Wednesday, 19 February 2014

5 Tips to Curate Creative Content: Identify, Inform, Inspire!

User-Generated Content within Social Media and the technological world is a topic currently being raved about alongside 'Visual Content'. User-generated content was a topic covered and discussed recently on my Squared Online course, so I thought I would expand on this subject and offer 5 of my own tips for successful content.

What is User Generated Content (UGC)?
All digital media technologies are included, such as question-answer databases, digital video, blogging, podcasting, forums, review-sites, social networking, social media, mobile phone photography and wikis. UGC can constitute only a portion of a website. For example, there are sites where the majority of content is prepared by administrators, but numerous user reviews of the products being sold are submitted by regular users of the site. (Source: Wikipedia)
User-generated content has been the latest to gain attention from the masses and for a very good reason. Here are some interesting statistics: 

In 60 seconds...
  • 2 million searches are made on Google
  • 204 million e-mails are sent
  • 278,000 tweets are made
  • 2.4 billion Facebook updates are made
  • 72 hours of YouTube video is uploaded.
All of the above activity happens every single minute. User-generated content is becoming king of all internet content. With the vast amount of data and new content created every day, how do you 'put your 2 cents in?' and make sure you get noticed. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this and their is no proven formulae for guaranteed traffic, but there are a number of steps you can do to make sure your content ranks up there alongside piers.

5 Tips to Curate Creative Content

1. Identify Your Audience
As mentioned in my previous blog post: Keeping Current: Blogging | Sign Me Up, Scotty!, it is important to determine your audience and cater your content accordingly. If you are reaching out to an 18-21 year old audience, tailor your use of language accordingly. If your audience is a creative team of like-minded Marketeers (like my fellow Squared classmates!) then posts that provide useful and interesting information is always well received.

2. Be Informative
People are forever on the quest to read more, see more and learn more. If you can offer to your audience something they haven't already seen, something they don't already know and something that in itself informs them on a mutually interesting topic, they will be back for more or be inclined to share your information with others. People like to make informed decisions. If you can inform in the right way, they will appreciate and be grateful for the curation of your content.

3. Inspire!
A post that makes people question the way they do something currently, that makes them ask the question, 'can I do this differently?' will help inspire people to do great things. Inspiration is an amazing tool. Next time you get stuck or feel like their is no solution, just think to yourself... 
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover." –Mark Twain
4. Be Knowledgeable
Create content around something you have a passion and something you are knowledgeable in. If you own a fishing shop, then write about the best places to fish, the best season to go, the best equipment to use. Your audience will question your authenticity if you go on to discuss the best stocks and shares to purchase on the london stock exchange, the latest colours in this years clothes fashion, the best way to cook a wild boar. This is unrelated to your speciality and the readers may question exactly how much of this information came from you, how much of it they should trust or going back to point 1, it may be completely unrelated and have no interest to your target audience.

5. Be Unique
Does your content come straight from the heart, or it something you have created to demonstrate your 'copy-and-paste' skills? Newspapers are well known for repeating information already readily available, readers will end up seeing similar or the same information again and again and this really doesn't help them! Their attention span is reduced, they may become uninterested and search elsewhere for original content. Make it your own, put your own touch on it and press on. Keep it unique!

6 Interesting Statistics on User Generated Content
  • Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70% of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform. (Source: Nielsen)
  • 83% of all holiday shoppers are influenced by customer reviews. (Source: ChannelAdvisor
  • When asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product” 71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence. (Source: Harris Interactive)
  • 59% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (Source: Balihoo)
  • 83% of consumers say it would be important to read user-generated content before making a decision about banking or other financial services. (Source: Bazaar Voice)
  • Consumers between 25 and 54 years old were the biggest content drivers, contributing 70% of all UGC. (Source: Bazaar Voice)
Further Reading

A fantastic article I read, published by one of my fellow Squared Online classmates was by +Eleanna Smpokou, who wrote an article entitled "Making your content (into a) king: The 4 dimensions". Spend five minutes absorbing the fantastic points Eleanna makes. Take a read HERE.

What tips do you have to attract reader attention? Do you have a view on user-generated content? It would be great to hear your thoughts, post in the comment box below. Thanks!