Content curation is the process of gathering, creating, and compiling information on a specific subject and presenting it to readers. In fact, content curation is found almost everywhere on the Internet, on social media pages, RSS feeds, and even social bookmarking sites like Digg. It’s also an extremely useful tool for marketers, who can use curated content to increase the value of their B2B marketing.
Curating content for blogs, websites, social media accounts, and newsletters can add value to your sites and your marketing efforts, and functions in a variety of ways. In addition to supplementing your original content, curated content allows you to demonstrate versatility, an ability to collaborate with others, and industry awareness. Getting started with curation can be intimidating, but once you get started, it can benefit nearly any platform.
There is a lot of information on the web (over 2.2 million new blogs posts published every day during 2016!). That’s a lot to sort through. Your process should include a curating strategy, selection criteria, and an approach to testing and adjusting curated content to ensure the best content for your readers.
Create a Content Theme
Decide what you want your content to be about, and narrow your options down based on that. If you have a specific niche, such as marketing for construction equipment companies, then you can narrow your topic down to content surrounding that specific topic. Smaller niches will have less content to work with, and less to sort through. The theme you select is important, as it needs to have appeal and relevancy for your existing and potential customers.
Tools for Content Curation
There are hundreds of tools you can use for content curation, and some of them are more helpful than others.
- Google Alerts: One of the most powerful free tools available, Google Alerts will send you emails with content based on specific keywords and topics.
- Google News Feeds: You can sign up for Google Feeds for email updates on specific topics. Just click the RSS button on the bottom of any topic page and sign up.
- RSS: Most blogs offer some form of RSS, and signing up is easy. But, you still need an RSS reader. Options like Feedly, Newsblur, Inoreader, Digg Reader, Flipboard, Feedbin all offer varying features, apps, and value.
- Lists: Facebook and Twitter have options to create and use lists of people to follow their content. You can also add pages and companies. This allows you to follow industry experts, other curators, and influencers to see what’s happening on social media in your niche.
If you’re sharing or linking to other people’s content, it’s important that you read every post to ensure that it holds up to the standards you want to offer to your readers. Some points should apply whether you’re writing your own content or not:
- Relevance: Will your readers benefit from this topic?
- Interest: Is it exciting? Clickable? Interesting to read?
- Value: Each piece has to offer value in exchange for the time spent reading it.
- Quality: You don’t want poor writing quality or questionable accuracy.
These points are especially important on Twitter, where data shows that many people will Retweet a link without reading it first. Content aggregation, especially automated programs that share content based on hashtags can be dangerous, because the content you’re sharing might be very bad. Taking the time to read through everything you share or post is important for quality assurance.
Researching topics, keywords, search terms, where to find quality content, and what your readers want to see is an important part of content curation. You can get started with keywords on your website, common industry questions, industry news, tips, and how-to guides. [Although not free, an excellent tool for content research is BuzzSumo.]
No marketing campaign, including content, is valuable without analytics, A/B testing to improve, and tracking the value you get from your time spent on it. If you’re spending four hours a week creating a high-quality curated newsletter and you’re only getting 20 clicks from it, something is wrong. Integrating analytics research into your content curation allows you to test headlines, text content topics, and different types of organization and attribution.
Presenting Curated Content
Presentation is key to any curated content, and should include proper attribution, referencing any material you share or quote, and a presentation format that is useful, easy-to-read and interesting.
Content curation can add value to social media marketing, newsletters, blog content, or any other shared content. Sharing content shows your customers, readers, industry experts, and potential clients that you’re familiar with your industry, interested in it, and are willing to work with others. Over time, adding content to your social media, blog, and newsletter will also draw the people who want to read that content. If you’ve chosen your niche and topics correctly, those readers should match the buyer personas you’ve created as you ideal customers.
Get more information about how content curation can help you get stated with blogging by downloading our free ebook, "Introduction to Business Blogging."