Content curation is a powerful addition to your content marketing strategy, transforming you from a trusted voice in your industry to an indispensable resource in the eyes of your audience.
That is, if you do it correctly.
The internet is littered with shoddily-written blog posts, fuzzy yet absurd videos, lackluster (or inaccurate) infographics and winding podcasts that seem to go nowhere. But amid all of that are solid, useful, visually pleasing pieces that add value to readers interested in specific topics.
With some searching (and a few strategic tools) you can find and share those hidden gems with your audience alongside your original content. The result? You set yourself up to be their go-to source for information and/or entertainment. And as you know, building that level of trust amps up your reputation, online visibility and sales.
The basics: how to share, and how it benefits you
Content curation can be as simple as regramming an influencer’s Instagram post or as involved as compiling and sharing a list of studies and crafting a short explanation about your thoughts on the data. Here are some other common methods:
- A weekly roundup blog post that links to interesting, relevant content.
- Embedding or sharing a video from another creator that backs up a point you’re making in your own content.
- Sharing photos that fit your brand on social media and in blog posts.
- Linking to or sharing an interesting podcast on Twitter and Facebook.
Of course, content curation’s primary benefit is building trust with your audience. That said, it also offers loads of other perks, like enabling you to:
Set the foundation for connecting with industry leaders and influencers. Creators are just like you—they want more traffic and more eyeballs on their hard work. By sharing what they create, you help them reach those goals. And helping others is one of the primary tenets of networking.
Save time and money. Strategic content curation isn’t a two-second job, but it’s a lot less time-consuming that crafting something new.
Reach new audiences. The more reputable sites and content you link to, the more likely those same sites will start linking to you.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Check out this infographic from the experts at Curata:
Best practices: keeping things on the up-and-up
Content curation benefits you and the creator of the content you’re sharing. When done properly. Attempting to pass off someone else’s work as your own, failing to link to the original source and other missteps could jeopardize your reputation. And put you squarely in (legal) hot water.
Post quotes, snippets or headlines of blog posts and articles. Not the entire copy.
Always link to and identify the original source of the content prominently. There should be no confusion as to who the original creator was or where people can find the original content.
Obtain explicit permission from the source before posting images and infographics to your own site. Oftentimes, content creators will have a note about protocols for sharing their images on their sites. If not, reach out for approval. Case in point: Curata loves when people share their infographics, but requires that you specifically name them as the source and link to them (so, we did!).
Ideas for success: getting the biggest bang for your time
Just like your base, you’re inundated with content every single day. And a lot of it isn’t great. The key to effective curation is weeding through the rubble to find hidden gems that fit your brand’s style, voice and purpose.
Vary what you share. A healthy mix of content types, and sources, keeps readers interested and fills in the gaps you find in your own creative process. Maybe you’re not great with video, but you can find people in your niche who are—and share those videos with your followers. Curating from multiple sources rounds out the information and ideas you’re hitching your brand to, but also prevents any one creator from thinking you’re piggybacking off their work.
Don’t be (super) strict on topics. Yes, anything you share should be relevant to your brand and fit its aesthetic. And some brands prefer to remain always on topic, which is perfectly fine. But if you’re trying to build an overall voice and style, incorporate some surprising topics. Use analytics and track what your followers are sharing to see what else, other than your niche, they’re interested in. Then, think of creative ways to share that content while tying it in to your brand. For example:
- Accountant? Share an infographic from a food blogger for a cheap weekly meal plan.
- Photographer? Pass on a travel post on the most photographic locations around the world.
- Marketer? Highlight on-point content from other brands, no matter the industry, to discuss the potential strategies used behind the scenes.
Always include your own commentary. Whether it’s one snappy sentence that tells followers why you’re sharing something or a more in-depth analysis, content curation requires that you add your voice. Otherwise, you’re just aggregating others’ work. Bonus: Even a few quick words lets your readers see the “expert” side of your brand and allows you to inject your brand’s voice into the conversation.
Don’t rely solely—or even mostly—on curating. If most of your content marketing relies on sharing other people’s content, your brand will lose credibility. Think of content curation as a supplement to your unique content, not a replacement. Generally, curated content should make up 25% or less of your content calendar.
Yes, you should put together a content calendar. Technically, you can just share things as you run across them, but content curation works best when you treat it as a strategic part of your overall content marketing strategy. Put together a calendar, find content that works with what you plan on creating in the future and schedule it in. This is also a great way to visually see how your unique content balances with curated pieces.
Tools of the trade: streamlining curation
Finding quality images, posts, videos and podcasts to share can quickly become time consuming (and tedious) without the right tools. Here are just a few helpful products:
Pocket (free) allows you to save content you find and organize everything with tags. Then, you can quickly search for what you’ve saved to share it with your audience.
Feedly (free) finds content for you. Just add a few of your favorite sites to your account and Feedly will pull from those and similar sites to display relevant, quality content in your feed.
BuzzSumo ($79+ per month) helps you discover the most-shared content in your industry across multiple platforms. But it doesn’t stop there: It also helps you find influencers in your industry and set up alerts so you can see content from specific sources or based on keywords. Although it’s not free, they do have a cheaper plan available for freelancers and bloggers—you just need to apply for it.
Curata (request a quote) is an all-in-one content curation platform that delivers relevant content directly to you. Then, it allows you to save and share that content directly from the platform, posting it to your blog, social media feeds and even newsletters.
There you have it—you’re ready to offer your audience a significantly more robust experience and see improvements in visibility, trust and sales. Want to see even more results? Make sure you’re repurposing and repromoting your content and leveraging your best pieces while you’re at it!
Biz.me is not affiliated with or endorsing any brand or product mentioned or linked to in this post.