Creating enough original content to satisfy content marketing strategies is cited as one of the most common challenges by businesses engaging in content marketing. Luckily, an alternative exists: content curation, which is the selecting and gathering of online content from various sources and organizing it in a way that is relevant and useful for specific audiences.
A bounty of excellent content already exists online which makes it easy for you to supplement your content creation with curation. Curation helps you build an audience with whom you can then share your own content.
Should You Opt for Curation? The Pros and Cons
You’ll have to decide whether sharing third-party content would be a useful part of your communications/public relations strategy. As you decide, keep a few things in mind:
The benefits of the tactic are as follows:
- You’ll be less stressed from trying to figure out topics for original content
- It will be easier to post or share regularly when curating rather than creating content
- You’ll be viewed as an influencer or expert since you’re choosing, organizing, and commenting on the content
- Content creators appreciate your sharing their content, which can lay the foundation for useful relationships within your field
You can also face some drawbacks from curating third-party material:
- Finding and selecting quality content still consumes time
- You give up control of the angle, word choice and timing since the content has been created by others
- You may be making prospects and clients aware of your competitors by sharing competitors’ content
- Other businesses may be sharing the same content, so your efforts may take on a“me too” quality
- If you create little or no content of your own, some people may view the creators of the content you’re sharing as the real experts
Tips for Effective Content Curation
Content curation can take several forms such as the SmartBrief email newsletters, paper.li online newspapers, an RSS feed, links on blogs, or websites like Buzzfeed. The content being shared can be text, videos, photos or illustrations, slideshows, audio, or any other type of online content. But whatever format(s) you choose, certain principles apply.
Cast a Wide Net for Great Content
If you do decide to move forward with this tactic, the key to making it a useful component in your content marketing strategy is to share relevant, high-quality content with your audience. A popular type of curated content are evergreen, e.g., how-to pieces, explanations of techniques, and resource lists.
- Subscribe to email newsletters that address your targeted fields
- Conduct web searches for blogs of interest.
- Set up keyword tracking via tools such as Google Alerts, Mention or TalkWalker to receive alerts about your industry
- Monitor social media platforms for material from thought leaders (e.g., create a Twitter list of experts and thought leaders; access the Pulse newsfeed on LinkedIn) and follow LinkedIn Influencers
- Tools like Shareist (paid after a trial period) and Swayy (free version available) are designed to collect relevant posts and online articles for you to disseminate on your social media platforms and blogs.
Be Consistent and Reliable
Just as experts advise you to publish content regularly, you should also be sharing third-party information with your audience on a regular basis. Don’t be freaked out by the concept; regular can mean any time period that suits your objectives and resources. And you have an array of content curation tools available to help you.
If you share regularly, people will come to rely on you as a trusted source, visit your website or social media channels, reshare the content and you will gain visibility as an expert on the subject.
Decide Where to Share Content
Since different types of people prefer different social media platforms, you need to determine where it makes sense to share content. For example, you may be able to reach customers and prospective customers via Facebook while B2B outreach may be better conducted via LinkedIn.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
It’s a good practice to acknowledge where you obtained the content that you’re sharing. E.g., on Twitter, people often give attribution for a content link with the phrase via [source’s Twitter handle], e.g., via @kcwriter. Also, link back to the web page or blog post where you found the content.
Add Your Own Comments
The email newsletters from SmartBrief use their own titles and summaries before their link to the actual article or blog post. Likewise, Twitter experts advise adding comments to the link you’re tweeting in order to add value.
I find that there’s not always room for a comment on a tweet (it’s only 140 characters after all), but if you can succinctly add something beyond“Interesting,” go for it. When there’s room for comments or they’re allowed, include your insights so that your authority can be better recognized.
If you’re new to the idea of content curation or you need more information about this tactic, try Content Curation World, which bills itself as providing“What a Content Curator Needs to Know: Tools, Issues and Strategy.”