We spend hours every month writing informed, well-researched articles on our client's’ behalf. We don’t outsource articles to a machine geared to write accurate yet somewhat vague articles stuffed with just the right keywords. We do our own keyword research, create article topics, interview our clients or other experts in the subject and write the articles.
Now that I’ve tooted our own horn a little, my point is we understand the pain and time it takes to create great, custom content. Unless you are fortunate enough to be hired for the sole purpose of writing blog articles for your company, you likely don’t have time to put together a great article every single day of the week.
So what’s a company to do when they have a lot of great resources and information but lack the time to write everything they want to write? Or, they know another great voice in the industry has said exactly what they wanted to say better than they could say it? The solution could be aggregating content. Here’s how it works.
You read journals, visit industry blogs, download reports and ingest whitepaper information every week. It’s how you stay current on industry trends and provide your constituents or customers your best services. When you read a piece that resonates with you (and you wish you had written it or could steal the content because it’s just so good), take a few minutes to write out your thoughts about the piece.
Maybe you write a couple of sentences or a couple of paragraphs, whatever it takes to introduce the article and pull out what’s important to you about it. Post the summary as a blog or article on your website and link to the original article you read. Double check to make sure you’ve included a few of the most important keywords. And make sure the link to the article opens in another window (very important to ensure your readers return to your site after they read the article).
Aggregating news or industry updates for your staff, donors, board members and anyone else who checks out your website or social media pages allows them to keep up with what’s happening without having to scour the web to find the right information. In an age of fake news sources, determining what is actually true and what isn’t can be difficult for anyone not on the inside of your industry.
Before you start throwing up news articles on your website, create a list of reliable, industry trusted resources where you can pull information. Add to that a list of criteria other sources need to meet in order to be considered as reliable and trustworthy. These guidelines keep you from being tempted to share really powerful stories that have no provable background---and it protects your organization’s integrity.
Once you’ve published your news aggregation summary on your website, share it on social media as well. On Twitter, thank the person or publication who originally published the article by tagging them or adding “via @[inserttheirtwittertag]”. You can do the same if they are on Facebook as well. Now you’ve shared a link to your website, given credit where it’s due and drawn attention to your organization from someone else in the industry.
Should you only aggregate news and never share your own articles? It’s kind of a grey area there. We have one client who rarely has original articles written. Their news articles are used as a way to increase credibility within their industry. Other clients use a mix of aggregated news and custom articles. Do what makes sense for your organization.
As always, pay attention to the analytics. Are people actually clicking through to the articles? Are they increasing your organic search visits? Are those visiting staying longer and reading more? If the news you aggregate isn’t making a positive impact on your social media or website traffic, it may not be worth the time it takes to put it all together. Give the tactic time, however, because it can take six months or more to see a positive impact, especially through organic search visits.
Aggregating news as part of your nonprofit marketing plan can increase your credibility, boost website traffic, improve SEO and save you time. It’s a win-win.