How To Curate Content Like A Pro

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Content is king — one of the most oft-quoted, overused, and frequently misapplied phrases in Internet history was first coined by Bill Gates in 1996.

“Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products — a marketplace of content” — Bill Gates

Despite the expectancy of that declaration over two decades ago, many online publishers have struggled to fulfill its promise.

As Ryan Skinner of global research and advisory firm Forrester Research observed: “Marketers and agencies have invested large sums to create quality content, but — in many cases — it’s not getting discovered. Audiences are neither finding nor sharing it. It’s not going viral. It’s not going anywhere.”

It’s clear that great content is not enough.

So is it time to abandon the content is king mantra?

Absolutely not; but it is time to bring the queen of content marketing into the equation and for that, we must look to content curation.

What Is Content Curation?

Each time you re-tweet a memorable quote or statistic on Twitter, pin something useful on Pinterest or share an insightful post on Facebook, you are curating content.

For a more formal definition, I define content curation as the process of finding and aggregating information about a specific topic, synthesizing it to be most relevant to your audience, and sharing it in an easily digestible manner.

7 Benefits of Content Curation

1. Establishes thought leadership

2. Increases visibility and credibility

3. Saves time

4. Develops Focus

5. Boosts SEO

6. Increases inbound links

7. Drives social shares

So far, so simple right?

While content curation sounds simple, there’s a world of difference between simply curating content and doing it well. Read on to find out how you can excel at curation as part of your overall content strategy.

10 Golden Rules of Content Curation

#1 Determine your goals

Actionable Marketing Tip: Read through the 7 benefits of content curation above. Which one of these is most aligned to your business goals? Write it down and keep it to the fore each time you curate content.

#2 Know Your Audience

Actionable Marketing Tip: If you are familiar with “buyer personas” for marketing campaigns, this process is similar. Do your research first to understand what your audience needs to know; the better you understand their interests and needs, the more effective you’ll be at content curation.

#3 Find your niche

Actionable Marketing Tip: Follow the advice of Joe Pulizzi, founder Content Marketing Institute, “Find your niche, and then go even more niche”.

#4 Always attribute your sources

Actionable Marketing Tip: Look up the original author, make an effort to reach out to them and notify them when your curated piece has been published. Quite often the original author will share the article across their social networks too, boosting its reach and traffic.

#5 Add your unique perspective

Actionable Marketing Tip: Provide summaries and key takeaways of main points, add your own perspective, context and commentary on why you did (or didn’t) like the piece.

#6 Be selective

As a content curator, you are marketing yourself as a supplier of good information: a funnel that filters out the crap and promotes the gems. The more people can count on you and the quality of your content sharing, the more they will eventually support you, reshare and click on your links, and recommend you to others.

Curate from reliable, high-quality sources only, selecting the most valuable and relevant information. A good curator is one who is discerning, discriminative, and selective in only sharing the best and most relevant content.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Make sure you read (and understand) every piece of content you curate. Never share just for the sake of sharing; ask yourself if this will educate or entertain your target audience and how it fits with your own marketing goals.

#7 Strive for accuracy at all times

Actionable Marketing Tip: Check out my essential guide to proofreading here.

#8 Create compelling titles

Actionable Marketing Tip: Read 15 Ways To Crack Captivating Headlines to learn how to write more compelling titles for your content.

#9 Share widely and often on your social media network

Actionable Marketing Tip: Try reframing your original post as a question, or a statement, highlight a key statistic or different elements of the content each time you re-share it.

#10 Create a consistent content schedule

Actionable Marketing Tip: Consider e-mailing subscribers a weekly round-up of the best content you’ve discovered during the week. Schedule it for the same day and time each week.

To Wrap Up

Often, people think of themselves as either creators or curators as if these two things are mutually exclusive. The imperative to create helpful and relevant content is still important, but equally important is the need to curate helpful and relevant content.

However, success doesn’t happen by itself. To excel requires you to continually and consistently stay on top of your niche as a trusted resource for your audience, alongside the ability to synthesize and provide a unique perspective every time.

We’re increasingly living in a world of information overload; by providing a clear, contextually relevant voice a good content curator will separate signal from noise.

When your audience discovers in you a trustworthy source of curated content, they will be more inclined to stay for related offerings. To quote Dan Blank of We Grow Media: “Content curation is to make the whole stronger than the sum of the parts”.

Useful Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation

Written by

Social Media Consultant. Keynote Speaker. Digital Storyteller.

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