Why do so many brands only share content they create? I guess you can do what you like if you’re a household name with a huge marketing department. But what about us little guys?
Consumers love to hear about their favorite company’s latest products and offers. But they don’t want to hear about them too much. So, how do you keep top of your audience’s mind but not constantly talk about yourself?
Original content is important. But you should have a content curation strategy too. So, here’s how to make sure you’re sharing the best content that your audience will love:
- Understand what your target audience wants to see
- Make sure you have a focused goal
- Plan how you’ll present what you curate
- Use a blend of automated tools and manual content curation
- Be picky and share mixed types of curated content
- Always add unique insight when you share on social media
What are the benefits of content curation?
Content curation involves sharing content that other people have made. If you’re new to content marketing, you might be wondering why the heck you’d want to do that.
Well, think about that person that always talks about themselves. You don’t want to be that person, right? Curating breaks up your self-promotion. It also helps with brand awareness, SEO, and can even turn you into a thought leader.
Content creation needs a lot of resources. Like content creators, for a start. If you’re part of a small team, you probably don’t have time to be as consistent as you’d like.
There are so many benefits of content curation for digital marketing:
- Keeps your content calendar full
- Turns your social media platforms into expert resources of valuable content (thought leadership)
- Stops you looking too self-promotional (indirect marketing)
- Increases social signals (linked to SEO)
- Acts as a great opener to start networking with influencers
- Can increase engagement and build a community
It’s not as easy as just retweeting everything you see. But it’s not that hard, either.
Keep these six things in mind, and you’ll have a content curation strategy everyone will want to copy.
1. Understand what your target audience wants to see
The most important part of your curation strategy is sharing relevant content. Seriously. If you listen to no other advice from this blog, just keep it relevant.
Your audience is following you for a reason. Whatever niche you’re in, they’re into it too. That’s why posting about NASA’s latest space mission if you sell surfboards isn’t going to be relevant information for your followers. (No matter how cool it is.)
But this doesn’t mean you can’t branch out. You can dig deep into sites, and RSS feeds with lower (but still some) relevance to your industry. You’ll end up finding quality content gems no one else has shared that could give you some of your highest engagement.
Brands and bloggers with the most loyal followers and the highest engagement know what kind of content their audience likes. So, they find it, and share it with them.
Not sure what your audience’s interests are? Try asking yourself some of these questions:
- What type of content do your followers share themselves?
- Do they want to be educated, inspired, or entertained?
- Where do they go to find answers to their questions?
- Who else do they follow?
- What makes them unsubscribe?
If this still doesn’t get you very far, you can always ask them directly.
A survey will show you exactly what your audience wants to see—‘cause they’ll tell you. This’ll also help you to build customer persona templates for your target audience. And those can be invaluable.
2. Make sure you have a focused goal for curated content
Every strategy needs to have a clear end goal. Otherwise, it’s not really a “strategy”. Is it?
Your content curation strategy is no different. The odd retweet isn’t going to do much for the awareness of your social networks. You need to go deeper.
Your goal will determine the kind of content you’re going to share, which format, and where you’ll share it. It might not include tracking metrics like you’d do in a PPC campaign, but it’s just as important.
This also won’t be a quick campaign. Curation is a long-term, ongoing strategy. So your goal might be something like:
- Eventually becoming a thought leader on social media
- Using curation to give you ideas for original content
- Compiling articles you find to create content for SEO purposes
- Building brand awareness
- Lead nurturing and inbound marketing (curated content shows you’re credible and trustworthy)
Just choose your goal and stick with it. There won’t be any quick results, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
3. Plan how you’ll present your curated content
Once you’ve nailed your goal, you need to decide how you’ll be sharing content. If your goal is to increase brand awareness for your social channels, it’ll be social posts.
Social media tends to be better for short-form curated content rather than eBooks. But there are no rules. If your followers are digging 20-page white papers shared on Twitter, keep on doing what you’re doing.
You could present your curated content as:
- Social videos
- Branded infographics
- Blog posts (roundup lists, compiling data into stats)
- An email newsletter
- Unique content (whatever you can think of)
Let’s take email newsletters as an example. This is one form of curated content that can take many different forms itself.
NextDraft and The Browser deal with curating fascinating global news articles you’ve probably missed. Here, humans are the algorithms. NextDraft summarizes in a short paragraph, while The Browser includes the word count.
For all you search engine optimization addicts out there, The Moz Top 10 shares the “most valuable articles about SEO and online marketing” semi-monthly. They keep it short and sweet, with a line or two at most.
Robinhood Snacks is a financial news and stocks newsletter that shouldn’t be missed. They have a super unique way of curating and wording the most important updates.
For one of the most inspiring content curation efforts (and an awesome brand voice), make sure you check it out.
4. Use a blend of automated tools and manual content curation
When building a strategy, content curation tools will quickly become your new best friends. Because they make finding content to curate a breeze. But some tools will be better suited to your goals than others.
For example, if it’s social media content you’re curating for – Quuu works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you want to publish curated topic pages on your website, Scoop.it might be a better fit.
Here are a few of our favorites:
|Quuu||Hand-curated content for social media|
|Simple read-later tool|
|Scoop.it||Create web pages with curated content|
|Smart news aggregator|
|BuzzSumo||Find popular, trending content|
But remember, anyone who also uses these tools has got access to the same content you do. That’s why we recommend some manual curation to go alongside it.
So, where are some places you can source your own content to curate?
- Twitter – create and join Lists
- Follow hashtags on any social networks
- Email newsletters – get content on specific topics sent straight to your inbox
- Community forums and groups – direct from content creators themselves
- Ask your network
The sourcing part of your content curation strategy has never been so simple.
5. Be picky and share mixed types of curated content
The next part of a solid content curation strategy is often forgotten. People kind of know they should be curating, so they share random pieces of content now and again. But anyone can do this, so why would this make you worth following?
Ross Hudgens (for Content Marketing Institute) said:
“My curated content with the most engagement is not content found in the most obvious places for my industry. Anybody can take articles from popular sites and share them. It doesn’t stand out.”
Two things that will make you stand out from the crowd are:
- Sharing content that few people know about
- Sharing from only credible sources
Your social media feeds and blog should be a highlight reel of great content. There shouldn’t be any fillers in there just for the sake of it.
Also, blog posts and articles are great. We love ‘em. But there are so many more exciting forms of content out there. Do some digging and curate some other types of high-quality content like:
- Podcasts (Apple, Spotify)
- Videos and webinars (YouTube)
- Games and quizzes
For example, let’s say you’re in the crypto industry. You could curate something like this:
It’s fun. It’s visual. It’s educational.
Keep your audience pleasantly surprised with a mix of new content you find. Other people’s creations should be a welcome supplement to your own content—blended into one awesome feed.
6. Always add unique value when you share social media content
Once you’ve sorted all of the above, this one hack will put you above 99% of curators. And it’s all to do with adding unique value to everything you post.
On Twitter, Rand Fishkin is a stellar example:
He regularly curates a variety of content related to his industries of marketing, tech, and startups. And most of the time, he’ll add his opinion.
If you’re new to this, you might be unsure of what to say. So, start with reading or watching all of the content you’re going to post, then write what comes to mind at the end. How much you write will depend on the way you’re presenting it.
As you’re limited by characters on Twitter, try:
- Asking a question
- Summarizing into bullet points
- Giving your opinion
- Highlighting your favorite quote
Adding this extra value shows your followers why they should read, watch, or listen to what you’re posting. Think about the Robinhood Snacks newsletter. It links to the content they’ve curated, but it’s all written in their brand personality’s style.
It shows they know exactly what they’re talking about. They’ve curated content, digested it fully, and are now telling you about it in their own words. It gives them credibility and makes them feel trustworthy.
That’s what every brand wants. So, that’s what you need to do. Whether it’s on social media, your blog, or wherever.
Sticking to your content curation strategy isn’t hard to do. It just needs you to put in a little time and effort. That’s where a lot of people get it wrong. Tools can help out massively, but they don’t have that human touch.
Make your audience’s needs a priority. Plan well, and be picky. Curating usually won’t bring instant results, but we’re playing the long game here.
Do you follow any content curators on social media? Are there any top tips you think I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.