30/70: New Year, New Rules, New Tools

2017 might the year content curation goes from being a tactic to a strategy


This year I think native or original content production is going to take an interesting direction because each platform seems to be extending the ability to aggregate, re-purpose or re-use (read: RE-MARKET), content in some way. In other words: content curation is now a strategy.

Medium itself allows you to do that in some capacity — whether it’s the IMPORT STORY function, or the simple act of recommending. However, the product has never been rooted in curating on an individual level. Facebook has had Notes for some time now, and it’s rarely used, though it competes with LinkedIn Publish and Medium. Facebook’s timeline is still prime real estate for curating though Notes can easily elevate it. Twitter has Moments, which is very similar to Storify, and if used in the right way, can capture a great footprint of tweets.

This Isn’t New

Aggregating or re-sharing other people’s content is nothing new. For many media companies that still rely on listicles or photo galleries, collecting images from the web is still an instrumental part of their bottom line (clicks + page views = $). Tumblr also helped pioneer this with their re-blog function. Twitter let you share or retweet stories and other people’s tweets. Everything was gravy so long as you gave credit to the source. The rise of re-gramming on Instagram also perpetuated this. Why create scrape the creativity in your brain to create a ratchet meme, when you can just LIKE and re-gram one?

This is why I feel we’ve entered an age when original content production, though inherently valuable, may not even be a mandatory anymore depending on your objectives. Last year, I had the honor and privilege to be provided with tutelage from Nunzio G Esposito, who often communicated to my digital marketing class that change was an inevitable part of marketing — whether it is for ourselves or part of an organization. What makes this even more confusing is the fact that where we create our content is also a channel, which can either devalue the content, or devalue our need to make more original content.

Here’s a more high context example:

(Via MTV Australia’s Facebook Page)

So to give you some context, this is a video from Inside Quest, which specializes in fireside chats and discussions intended to engage millennials. For whatever reason, the video above with Simon Sinek, gained more traction in the last few weeks despite it’s release in September of 2016.

MTV’s Australia branch made their own version of the video, formatted for consumption on Facebook.

A lower context example can be simply re-sharing the video on your own Facebook timeline. In the former example, MTV didn’t create the franchise from scratch — they used available footage and edited for their own purpose. The latter would have users share it themselves, whether on a public or private Facebook timeline. The bigger question is: if you are someone that watched this video, did you discover it on Facebook or on YouTube?

In either case, the need to create something 100% original is lost.

So Who Owns the Content?

Technically, Inside Quest, but in the realm of strategy, it’s hard to say. The best way to understand this goes back to…

Content is King, Context is Queen (She Slays) & Personal Objectives Vs. Organizational Objectives

I work pretty closely with Amanda McCormick and she abides by the 30/70 rule. It states that you should only spend 30% of your content on self-promotion, while 70% should go towards storytelling. For example, if you spend all day taking selfies you would probably lose followers. However, if you took selfies, and added detailed info about what transpired leading up to the seflie, maybe incorporate a few Snap-agrams and did this consistently without being redundant, than you might get a different result.

A more meta example is this blog post; I spent probably less than 30% of this referring to myself, but a majority of it speaking about an industry trend.

Here’s why content curation becomes key: it adds context. Whether you are at a large organization or just trying to put together things that best represent you, you need to put them all into context. I ran into this personally last year, and to be frank, a lot of people that are good at group structures may flail at self-branding. Only recently did I get greater clarity and have since created two unique funnels to showcase my work. Both overlap at a certain point, but each express different sides of me: The Jordan YR franchise is a bit more personal and I am less inclined to update it (30%), while Content Marketing Outlaw is mostly shared content (the 70%) and exists primarily on Facebook.

If your personal objectives include showcasing what you are as a digital marketer, than re-sharing content

So Why Did I Write This?

Because maybe there’s a student who will be taking a digital marketing class with little idea as to what their options are. When that happens, I would refer back to the 30/70 rule, and don’t sweat producing a lot of original stuff. There are other out-of-the-box methods of drawing attention to yourself and your digital persona without doing much work. This may sound like I am promoting laziness but really I am trying to emphasize curating content to tell a story — even if the content isn’t technically your own.

So, for my fellow Integrated Marketing majors…

If you like writing, here are my recommendations…

  1. Facebook Notes

Notes is highly underutilized. Even though it’s just a re-hash of all the other social blogging platforms, it’s a wonder why more publishers don’t attempt to create more community around it. Somewhere in between watching food videos, I’m sure you will find it within yourself to read a short note.

2. LinkedIn Publishing

Another slept on platform that, despite it becoming a weird soiree of thought leaders who all seem to enjoy editing and writing about other thought leader-y things, is easy to use.

It should be noted that in the case of Facebook and LinkedIn these are both channels which to receive content, but these innovations also make it a way to publish content.

3. Medium

If you’re reading this, than you get the idea.

If you’re into curating other people’s content…

  1. Twitter Moments

Personally, I think this is one of those products that, once developed right, can be interesting and useful. Whether you want to showcase the funniest comments on Twitter about a football team, or just scouring for interesting status updates, you can create a decent paper trail for all to enjoy.

2. YouTube Playlists

It came to me recently that if you don’t have time to produce your own videos, creating your own playlists is a great way to engage and show off your interests. For those interested in intersections of marketing, creating playlists representative of that can help drive interest to who you are as a brand.

3. Spotify Playlists

This may seem like a weird choice, but if this is about marketing yourself, what better way to do so than sharing some playlists. I wouldn’t rely on this solely (I would actually supplement this with a YouTube channel) but if you want to show off your personality, music is always a great way to do so.

4. Tumblr or Pinterest

Not a top choice but folks still enjoy reblogging and writing here and there. If you think you can represent who you are in quotes and pictures, go for it.

5. Storify

Allows you to curate comments from Twitter or Facebook. Effective if there are certain topics you want cover eg “The Best Comments from CES 2017.”

6. Paper.li

I saw a a Paper.li from Alisha Outridge and noticed it contained content she found from across the web that caught her attention. For those looking to directly serve content this micro-newsletter product might be your best bet.

The best part about all of this is that once you have at least two or three of these things laid, you can calmly link them to your website or hub page for easy reference.

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