Lee Odden

3 Essential Content Curation Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing Performance

Keep Calm and CurateCreating 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
  • eBooks
  • 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?


PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (5 votes, average: 4.80 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar MirandaM_EComm says

    Great tips, Lee. I think the most important element there is that people add their own insight to the news they’re sharing. It shows your network that you’re engaged and knowledgeable in the topic and aren’t just pumping out other people’s news. Good read!

  2. Avatar bachelor degree says

    Thanks for the infos, it was very well detailed and explained 🙂

  3. I publish a newsletter for web marketers that summarizes the week’s news via the coverage it got in blogs. A very important rule is to avoid redundancies. Try to recommend articles that add something to the user’s understanding and minimize repetition. Know your sources and organize them well so that you’ll be able to tell a story via your curation. And then, of course, look at the click patterns and other feedback to get insight into the type of content that your reader’s value.

  4. The list of places to publish curated content is spot on. If
    the content is worth curating, it’s worth sharing with as many people as
    possible. Miranda – I like your comment. If you can’t give a new perspective to
    the content, don’t waste your audience’s time. If you can’t conjure up something new, just share the page/link….but then that’s not really curation. There are a few all-in-one tools that brings in news feeds, lets you edit the content and then allows you to publish directly to your social media channels. Curation is still
    growing but the real power is in content marketing with a social media

  5. If creating quality content on a regular basis isn’t possible for business, then the other option for a blog or web presence to get correlated to the topical content of the industry is to curate content.

    Content curation and content creation aren’t competitive, but complement each other. It wouldn’t be surprising if Google comes up with a curatorship markup to give content curators an identity the way Google has implemented the authorship markup for content creators.

    Curate or create content, but get correlated to the topical content of your industry and meet the quality standards to become fit enough to survive the evolving World Wide Web.

    Have written in detail on http://goo.gl/Z7xUV
    (URL shortened)

  6. Curating content and sharing the work of others is also a great way to network. Other bloggers will notice that you shared their post and will be more likely to return the favor down the line.

  7. Avatar Sarah Bauer says

    Curated content should compliment your original content, and work with it as part of one big happy strategy. We’ve started publishing curated articles and videos to our social media platforms to provide lead-up information to our own blog posts, in order to build anticipation and grow our reputation as experts!
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

  8. Google Alerts and Scoopinion have always been good sources for me.

  9. Avatar Stuart Paterson says

    I’ve found content curation to be a great starting point – it gives beginners a reason to regularly interact on social media, and also provides great inspiration for their own original content.
    Good work Lee

  10. Avatar alexschelldorf says

    Great discussion here, and some excellent tips, Lee. One thing you hit on briefly was the importance of video. Now more than ever before, it’s essential for companies in terms of their internet presence.

  11. Lee, this is amazing insight. I am new to the concept of curation – but beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt, I will dedicate the next month to apply the new found wisdom to my own work so that I witness it in full practice. By the end of this coming summer, I intend for the practice to be integral in my client offerings. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Avatar Stephnie says

    I am new to this particular concept so i was looking for any informative share that guide me in a well way and you did a great favor to me thanks

  13. Lee, very amazing insight. A very informative tips for everyone. pl. keep updating !

  14. Great blogpost with quality information.yes i agree that you as a blogger have to think about what your audience is looking for and so on

  15. For the betterment of the company, content curation will gently introduce your business into the summit of achievements. Different insights will be a hint of good content that introduce you into professionalism. Articles and blogs will be a big help but it is better if there is a combination of accurate videos and professional images that builds activeness into the sites.

  16. Avatar Amanda Steeley says

    Thanks, Lee. Can you clarify one thing for me though — Curated content is not copied and pasted content, correct? When you talk about “where to publish curated content” are you referring to content that you curated and then created new content as a result of being inspired and then quoting within your piece? Or are you referring to copying, pasting, and linking back? Really appreciate the feedback – Thanks!