March 3, 2015
For any blogger, coming up with new content can be quite challenging. There are only a finite amount of things that you can write about given a particular niche. News comes out, but sometimes the space between viable news announcements is too distant to provide fodder for your content creation needs. In order to address this, bloggers have started turning to something called content curation.
Enter Content Curation: A Powerful, Successful Process
Content curation represents a new paradigm in the art of blogging, one that seeks to offer a change in the mindset of bloggers around the world. This process requires a blogger to sift through information that is pertinent to his or her niche and catalogue the ones that are most relevant. The best comparison curation has to the real world is that of the preparation of a museum exhibit. It is the responsibility of the curator in both cases to collect, arrange, catalog and annotate the exhibit so that users can get the most out of the experience.
Content curation is a very useful tool from a marketing perspective because it allows the formation of linkages as well as the establishment of a foundation that other bloggers can trust as a source of valid information and articles. The backlinks that content curation generates are very high quality and this usually results in better search rankings for pages involved in proper content curation.
What Makes Good Content Curation?
There are certain things that set apart a well-curated site from one that is simply curating content because it’s the buzzword of the day. But as a marketer, how does one do content curation the right way?
Curation Is A Focused Task
At its heart, content curation is the collection of information that is cataloged in a simple manner, making it easy to access high quality links on a variety of topics. What should be noted is that curation requires you to select the most relevant and best suited links to make up your exhibition. This means that for each set of curation that is done, you should keep your focus on a particular niche. Trying to cover a wide range of topics in your curation may have the opposite of the intended effect. In such a case your content curation doesn’t seem directed in any way. A disorganized site leads to readers considering it unprofessional and instead of attracting leads, you drive them away. In order to curate properly, you need to develop a plan for what sort of content you plan to curate and what aim it seeks to address. Developing a layout of what you plan to share, where you are going to share it and how it aligns with your overall marketing strategy is what is required to mesh content curation and marketing. Once your plan is formulated you need to get together your links and ensure that they address your audience specifically.
Remember: readers are always interested in content that helps them out in some way.
The 101 On Locating Sources For Your Curated Content
For most online writers, sourcing content is a tricky issue. Gathering information from trusted sources is the best way to ensure that your content is truthful and valid. Content curators take the sourcing of information to a whole other level. A competent curator is one who takes information from trusted sites and goes through them, extracting the most relevant points of discussion and discarding the rest. By removing the fluff, you make it much easier for your readers to get to the point of the post. In today’s world, time is money and by shaving potential hours off your audience’s search time you give them value, something they will be grateful for. Ideally, curators would find relevant industry blogs and reports and condense them into a simple-to-understand summarized version that keeps the gist of the report while removing all the extraneous background information. It is very important that these reports come from high quality sources so that the information contained therein is trustworthy. When dealing with some types of content you can pare down the entire report into a single tweet. Regardless of where you source your information, you should cite the original author and give credit where credit is due.
Finding Outlets for Curated Content
There are a number of places where curated content can be output, and by covering multiple outlets you increase the coverage the content gets when it does hit the Internet. The most common places for companies to host their curated content is on corporate blogs. Additionally, corporate twitter accounts are ideal for sharing condensed data, although it should be noted not all data is suited to be shared this way. Off-site links can work in a pinch as alternative method for disseminating curated content via twitter. Other social media outlets such as LinkedIn and Facebook provide additional options for sharing. In a corporate or industry-specific area, LinkedIn provides much better scope and coverage since it focuses on professionals in a field as opposed to users in general. Business-to-Consumer marketing techniques usually fare better in Facebook’s space since driving your content to users can be simply done by investing in a targeted ad. Facebook’s targeting demographics are priceless in getting your content out to the right users.
How To Use Curation and Auditing to Keep Content Fresh
From a marketing perspective, fresh content is good content. It drives traffic and keeps search rankings up. However, in many cases, getting fresh content at each step of the way can be a time consuming task. In any industry there are a number of debates that rage on without sight of resolution. There are only so many things you can say about these debates without retreading old territory.
Most marketing sites are aware of this and develop a content marketing strategy that is branched out into these three content sources:
- 65 percent brand new content
- 25 percent content that is curated
- 10 percent from syndicated sources
Combine Curation & Content Auditing
Curation by itself isn’t as effective as combining it with content auditing. Content auditing is the method by which you sort through previous posts of your blog and pull out the best performing content in order to add it to your curation listing. This gives new life to old content as well as developing your post as an authority on the topic. Combining these things makes for an easy method of keeping the content that makes up your blog fresh while at the same time utilizing content you have already posted in the past without having to worry about duplicate posting affecting your final search ranking.
Four Ways to Use Content Curation for Marketing
All of us are aware of search engine optimization drives traffic to our blogs. Content curation is like search engine optimization but goes one step further. Instead of simply inserting out site into search results, content curation places our brand in the context of the rest of the world’s discussion. By targeting specific audiences with our content, we are able to promote our brand’s point of view effectively and successfully. Content curation is an evolving race, trying to incorporate new content while at the same time managing old content in reference to our brand image. For marketers, we can break down content curation into four discrete steps, each one requiring more effort on behalf of the brand but giving much better returns in terms of presenting the brand to relevant consumers. These are:
- Simple Aggregation: This is the collection of content that is then cataloged. This type of curation doesn’t sift through information but instead simply accumulates it by sourcing from as many sources as possible.
- Active Curation: After aggregating information, the collected data is sorted and cataloged. A positive narrative in relation to the brand is generated using the collected data as references towards promoting the brand in this particular direction.
- Aggregation and Curation of User Response: Users are used to talking back to their brands these days and user-created content needs to be aggregated and curated to maintain the positive marketing spin on the brand
- Active Real-Time Coverage: This deals with the use of press releases and real-time events that may affect the viability of the brand in the long run. This is a type of curation that requires a lot of time investment from the brand.
Your No. 1 Concern With Curating: Your Content Must Line Up To Your Marketing Strategy
When curating the number one concern you should have to that your content falls strictly in line with what you proposed for your marketing strategy. At its heart, content curation is a method of giving value to your users. This value comes in the form of presenting your brand in a positive light and letting them see the benefits of your brand over the competition. As time goes by, well-curated content develops your site into an authority site from an industry perspective. It is very important that your curation does not overtly “sell” your brand, since at that point you will very likely lose the confidence of the consumer by pushing your own product on them. Your curation should subtly introduce your brand so that with time it becomes a recognized name, one that the user can trust.
Curating content for the purpose of marketing can be time consuming for a business but the overall returns are well worth the effort.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.