Curating content is a cost-effective way to supplement your content marketing strategy. It takes off some of the pressure of creating a new piece of content – someone else comes up with the main idea, and you then piggyback on it with your opinion.

It’s not quite as simple as it sounds though. There is definitely a right and a wrong way to curate content for your website. Read on to find out how to curate content the right way and if your curation efforts would get a passing or failing grade in “Content Curation 101.”

What is Content Curation?

Let’s start with the basics, what exactly is content curation? It’s an essential part of content marketing where you share other people’s content and include your own take on the topic. A few places you can curate are on your social media feeds, in a blog post, or on a page of your website.

In contrast to curation, there is content aggregation. Curation is a type of aggregation, though many people refer to aggregated content as curated content. What aggregated content is missing, is your point of view. Examples of aggregated content include lists that lack commentary, so things like an online zine (like Alanna’s on Paper.Li), or a list on your website, Amazon, Goodreads, even your personalized Netflix recommendations are a form of aggregated content. For simplicity reasons in this blog post, let’s think of it all as curated.

Benefits of Content Curation

With the understanding of what content curation is, let’s take a look at why it should be part of your marketing strategy. Curating content:

  1. Saves time and money.
  2. Establishes thought leadership.
  3. Keeps the conversation going with your audience. You don’t want to go radio silent and not post anything for an extended period on any social media platforms.
  4. Allows you a shot at connecting with influencers.
  5. Lets you know what types of content your audience likes. It’s an easier and more cost-effective way to experiment with new styles or forms of content.

The value of curating content is pretty clear. If you’re not doing it yet, it’s time to start!

How to Curate Content the Right Way

First of all, here’s what you do NOT want to do when creating content:

  • Skip attribution. You always want to tag the original content creator and link back to the original content on your blog and then tag them on social media to capture their attention.
  • Share content that is irrelevant for your audience. Posting content just because you have an open time slot in your editorial or social media calendar is not a smart strategy, especially on Facebook with their recent algorithm changes.
  • Go overboard sharing OPC (other people’s content). But you also don’t want to share too little. You must find the perfect cocktail of the two.
  • Neglect adding your own commentary. Merely sharing the title and a link, as noted above, is not curated content. There’s a place for aggregate content, but if you want to have more impact and building your thought leadership, you should be incorporating your opinion or input on the topic.

Now that you know what not to do, let’s review the right way to curate content. You’ll want to:

    • Share your authentic opinion. If it opposes the original post, it could be even more valuable in that it could start a conversation. Don’t simply regurgitate what the original author said. Dive deeper or expand on a related idea that will provide value to your content consumer.
    • Be picky about where you curate from. Ask yourself the following questions:
      1. Are the author and site trustworthy?
      2. Does the author or website have influence?
      3. Is the content high-quality and valuable to my readers?
      4. Is the author a competitor?
  • Provide attribution always! I cannot say this enough, always tag and link back to the original piece of content. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it gives you a chance to make a connection with the author.
  • Include a CTA. As a best practice, all of your blog posts should have a CTA, especially curated content. Also, when you’re sharing on social media, you can include a CTA with a plugin like Sniply.

Image via Sniply

  • Ensure value and relevance for your audience/your target buyer. You want the content to work for you, so make sure it’s something that will help your readers.
  • Be authentic. When sharing your opinion, reveal how you really feel about the topic. If you don’t agree with the original poster – say that! Your readers will be able to sniff it out if you’re not truthful and content will likely fall flat.
  • Be timely. The world is moving fast, and things are changing every day in most industries. When you’re curating content, be aware if it’s current or outdated. Feedly, Twitter lists, or the News tab on Google are great ways to find content.

The final piece of advice I’ll leave you with is to find a balance between creation and curation. You don’t want to have all of one or all of the other. Try to make it a mix of the two for the most impact.

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