April 25, 2014
These days, you can’t really call yourself a content marketing expert unless you know more than a thing or two about content curation. Content marketing as we know it involves a basic set of responsibilities including content creation and distribution. On the other hand, content curation is all about discovering, aggregating and gathering relevant, top quality, shareable content and bringing it to the attention of a larger audience.
Content Curation: The Trend That You Should Follow to Preserve Your Competitive Edge
Some trends are ephemeral, while others are here to stay. Content curation can be listed in the latter category.
Let’s make two things clear: content curation doesn’t mean that you should feel encouraged to steal someone’s intellectual property and use it to your best advantage. Secondly, at the same time, the fact that you tend to share all forms of more or less interesting content that you stumble across doesn’t make you an expert in content curation.
When you curate content, you actually succeed in identifying, analyzing and sharing web writing and bringing it in front of a well-determined segment of public in an optimized, targeted manner. If you’re bored or want to feed your readers who are craving for accurate, quality information with one article on a daily basis just to prove that you are active on social media websites, we’ve got news for you: you are not curating content, you are sharing data randomly.
Knowledge is power, but only when the right information is delivered to the right person. A scientist will never bother to read an article about makeup trends and a housewife doesn’t care one bit about molecular chemistry and the newest breakthroughs in this field of activity.
How to Master Content Curation in 5 Easy Steps
1) Define Your Target Audience: Ask yourself the following questions: who would want to hear from you? What kind of news would make your audience tick? Remember that content curation implies an increased focus on the needs and demands of your audience.
2) Integrate Content Creation in an Ampler Content Marketing Strategy: Don’t decide to curate content just because it’s cool and everybody else is doing it. Make sure content curation can become a valuable component of your content marketing strategy. According to i-Scoop, content curation serves different purposes and can help you and your business in countless ways by:
- Allowing you to become a trustworthy filter and a reliable provider of freshly squeezed information.
- Enabling you to be perceived as a thought leader. In a few words, a thought leader is an influential expert in a certain field of activity who knows where great information can be found, provides timely answers to people’s questions and displays the highest levels of popularity.
- Allowing you to keep your team members in the loop and giving them the chance to perfect their very own content creating strategies.
3) Identify the Best Sources of Information: If you want to master content curation, you have to know your sources. This requires time, effort and lots of research. You can’t just intoxicate your audience with low-quality content coming from more or less reliable sources. Stitching different pieces together won’t help you solve the puzzle in this manner. Do your homework properly to identify the truly competent content creators who deliver stellar pieces that are actually worth your while.
4) Analyze, Classify and Add Value to Any Content Piece That You Want to Curate, Then Share It: You are not a robot, so don’t act like one. Don’t just copy paste content from a reliable source and consider the job done. Analyze the overall content piece, extract an excerpt from the original source and then expand on the same topic using your own words.
5) Select the Best Tools and Channels to Use and Curate Content.
Can Content Curation Hurt Your SEO Strategy?
In this context, a few questions still remain unanswered: How can you copy an excerpt from an article success ully? Can you do it? How can you share content without violating copyright? Of course you are allowed to share excerpts by someone else, as long as you do it the right way. After all, content curation is defined as being a post where you add your thoughts about a few paragraphs from an article, provided you include a link back to the original article and a credit link back to the author.
But what kind of steps does the “right way” actually involve?
Curata sheds some light on this matter. According to an infographic introduced by this source, in order to let content curation support your end goals, you have to follow these basic steps.
- Make sure the excerpt only represents a small percentage of your original text.
- Provide fresh content and present facts from your own perspective.
- Remember to give seo credit to the original source.
- Don’t try to take credit for somebody else’s work or compete with content creators by publishing a new piece that is identical or very similar to the original one.
Content curation won’t hurt your SEO efforts, as long as you don’t abuse it. If you rely on this particular strategy just to follow your optimization ambitions, chances are that you will upset Google, jeopardize your link building strategies and your good name. Instead of obsessing with SEO, you should think about content curation as the secret ace up your sleeve enabling you to become an expert in your field of activity.
Play your cards right and do not miss out on this amazing opportunity. You can definitely build stellar pieces while using small fragments of other people’s work as a cohesive nucleus. Content curation is not a dangerous practice as long as you don’t cross any boundaries and don’t lose your own voice. This statement is also backed by Search Engine Journal in an article indicating that content curation does not go against an existing SEO plan as long as the fragment of text “borrowed” from a source is accompanied by enough original material.
So as long as you are not a cheater who is always eager to cut corners by plagiarizing anything, anytime, anywhere, your decision to curate content shouldn’t affect your rankings, your reputation or your optimization strategies.
Content Curation versus Web Scraping: What’s the Difference?
First of all, 100% legitimate content curation tactics have nothing to do with web scraping, which represents the purest form of stealing in online environments. Content curation works to your best advantage by helping you attain your marketing goals fast and risk-free, without disappointing your readers and attracting penalties from search engines.
What Are the Best Tools That You Can Use to Curate Content?
These days, you can find a multitude of web-based free and paid content curation tools that could come in handy. Storify, Scoop.it, List.ly, Bundlepost and Curata are only a few of the most popular and attractive options at hand.
Storify is free and very easy to set up. It enables users to identify and stitch different stories together while also expressing their own point of view on the matter in question. Curata is not free, but it definitely represents a smart investment for companies that plan to identify and share a great deal of relevant, pertinent content coming from respectable sources. This extremely practical software solution spots, organizes and even distributes content on people’s websites and blogs.
Bundlepost lets users implement RSS content feeds based on relevant keywords, analyze the gathered excerpts and decide which ones should be shared. It involves a little bit more work, but it also allows users to profit from more options. On the other hand, Scoop.it simplifies your mission and lets you get in touch with content creators who would be more than willing to “do business” with you. You just have to follow the right people; the rest is easy. Most of them will just knock on your door and ask you to feature their content on your board. How simple and convenient is this?
Egg or the Chicken? Foundations First!
Which came firs t- the egg or the chicken? Scientists point towards the chicken. Well, in this case, original content is the chicken that lays golden eggs. Don’t try to come up with a content curation plan before polishing your own web writing skills. Invest time and money in your own pieces, then try to see what others are doing and how you could use their best work to your own advantage, in a totally legit manner, to take your content marketing strategy to a whole new level.
Julia McCoy is a bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write, podcaster and an expert content marketer. She’s also the founder and CEO of Express Writers, a leading online content creation agency, with more than 60 content writers and strategists. Julia leads her team to serve hundreds of worldwide businesses with the highest-quality content for their online presence. Follow Julia's blog.