Boost Your Content Marketing with Savvy Curation
If content is king, then content curation is queen. If you’re in despair over how much effort it takes to create original content for your blog, remember that content curation can be just as valuable to your audience as a piece of original writing. Sure, sharing other people’s content saves you a whole lot of writing but how can you do it in a way that adds value for your audience? How can content curation boost your content marketing goals?
Cut through the chatter
We are all overwhelmed by the amount of content that’s available for free and fee on the Internet. Quality curation searches, filters, selects, and adds insights that are relevant to your community of customers, business partners, media and analysts. It provides context that explains why an article or trend merits attention and where it fits in the audience’s world.
Communicate your position
Over time, quality curation will associate your brand with the topics you curate. Are there technologies and trends you follow? Best practices you advocate? Open source efforts you support? A good curating job tells your audience what your brand stands for. It is a form of editorial that communicates your company culture and your position on developments in the industry. Showing instead of telling can be very effective. You can say all you want on your web page that your mission is to empower sysadmins in the data centre. Your curated content shows that you’re tracking news and trends in the DevOps world.
You want your blog to be a resource for your audience. You want to be the go-to source of content that matters to them. Content curation gives this goal a boost because when you don’t have to research and write everything from scratch, it’s easier to expand topic coverage and improve timeliness of information. When you share content from other members of your community, you get on their radar, you gain visibility with their followers. This attracts links from social media sources and other websites – all of which improves SEO.
If you want to be known as a resource to your audience, first you need to understand their needs. This helps you deliver ongoing content that accumulates in value over time. Types of content worth curating include:
- Blogs, news, and tips written by thought leaders in your industry.
- Latest industry news
- Statistics: surveys and polls, reports, research
- Resources: videos, training information and how-to articles, presentations, white papers, case studies, eBooks, infographics
Discovery: News Sources
With your audience’s needs in mind, start by reviewing the sources you consider indispensable, such as: industry newsletters, trade journals, industry association websites. Then expand your topics and find other sources through social media – they all have discovery tools that allow you to search by keyword. You can also take advantage of:
- Google Alerts: lets you enter search terms and will alert you when new content matching those terms come up.
- Google News: is a news aggregator. You’re probably familiar with clicking on News on the Google toolbar and seeing a collection of the latest news. That’s the default page. You can also customize your news feed page with content from more the than 25,000 news sites that Google News trolls through every minute.
- Alltop, Popurls, Reddit: are other aggregator sites, all allow customization. For a longer list, check out the Topsite Best News Aggregator Websites list.
- Storify, Scoop.it, Pearltrees: are content curation tools. Each varies in how well they handle searching through social media and straight news sites, but the main thing is that they allow you one place where you can curate -- collect, review, comment, discard; and you can do this per topic, so you can maintain separate pages of content for each topic.
Content curation tools encourage users to maintain those pages of content as their main information hub. This is good for them, but you want your website/blog to be the hub of your content marketing efforts. You want those backlinks. Use these tools to save time, but make sure that your audience comes to your website first. From there you can provide URLs to the original content of each source you mention.
The best form of content marketing is a mix of original content and curated content that is thoughtful and timely. Keep your audience’s goals and interests in mind. Context matters with curated content. You can tweet out a link to a good article, but unless 140 characters are enough for you to explain why it merits attention, you’ve done little more than promote the author of the article. When you curate, you need to add value beyond just filtering for relevant information. You may need to clarify, communicate a position, or solicit feedback.
Take the growth in eBooks for example. It’s a trend that merits attention, but if your community is the educational sector, you can cut through the chatter by selecting articles about the impact of eBooks on education – such as: the number of publishers who are offering textbooks in eBook format, how school libraries are working with booksellers to innovate lending policies for eBooks, or which technology companies are experimenting with multimedia formats for eBooks and how that would change the way textbooks are written.
How to use curated content
The primary place to publish curated content is your company website, blog, or newsletter, of course. If you’re blogging, you may write a ‘content abstraction’ which summarizes the full story but which also adds your own insights. Or you may write a longer blog post which cites one or several pieces of content that support a certain position.
Don’t forget that you can also incorporate curated content when you write contributed articles or blog posts for other sites such as industry or professional association websites or the blog of an influential industry pundit. All of these are great for promoting on social networks.
Curated content is one of the cornerstones of your content marketing plan. Make sure you have a balanced mix of sustainable content. The classic rule is to do your content marketing in thirds:
- One third original content: blogs, videos, contributed articles, infographics, etc.
- One third curated content: content abstractions or longer pieces
- One third social engagement: follow up with social conversations or reach out to people whose content you’ve cited, and widen your social reach.
Finally, as with all content marketing efforts, content curation is a commitment. Good content curation takes more than gathering up a bunch of links once a month to send out to customers. You need to do it regularly, frequently, and thoughtfully to reinforce to your audience the value of the content you share, whether it’s original or curated.