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More and more organizations, large and small, are using curation to complement their created content strategy. Content curation is when an individual (or team) consistently finds, organizes, annotates and shares the most relevant and highest quality digital content on a specific topic for their target market. According to our most recent study, first-class marketers only create 65% of content, the remainder being 25% curated and 10% syndicated.
Top drivers for content curation are: limited staff & budget, the ability to publish quality content consistently, discovering credible third-party sources and establishing thought leadership – to name a few. Not to mention content curation helps organizations increase site traffic and drive a higher quality and quantity of leads.
Here’s a rundown of how 360Chestnut, a startup in Cambridge, MA, uses curation to solve their content marketing challenges, publish great content and increase their bottom line.
Who is 360Chestnut
360Chestnut connects energy efficient contractors and homeowners, providing energy saving incentives and rebates to customers in Massachusetts and the Tri-state area. Their mission is to create a more knowledgeable green efficiency community, while developing trusting relationships with homeowners and contractors alike. With the growing concern for the environment and an increase in green-home initiatives, more people are looking to save energy, live healthier and do it all cost-effectively.
Harold Simansky is 360Chestnut’s founder and CEO. He and his team understand that the best way to grow their business is to share compelling green-home information with potential customers. This includes information on the incentives and rebates in energy efficient solutions in their area, as well as how consumers can incorporate these solutions into their homes.
Content Marketing Challenges
Because 360Chestnut is startup with limited budget and staff, they faced a challenge in pushing out enough created content to keep readers engaged and attract new customers. Before implementing a content curation strategy, they were only able to publish new content once or twice a week.
In addition, their single location in Massachusetts made it difficult for 360Chestnut to discover green incentives and rebates outside of New England, as well as publish on region-specific information that they weren’t experts on – like a new energy efficient heating & cooling system in Virginia, for example. Much of this information is highly localized and difficult to keep track of without a large staff.
There’s no doubt that 360Chestnut is a leader in their industry, but their 100% created content strategy wasn’t allowing the startup to reach a wide audience and provide these readers with diverse information from various credible sources. The team knew it was critical to drive potential customers to a blog that offered thought leadership in order to provide the most relevant information on green-initiative home projects. This, in parallel with the implementation of a multichannel promotion strategy, would allow 360Chestnut to reach more customers.
Curation in Action
To solve these challenges, 360Chestnut implemented Curata’s curation tool into their content strategy to discover green home rebates and incentives across the country, publish topic-specific content daily and help their blog become a go-to source of information. Their blog is now populated with original, created content as well as high quality, relevant curated content.
Curata provides a feed of relevant, high quality content, allowing the team at 360Chestnut to hand-pick the pieces they want to publish for readers. To provide even more value for these potential customers, the team annotates these curated articles with their own knowledgeable insights and opinions before sharing them through multiple channels (blog & social media platforms) with one click in order to reach a wider reader base.
Once 360Chestnut picks an article to curate for their audience, they use ethical best practices to annotate, optimize and publish the content. These best practices include a new title & image, introducing the reader to the curated content, providing unique insights and clearly attributing the content to the original source. Here’s an example of a curated blog post from the 360Chestnut Blog:
Not only does curation allow 360Chestnut to discover and publish on a wide variety of high quality content on a consistent basis, but they’ve also been able to increase their time to market by publishing curated articles on energy efficient homes in real-time instead of having to craft a new article from scratch.
The team at 360Chestnut is now able to publish content five to seven times per week, provide information from knowledgeable third-party sources on topics they aren’t experts on and find green incentives and rebates across the country using Curata’s discovery engine.
The content that populates their curated feed also provides fodder for created content ideas. They’re able to see what type of information is trending and what will best resonate with their readers. This information can be turned into engaging original articles that can be complemented with related curated pieces.
“We’re getting a much higher quality of visitors to the site as a result of great content. We’ve seen a 40 percent increase in marketing leads since Curata’s installation,” says Simansky. The startup has also seen at 20 percent increase in Twitter followers due to the increase in content.
Curation has also allowed 360Chestnut to collect ideas from their knowledgeable staff. Curata’s bookmarklet allows users to crowdsource content across their organization, as well as with external parteres. With content curation, the content manager or resident writer doesn’t have to be the sole contributor. This is great for organizations for which hiring more team members may break the bank.
360Chestnut is able to leverage content curation to improve their content marketing strategy, consistently publish valuable content for their readers and ultimately increase leads.