Creating original content is resource intensive and while some companies that have all the copywriting resources they need (that’s an exception not the rule) it makes sense to curate content in addition to publishing original articles and media.
Curation is the cornerstone of being useful on the social web by finding, filtering and adding insight to content online and sharing with social networks.
Qualitative curation over time helps associate the topics being curated with the company or person doing the curating. When a company does a good job of defining its unique selling proposition and what it stands for, those key concepts help define editorial themes in everything from a content calendar to topics that drive curated social media content.
In combination with original content and industry participation, curation can be very powerful for creating awareness and credibility.
Due to it’s importance, content curation is a topic I cover in Optimize and to dig a little deeper, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 9 to help you get a better idea of what content curation can do for your business and some best practices.
Content Curation Facilitates Many Content Marketing Objectives:
- Efficient, topically focused collection of information that appeals to customers looking for a “single source” on a particular topic.
- Grows awareness of your brand as a topical authority based on adding insight to industry commentary.
- Facilitates networking into spheres of influence in your industry. Collecting and sharing content from influential members of your community can get you on their radar resulting in being mentioned, links or even referrals.
- Attracts links from social sources like Facebook and Twitter. Social links can send traffic, influence social and standard search visibility.
- Attracts links from other web sites which can also send traffic and influence better visibility on search engines like Google and Bing.
- Keeps prospects engaged as part of your lead nurturing efforts.
Blending a mix of new content with the filtering and management of other useful information streams is a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of high quality and relevant content. There are several good free services that facilitate curation tasks like Storify. Paper.li, Silk, News.me, Scoop.it and many more. Software can help, but on it’s own, isn’t the answer.
Pure creation is demanding. Pure automation doesn’t engage. Curating content can provide the best of both. Here are several best practices to help you with curation sources, types of content and where to publish.
1. Sources of News to Curate:
- Industry specific newsletters sent to you via email
- Links to content and media shared on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Reddit and other social sharing websites
- Google Alerts, Google News or Google+ Search
- Curation tools: Flipboard, Scoop.it, Storify.com
- Real-time search engines: Topsy, socialmention.com
- Niche topic blogs
- News aggregators: Alltop, popurls, Techmeme
- Bookmark and or subscribe to updates from industry news, magazine and blog websites
- Press Release Distribution Services like PRWeb, PRNewswire or Marketwire
- Review competitor websites and monitor for mentions of their brand terms in though Google Alerts and social media monitoring tools like Trackur or Radian6 to see what kind of curation tactics they’re using
2. Types of Content to Curate:
- Useful resources relevant to your target audience: blogs, news, training, tips, networking and industry events.
- Content created by influential people of importance to the target audience
- Statistics, research and reports
- Compelling or provocative industry news
- Videos: YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler
- Slideshare presentations or search Google.com for .ppt file types
- Whitepapers, eBooks and case studies
- Infographics and other data visualizations
- Tips, How To’s and best practices
- Create short lists of tips according to keyword themes
- Compile large collections of resources according to topical theme
- Aggregate the best comments from other blogs or your own blog
- Run surveys, polls & contests that result in content
3. Where to Publish Curated Content:
- Company Blog
- Email Newsletter
- Social Media Channels
- Contributed Articles or Blog Posts to Industry Sites
- Niche Microsite Dedicated to a Specific News Category
These are just a few suggestions and the best ideas for content creation and curation will come from a specific analysis of your own customer groups and industry. The key is to do the homework of understanding what motivates your community and to assemble a compelling mix of curated, repurposed and original content to inspire them to engage and buy. Be thoughtful about the usefulness of the content you assemble, create and promote. Empathize with your customers’ interests and goals so you can properly optimize content for both search engines and social media sharing.
Still not convinced? Check out what Brian Solis, David Meerman Scott, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, Rebecca Lieb and Paul Gillin have to say about content curation.
Excerpt from Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing, published with permission from Wiley.
How are you adding content curation to the content marketing mix?