Along with your own original content, content curation is a key aspect of any content marketing strategy. When done right, curation can improve your SEO, establish your credibility as a thought leader, support lead generation and nurturing, and complement social media and blogging.
Most importantly, if you don’t have the time, staff, or budget to publish enough content — curation is an efficient way to fill your content calendar. So, what is content curation exactly? Keep reading to find out the answer to that question, along with why it matters for your small business.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation is the process of searching for and collecting online content and presenting the best pieces in a structured and meaningful way. It doesn’t involve creating new content, but rather discovering and compiling existing content written by industry experts and sharing it with your online followers.
Think of it like an art gallery, where many complementary and relevant pieces come together for enthusiasts to easily view all at once.
It’s also important to note that content curation is NOT:
- Content Farming: Generating lots of content heavy laid with keywords and not written for human audiences to consume.
- Scraping: Copying content from other sites and publishing it on your own site as if you wrote it. This is also known as plagiarism.
- Aggregation: Gathering of articles on a similar topic that are grouped together by software. This information has a high likelihood of content that may be irrelevant as a whole for normal consumption.
- Licensed Content: Paying an author to get their permission to republish original content.
Why Content Curation Matters
- Stay Informed: Curating and sharing content means you are reading and watching to see what’s happening in the industry. You have your ear to the ground and are looking for ways to best serve your audience — meaning you’re staying on top of your game.
- Recognition as an Expert: Being seen as a thought leader is incredibly important. Others build an impression of your business by what you deem worthy or important based on your knowledge. Curating content is one aspect of your stay-on-top-of-mind campaign for being seen as an expert in your field.
- Ease of Use: Creating content is a required piece of your content marketing strategy. However, writing blog posts, making videos, or creating loads of social posts takes time and energy. Many just don’t have the bandwidth to sustain constant creation. It’s important to share something excellent already created for you as it keeps the conversation going.
- Grow Your Network: When helping others, others help you. Sharing and curating content can help you make connections with leaders and influencers in your industry.
- Grow Your Business: If you got something worth saying, you’ve got people’s attention. The more relevant, helpful content you share, the more eyeballs you attract. Use this as your chance to hook them in to say, your email list.Take IBM as an example. They created a Big Data and Analytics Hub to generate intelligent articles, videos, and more from many different industry leaders. As a result, they saw a 291 percent increase in social referral traffic, a 269 percent lift in time spent on the site, and a 1515 percent expansion in organic. Not only that, they used the hub as a source to identify and secure outside contributors and influencers for other data and analytic programming.
How to Use Content Curation
Content curation can easily fit into many of your other marketing tactics. The key is sharing this content strategically and adding a personal touch. Here are four easy ways to elevate your brand by sharing curated content:
- Resource Page or Hub: Much like the IBM example we listed above, you could work to create a Hub or resource center on your website where teams can pull and contribute important industry and business content. This area could also be used for weekly highlights or guest speakers to come and talk about major updates or hot topics.
- Blog Posts: Weekly curated blog posts are highly valuable for your readers and easy to create. Simply include your favorite industry-specific articles from the previous week and publish it as a round-up post. Pro tip: Make sure the articles are timely in order to stay relevant with your audience. Think of it as a “Best Of” weekly or monthly blog.
- Email Newsletters: Similar to the curated blog posts, email newsletters are a great opportunity to serve as an industry resource for your subscribers. Choose your favorite articles from the week and mix them in with original content from your site to create a valuable email for your readers.
- Social Networks: You know all the interesting articles you’re collecting? Share them on social media! This will not only help you grow your following, but also add value to your brand. By sharing outsider content from other businesses and thought leaders, it proves to your audience that you know you are an expert in your industry and confident enough in your own brand to share someone else’s content. Additionally, by interacting with other brands on social media, you could potentially double your exposure if they engage with you as well.
The key with sharing curated content is knowing your audience well and sharing only what is most relevant and useful to them. Use a personal tone so it doesn’t sound static, and if at all possible, avoid sounding salesy. Yes, you will want to drive people to your website, but be tactful and let resources do the talking. You also don’t want to share content they’ll find boring or unhelpful. Make sure they can also find it easily and at the right time.
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How to Collect and Organize Curated Content
The process of collecting and organizing curated content can be overwhelming. If you have a never-ending list of bookmarked articles or countless emails with links to articles you never actually open, we’ve got some free tactics that will make it much easier to save and manage your curated content:
- Email Newsletters: While you can use email newsletters to share your curated content, you can also use them as a way to find curated content. You may already subscribe to industry-specific brands and businesses, so use their emails as a daily reminder to curate content for your own newsletter.
- Pocket: To get into the habit of collecting content, use Pocket — a simple Google Chrome plug-in (and mobile app) that allows you to save all of your favorite articles in one place. You can also group articles with tags, and use the search functionality to easily find what you’re looking for. Pocket also integrates with over 500 apps (including Evernote) for cross-platform usage. Bonus Tip: @PocketHits tweets out the most-saved articles on the platform, a gold mine for Twitter users.
- Flipboard: Flipboard can be used as a way to not only to build engagement with your audience, but to capture relevant content and share it through another platform. Flipboard is also good for organizing your curated content into themes so you can easily find articles at a later date.
- ELink: Elink is designed to help you save web links, bundle them and turn your collections into email newsletters, website or blog content, social media bio links and more! They have a free version that allows you to publish 1 post per day with 5 links per post. The unlimited paid version gives you unlimited amounts of links and provides advanced templates and analytics into engagement.
- Scoop.it: Scoop.it not only allows you to discover and organize curated content, but also post it on social media. It operates similar to a Pinterest page and allows users to follow topics of interest. Then Scoop.it generates the most relevant articles for those topics, and also includes complementary topics and users for you to follow. The free version allows you to follow one topic and post on two social media accounts, while the paid version allows you to follow multiple topics and share on all of your social channels.
With very minimal effort, integrating content curation into your content marketing strategy can enhance your brand value by serving as an even stronger resource for your audience. When you engage with other businesses and thought leaders, you’re establishing and growing partnerships. Remember though, your secret sauce is the quality, not the quantity of the content you present.
Looking for help integrating curation into your content marketing strategy? Let us help.