The Golden Ratio – A ‘Magic Formula’ for Engaging Content
Curation vs creation
To some, the thought of creating quality content – even once in a while – is painful. To churn it out a few times a day, every day, may be downright terrifying.
But the fact is, if you aren’t producing good content, don’t bother producing it at all.
If you’re publishing low quality content, all you’re doing is tarnishing your brand, undermining any other marketing your team may be doing really well.
Your content marketing doesn’t consist only of your own original content. You can also share any content that adds value to your market.
It’s usually not a good idea to share the stuff your direct competition is putting out. You’ll find plenty of other sources whose material will be valuable to your audience.
Sharing material from these other sources is called ‘curating’. It’s a great way to stay relevant and add value – without having to do a lot of work in the process.
Content curation is simple. You – or your team – are likely to be experts in your industry. You probably have an eye for what information is relevant. You understand your customer and their needs. So you can probably identify the information that’s both relevant and valuable to them.
Content curation is simply leveraging your own industry expertise to find the good stuff that’s out there and then sharing it with your followers, as you or your team comes across it.
Done right, content curation achieves four valuable strategic goals.
The four core objectives of curation
1/ You save your audience time
2/ You show your customers that you understand their needs
3/ You gain ‘permission’ to continue sending them content, by their ‘follows’ and ‘subscriptions’
4/ You build trust, ensuring that when they’re ready to buy they think of you – not your competition
To curate or to create?
The great advantage of curating over creating is that it takes a lot less time. Just browse existing content and share what’s good. Creating your own content takes time and effort – but offers two great benefits:
1/ You’re adding more value because your material is tailored to your own target audience
2/ The content is branded with your brand and therefore evidence of your expertise
The key is to find the right balance between the two. An effective mix of creating and curating material is essential to a robust content marketing strategy. The weighting of curation to creation will usually be heavier on the curation for optimum reach. Let’s look in a little more detail.
The Golden Ratio
Some years back a good guideline was the 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing, proposed by TA McCann. The rule stated that for every 10 updates you post to a social media channel,
- 5 should be content from others, relevant to your audience
- 3 should be content from you, relevant to your audience—and not a sales pitch
- 2 should be personal, non-work related content to humanize you and/or your brand
That rule is a few years old now. As more and more rubbish piles up in cyberspace, a lot of created or curated by robots – human content curation is becoming ever more important.We lean towards a rough ‘Golden ratio’.
That is to say, we’ll target a ratio of around 6:3:1 for curation pieces, created pieces and personal pieces. It’s best to test different combinations and weighting to see where you’re getting the most traction.
Luckily you can analyse the finest detail of your campaigns and get a good idea of what sort of ratio works best for you. And regardless whether you’re creating or curating, you can automate a lot of the work involved. More on that in another post.