Content curation can be used to boost traffic, SEO, thought leadership and more. What’s more, there are some great tools out there to make the curation process extremely easy.
Not sure what content curation is? Content curation involves gathering content from a variety of reputable sources and sharing it via a single source (for example a social network or your blog).
Do you share the occasional interesting video with your friends via Facebook? Or email your friends links to articles you think are cool? Maybe you re-Tweet eye-catching posts? If you do any of these things, you are a content curator.
In a business context, content can be curated and shared at scale on blogs, via social sites like Twitter or Facebook, and more. But why even bother curating content to begin with?
The Benefits of Content Curation
There are a number reasons to curate content. For example, through content curation you can:
Show that your business is tuned into the world around you. No business works in isolation. It’s important to show that you understand the context in which your product or service works. By talking about the latest trends and news in your market, you demonstrate that your business understands the issues your audience is facing and can provide solutions that work in the real world.
Become a resource. Make yourself into a resource for a particular topic to build a solid following, increase SEO, and gain reader trust. For example, customer service expert Shep Hyken offers a post about top customer service articles of the week each week, which is a great resource for me, as someone who works in the customer service arena.
Develop relationships with influencers. So many people are publishing online these days, from social media influencers to analysts to highly placed individuals in a company you might want to target. Write about influencers’ articles and let them know by including their names and handles in social posts. It’s a great way to get on their radar.
Drive traffic. Not sure about how this one works? Check out the amazing story of how one man got 100,000 fans using content curation.
Keep yourself from getting content burnout. Writing and posting fresh, original content is a must for every business. At the same time, it can be challenging to keep up, especially if you have a small marketing team. Curating content is a great supplement, allowing you to provide your opinion on a particular topic without requiring a great deal of effort.
Content Curation Rules
As you can see, content curation can be a very effective way to increase thought leadership, audience volume, relationships, and sanity. However, before you begin curating content, you should follow a few basic guidelines.
When curating content, you must always:
- Include a link back to the original source
- Give credit to the original author of the piece (preferably with a link to their social handle or profile)
- Only include a short quote from the piece (otherwise it’s stealing)
- Ensure you are curating from a reliable source
- Check that your curated content is reinforcing your created content
- Balance content curation with content creation
And the most important rule of all:
Don’t let content curation take over your life!
You can spend time manually sifting through articles to find relevant material. You may come across articles in your daily reading that you’d like to share. If you are sharing regularly for business purposes, though, you will need to find a more efficient means for discovering material.
That’s where tools come in.
There are a variety of tools you can pay for that will allow you to curate content, from the basic suggested posts provided by Hootsuite (not available in the free version) to the more in-depth options provided by the content-curation powerhouse Curata. But if you’re just starting to dip your toe into the process of content aggregation and curation, you’re best off starting with free tools like the ones below.
Flipboard is a wonderful way to create online magazines filled with curated material. The tool has an easy-to-use mobile app as well as a desktop version.
Using Flipboard, you can find interesting articles, videos, photos, and more on specific topics. You can then make collections of that material and share those collections via Flipboard or another social media site. The magazines you create can focus on whatever topics make the most sense for your business.
For example, you could make magazines that focus on:
- Thought leaders in your industry
- Articles and videos about a particular event
- Articles about your niche
Looking to learn more about Flipboard? Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Flipboard 101: Learn the Basics About How to Use Flipboard – A great post to bet you are going on Flipboard.
- Flipboard Tutorials – Flipboard provides some excellent videos to help you out.
- Flipboard’s Magmaker Blog – Flipboard’s Magmaker Blog can give you ideas for your own magazines.
Are you following thousands of people on Twitter with no way to pick out the juicy tidbits from the stream? Then creating Twitter lists is the way to go.
Twitter lists enable you to gather a group of connected people and read and follow their posts. For example, you might want to create a list based around a particular event like the Social Tools Summit, a vertical market like healthcare, or a particular topic like new mothers.
Once you have created your list (or lists), you can re-Tweet those posts that are relevant for your business or comment on articles posted by the members of your Twitter list. You can also make your Twitter list public so other Twitter users can follow it – making it yet another way to gain followers and become a content curation resource.
Here are some Twitter lists I follow to give me ideas for content to curate:
- Awesome custserv folks – All about folks obsessed with customers.
- SMMW15 Speakers – A fantastic group of social media experts.
- Social Business Content – These folks post great social media-related content.
Pocket allows you to save articles, videos, photos and more directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter and Flipboard. You can then access them later, online or off.
Pocket is a great tool to use if you want to collect your material at one point but then write about it or set up posts about it later. There is a paid version of Pocket as well if you’re looking to get a little fancier, but the free version has a perfectly serviceable range of features.
Looking to learn more about Pocket? Here are some resources you can check out:
- Pocket Blog – Find out the latest and greatest about Pocket.
- Pocket App Directory – Discover what apps Pocket can integrate with (hint – there are more than 500!).
- Pocket iPhone demo video – Watch how easy it is to use Pocket on the iPhone (it can also be used on Android too).
Measure, Adjust, and Improve
Of course, as with any marketing process, you need to track metrics for page visits and shares, as well as link shares to ensure that your content creation efforts are successful. Then you can continue to adjust your efforts according to which content is most popular.
Do you have additional tools or tricks for successful content curation? Share them with me in the comments below or on Twitter: @HollyChessman. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!