Content curation is becoming more popular, particularly with the surge of tools coming into the marketplace due to the demand for sourcing relevant and valuable content to make it easier for businesses and bloggers alike.
Over the last 18 months we have seen content curation evolving…perhaps maturing to the point where, in 2015, it will come of age. What was initially a technique to find, gather and present highly selective online content (from articles, blog posts, videos and imagery) around specific topics/aimed at particular groups, it has progressed into collaborative content curation. Tools such as ZEEF and Listly are great examples of how effective content curation is becoming for driving engagement and traffic. And how we, as hungry consumers of content, can trust the content to be relevant to our needs and therefore save us even more time.
The object of content curation is to simply find the best content on a certain topic. Content curation gives your readers the content they want by filtering through vast quantities of information and presenting the best available (by filtering out the less relevant content).
Below are some ways to help you maximise curating content, generate more engagement and traffic, and ensure that you don’t have to just rely on artificial intelligence to find “mostly” relevant content. Despite technical advancements, there is still a lot unwanted content uncovered by the various tools out there – no matter how specific you try to be with your keywords and search topics! What we really need is human intelligence to be part of the process too.
1. Use lists
List posts have always worked well and can help increase engagement, shares and drive traffic. They are easy to share and add huge value to the reader who is able to scan for what is most appropriate for them – lists are simply much easier on the eye :). ZEEF, for example, embraces the philosophy of content curation and applies a combination of advanced algorithms with human intelligence. Their list directory approach works very well and differentiates from others in the marketplace as curators are able to rank the best sites (or lists) based on quality. This therefore ensures the ethos of content curation is about quality content. Multiple curators can make edits/suggestions and collaborate on each of the lists too. The lists are fully shareable and can be embedded into other websites which helps drive even more traffic as well as amplify the best and most popular content.
2. Add value
As with creating quality content that appeals to your target audience and customer, the same principals apply when curating content: always ensure you provide valuable high quality and relevant information. Inform, engage and entertain your readers. Curating content, and then sharing it, enables you to act as a valuable resource to your audience; it helps build trust and authority amongst your readers and network. For example, don’t just say what you like or don’t like…give reasons why you value them (or don’t!) and offer suggestions for improvements or alternative sources of similar topics.
3. Enhanced SEO
Make sure you take the time to optimise your curated content. Use tools like Wordstream to help you find relevant and trending keywords. Often when other publishers see that you have linked to their content they will reciprocate by sharing your post across their own social network channels and could also add it to their own blog, which generates more inbound links back to your site.
4. Round-up posts
Round-up posts are a great way to collaborate with others in your niche. They drive lots of social engagements and traffic too. The most effective ways are to work with other publishers and ask them to contribute. For example, create an expert piece on certain trends in your industry and ask a handful of experts to provide their opinions on what to expect in the year ahead with a bit of future-gazing or, alternatively, take a look back at what the last year’s big trends were. You could even create a post about a particular subject but instead of just giving your opinions or thoughts you could provide links to what others have said and invite your readers to contribute their opinions or resources that they’ve found useful on that topic.
5. Use a central hub
Don’t just rely on sharing content from your social media networks, as you will lose some traffic. Ideally, seek to embed curation tools on your site – for example, you can embed lists and pages you create on ZEEF using their widgets, while Scoop.it allows you to integrate with WordPress.
There are a few ethical concerns over content curation so make sure you give credit to all sources through references/ links. Where possible, you should summarise the key points rather than taking the easy route of mirroring what has already been written too.
It can be easy to rely solely on curating content; after all it can save a huge amount of time! But for best results content curating should be used “in addition to” rather than “instead of” creating original content.
Content curation is a great way to discover and filter quality content, and then share it with others whilst generating more engagement and traffic back to your website. Perhaps we could coin a new industry term: “crowdcontenting”?! 😀
Below are a few content curation tools to consider using:
1. Paper.li – Twitter curation; it enables people to publish an online “newspaper” based on topics of interest to them or the community they seek to influence.
2. Storify – Add and curate content from any public webpage. Alternatively, you can use the integrated search to add content by simply drag and dropping. It’s a great way to capture the buzz from the show floor after a tradeshow, event or conference.
3. ZEEF – Content curation and link directory that allows you to create, discover and collaborate lists – a powerful content filtering tool that combines artificial and human intelligence. You can embed the lists on your site, and their analytics and monetary features are very useful.
4. CurationSoft – This enables you to curate information and discover things based on keywords from Google, Google blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and any RSS feed.
5. Listly – Enables you to discover and create lists. Great for collaborating with others. You can also embed the lists on your site, which adds additional value to your audience.
6. PearlTrees – Find, organise and share online content. You can share content across a number of platforms.
7. Scoop.it – Turns your content creation into a magazine, while it can also be embedded on WordPress sites too.
8. Bagtheweb – Helps users curate Web content. For any topic, you can create a “bag” to collect, publish, and share content from the Web.
Are you using content curation tools? Do you have any frustrations when trying to find the right content amongst the massive volume out there on the Internet? Or perhaps some tips to help others do it better?! Please leave a comment and share your experiences!