There are so many buzzwords surrounding the online marketing and social media scene today, it makes it difficult to keep up. One question I’ve been asked a lot recently is what is content curation and how is it best used in an overall online marketing campaign?
There are many existent definitions, but here is how I would define content curation: Sifting through the mass amounts of content surrounding a subject matter, filtering it down to only the most interesting and valuable, and re-presenting it to your audience in a meaningful way.
To answer the question of what is content curation more deeply, let’s break down the “sifting”, “filtering”, and “re-presenting” steps of content curation:
Step 1 of Content Curation: Sifting
This phase consists of going through various websites and content aggregators to narrow down by category and subject with your target audience in mind. Choose article titles you think would be relevant to your specific audience, as well as educational, interesting, entertaining, or valuable in some way. Also, remember that content refers to written articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, and visuals – give some variety.
A few examples of sites that make “sifting” easier:
- Google Alerts
- Twitter (don’t forget about this, follow only subjects related to your audience)
- LinkedIn Today (customize with specific interests)
Step 2 of Content Curation: Filtering
This phase is the most time consuming, and the most important. Here, decide which articles out of the ones you have sifted through, and decided would be a topic your audience would find fascinating, actually have great content. You will be required to read, or at least skim the article for accuracy, relevance, and any other factors you wish your post to contain (ie. humor, entertainment, emotion, etc.)
Here is where your expertise shines through. Only choose articles that YOU yourself have read and would recommend another person read. It reflects you.
Step 3 of Content Curation: Re-presenting
Here is where the phrase “meaningful way” from our definition of content curation comes into play. You will want to put some focus into what content is posted where. Keep the key differences of each social network, and the idea of the mindset divide, present while you are posting.
…and most importantly, NEVER forget to give credit to the original website and author. Tag, link, mention, include a bibliography (just kidding) – however you want, just do it.
A few examples of tools that allow you to “re-present” content in a different way than individual posts:
Now that we have answered the question what is content curation, let’s get into why content curation is important for a successful online and social media strategy.
5 reasons content curation is important to your overall online strategy:
Content curation makes life easier for your audience
By taking away the need for your audience to “sift” by themselves, you are providing them a very valuable service. You are saving them time and energy, while building trust. If your social channels always have the most relevant and interesting posts, they will begin to rely on you and continue to come back for more.
Content curation educates your audience
Think of yourself as the teacher and your audience as the student. Just as a teacher chooses the reading materials they believe will educate the student best within their subject, you provide only content you deem accurate, relevant and high quality. Your audience should learn something new about your industry or product/service with every post.
Content curation makes your life easier
This concept allows you to add perspectives different than yours to your overall posting strategy. If you only posted original content written by you and your employees, your strategy may become stale and one-sided. This tactic gives your audience variety and gives you a break from writing an overwhelming amount of original content.
Content curation educates you
Plain and simple, as you are sifting and filtering, you are learning. You are skimming and reading large amounts of content that relate to your field, and you are becoming more knowledgeable and more versed in your subject matter.
Content curation can build relationships
By giving credit and linking back to the website and/or author of the content you are re-presenting, you have the opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with this author. This may encourage that author to return the favor and link to one of your articles and re-present it to their audience: a whole new set of eyes on your content. Content Curation can also lead to guest blogging opportunities, both for you to write for another blog, or have them write for you!
See how easy that was? Content curation is a free and easy way for you to help your audience while helping yourself! Putting time and energy into a content curation efforts will only bring upon benefits for your overall online strategy. In fact, I would say that it is the marketing tool that will give you engagement and visible success more quickly than any other tool you implement.
Because of its ease and effectiveness, content curation will be one of the best marketing tools you can implement. The only thing a successful content curation strategy will cost you is your time; but believe me, it’s worth it.
What do you think the best definition of content curation is? What is your definition?