the suggestions you’re seeing, all you need to do is tap on the cog wheel at the top right and update your keywords.

Curate from content feeds you already trust

The second section of the app, Discover, lets you curate content based on what you follow from your Scoop.it account, including:

  1. Scoops, which is a chronological feed of pieces that people you follow on Scoop.it have curated, starting with the newest ones
  2. Topics, which is a list of topics you’ve followed on Scoop.it and you can tap on to curate from

The process of curating from here is just like the one in the previous section. When you see a piece of content you like, you tap the recycling icon at the top left of that piece, select the topic you want to add it to, add your insights and tags, and you’re good to go.

In this section, you can also use the search bar at the top right to search for posts, topics, or users using any search term you want. This is great if you have some extra time on your hands to expand your feed and find sources of content you haven’t used before.

Curate any piece of content you open on your phone

Finally, you can add any piece of content from your browser to your Scoop.it topics. This can include pieces that you:

  • Received through direct emails or newsletters
  • Came across on social media
  • Got from a colleague through Slack and other instant messages

Here’s how it works.

  1. When the piece of content you want to curate is opened in Safari, tap the Share icon.
  2. Select the Scoop.it icon from your options. If you can’t see it, tap More and enable it from the list there.
  3. Scoop.it app will open and populate a new scoop with information from this piece of content.
  4. Add your insights and tags as usual and you’re done!

Mobile content curation just got easier

If you want to make sure you keep curating content, even when things get hectic, the Scoop.it app is your shortcut.

The app makes it easy to curate something you’re reading, but don’t want to move from your phone to your laptop. It also gives you instant suggestions for content to curate.

If you want to empower your employees and yourself to curate content consistently, even when you’re on the go, check out the Scoop.it mobile app in the App Store if you’re on an iPhone and Play Store if you’re on an Android phone.

 

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Why and how you should organize your curated content

You already know the impact curated content can have on your business. From marketing efforts to employee advocacy and hiring, content curation is a company’s superpower across the board.

But curated content is only useful if you can navigate your way through it.

Think about it. Would a talented fashion stylist do their job well if they couldn’t find the piece of clothing they needed in a wardrobe? Would a skilled accountant be efficient if they spent most of their time looking for the right spreadsheet or document?

The answer, of course, is a resounding no. The chaos in the assets you use and rely on every day will make it harder to see the results you want and hit long-term goals.

Great content curation depends on a system and structure you understand and can use with ease. In this guide, you’ll learn how well-organized curated content benefits your business, the structure that works best, and some ways you can achieve it with Scoop.it.

Why organizing your curated content is essential

Let’s go through a quick overview of why this process is worth going through.

Find what you need, even after curating hundreds or thousands of pieces

Let’s say you curate five pieces of content every workday. In a week, that’s 25 pieces. In a month, you’ll have about 100 of them, which is 1,200 for the year.

After a full year, will you be able to find the exact piece of content you need and you know you have since 10 months ago? The answer is probably no.

On top of that, if you curate more than those five pieces a day, and especially if you get other people and teams in your company involved in curation, you’ll easily end up with a lot more than just 100 curated pieces per month.

The sooner you create a structure for your curated content in place, the less of a challenge you’ll have down the road. Reaching the right piece of content will take only a few seconds and clicks, and no curated content will ever get lost.

Create a great experience for your reader

Think about how you consume content. One great post on a blog leads to another great post on the same blog. A helpful YouTube video from a creator leads to their other useful videos.

Well-structured, labeled, and organized content, regardless of the platform, makes it easy to absorb and enjoy that content. It creates a seamless flow from one piece to the other.

One of my favorite “start here” blog pages is the one from Orbit Media. One of the main reasons they were able to build such an easy-to-navigate list of their best blog posts is their effort to categorize every post they’ve published.

Your curated content should be no different. By assigning the right categories, topics, and tags to each piece you curate, your reader will be able to keep browsing through your curated content library and find exactly what they need.

Empower other teams

Curated content can be useful to everyone in your company. Think about it:

  • Sales team can reference it in their sales conversations (for example, when answering prospect’s questions or addressing a specific pain point)
  • Writers can use it to find relevant studies and examples to link to
  • Customer support team can use it to keep an eye on current industry trends around topics most important to your customers
  • Product development can reference it in brainstorming or problem-solving sessions

The options are endless, but the only way they can happen is if the structure of your curated content helps the right person get to the right topic quickly.

Hierarchy of your curated content

What is the right way to set up and organize your curated content so you can always find what you need quickly? Here’s a simple and effective structure you can start with.

High-level overview: Broad categories

First, define some broad categories that you typically cover in your content. There is no one-size-fits-all rule for this, but here are some starting points that can help. Your broad categories could reflect:

  • The categories you already use on your blog
  • Your product or service categories
  • The industries you serve
  • The teams in your company

Here are some examples for broad categories:

  • Law firm: data protection, employment law, healthcare, real estate
  • Marketing software: content marketing, social media, project management, email marketing
  • Web design agency: analytics, SEO, digital strategy, social media, web design, web development (this is exactly what earlier-mentioned Orbit uses as categories on their blog!)

Main focus: Core topics

Your topics are the center of your content curation strategy. They are the root of all the content that you curate.

Your curation workflow will be based on topics. In other words, when you find a fresh piece of content to curate, you’ll choose a topic to add it to.

Here are examples of topics based on some broad categories we listed earlier:

  • Employment law: legal tips for startups, workplace safety, contracts and procurement
  • Content marketing: content writing, content editing, creativity, content strategy
  • Analytics: Google Analytics, Google Tag manager, social media analytics

Detailed segmentation: Tags

Finally, you can further refine and label each piece of content you curate with tags. How you set up your tags is entirely up to you.

For example, you could use them as further branching of a topic into subtopics: creativity could have subtopics such as personal creativity, team creativity, psychology, leadership.

Another way to use tags is to label the format of each piece. This means your tags could be: article, video, webinar, podcast, PDF, research report, book. This also means that you could use the same set of tags across different topics and get used to the same segmentation in each of your topics.

Of course, you can experiment with different options and stick with the one that works best.

How to organize your curated content with Scoop.it

In sections that follow, we’ll show you how you can build your content curation structure from the ground up in Scoop.it.

Topics as the core of content curation

As we mentioned, topics are the foundation of efficient content curation efforts, and the same applies to how Scoop.it works.

To create a topic, you click the Create a Topic button from your dashboard. Then, you name it, make sure you’re happy with the topic URL, select a language, and confirm.

Topic customization

At the top of your new topic, you’ll see topic settings. This space will let you fully customize your topic.

Here are the options you’ll be able to tweak from the menu on the left-hand side:

  • Edit: title, language, description, user permissions for sharing and commenting
  • Sharing: connect your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Buffer, Pinterest, Yammer, or Tumblr account
  • Customization: change visual settings like images, layout, fonts, and colors for any element of your topic page
  • Automatic content import: set up RSS feeds and/or sitemaps
  • Teams: add authorized curators
  • Private: make your topic public to everyone, just your company, only you, selected users only, or make it password-protected
  • Lead generation: set up a lead generation form or integrate with Mailchimp
  • Topic group: add or remove your topic from topic groups

Topic groups

Once you’ve created all your topics, you can start grouping them into high-level groupings—broad categories.

In Scoop.it, these are called topic groups. To set them up, go to your company settings and choose Topic Groups from the left-hand side menu. Then, add the group and name it.

When you’re done, you can start adding topics to this broad category. For example, we could add our previously created content strategy topic to the content marketing category.

Use the search bar in the topic group settings to add your topics to it.

You can also set up the editors of this group to either company users or admin only.

Once you’ve created your topic groups and added relevant topics to them, you can easily access them from the three-line menu icon at the top bar of any page of your Scoop.it:

Tags

We started with topics, our content curation core. We then grouped them into larger categories. Finally, we can further segment our curated pieces and get specific thanks to tags.

Tags will let you easily navigate a topic and quickly get to the formats or subtopics you’re looking for. The best thing about them is that you can add them in a couple of seconds. It’s no extra work, but it still saves you time in the long run when you’re using these pieces later on.

When you curate a new piece of content to a topic, you’ll see this modal window that lets you add your insights and edit title and description. At the bottom, there’s a field to enter tags.

When you don’t have any tags, you can add them by typing in a tag name you want to create. After that, your tags will populate when you start typing so you can easily select them.

You can also add or remove tags after curating your content by clicking the tag icon at the bottom of each curated piece.

From here, your tags become the most powerful when you add them to the top of your topic page for easy access.

Click the funnel icon at the top right corner and click Add tag list as first Scoop.

This creates clickable tags you can use to filter content on a topic page. This is how these tags will look like on the page:

The more you curate and tag, the more impactful this section becomes. Remember the benefits of easy navigation through curated pieces, both for you and the rest of your company—a couple of seconds to add a tag are worth the effort!

If you want to see all the content with a specific tag (across all topics), instead of going to a topic page and filtering by tag, you can type in your tag in the search bar at the top. You’ll then see the option to click on a tag to view all company-wide content that has that tag:

Starred content

Finally, there’s a simple way to highlight a piece of content that’s currently most relevant: starring your content.

You’ll see the option to star a piece of content below it, alongside the sharing and tagging icons. When you click the star, that piece of content moves to the top spot on your topic page and stays there until you either unstar it or star a different piece.

This feature is great for bringing attention to a most relevant trend, report, or educational piece of content on a certain topic, and doing so quickly for everyone in your team and company.

Master your curated content organization and structure

With these tools and tips, you can easily access your entire curated content history and find the right piece of content within moments.

There’s no more need for frustration or time wasted on searching through hundreds (or thousands!) of pieces of content you’ve so carefully curated. Instead, you can focus on all the benefits that curated content can give you.

Want to see how this can work for you and your company? Get your Scoop.it Enterprise demo and take your content curation to the next level.

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How and why should every company integrate industry trends on its website

Industry trends on your website: the why, what, and how

It’s no secret: we love content curation around here.

We encourage content teams, PR folks, educational organizations, non-profits, companies that want to build employee advocacy, and many others to trust the process of curating high-quality content.

From curated social posts and newsletters to fully fledged content hubs, you can support almost any marketing goal with content curation. Another excellent way to reap all the content curation benefits is the integration of industry trends and news to your website.

This will turn your website into a powerful tool that builds reach and trust with your target audience. Want to do it right? This guide is for you.

Why should you curate industry news on your website? The overview of benefits

Let’s look at some reasons to make this integration part of your marketing strategy.

Become the go-to resource for your ideal reader

People are risk-averse creatures, and not being up-to-date on our industry is a risk. However, scouring the internet for all the latest insights is usually too time-consuming.

This is why people subscribe to newsletters and follow experts on social media. They want to get the new insights as they happen, in as close to real time as possible. Creating a dedicated space for industry news on your website can help your ideal reader cope with FOMO, the fear of missing out.

Own the traffic you send to curated content

When you curate content on a platform you don’t own, like Twitter or LinkedIn, you build your audience and following on those platforms slowly and with a long-term impact in mind, which makes a lot of sense.

However, you can’t take any proactive action specific to people who engage with that content.

On the other hand, when this feed of curated content exists on your website, you can take many specific actions, such as:

  • Draw your traffic towards a newsletter subscription
  • Retarget this traffic based on cookies, Facebook pixel, etc.
  • Use your website assets to direct this audience towards your own content

This means you can take action specific to your marketing goals with this traffic, which is a lot harder to do outside of your own website.

Repurpose curated content

Once a curated piece of industry news has been featured on your website, you don’t have to stop there.

From here, you can share this piece of content across your social media, share it in a newsletter, or even write a blog post that adds your own, original insights to the topic. Each piece of curated industry news can get extra mileage on other channels you’re active on and help you reach even more people.

What type of content is industry news you should share?

As always in marketing, the best thing you can do is to place yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and think about the news and insights you’d find the most useful if you were them.

You can use these types of content and examples to get inspired.

1. Real-time industry news

This general category includes anything that would be published on an actual news site to report something that recently happened in your industry. Obviously, the concept of news is different across industries, but a quick look at main publications in your industry will help.

Example for a social media agency: Google removes millions of negative TikTok reviews amid backlash in India

2. Industry trends

The concept of trends builds upon the idea of news, but trends are more of a longer lasting change.

For example, the introduction of GDPR regulation in 2018 wasn’t just news—it was a change that created an industry shift in the way marketing is done from a data protection point of view.

Example for a video meeting software company: Why Remote Work Is So Hard—and How It Can Be Fixed

3. Original research and reports

Original data is always valuable, especially if you share it soon after it’s been released. It brings fresh, yet unseen information in front of your audience and gives them something actionable to take away.

Example for an investment company: The State Of The Financial Services Industry 2020

4. Events

Upcoming conferences (live or virtual), as well as past events that have published videos of their talks online, are priceless.

If you can share specific topics as opposed to the whole event, even better—you can help your audience get focused on the best insights (instead of combing through hours of material to find something they need.

Example for a SaaS consultant: Business of Software Videos

5. Content from industry leaders

Is there someone in your industry that your audience inherently trusts? Someone that essentially everyone in the industry knows of? If so, share their content.

Example for marketers: A small business isn’t simply a little version of a big business by Seth Godin

6. Webinars

Share upcoming and past webinars that your audience would love to watch. The more specific the topic, the better. Just like with everything else, people don’t have infinite time to watch webinars. Your suggestions are a green light that a webinar is worth their time.

Example for productivity experts: Notion Office Hours: Building Public Pages

7. Interviews

There’s currently more than one million podcasts, many of which are interviews. Interviews are an extremely valuable peak into someone’s head, background, and life, and sharing expert interviews with your audience is invaluable.

Even better: many interviews are quite timeless, so you can go back through podcasts from the last few years and find some hidden gems that your audience may have missed back then.

Example for health professionals: Sleep Better With Help From Science Podcast

How to create the news and trends section on your website

Here’s an existing example of integrated industry news and trends on a website:

Now that you have an idea of formats and topics you can share on a regular basis on your website, how can you make it happen?

Here are a few options.

Embed a single RSS feed

If you wanted to add an entire feed from a website or a podcast, you could embed it as an RSS feed to a page on your website.

Of course, this would mean that everything that goes live on the publisher’s blog or podcast also goes live on your website, so it’s important that this is a source you trust.

Check out this guide for embedding RSS feeds to a page.

Build a news aggregator with a WordPress plugin

There are plugins like WP RSS Agreggator that allow you to connect various RSS feeds to a single plugin and publish this curated content on your website.

Same approach applies as above—make sure these RSS feeds are of sources you trust. This guide will help you set up the plugin and connect your sources.

Embed native content from social media

Social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SlideShare, as well as YouTube, offer embedding options.

You’ll usually find these in the options for each individual post. For example, on Twitter it’s in the top right corner:

You can make your page with news and insights rich and interactive by doing this because embedding pulls native options such as likes and retweets, as well as GIFs, images, and more.

Embed curated content hubs with API

With a service like Scoop.it, you can create content hubs with all the types and formats of content we’ve mentioned so far and simply integrate it with your website.

This means that you can use features that were already made with content curation in mind, such as content alerts, monitoring, and discovery. You can simply curate content as usual with the support of a suggestion engine, keeping the news element in mind.

From here, you don’t need to do additional work to make it a part of your website—Scoop.it’s platform does that for you.

What will you do with industry news on your website?

Being a source of news for your audience brings you an advantage. It can help you turn casual readers into long-term supporters and loyal customers.

Remember: people need a trusted source of industry updates so they can be sure they’re keeping up with changes and can prove their worth in their companies and to their peers.

You can be that source. Start by setting up the news page on your website and aim to build a process that will help you regularly uncover the best fresh insights for your audience.

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How to create an engaging newsletter: Easy steps to get started

How to create an engaging newsletter: Easy steps to get started

How to create an engaging newsletter: Easy steps to get started

There’s no place like the email inbox. Compared to the noise of social media feeds, it lets you create a one-on-one conversation with your ideal reader and customer.

Data from 2019 shows that you can expect an average return of $42 for every $1 you spend. That opportunity is too good to miss, and businesses of all sizes know it.

According to the report from Emarsys, 81% of SMBs rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. Email is a valuable tool across the whole customer journey.

Chances are you already knew this. You already want to build an engaging email newsletter, but you didn’t know where to start. If that’s you, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’re sharing easy and practical tips to create a newsletter that brings joy to your audience’s inboxes, and brings you results you want.

Step 1: Choose your email newsletter format and set a goal

Your newsletter can be anything you want—which is a blessing and a curse. You can use it to share:

  • Your blog posts, videos, and other original content
  • Product updates
  • Promotions and discounts
  • Press coverage
  • Curated content

It can be tempting to share whatever feels right each time you want to email your subscribers. But to get them into a habit of opening and reading your newsletter, focus on creating a format they can expect each time.

A great way to do this is to create sections for your newsletter and fill them out with relevant content each time.

Here’s a great example from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income.

At the top of his email, he writes a few paragraphs from him directly to the reader. Then, he adds several sections with valuable resources.

Here are the first two sections of one of his recent emails:

And here’s the second half:

As you can see, he shares a mix of his own content (a free challenge, a YouTube video, and a podcast episode) and third-party content (article from Inc.com, a marketing tool recommendation).

The takeaway here is to focus on how these resources all work together in the same email. If you share a dozen links that have nothing to do with each other, you’ll confuse your subscriber.

But choosing resources that easily connect to each other, sorted into categories and sections, is key: you’re showing your reader you’ve combed through the internet for them and you’re sharing the best of the best.

How do you choose which resources will make it to each section? The answer is by setting your newsletter goals.

Here are some common email newsletter goals to inspire you:

  • Drive traffic to a landing page
  • Promote a blog post series
  • Promote a new or updated product or service
  • Drive event attendance
  • Drive whitepaper downloads

Each time you’re creating a new edition of your newsletter, have a goal in mind. This will help you select the best resources, choose the best placement in your email for them, and pick the right call to action (we’ll cover that later in this guide).

For example, Pat Flynn’s main goal for the above email was to drive signups for his free challenge. It got the biggest real estate in that email—everything else was a bonus.

Step 2: Choose your email newsletter frequency

Don’t let this step slow you down. Deciding on your newsletter frequency will help you:

  • Plan your time to curate content and write your email copy
  • Set expectations for your subscribers
  • Be intentional about your emails instead of creating them on the fly and improvising every time

Think back to Pat Flynn’s email. If you wanted to send emails similar to that, how often would you have enough to say to fill the entire email? The answer is probably once a week, or once to twice per month; daily is most likely out of the picture.

To get inspired, check out this data from GetResponse on how number of newsletters per week correlate with the open rate and click through rate, as well as how many marketers send one, two, and more emails per week:

Choose your frequency and stick to it. Over time, you can start experimenting with other frequencies and see how the change impacts your results!

Step 3: Set clear expectations and attract new subscribers

With the first two steps done, you have everything you need to create a landing page to get new email subscribers.

This is because your subscribe page should set clear expectations and show your potential subscribers what they’ll miss out if they don’t subscribe.

Check out these great examples. The first one is from James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits:

Another great example is one by Jimmy Daly, a content strategist:

Finally, a powerful example from Growth Supply:

What makes these signup pages great?

  1. Frequency: “every Thursday,” “weekly dose,” “once a month”
  2. Content promise: “3 ideas, 2 quotes, 1 question,” “stories, tools, book recommendations,” “essays on how to escape competition”
  3. Social proof: “join 4,600+ subscribers,” “join 71,488 people”

Based on the previous two steps, you can now easily set expectations about the content and frequency of your newsletter. You can add social proof (as testimonials or the number of subscribers) later on if you don’t have it yet.

Step 4: Make sure your emails get opened

Mailchimp’s data tells us that the average open rate for all industries is 21.33%. It means that, on average, one out of five people will open your emails.

It’s good to know this because it helps you set reasonable expectations and goals. Still, you can take specific steps to ensure your open rate is as high as possible.

Folks at Campaign Monitor surveyed more than 400 people about the ways they engage with brands through email. When they asked what makes people open emails, here were the main responses:

Let’s look at the main factors your subscribers will look at before choosing to open your email.

The ‘From’ field

Your email will feel familiar and personal if it looks like it’s sent by a person instead of a company name. However, instead of just using a sender’s name, you can pair it with the company’s name.

This way, your subscriber will know the email is from your company, but also get a sense of one-on-one correspondence.

Here are some great examples in my email inbox:

The subject line

Write your email subject lines with this question in mind: what will make your subscriber think “yes—I need to know what’s inside!”?

Here are some frameworks you can use for your subject lines (and some made up examples to inspire you):

  • Ask a question: “Are you struggling with your job search?”
  • Tease a specific insight: “How to write content 3x faster”
  • Use a number: “5 secrets to a more productive week”
  • Get personal: “[Name], you’ll love this one-minute email hack”

As your email list grows, you’ll also be able to run split tests to experiment with variations of a subject line and see which one sparks more opens.

The preview text

The preview text is the snippet of text displayed next to or below the sender name and the subject line.

(Image source)

This text is pulled from the first lines of your email, but you can also hide it with code so that it’s only visible from the main inbox, but not within the email itself.

You can look at preview text as a second subject line—another chance to grab your subscriber’s attention. So instead of reusing your subject line in your preview text, use it to tease some more value from your email.

Check out this guide from Litmus for the code to use if you want to hide your preview text, character counts for preview text across different apps, and more.

Step 5: Deliver engaging emails

It’s time to build out your newsletter content. By this point, you’ve laid a strong foundation, including:

  • The main sections of your newsletter
  • Your goals
  • Your newsletter frequency

Follow these tips to create emails that engage and resonate with your ideal readers and customers.

Value first, selling second

I mentioned earlier that email has a crazy high ROI, which means it’s great for selling your products or services.

But only pushing your products and promotions isn’t the way to make that happen.

Instead, be the place in your reader’s inbox they can go to for the best, most relevant, and most valuable insights on what you’ve promised on your signup page. Common advice is to go for 80/20 or 90/10 ratio of educational/promotional content.

How can you deliver so much value? Here are some suggestions:

  • Share your own educational content. Instead of just sharing the link, add a compelling reason for your subscriber to click on it and read it.
  • Curate content from other people and companies. This will make you the go-to resource in your industry—check out this guide for more tips on curation for email newsletters.
  • Source templates, tools, book recommendations, and anything else that can make your reader better at what they do.

Make your copy simple and skimmable

You can presume your subscriber often won’t have the time or energy to open every link you’ve shared in your email. That’s okay.

To make sure your email is always valuable to them, make it easy for them to skim through it and find what they need the most at that moment.

Here’s a great example from Peloton:

They’ve separated titles from article descriptions so you can quickly get an idea of what each article is about and read the one that resonates the most.

Put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes and structure your newsletter in a way that makes it easy to find the best resource in any moment and on any device.

Use minimal, uncluttered design

Your newsletter is rich with content, so it can become cluttered quickly. We’ve talked about copy, but it’s important to consider design, too.

Make sure to use white space liberally and be selective about how much color and additional design elements you’re using. Links should be far enough apart from each other so it’s easy to click on the right link, even on a small smartphone screen.

This email from LastPass is a great example of clarity supported by design, with numbers and alternating section colors:

Use images that support your content (and make them accessible!)

When we talk about images in emails, there are two main points to keep in mind:

  • Only use images that support the written email content (instead of generic stock imagery).
  • Make sure your email doesn’t fully rely on the images.

In other words, good images are those that make your copy even better, but the copy would make sense and convey the message even without the images.

Here’s a great example from Emma’s email about the guest post by Ann Handley:

Ann’s face brightened up the email because it added an even more human element to it—but the email would still make complete sense even without it.

Remember that some of your recipients won’t have images enabled in their email client, so you need to add alt text to your images in case they don’t load. It’s simply the text that will display instead of the image. It will give your subscriber the context even if the image doesn’t load, and it helps those with visual impairments that use screen readers.

Add a main call to action (CTA)

As I mentioned earlier, a clear goal for each newsletter edition will help you pick the best call to action (CTA).

Technically speaking, each of the links you share is a call to action, so it’s important to feature one prominent link or button that is supporting your main goal.

For example, if you shared 7 links to your and third party content, but you want to drive ebook downloads, the ebook CTA needs to be emphasized with copy and design.

Check out this great example of a prominent main CTA from Sister City, a NYC hotel:

Let them unsubscribe

You’ve worked hard to win your subscribers over. But they should still have full control over who shows up in their inbox, which means you should let them unsubscribe if they want to.

Here are some main things to keep in mind when adding your unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails:

  • Make it obvious. Don’t be clever about it—use the actual word ‘unsubscribe.’
  • Offer a way to update preferences. Next to the unsubscribe option, allow them to edit their email preferences (e.g. one email a month instead of weekly).
  • Make the process simple. Don’t make them re-enter their email address or email them to confirm they’re unsubscribing. Ideally, use a simple confirmation page.
  • Ask them why they unsubscribed. On the confirmation page, ask why they unsubscribed with simple answers as their options. This will help you understand your subscribers better!

Start building a newsletter your audience will love

You now have the steps, examples to inspire you, and practical tips to build an email newsletter your ideal readers will want in their inboxes.

By sharing the best educational content and curated tips, you’ll build a list of loyal subscribers, brand ambassadors, and customers that will keep coming back to you.

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Content curation for internal communications: your go-to guide for success

If you’re in charge of your company’s communications, you have a lot on your plate at all times.

You’re handling media relationships, working with your social media team, and monitoring news about your company. You’re also making sure your communications are crisis-ready if needs be.

As we’ve already talked about, you can use content curation to make the job of your communications team significantly easier. With it, you can build a foundation that’s easy to use and allows you to work more efficiently.

There’s even better news: you can use content curation for internal communications, too.

This includes:

  • Engaging your employees
  • Turning employees into company advocates
  • Defining and promoting your company vision internally
  • Sharing industry trends
  • Publishing and promoting company news internally

In this guide, we’re diving into the benefits of content curation for internal communication and tips on creating a central hub for all your internal communication needs.

Benefits of content curation for internal communication

Content curation gained its popularity as a strategy of sharing content from other people and/or companies on social media.

However, it’s an act of selecting, editing, and sharing third-party content with your target audience—and that audience can simply be your company staff.

Here’s how this translates into benefits for your team and the rest of the company.

Build the ultimate place for all company-related content

If news about awards, company updates, or new jobs get sent around the company through emails and instant messages, no one can ever be sure they have the most recent and relevant version of the news.

With content curation, you can regularly add most recent content, update the existing one, and remove outdated pieces. This way, every employee will have the access to the latest:

  • Version of the company values and vision
  • Active job listings
  • Currently scheduled company events
  • New hires
  • Active campaigns and promotions
  • Press coverage
  • Team building plans and ideas

Here’s how an active job listings page might look like:

Having this central hub of internal news and company’s focus will give everyone confidence and peace of mind.

Reduce the time spent on emails

If you’re sending emails or direct messages when sharing a piece of news or asking for a more recent version of an internal company update, you’ll love content curation.

Consider this: sending that message means you have to step away from your work. It also makes your message recipient step away from theirs. This jumping between tasks is called context switching, and it can take up to 25 minutes to resume a task after interruption.

(Image source)

Another downside of sending one message or email after the other? An inbox full of links that’s hard to navigate and makes focusing on the most important work even harder.

With a one-stop solution—a platform with curated content that the right people can reference at the right time—everyone can be more productive and spend less time chasing the right piece of information.

Drive genuine employee advocacy

When your employees know they’re being looked after and kept up to date, they become your company’s ambassador.

Employee advocacy is a winning approach for everyone: engaged employees increase company’s profitability, perform better, and bring more empathy to the workplace.

With content curation, you can keep your employees consistently updated and up-to-speed on everything that’s relevant to their team. In return, they may become more engaged with their own audiences when talking about their work, and help you:

  • With lead generation and sales
  • Recruit top talent
  • Distribute your company’s content
  • Spread the word about causes your company participates in

Want to know more? Make sure to check out this guide on content curation and employee advocacy.

How to curate content for internal communications

You know the why behind content curation for your internal communication processes. In this section, let’s go over some key steps to make content curation easy.

We’ll show you some key features of Scoop.it that will give you the flexibility and efficiency you need.

Build the right topics/content hubs

In the previous section, we’ve mentioned some main areas where content curation can help you keep your company up-to-date. Here’s what this would look like in practice.

Let’s say you’re a software company with 300 employees. Some of your internal communication content hubs might be:

  • Company Culture: add pages and supporting documents about mission statement, vision, and values
  • Product Roadmap: add resources like internal wiki discussions, product mockups, etc. to showcase what’s coming up next
  • We’re Hiring: links to all currently active job postings
  • New Hires: links to profiles and about pages of all new hires from the last 3-6 months
  • Recent Press: links to all articles, videos, podcasts etc. where your company was featured over the last 3 months

In Scoop.it, topics are simply individual pages you can use to group various curated content around a single category. In this use case, you’d create one page per bullet point above, just like this:

The above listed topics should be available to all employees of your company, but there may be cases when certain topics are only relevant and important for specific teams and roles. In each topic’s settings, you can set this up to be as specific as you need it:

Add and review content regularly

Remember that your curated content for internal communication will only be valuable if it’s correct and updated at the time it reaches your employees.

In other words, curating content for this purpose isn’t a one-and-done activity. Instead, make sure you do regular review and maintenance of this content.

For example:

  • Add a recurring task (at least every 2 weeks) to your calendar to review all your topics, remove any updated content, and add most recent versions
  • Publish a simple way for employees to reach out to you in case they notice an expired link or outdated information so you can address it, without it overwhelming your inbox

Bonus tip: You can add members of your team or other employees as authorized curators to a specific topic. This is especially helpful when you need input from other team leads or executives and it will save time both for you and them!

In Scoop.it, this is easy to do in topic settings under Teams:

Share with the right people

Even the best internally curated content won’t be helpful if no one uses your centralized system and keeps emailing you for latest company updates.

In other words, using a tool like Scoop.it as the main place to retrieve important information must become a habit for everyone.

Scoop.it makes it easy for you to help with this process in several ways:

  • Embed your Scoop.it topics on your intranet. This way, everyone can simply bookmark pages most relevant to them and access them at any time.
  • Integrate Scoop.it with networks like Yammer. This makes it easy for employees to communicate as usual, while adding insights and relevant links from relevant topics.
  • Send company-wide or team-specific internal newsletter with the essential updates. This way, your employees can get used to regular, scheduled updates and know they’re always equipped with the most important information.

Measure and keep improving

Finally, you can track all your internal communication efforts in Scoop.it and find opportunities for improvement as you go.

In the Analytics section of each topic page, you can find metrics such as:

  • Overall views, visitors, scoops, reactions, followers, and curators
  • Reach (daily, weekly, monthly), trends over time, location-specific metrics (great if you have remote workers or multiple offices)
  • Engagement such as reactions and followers
  • Top curators (great if you have multiple contributors to your topic pages)
  • Data from Google Analytics

You can also export reports for specific time ranges and metrics, which is useful if you’re meeting with others involved in your internal communications.

Level up your internal communications process

Thanks to content curation, you can have an empowered, confident, always up-to-date workforce.

This will help everyone understand upcoming trends, news, and company growth. It will also bring everyone on the same page when it comes to company values, mission, and big goals going forward.

Want to see how you can do this with Scoop.it? Get a demo of Scoop.it Enterprise and get started within minutes.

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Content curation for communication teams: your guide for external audiences

We talk a lot about content curation and how it can help companies thrive in their industries. We often focus on helping marketers discover and curate the best content possible, as well as on enabling team leaders and executives to drive employee advocacy.

But those aren’t the only roles that can benefit from content curation.

If you’re part of a communications team for your company (including if you’re a one-person team, of course), you’ll love the power of content curation.

Because we know that your job is to keep an eye on dozens of processes at all times:

  • Developing your key company messages
  • Collaboration with your social media team
  • Creating press releases
  • Building and maintaining relationships with journalists and influencers
  • Arranging interviews and responding to media inquiries
  • Monitoring news about your company
  • Crisis preparation

The list goes on.

In this guide, we’ll show you how you can use content curation to build an easy-to-use foundation for all your corporate communications. You’ll be more efficient whenever you need to communicate with the outside world on anything related to your company.

Why content curation works for corporate communications

Many people still see content curation just as an act of sharing third-party content to social media.

While this is part of it (called social content curation), there are many more building blocks, steps, and levels of successfully curated content.

Thanks to these, you can build a content curation strategy in a similar way that marketers do and use it to hit your big-picture goals as a communications officer.

Here’s what’s included in successful content curation:

  • Selecting the content with highest quality and relevance. This means that even though the amount of content on the web is increasing, you have to look for the best content, instead of just adding to the noise.
  • Editing and adding your expertise. Adding insights to curated content helps you provide context for your audience and set the tone as the industry leader.
  • Sharing with the right audiences. Your curated content needs to reach the right people. This could be the general public, but it could be more specific, like a group of journalists, your customers, potential investors, and so on.

When you’re responsible for all of your company’s external communications, keeping track of all the company news, press coverage, interviews, and industry trends can seem overwhelming. Like there’s not enough hours in the day.

This is where powerful content curation practices come in. They help you develop a system—a central place—that works for you and streamlines your efforts to communicate the right messages to the right people.

Here’s an example of Saint-Gobain, one of Scoop.it’s customers, that built this central place for their external communications:

The below steps will show you what it takes to create that system for yourself with the help of Scoop.it.

How to discover the right stories

When it’s time to build a company update for your investors, industry trends for your customers, or a press release about a big company milestone, where do you go to collect this information?

Chances are, you spend some time on Google searching for news articles you’ve already read or for latest industry research papers.

On top of that, you want to be prepared for any potential communication crisis that your company might go through in the future. According to PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2019, types of crises are diverse and they keep companies guessing. It’s becoming more challenging to keep an eye on everything going on.

This is where automated content discovery comes in. Thanks to features in Scoop.it Enterprise, you can track all the information sources you care about without visiting each of them individually.

You can also make sure every piece of content that mentions your company or your products ends up on your feed.

With Content Monitoring, you can create content feeds based on:

  • RSS feeds
  • Twitter user’s feed
  • Feed from a Twitter list
  • YouTube channel uploads

With Research Content, you can set up searches based on one or more terms at once (with modifiers like AND and OR), filter by recency, languages, content format, and even the domain.

 

By automating the mentions of your company in the media, you can stay prepared for any crisis that comes your way, with a safe space to store all the reports you may want to reference later.

How to turn stories into your communication tools

From here, you can add any piece of content into a relevant topic page, which can later serve you as a source for a newsletter, a company update, a press release, and more.

The secret sauce? Adding context to every piece of content you curate.

Here’s how it works in Scoop.it.

In my automated search for recent Scoop.it press mentions, this article came up. It introduces a report about the predictions for the content marketing software market.

After clicking Publish below the listed article, I selected the topic page called Press mentions where I want to add this, and I’ve added an insight that will be useful for another communications team member later on.

If this scoop was passed onto the marketing team, they could quickly grasp the value of this report to use in their own work, too.

When you get into the habit of adding regularly to your library of news articles, press coverage, industry reports, and more, you will complete your tasks faster and free up some time for more creative or demanding work.

How to deliver your stories to the right people

Once you’ve built your central hub for your company’s communication needs, the next step is to deliver the right pieces of content to the right people.

Within Scoop.it, there are three main ways to do that:

  • Web page embedding
  • Email newsletter
  • Social media

Embedding your Scoop.it topics to a web page works really well for curated galleries of industry news, educational reports, open job positions at your company, positive press mentions, and more.

By narrowing your Scoop.it topics and making them specific, you can dedicate each page on your website to a specific purpose by embedding a relevant topic. To match the look of your Scoop.it page to your website, you can use the Customization section and either tweak individual page elements or use one of many available templates.

You can also take web page embedding to the next level and use Scoop.it’s domain hosting feature. This will play in your favor when it comes to SEO and owning your traffic. And if you’re on WordPress, you can use Scoop.it’s WordPress integration.

If you have a list of emails for your external audiences, such as partners, investors, or journalists, you can build them into your Scoop.it recipient lists and turn your curated pieces of content into newsletters.

Want to have a better look into Scoop.it’s newsletter features? Check out this newsletter campaign guide.

Finally, if you work closely with your marketing colleagues, you can collaborate with them on scheduling your scoops to be published on multiple social channels, both from your company’s accounts and pages, as well as team members’ personal accounts when relevant.

Power up your company’s external communications

Now you know: curated content isn’t just a great tool for marketers to build awareness and brand authority. It’s also a powerful way to build a system for any external communication purposes and to centralize your efforts.

You’ll save time, hit communication goals more efficiently, and empower the rest of your company to follow suit and contribute to your efforts.

The result? Your current and potential partners, investors, influencers, and supporters will always get the right piece of information at the right time.

If you’re ready to take your corporate communications to the next level, get a demo of Scoop.it Enterprise and get started within minutes.

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How to Build an Impactful Newsletter For Your Executives and Decision Makers

Think about this paradox:

C-level executives play an important role in their company. They have an overview of the big picture that benefits everyone in the company, and they always consider the best decisions they can make.

At the same time, they are extremely busy and difficult to reach. Their schedules are packed and their attention is needed in dozens of interactions daily. First Round Review reported that 70% of a typical CEO’s schedule is sub-optimal—usually spent in meetings and emails.

If you’re in charge of your company’s marketing and/or communication, it means your messages may not be reaching your executives. They’re the essential decision makers, so the delay on their end makes you miss your deadlines.

The solution? Building an executive-focused newsletter that is:

  • Simple
  • Efficient
  • Visual
  • Instantly impactful

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create highly effective emails to bring the right information to your C-level decision makers’ inboxes.

The features of an effective newsletter for executives

There’s certainly no shortage of advice when it comes to newsletter best practices.

Some say to make your newsletters long and story-driven. Others recommend you make it as short as possible.

There’s also conflicting advice on the number of links and resources you should add.

With a newsletter for your C-level decision makers, there are distinct best practices to keep in mind so that this information actually reaches the audience you intended it for.

Add an opening summary

Open your newsletter with a short paragraph as an overview of what you’re sharing.

This should enable your executives to quickly understand the information you’ve added below without the fine details. A good way to look at it is to consider the outcomes you want them to have instead of the details that led to those outcomes.

Make it easy to pass information onwards

Later on in this guide, we’ll show you how to add articles, reports, and other important content to your newsletter.

But instead of just adding the content as is, you need to add elements that summarize the key points of this content. These are some of those elements:

  • Descriptive headings (to emphasize the value of the piece of content)
  • Short excerpt (to list sections you believe they should focus on)
  • Call to action (to encourage them to do something about what you’re sharing)

With this information, they’ll know whether they need to read a piece of content themselves, pass it onto another team member, draft a public response, and so on.

Include only the pieces of content they truly need

Let’s say you’re sharing an important discovery in your industry: a new research paper, a key trend that was identified, or an important piece of news.

You might be tempted to add 10 sources to showcase just how important this is. Instead of doing that, add just one or a couple that help you make that point. If you follow the previous point, you’ll make it obvious as to why this is essential information.

As a result, your executives will actually read on because their next action is clear. If you provide too many links, they’ll be overwhelmed and not act on any of it!

Ask yourself these questions

Your goal is to avoid filler content and only deliver the messages, links, and takeaways that can make an important impact.

To achieve this, make sure to answer these questions to yourself during the creation of your executive-focused newsletter:

  • What is the objective of my email?
  • Who depends on this information?
  • What do I recommend and hope to see as an outcome?
  • How can I make a great impression?

Everything you add to your newsletter must align with your answers to these questions. The following section will help you achieve that.

Key steps to building a newsletter for executive that works

You want to create newsletters that will help you influence the decision makers in your company. To make it happen in an efficient way that saves both their time and yours, you’ll need a tool that lets you:

  • Find and sort the content you’ll share with your C-suite
  • Build custom recipient lists
  • Create and customize your newsletter
  • Measure the impact of your newsletter

You can do all of this (and more!) with Scoop.it Enterprise. Let’s look at how you can use Scoop.it to make your executive newsletters happen.

1. Find and sort the content you’ll share with your C-suite

You don’t want to be starting from scratch every time you want to deliver important information to your C-suite.

So instead of scouring the internet in search for the best content, you can curate every link (article, video, PDF, and many other formats) you come across inside of your Scoop.it dashboard.

First, you can build relevant categories, or topic pages, inside your Scoop.it account, for example: our company in the press, industry reports, articles about [topic] published this year.

Then, to populate each category with quality content, you can research and monitor content to add to your Scoop.it pages in a few ways.

You can add new content manually as you find it in your day to day work:

You can use the My research content section to set up saved searches and define the criteria for them:

You can also use the Content monitoring feature to generate streams of content based on RSS feeds, tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and more:

2. Build custom recipient lists

To make sure your newsletters are as relevant as possible, ensure you’re only sending them to the people that need to read them.

If you’re trying to reach many decision makers, chances are they can be sorted in more than one group. For example: board executives, team leads, B2B vs B2C managers, and so on.

In the Newsletter module in Scoop.it Enterprise, you can build as many lists as you need to. It’s as simple as naming your list and entering the email addresses that belong to that group.

3. Create and customize your newsletter

To build the actual email you’ll be sending, you can:

  • Use a template we’ve created specifically for you
  • Create a template yourself
  • Use your previous newsletter to create a new one (after you’ve sent some)

Once you’re in the builder, you can work on your email content and select the content you want by using topics and filters on the left.

Follow the tips we’ve outlined earlier to write an actionable summary and edit the headlines and descriptions of the pieces of content you add. You can easily do that by clicking Edit next to every scoop you drag and drop into your email.

Go through every headline to make sure it aligns with what you’ve promised in the introduction of your email. Review the colors you want to use and the title of your email in the Style and Parameters tabs.

4. Measure the impact of your newsletter

Finally, look at how your executives and decision makers respond to your emails.

Remember, they’re busy—it may take them a bit longer to get to your email, and they may not necessarily respond to you. That doesn’t mean your email didn’t do its job!

This is why the earlier point of knowing the objective of your email comes in. Do they need to just open your email to get the key information? Read a certain piece of content? Forward your email to someone?

For every email you send from Scoop.it, you can see analytics such as:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Number of opens and unique opens
  • Number of clicks and unique clicks
  • Number of clicks on scoops
  • Number of unsubscribes

You can also click on the number of recipients and see opens, clicks, and unsubscribes for each of your recipients.

Based on this, you can review your newsletters and improve future versions of it.

Conclusion

Has this guide given you inspiration on all the ways you can drive important conversations with your decision makers? Study the tips and answer those important questions before you plan and send your newsletter, and you’ll set yourself up for success.

If you liked the way Scoop.it can help you do this, make sure to get a demo of Scoop.it Enterprise and start reaching those decision makers so you can drive meaningful actions.

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