You Can’t Do It All! That’s Why There’s Content Curation

May 22, 2015

When we talk about curated content we tend to rely on the Content Marketing Institute’s definition of the term:

Content curation assembles, selects, categorizes, comments on, and presents the most relevant, highest quality information to meet your audience’s needs on a specific subject.Have you harnessed the power of content curation?

While your brand should be positioned as a leading expert in the field, the fact remains that there are others out there in your niche. And often times they’ll have something to say that falls in line with your own expertise or views. It’s important to acknowledge what others in your field are up to, not just for awareness but also because their content often allows you to add your own editorial content to it.

Thus, content curation comes in to play.

Why Curate Content

You may be asking yourself: why curate content when you can create your own? A great question that begs another question: do you have the time/knowledge/team to constantly create new, original content 24/7?

The answer is likely no.

In general, there are three reasons why content curation is used even by top content marketers:

  1. Lack of resources: There often just isn’t enough time in the day to create all of the content you want. For those marketers who work with agencies, sometimes the constraint is in knowledge and expertise. For others, budget, or human resource, etc.
  2. Promotional advantage: If you’re not already a top authority in the field, it can be hard to break in.
  3. Content is already created and searchable: Customers will often seek out information on their own. Chances are, your product or service category already has a ton of information, posted by users/buyers out there. The more people learn about your product or service, the more likely they will opt to purchase.

It’s a fast-paced world out there in the digital market. While quality is generally better than quantity, having a regular post or a schedule is part of any successful strategy. Beyond that, most social media channels have algorithms that favor frequent posting and give the publisher more visibility.

The Basics of Content Curation

Content curation isn’t just reposting others content with your own opinion (though it can, and should, include just that). Original content is an important part of content curation and a crucial aspect of any content marketing strategy.

Some of the best content sites, such as The Huffington Post, follow a three-legged-stool approach to content curation. The approach is simple:

  1. Create content
  2. Invite contribution
  3. Gather and collect outside content

For many brands, a synthesis of that three-legged-stool approach and content aggregation is used. Aggregation can involve compiling resources and inviting your readers to check out the aggregated content. This can include everything from reblogging great articles on Twitter to writing a Top 10 blog post with your favorite top resources. Content aggregation is a great way to give your audience resources and to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Original content, however, should always, always be the end goal. It’s what will allow you to distinguish your brand’s voice and views, as well as tell your brand’s story.

But curated content is a vital part of your toolbox and should be a part of your overall content marketing plan. After all, chances are there’s some great research already done out there. What better way to use that research to help make your own point? (Just remember to give credit where credit is due!)

Getting Started

So ready to start being a master content curator? Chances are you do many of these steps already with your own content marketing.

  • Post relevant information: This may seem self-explanatory but it’s worth mentioning. In the end your brand does have a mission. It can be easy to get distracted from that for the sake of easy traffic. Remember: you want traffic that sticks around and becomes invested. This comes from posting consistently quality content.
  • Use the Internet to your advantage: There are a ton of sites out there to help you curate informative, interesting content from. Use them, try new ones – don’t rely on just one social media site or one method. You’ll miss other great content out there.
  • Post across multiple channels: Remember our old article about how distribution is crucial to your content marketing? Curated content is still marketing, in the end. Get it out there!
  • Get your audience involved: Do you know who your influences are in your field? Ask them to guest post. Re-blog their most popular posts. Directly ask your audience questions and chances are they will answer. Just be sure it’s easy for them to participate, and to share.
  • Add your voice: Don’t forget that your brand’s voice still counts when curating. Teach your audience why the content you’re sharing is relevant. Add value to what you’re sharing; it may not be new information but it can have your brand’s take on it .
  • Build community: No one wants to be continually talked at. Yet many people also aren’t interested in visiting multiple sites for information. Give your community room to grow while also offering a place for quality content to thrive.

Content curation can be a powerful force in your content marketing toolbox. Keep your content goals in mind as you scour your sources and remember: it’s your brand’s voice in the end! What do you want your brand to say?

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