On the surface, a DJ spinning records for throngs of intoxicated partiers and a content marketer figuring out how to best drive traffic online seem to have nothing in common. One sparks imagery of booze and young people. The other, coffee and spreadsheet reports. But what if I told you that the two jobs are beginning to share more similarities than you might think?
If you want to be a successful content marketer, embrace quality content curation: approach your job more like a DJ!
An important part to a successful content marketing strategy is high quality content creation. Original articles, videos and/or photos go a long way in both SEO and organic social growth. However, finding relevant content from other sources (like a DJ downloading music produced by other artists) is equally important in growing your authority.
Practice Content Curation, Not Content Stitching
Don’t get this confused with content stitching, or the act of copying content from other sites and putting it all together to make “new” content. The point of being a content DJ is to add new value and fresh perspective to a topic, not cut and paste the thoughts of someone else without also providing your own take on the issue.
The internet is rife with spammy content and Google is doing what they can to penalize those sites. With spammy guest blogging receiving bigger penalties from Google now than before, social will continue to gain weight in SEO. So it makes sense that if you’re sharing valuable content on social networks (even if the content is not yours) and earning interactions, that your online authority will be rewarded.
Finding relevant content from other sources (like a DJ downloading music produced by other artists) is equally important in growing your authority.
Don’t just be a “Content Creator”, be a “Content DJ”
With so much content being created and published online daily, one of the biggest challenges on the internet is sorting through all of it and finding the right content that fits the need at that moment. The right content needs to be surfaced. That’s why the next big movement in inbound marketing will thus see an added emphasis on content CURATION in addition to creation.
Note: creating original content will NEVER be a bad idea, so keep doing it if you are and if you aren’t, start already!
In the new age of inbound marketing, marketers must move from content creators to content DJs.
Here are 3 ways in which marketers should practice content curation like content DJs.
1. Balance between hits and originals.
In addition to having a tremendous music library, some DJs also create their own original songs. These original tracks are part of their show rotation but they also regularly rely on “the hits.” You know, the songs that are time-tested to get people dancing/singing. Think “Don’t Stop Believin’” or “Sexy Back.”
As content marketers, we need to also find a healthy balance of original and curated content. Create original content to add your own perspective to a hot issue or curate a high-quality video, article or infographic when content you agree with already exists… or you just don’t have time. There’s no shame in not owning the byline! As long as you’ve helped your followers find useful content and progressed the conversation, your marketing plan is working. Which leads us to…
2. Keep people talking by feeling out the room.
Or in this case, the internet. A truly skilled DJ can read a room, feel out the vibes and play the tunes a crowd needs to hear before the crowd even knows they need to hear them! Content curation works the same way.
If Twitter is ablaze with SEOs talking about how to move forward with SEO after the death of guest blogging, you could craft an article about the SEO techniques that have worked for you outside of guest blogging or share an infographic on guest blogging the right way. The key takeaway here is that any content that contributes new perspectives to a hot issue or relevant calls to action will do more for your followers than continual self-promotion of your blog content.
Any content that contributes new perspectives to a hot issue or relevant calls to action will do more for your followers than continual self-promotion of your blog content.
3. Perfect a small handful of tools to do your job.
DJs are intimately familiar with the equipment they use. Whether it be turntables, CDJs, or whatever… a DJ is a master of his/her tools. Content marketers should also be intimately familiar with the tools they use.
For exploring the blogosphere for example, I know I can rely on Bloglovin’. For curating social media content, I turn to HootSuite. And for scheduling my content DJing, I use Buffer. Find tools and practice until you’re so comfortable with them that they become second nature.
Last year, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield took the internet by storm with videos of what life is like in space and even a music video, “Space Oddity”! Commander Hadfield’s son, Evan, was the content DJ and brains behind the successful content marketing strategy.
One of the tools Evan used to market his dad’s very unique content was HootSuite. Evan Hadfield on the HootSuite blog: “It [HootSuite] allows me to simultaneously check responses to Dad while updating answers on my account… it has provided me with a lot of time-saving capacities I would be at a loss without.”
It’s easy to get frustrated or overwhelmed by a content marketing strategy. However, good content DJs know they can relieve their stress and achieve a campaigns full potential with the right tools.
So, now that we understand what it means to spin content curation like a content DJ, what does it actually look like? Let’s take a look at a few brands that exemplify the qualities of a content DJ.
Examples of Content DJs in Action
When it comes to content marketing, few companies have got it down quite like GoPro. Content shared across GoPro social media get reshared hundreds of times by followers. The kicker is that the content is almost completely curated from customers.
Check out this photo shared from the GoPro Twitter account:
This photo was taken by a regular GoPro customer with a GoPro camera. Once curated and shared with their following, GoPro reached 327 retweets, almost 500 favorites and a handful of replies. Massive exposure from a free picture that GoPro found and shared. Simple.
If GoPro had a blog, they could use the curated content to create their own “original” articles and really drive traffic, similar to BuzzFeed. For example, GoPro could curate a handful of pictures taken underwater with their equipment and craft a blog post that would be sure to get reshared across social, similar to BuzzFeed (discussed below).
Train travel isn’t dead. In fact, it’s doing quite well! In the 2013 fiscal year, Amtrak recorded the highest number of riders since it started carrying passengers in the 70s. How did they manage to do this?
A large part of Amtrak’s recent success has to do with their content marketing strategy. Amtrak heavily relies on writers, photographers and videographers to document their train travels and share the beauties of traveling via Amtrak with their respective followings. Over the course of 2013 Amtrak sponsored a handful of blogger trips from which they will continue to curate content from.
Check out this photo taken from a blogger’s Amtrak-sponsored trip along the west coast and curated for the Amtrak Facebook page.
The photo reached over 1,000 likes and was shared over 100 times. Consider the fact that this photo was posted over 6 months after the trip was taken, and it’s clear to see the long term value of content curation.
Unlike GoPro, Amtrak regularly uses curated content on their blog with links to relevant train and ticketing pages, thus driving sales directly from content. Being a content DJ means keeping your fans intrigued with high-quality content but you also have a responsibility to drive sales whenever possible! A great content DJ can use original and curated content to progress company revenue goals.
A great content DJ can use original and curated content to progress company revenue goals.
If it weren’t for content created by other people, BuzzFeed would not exist. What the regularly viral site essentially does is curate content that fits a post topic then they optimize the headline to maximize social shares.
In this post titled “30 Catastrophic Russian Wedding Photos,” no picture featured was taken by BuzzFeed staff. Instead, Russian wedding photos were curated from across the web and shared under a descriptive and intriguing headline with source attributes throughout. With over 730,000 Twitter followers as of this post, BuzzFeed is easily one of the best content DJs around!
In what other ways do you see content marketing starting to resemble being a DJ? Share your thoughts on content curation below!