Content is vitally important to any business today. Your content is how you communicate with your audience. Especially online, it’s no exaggeration to say that content is everything. Studies show that informational content has much more influence over customer buying decisions online than any traditional sales method.
What this means for businesses today is that you need a steady stream of content that informs, helps, intrigues, and entertains your audience. One major challenge is figuring out how to create, publish, and distribute this content.
There are two ways to generate content. One, which most businesses are well familiar with, is to create the content yourself. Companies either develop their content in-house or outsource the creation to outside bloggers, writers, video producers, and so on.
The other method is ‘content curation’. Curation offers an alternative content strategy that has many benefits for both yourself and for offering outstanding value to your audience.
What Is Content Curation?
Content Marketing Institute sums up the definition of content marketing perfectly for our purposes: “Content curation assembles, selects, categorizes, comments on, and presents the most relevant, highest quality information to meet your audience’s needs on a specific subject.”
Content curation means sharing with your audience the best content produced by others. Curating content strategically involves finding, organizing, and publishing the most relevant content for your audience in a way that adds value to already exceptional material.
Curation is more than just sharing posts on Facebook. With content curation, you’re leveraging content originally created by others to create new content for your audience that’s engaging and unique. You’re acting as an editor, adding your own commentaries and perspective, in order to help your readers get new insights into the content.
The aims of content curation are the same as any other form of content marketing – to educate your audience and build a relationship with them that later translates into results for you.
Some examples of content curation include:
- A weekly roundup email newsletter with the latest news in your industry
- A commentary on an article that’s going viral right now
- An infographic that displays a summary of the data of a research project
- A list of 10 hot news stories your audience may have missed, along with your opinion on each
- An article that unpacks a tweet from a thought leader in your niche and explains its meaning in context
- A short video that summarizes the main points of a long video or a video course.
In each of these examples, you’ve taken someone else’s content and used it to create something highly-focused for your audience that gives them a new perspective or helps them understand it more clearly.
What makes content curation successful is the fact that you’re not simply a computer algorithm. You know your audience and you follow industry leaders, influencers, and great content creators in your niche. You can select excellent content for your audience based on their tastes and needs. You’re taking the best of the web and bringing it to your audience, and also offering your own comments or ideas to make it relevant to them.
The Benefits of Content Curation
The main benefit of content curation is that you can supplement your regular content creation schedule with even more stellar content for your audience.
Further benefits that are unique to content curation include:
- You don’t have to create all of your content from scratch. You can use the content of others as a basis for creating new content. This can save costs considerably while still providing excellent value to your audience.
- Because it cuts costs, curation allows small businesses to maximize content just like larger businesses. Even a tiny marketing team can create a steady stream of good content, and this helps to level the playing field against bigger competitors.
- Curating content opens the door to topics and areas of expertise that are outside of your own. By sharing the content of other thought leaders and experts, you can bring new perspectives and knowledge to your audience.
Curating also allows you to diversify and share different types of media you may not be able to create on your own. For example, you may not be a video producer, but you can still share videos with your audience.
- Supplementing content creation with curation offers you more opportunities to engage with your audience. You can share content and follow it up with a comment or question to get a conversation going, asking something like, “What do you think about his/her opinion on this?” Content curation is especially good for this through social media.
- Sharing the content of others is a great way to get yourself noticed. When you write an article on an idea posed by an industry thought leader, there’s a chance that this individual will find your content, and this gives you an opportunity to connect with them. They may also share your curated piece and thus enlarge your audience, while building more connections for you.
- Curating content helps to establish you as an expert in your niche. It shows that you’re following the news and latest content, that you’re “in the know.” You’ll become better acquainted with thought leaders and important people in your industry. You’ll learn something new by consuming the content of others and it will give you ideas for your own content.
- Finally, more content means that you’ll have more opportunities to be indexed by search engines. Your diverse curated content allows you more keywords, more backlinking, and more SEO power.
In order to make content curation work for you and help you achieve your business goals, you need to approach it strategically.