How To Curate Content
The Ultimate beginner’s guide to content curation
How’s that quality content creation going? Getting plenty of posts out there on the blog and social media to feel like you’ve accomplished something? Making lots of videos, podcasts, or other graphics for your site and social feeds? If you don’t have an agency or writers, designers, and videographers on staff, you may feel a bit like you’re drowning. Maybe it’s time to look into how to curate content?
The fact is, creating original content — even blog posts — takes a lot of time and effort. In its 4th Annual Blogger Survey, Orbit Media reached out to 1,377 bloggers. The survey revealed that bloggers spend more time writing (almost 3.5 hours per post) and 41% write more words per post than they did just three years earlier.
If you don’t have the time, resources, or budget to churn out several deliciously thorough pieces of content per month, you should consider content curation to help fill some of the content gaps.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation is selecting and sharing highly relevant content with your audience and offering the information in a way that’s unique to your brand.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, many marketers seem to fudge it up. Curation is more than the mere aggregation of anything related to your topic. Collecting anything under the sun as long as it’s related to your topic is hoarding. Discerning selection and placement of only the most relevant, best quality content is curation.
Oh, one more important tidbit: curating isn’t copy-pasted plagiarism either.
Why Share Someone Else’s Content through Curation?
This question is the biggest hurdle for some marketers (or their bosses) to clear. The answer is to stop thinking about things from your point of view. Customers want to be informed and educated before they make a purchase, and they don’t typically start with a company’s product page. They want to read what experts and colleagues have to say first.
Use the power of content created by industry experts and influencers to attract potential customers and demonstrate that you are in-the-know and aligned with the respected figures in your niche. With the loss of trust in brands across nine countries, a company’s content marketing strategy need all the help they can get to improve their credibility.
Want to know another benefit of curating an influencer’s or expert’s content? If you do it well and provide proper credit, you could get some love from the individual and his or her audience. Mention the original author on social media when you share the newly curated post, and the chances are that the author and his or her audience will read and share your curated content, too. Who knows, you could also earn a few links from a curated content blog post.
Convinced? Well, then, let’s get ready to learn how to curate content!
Prepare for Content Curation
When you curate content, keep in mind the distinction between a curator and a hoarder. You aren’t just throwing any old related post, video, or other content on your site or social media pages. You are searching for material that is:
- well crafted
- from a credible source
- aligned with your brand’s point of view
- valuable to your audience
- isn’t from a direct competitor
Ideally, you should also plan your curated topics in an editorial calendar alongside your original content creation topics. Remember that curated content should support and supplement your original content. You still need to spend time developing original content to tell your brand story in your own unique way.
5 Tips for Finding Content to Curate
Unfortunately, awesome content doesn’t always find you. You have to set aside time to discover it. Here are five tips to make your search for top-notch content a little easier.
Develop a Discovery Plan
Consider your audience. Excellent content curation means sharing content that resonates with your customers or audience. It’s essential to choose material that your readers are already looking for – tips, videos, news, and more – and relates to your product or service.
Emulate other curators. A great way to learn the art of content curation is to follow experienced curators. See the kind of information they share and observe how they go about doing sharing it.
Think “variety.” Don’t get stuck in a content curation rut. It’s important to mix it up a bit. Draw from a variety of sources and media – videos, infographics, podcasts, blog posts, and articles. By providing a variety of different sources to your readers, you’ll keep them interested and prevent the appearance of one-sidedness.
Schedule Your Content Search
Searching for content is something you should do routinely to ensure you get fresh information to share with your followers. Set aside time on your calendar each day specifically for this task. Committing 20 – 30 minutes each morning and afternoon will help you find fresh content to curate.
If you find yourself out running errands or between appointments, you can take advantage of any “waiting time” by searching for content on your smartphone or tablet. You might have ten spare minutes between meetings, 20 minutes while waiting to get in to see the doctor, or a half hour while waiting on hold with tech support. These little nooks and crannies of time aren’t great for serious, focused work, but you can use them to find content.
Stay Focused While Searching
It’s very easy to get distracted while searching for content. You know what I mean – you’re out there looking for shareable tidbits and then suddenly the adorable baby animal site shows up. You’re mesmerized by absolute cuteness. The web is full of shiny objects that can distract you and lead you astray. You’ll find something interesting and start reading or watching, even though you have no intention of sharing it.
Remind yourself that you have set aside your content search time specifically for searching only. During that time, tell yourself, “I’m looking for content to share.” When you stop to read something on a site, ask yourself, “is this something I might share?” If the answer is “no,” save the link so that you can read it later in your spare time.
Remain Open Minded
While you do need to stay focused, you can leave a little flexibility to allow for creativity. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut. When you ask yourself whether the content in question is sharable, be open-minded. Maybe there is a fun or creative angle for tying it into your niche.
Use Discovery & Monitoring Tools
There are numerous tools you can use to discover content for your curation efforts. Below, is a sampling of free and low-cost solutions you can try.
Google Alerts is a free service that lets you choose keywords and then tells you whenever new content has been posted using those keywords. All you need to do is enter keywords, and Google Alerts will send you results via email.
HootSuite is, of course, a well-known social media marketing tool that you can use to find popular content. Just set up listening streams, and then curate the best content you discover.
Content Studio has a powerful listening engine that fetches the freshest content from thousands of sources.
Feedly is a feed reader that lets you monitor your favorite, go-to sources online. You control what sites pull into Feedly. That cuts down on the noise and helps keep you focused.
BuzzSumo helps you discover popular content and shows you the number of shares for a post. Material that is relevant and highly-shared could be a perfect match for your curation needs.
Scoop.it gives you the opportunity to discover content because it crawls over 35 million web pages daily and organizes the content it finds into relevant topic categories.
Poll or survey your subscribers in your next newsletter to find out what kind of content your readers would like to receive from you. This step will help you select the right types of content and topics so that you can be more strategic in your content curation.
Determine Your Approach to Curation
Before you decide where and how you want to present your curated content, you need to think about your approach for the material you’ve selected for curation. You can curate:
- An article you disagree with and give your counter-argument.
- A story you want to expand on.
- Several articles in one blog post, video, or podcast that work together to tell multiple sides of a story.
- A weekly roundup of industry news that’s relevant to your brand and audience.
- Chronologically to give a timeline on a breaking news story or developing trend.
Keep your posts, videos, and other media fresh by varying the ways you curate.
Pick Your Presentation Format
You have a variety of options when it comes to curating. Here are a few choices to consider when it comes to presentation format.
Sharing curated content on your blog doesn’t mean merely copying and pasting other people’s content. When you share other people’s posts and articles on your site, do it in a way where you can add your own opinion or insight. Any of the approaches mentioned in the section above will work well in a blog post.
Social Media Profiles & Pages
Company Profile Pages like Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn Company Pages, and Twitter Profiles offer even more opportunities for publishing curated content. Group your topics through the use of hashtags (#marketing, for example). Each of these social networks allows you to use hashtags, and it’s a great way to group your subtopics and make it easier for other members to discover your profile.
You can add curated content in a format similar to how you might present it on your blog. Unfortunately, you will have to manually add the items when it comes to a LinkedIn article or Facebook Note.
When you think about it, what is an infographic anyway? It’s nothing more than curated content presented in a graphic form. Take content from various sources and create a graphic that helps explain a process, or breaks down a complicated idea.
There are numerous online tools and templates to help you with infographic creation. You can use fancy, sophisticated design software from Adobe, or you can use something more accessible like PowerPoint (check out these infographic templates in PowerPoint format).
Curated content offers a great way to keep your readers interested and informed. Email marketing takes more than promotional offers to keep readers engaged. When you send a steady stream of fresh content that’s useful or entertaining, you stay on your readers’ radars and establish your reputation as a valuable information source.
You can curate content manually with your existing email marketing platform, or you can look into one of the new curated newsletter solutions that are now available.
Curated Content Hubs
Try using a platform that’s independent of your website to curate other people’s content. Why go offsite? Your content will appear more educational and less self-serving when delivered outside of your sales & marketing home base. Plus, you can reach other hub users who may decide to add your content to their hubs.
Video is all the rage now, so why not work that into your curation efforts? You could use your computer’s camera and a good external microphone to record yourself discussing your insights on various articles you’ve read or videos and podcasts you’ve consumed in the past week. Maybe add a webinar or screen sharing tool to feature each item in your video while you discuss it.
Don’t want to be stuck behind your desk? Use your smartphone or tablet to capture yourself discussing your latest finds.
Regardless of what device you use, you can also try live video or add an interview element where you talk to the author of the content you want to discuss.
Grab a decent microphone and give podcasting a try. You can share your insights, opinions, and counter-arguments about the content you’ve selected to discuss for the week’s show. Just be sure to mention the article names and authors in both the audio and your show notes.
Try mixing up your formats and storytelling approach once in a while to see what resonates with your audience.
Let’s look at some podcasting resources on how to get started:
Every influencer and individual interested in producing content, building a brand, starting or growing a business, selling a product, service, or idea should learn how to start a podcast on , Soundcloud , iHeart Radio , Google Play , and any other platform offering the real estate.
Starting a podcast is an effective way to build an audience and establish credibility, which you can later use to promote your business. Learn the ins and outs of recording, publishing, and growing your own podcast without breaking the bank.
Monitor Your Curated Content
For every item you curate, take note of how it performs. Make note of the topic, the source and author, number of shares, visits by channel, and other relevant data. You can use this information to help guide your future efforts. You may learn that some sites are less interesting to your audience than others. You could discover that your community prefers live video with curation commentary over a lengthy blog post.
Keep an eye on performance to ensure what your doing is working for both you and your audience. To help you track and monitor your content curation efforts, we’ve provided a download. Just fill out the form below!
Read to Curate?
When you take time to understand how to curate content, you will find this tactic a beneficial way to add thought leadership and credibility to your brand. You don’t have to tackle all of the tips above. Pick the ones that are the right fit for your business, and get started.