Blogging for your business is an important part of establishing your company as an industry thought leader, bringing in new site traffic, and converting that traffic into leads and customers.
And while posts about an esteemed latest hire or an exciting product update are important pieces to help your readers keep up with company culture, the most impactful posts will be about your industry as a whole. But for marketers to pull back, assess current industry events, and provide a unique, helpful, practical take, it requires a certain amount of content curation. That curation sometimes turns into content on its own, or it simply helps inform marketers so they can create content that's up to date (cutting edge, even).
With that goal in mind, here are several quick ways to curate content for your industry blog. Use it to inform your content, find good topics, and add examples to the posts you're writing.
1) Use Reader Services
There are a number of reader services that curate content for you by pulling in blog posts from all over the web. After a quick morning flip-through, it's easy to understand industry trends with everything all in one place. Some of the two most popular are Feedly and Digg, though there are certainly other options, too. Here's a how-to for adding content to those two platforms:
Search keyword, business, or industry and select “matching feeds.”
Click “+Feedly” to add feed to your curated dashboard.
Search URL to add content.
Click “Add” to add feed to your curated dashboard.
2) Follow Trade Show Blogs
Trade show blogs are some of the best places to find content, because they give good signals as to what's changing in your industry and what trends you should keep reading more about. Even though trade shows are historically an offline lead generation source, they are becoming increasingly more inbound by providing attendees with industry blog content year round.
3) Monitor Social News Streams
The mighty hashtag was literally created to track trends, so it's not surprise it's an excellent source of curating content for your blog. Broad tags like "#tech" or "#consulting" will give you general news, but getting more detailed will give you more detailed information. This blog post, "How to Do Keyword Research," will be helpful in understanding how to approach selecting the right Twitter hashtags from which to curate.
You'll also end up inherently identifying some excellent Twitter accounts to follow when you start doing this hashtag curation. Identify the experts that provide the best content on Twitter -- these are often the people who are doing a lot of blogging themselves on the subject matters you care about. Create Twitter Lists of these folks, and also look into who they are following to find even more fantastic content.
If you're a HubSpot customer, you'll find monitoring hot topics on social easier using Social Inbox. You can use it to create an in-platform news stream when certain keywords are mentioned to help you easily scan for the latest industry news.
4) Set Up Google Alerts
Google Alerts scour the web for new mentions of specified keywords, and sends you an email notification with a link to that mention. So if you're looking for updates on, say, inbound marketing -- you can get pinged every time new content on the subject is published.
Here's an example of how to set up an alert for “inbound marketing” in Google Alerts:
You can always click “manage alerts” to edit or delete an alert, too:
5) Follow Folks on LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn feed is probably hopping with industry news, and it's a fantastic platform to tap into to stay in the know. You can not only read what individuals are posting, but check out Group and Companies, as well -- two treasure troves of industry information.
To start receiving updates on the regular, make your life easier and follow a Company Page.
If the content you're interested in is largely in the many Groups on LinkedIn, select to be notified when there's Group activity so you can check in.
6) Check Out Forums -- May I Suggest Quora?
Forums take more effort to dig through, but can be a great source of undiscovered industry content. This medium can be a place where customers come to praise or scold industry providers (yikes), or where industry providers get feedback on ideas. What's great about forums is that it helps you keep your pulse on what people are talking about -- so you know what you should be writing about.
You can search for industry-specific forums, but I'd check out Quora for starts. It's an already-active platform, so there's plenty of existing content to comb through.
7) Read and Subscribe to Other People's Blogs
Your industry includes more than just direct or indirect competitors -- though you should be reading those blogs, too. In every single industry, there are complementary tools, software, hardware, or infrastructure.
Think about what your company does, and what products or services a buyer would likely purchase in addition to yours. Let's use HubSpot as an example, since we talked about Social Inbox earlier in the post. We provide software that (among other things) helps marketers get better at social media marketing. So it's important that we read blogs from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to stay up to date on what's going on with those platforms. We also read blogs from agencies, because many of our customers use agencies to help them with certain aspects of their business. Finding the blogs of these companies helps us identify the content we should write about, and stay in tune with our customers' needs.
What shortcuts have you set up for yourself to make curation of industry content easier? Share your tips with us in the comments!