By Pawan Deshpande, CEO, HiveFire
Last year my company, HiveFire Inc., shared the results from our B2B Marketing Trends survey and found that 82 percent of marketers are incorporating content curation – the process of finding, organizing, and sharing online content – as part of their overall content marketing strategy. (Click through to this recent post titled “Content May Be King” for more content curation definitions and trends.) The fact that this represents a notable increase (up from 48 percent) from the Content Curation Adoption survey that we issued earlier that year sent a strong message that curation is gaining favor amongst marketers.
Although we’d established that a large group of marketers were utilizing content curation as a tactic, there hasn’t been a study issued that has attempted to understand how, and why, those efforts are paying off. For our Curation Habits Report, we analyzed over one million articles curated by our customers to identify which curation methods drive the highest engagement rates and identified some interesting trends.
Original Content vs. Third-Party Content
On average, approximately 87 percent of curated content are third-party articles and 13 percent are original content. Additionally, on sites where there is a mix of original and third-party content, original content receives approximately 17 percent more click-thru activity. So what’s the optimal ratio for original content? Curated sites that have between 16-30 percent original generate the most pageviews.
Capturing Reader Attention
Throughout the analysis, it became clear that there are several ways that curators can draw attention to their content. For starters, articles that included a picture generated 47 percent more click-thru activity than articles without. Additionally, medium snippets (between 141 and 1,200 characters) generate 20 percent more click-thru activity than small snippets (140 characters or less) for any given curated site.
Another key factor in driving engagement was posting frequency. Sites that are updated daily generate 18 percent more click-thru activity than those updated weekly. We saw this trend in email newsletters and social media as well, higher click-thru volume went to those channels that were updated daily rather than weekly.
Newsletter Growth and Engagement
Email newsletter growth is significantly impacted by how discerning the curators were. For example, curators that published less than 50 percent of the articles in their queue saw an average of 12 percent quarter over quarter growth in their newsletter lists. Curators that published more than 50 percent of the articles in their line-up saw less than half that growth, only five percent. Snippet length also played a role in email newsletter engagement. On average, medium length snippets generated nine percent more click-thru activity than small snippets and 106 percent more click-thru activity than large snippets (more than 1,200 characters).
The bottom line is that content curation is here to stay and more and more marketers are looking to identify best practices to maximize their efforts. Interested in checking out the first of its kind look at curation habits and activity? The full Curation Habits report is available for download here.
Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of HiveFire, Inc., where he oversees the company’s vision, management and product strategy, and leads the firm’s advanced development initiatives. Pawan has held software engineering positions at Microsoft and Google and was awarded patents in social networking and natural language processing areas. Pawan earned his S.B. and M. Eng. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.