Within a second, Google receives over 40,000 search queries. That equates to 3.5 billion searches per day! So how do we manage this ongoing avalanche of new content?
In this sea of endless data, content curation has become essential for brands looking to build a relationship with their audience and help buyers and customers find relevant information.
What is content curation?
The term “curation” often conjures images of museum staff meticulously arranging artifacts or art historians collecting pieces for a gallery exhibit. However, the term has evolved significantly. New forms of collecting and arranging content have emerged and are continuing to evolve, specifically in the digital realm.
In fact, it’s likely that you’re already a curator, or have at least utilized curated content. For example, if you listen to music on Spotify, subscribe to a subreddit, or use Pinterest, you’ve encountered or participated in some form of content curation.
The term “curation” really means the process of finding, organizing, and contextualizing content, and in the digital realm, this usually takes the form of blogs, lists, social posts, infographics, and videos, just to name a few. Rather than adding new content to the already overcrowded online community, digital curators discover and compile existing content and share it with their audience.
Content curation within digital marketing
In the marketing sphere, content curation doesn’t mean sharing or copying. It also doesn’t means adding more content to the social world. Rather, it focuses on grouping, organizing, and presenting the most relevant content in one place. Think of it as a one-stop shop for consumers.
To meet this goal, the curator’s job is to contextualize the information and add value to content collections through commentary. Curated content can then be shared via blog posts, email, and social media profiles.
What is the value in content curation?
Consistently creating original content can be difficult, often times requiring financial investment and additional human resources. Content curation, on the other hand, gives brands the opportunity to produce “new” content by collecting and organizing existing content. Not only will this help you gain exposure by linking your brand to another brand’s content, it will also show your audience that you are both collaborative and a reliable source of information.
Content curation gives you the opportunity to link to thought leaders and leading brands, while also boosting the authority of your site and fostering greater trust with your audience.
The Killer Curated Content Checklist
So are you now wondering what’s the best way to start curating content?
Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind as you begin the process:
1. Know Who You’re Talking To
The most basic thing to start off with is to identify your audience. What demographics are you trying to attract? What topics interest your audience? Which channels will reach them best? For example, some groups are more likely to be found on social media and avidly follow Twitter handles, while others may gravitate to more standard blog posts. Knowing who your audience is, what they’re looking for, and where they can be found will enable you to target them more effectively.
2. Carve Out Your Territory
Now that you’ve identified your audience, it’s important to clearly define what territory your curation efforts will cover. Choosing a specific topic will help guide your search for content and keep you on point. Once you’ve determined your topics, you can start looking at the blogs and influencers in that field for content, as well as inspiration if you were to write your own content.
A note of caution – remember that curation isn’t stealing. You should always be linking back to original content and continually adding your own spin on the topic. Defining a clear topic will also help you identify the gaps in your competitors’ coverage, and help you cater to these underrepresented themes.
3. Curate Quality Content, Not Crap
Don’t hoard content. Instead, focus on trustworthy and relevant sources. Keep things short and related to your topic. The goal should be quality over quantity when curating content. If done consistently, quality can be your differentiator as a curator. It will help to build a relationship with your audience by filtering out irrelevant information and providing higher quality nuggets of information, as well as improve your search ranking over time.
4. Curate Consistently
No matter how great your curation skills are, you won’t be heard unless you share on a regular basis. Consistent curation doesn’t only mean regular and timely publication, but also applies to the type of content you’re curating. Make sure you regularly refer back to checkpoints #1 and #2 to ensure you consistently provide content that speaks to your audience’s interests and needs.
5. Curate To Cultivate Your SEO
Although SEO is essential, simply stuffing your curated content with SEO terms and repeatedly linking to the same source will not be beneficial to you. Search engines are constantly crawling through the endless waves of data for valuable information, so linking to a variety of sites will let Google know that your content is credible.
When linking, make sure that links open in a new tab or window so that readers don’t wander away from your site. Also, avoid reposting too much of the original article within your curated content.
Curating Content with Rock Content
Over here at Rock Content, we’re helping brands curate content in real time. We’ve got a number of tools available to help you spice up a real-time story with engaging content from around the web.
It’s easy to say “curate some killer content” but as you just learned, it’s not just about making lists and posting them on the Internet. There are a variety of ways to curate content effectively. Sometimes the best way to learn is to take a look at what the experts are doing.
To see examples of how the Grammy’s, the Oscars, Sport Chek, and Gretzky.com achieved success through content curation, read the Quick Guide to Killer Content Curation.