The cool friend that always finds the most interesting stuff to share.
WHAT IS CONTENT CURATION?
Content curators are the hipsters of content marketing. They know what is cool to their audience, and they know how to make that thing even cooler by using it in an unexpected way.
In content marketing, content curation is when you gather and share material from other sources that you think your audience will find interesting and valuable. It is a way to acknowledge and share other people's original content to enhance your brand. Content curation is used in round-up blog posts, website content, newsletters, and on social media platforms.
For your followers, content curation should feel personalized, valuable, and relevant. Content curation is a repost with your own words to contextualize it.
Content curation is not the same thing as curated content on a social media platform. Instagram curates content by using an algorithm to predict what content you might want to see. Content curation, on the other hand, is curated content that is seen through the lens of your brand. You are not an algorithm; you are a content marketer who has a voice and personality. Put the "u" in curation by making sure your brand's voice is added to the content.
Content Curation vs Content Creation
Content curation is different from content creation—and not just because of a few different letters. Content creation is the process of making unique media for your company or brand. (And it's important: read about content creation and promotion for beginners to learn why having original content is essential for your brand.) However, content creation can be expensive and time-consuming, so content marketers need another way to spread their brand's voice. Content curation is the low maintenance alternative to content creation.
Why Bother With Content Curation?
Content curation is worth your time for several reasons:
- Cheaper and faster than content creation: Content curation is not effortless, but it is definitely lower effort than creating your own original content. It also doesn't require the budget that comes with content creation.
- Provide valuable "filler" content: When your content marketing strategy calls for filler content that is meant to be low-effort and low-budget, content curation is your answer. Don't misinterpret the word "filler" to mean "unimportant," though. Curated content shouldn't feel like an afterthought to your followers, so make sure you're sharing content you find valuable and relevant. It can also provide a refreshing break from sales pitches.
- Establishes brand voice: By framing curated content with your brand's voice, you have the opportunity to grow your brand's personality. Remember that you shouldn't just repost a link to other people's content. Add your own spin, humor, or opinion that reflects your company's vision and voice. People hopefully will start to recognize and appreciate what your brand has to say and how it says it. It is also another way to get to know your audience better. Listen to their comments and learn what sources resonate most with them.
- Become an information authority and thought leader: Why do you follow certain companies on social media? Probably not just to hear constant sales pitches. The brands you choose to follow likely provide other content that you find valuable. As a content marketer, you should use content curation as a chance to establish your brand's knowledge and expertise in the industry. Become an information hub that has the best takes.
How to Curate Content
With a bit of planning, you can get a successful content curation strategy up and running:
- Consider where you want your content curation to take place. Which communication channels do your buyer personas use to find cool information and content? Consider which social media platforms are best for your prospects. Email newsletters, round-up blogs, and website content can also benefit from content curation during all steps of the buyer's journey.
- Find content that is worth curating. Consider influencer marketing for your content curation. Social media influencers or your own following may already have (or are willing to make) custom content for you that is a perfect choice for curation.
- Use content curation tools to make this process even easier. There are sourcing tools like Scoop.it and Feedly that help you track down the latest content. Then, a tool like Pocket and Twitter Lists can help collect the stuff you like.
- Frame the content with your own words, and don't forget to include any relevant keywords. Content curation gives you the chance to make great content even better and more applicable to your audience and brand.
- Make sure to ethically content curate. Link to the original content to drive traffic to the fully-credited source. Plagiarism is not cool at all.
More valuable content for your audience with less work from you? Yes, please. Happy hunting!
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