A strong content marketing strategy requires you to post content frequently on all of your platforms and social media channels.
However, you might find yourself struggling to come up with original content to post without running out of material.
Thankfully, there is an easier way to fill your Facebook and LinkedIn feeds that doesn’t require you to write new content every day.
Rather than creating an original piece of content yourself for every social media post, many marketers use content curation to help find entertaining, educational, and inspiring content for their social channels.
But what is curated content? And how can it benefit your business?
In this article, we’ll answer those questions and also look at some of the best practices for your content curation strategies.
What is Curated Content?
The simple definition of curated content is that it is the process of selecting content from other sources to share on your channels.
That includes the process of searching, discovering, gathering, organizing, and presenting that content to your audiences.
Rather than creating your own original content for every social media post, you can gather other content like blogs, infographics, and news articles to share on your social media channels.
By amassing content from a variety of other sources, you can save a lot of time and avoid overworking yourself or your team to create new, original content every day.
When you curate content, you find other reliable sources that post about the topics and interests that your viewership has and share posts.
Just like a museum curator, it is your job as a marketer to find the best content that is out there to share with your audience.
After all, you don’t want to share posts from unreliable sources or content that doesn’t match the interests of your audience.
What are the Benefits of Curated Content?
Curated content has many different benefits for your brand.
As mentioned above, it’s a stress reducer for you and your team. But there are also some benefits of curating content that you might not have thought about.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of curated content.
While it still takes time to properly discover, approve, and post curated content, it will save you the time it usually takes to create an original post for your social media channels.
Typical content creation requires writers or designers to spend time putting together original content, while content curation can be done with just a few clicks.
Even if you add your own comments, change the image, or adjust the formatting of curated posts, it still takes less time than doing the same to an original post from your brand.
Positions Your Brand as an Expert
As a digital marketer, you want your brand’s reputation and reach to grow through social media.
You want your profiles to be so well-respected that people come to you for their information rather than other sources.
Content curation helps make that possible.
When you share relevant, helpful, and educational content from other sources, your audience knows that you can help them find the content that matches your interests, regardless of whether you created it or not.
Curated content also helps your organization create a better linking structure in your posts.
When audiences are used to seeing and clicking on links in your posts, it encourages them to do the same for your original content as well as curated content.
You can also set an example for other brands to share your content on their pages when they see that linking is becoming more common in your industry.
Starts Conversations and Engagement with Other Brands
Speaking of other brands, content curation is a great way to start conversations and engagement with others in your industry, not just your audiences.
That can help you expand your own followers and create important relationships with other brands that can help you in the future.
It’s always a good idea to be open and willing to engage with other brands, as that helps improve and promote your own brand’s reputation online.
Delivers a Better Experience to Customers
Social media is all about appealing to your audiences and helping turn followers into loyal customers.
When you can deliver a great experience to them on social media, it helps to endear your brand in their eyes.
Content curation helps save your customers time by providing great content from a single source.
Rather than searching the internet or trying to find helpful answers on their own, you can provide that content directly to your viewers.
That also helps your brand as more customers will start to rely on you as their main source of information for topics in your industry.
Avoids Too Much Self-Promotion
Have you ever walked into a business and been jumped on by salespeople before you even get a chance to get your bearings?
Social media can often have a similar feel for customers.
If all the content you post on your social media channels is original content from your brand with CTAs to “buy now” or “learn more”, it can feel overly self-promotional.
While you want to promote your brand, you want to do so subtly while providing value in the form of curated posts to your followers.
How Much Content Should You Curate?
Now that you understand what is curated content, you need to start thinking about how much-curated content you want to use in your content marketing strategies.
You want to have a healthy amount of curated content in your social media feeds to help establish your brand as a thought leader and get the other benefits of curated content, but you also don’t want to be anything more than a link-sharing machine.
While there is no clear consensus on how much-curated content to post, a good rule of thumb is to try and have curated content make up about 30%-60% of your total content on social media, leaving the rest of your content calendar to your own original posts.
You can then start repurposing your older content and resharing previously published posts to help you avoid making brand-new content each day.
Another good idea is to keep the focus of your content curation on the quality rather than the quantity of posts.
It’s always better to post less frequently on social media than to post bad content or poor-quality links.
Spend a good amount of time verifying the source of curated content and make sure it is only a part of your content marketing strategy, not the entire focus.
How to Effectively Curate Content
Now that you understand the benefits of curated content and how much of it you should post on your social media feeds, let’s look at some of the best practices you need to effectively curate content and share it with your audiences.
1. Know Your Audience
Overall, you want to make sure your content is both what your audience expects to see and what they want to see. Ideal content pieces exceed these expectations, providing additional value and context that your audience may not have known about before viewing the material.
It’s best to obtain content that goes beyond the surface needs of your audience. For example, if you have a newsletter geared toward tech professionals, they’ll expect to see industry news and updates. However, you can dive deeper by showcasing content that illustrates how tech is changing different markets and individuals for the better (or worse).
By digging into the “why” behind your content topics, you can create a much richer and more engaging user experience.
While you should have buyer personas for your customer base, you might want to consider refining those profiles for social media. Then you can start to ask important questions during your content curation, such as:
- Is this content relevant to my audience?
- Does this content help my audience in any way?
- Will this content support the brand mission and values we give to our audience?
- How can this content answer a problem of my audience?
2. Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Curated content is by definition content created by other people. You’ll want to make sure that those sources are properly credited and tagged when you use their content.
While you don’t want to come across as promoting another brand over your own, you also want to avoid any accusations of theft or plagiarism.
By crediting your sources in tags or with an @, you can avoid any negative accusations against your brand.
In addition to tagging your sources, it’s also good to engage with them. Realistically, you can create a symbiotic relationship with your top content providers, especially if your audience brings them traffic. For example, you could get early access to new content pieces, or the provider may be willing to share exclusive content with your followers.
The goal should be to foster positive relationships within your content network. This way, it’s a win-win situation that benefits everyone involved, including your audience.
3. Avoid Off-Topic Content
The primary purpose of content curation is to provide insight and engagement around a specific topic, which may just be your brand. So, you want to curate pieces that align with the topic as closely as possible.
While you do want to share posts that are interesting and engaging, you also want to be helpful and educational.
Fortunately, most content curation platforms use technology to ensure that each piece is as fresh and relevant as possible. This way, even if you leave your curation on autopilot, you don’t have to worry about unrelated stories appearing in your audience’s feed.
What if there is an interesting piece that you want to share, but it’s not specifically related to your main topic? In this situation, it’s best to add some context or explanation.
Your audience will know why you’re sharing it, and you can provide some valuable insight into why the content may be valuable to them. Otherwise, unexplained diversions could be distracting or make your distribution system seem flawed.
4. Add Your Own Captions and Thoughts
One of the biggest questions you have to answer when curating content is, “Why should my audience get this content from me and not somewhere else?” In many cases, the answer is “convenience,” but that shouldn’t be the only option.
You have valuable insights and experiences related to your content, so you’ll want to share them as much as possible. For example, if you’re running a newsletter, you can add commentary to the email messages that you send to your subscribers. These messages can break down some of the top content pieces, or they can showcase your thoughts about a particular trending topic.
Overall, you’ll want to make your content curation as unique as possible. In addition to providing commentary on third-party pieces, you should try to incorporate your own content when appropriate. This will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
5. Select Good Sources
Just because there are tons of content pieces online doesn’t mean you want them in your newsletter or on your website. Choosing high-quality, reputable sources enhances your content curation system in a few ways, such as:
- Improves Your Reputation – When you curate content from reliable, trustworthy sources, it makes you look better by association.
- Adds Value For Your Audience – High-quality sources will help your audience, making them come to you more often for similar content pieces.
- Helps Your Understanding – Even with your valuable insight, you can learn a lot from your content sources. The more you know, the better you are at providing value for your followers.
- Boosts SEO – Search engines penalize sites and pages that link to disreputable sources. By only choosing the best content, you can rank higher in search results.
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Which Tools Can Help with Content Curation?
While content curation is an important part of your content marketing strategy, it can still be time-consuming if not done correctly.
While you can manually search for relevant topics and posts online, it can be more effective to use a digital tool to help with your content curation.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tools to make curating content easier for you and your team.
Hootsuite helps brands curate content by tracking keywords, topics, or even specific accounts.
It can also help you with planning your social media posts and sharing content that you’ve curated directly to your social media platforms, which makes the content curation process faster and even more efficient.
#2. Curate by UpContent
Curate by UpContent finds high-quality content that you can use for your social media channels by utilizing customization tools to help make content sharing easier.
That includes changing URLs and adding your own custom images to posts to keep things on-brand for your organization.
#3. Google Alerts
Google Alerts is one of the oldest but still best systems for tracking new content.
By setting up an alert for specific keywords or phrases, you can track new content and get email notifications for when content is published that matches your alerts. It also can help you track mentions of your brand.
This tool has both a free and a premium paid version of their app, which means that you can decide if you want extra features like pre-viral content searching and multiple language tracking.
TrendSpottr also lets you see recent posts at the top of your results page, making content curation move much quicker.
ContentGems is a great simple tool for those who don’t need many complicated features for content curation.
It’s free to use and focuses on the quality of the content itself rather than elaborate filters and search parameters.
Pocket is a freemium content curation tool that enables you to build a personal library (or pocket, as it were). You can then share this library with your audience on social media. Pocket integrates with over 1,500 apps, so it’s easy to compile a ton of content from different sources and share it however you like.
The free plan works well as a basic content curation system, but you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version if you want additional features that help manage your library and make it more accessible to your audience.
One of the challenges of content curation is the amount of time it takes to find and compile content from different sources. Scoop.it helps address this issue by learning your search habits and only showing the most relevant information. So, after creating a solid foundation, you can “set it and forget it.”
This platform also makes it easy to create newsletters with valuable content from around the web. With a drag-and-drop interface, you don’t have to be a webmaster to develop a comprehensive newsletter that will help build your audience.
The pricing options are also more affordable than those of others like Pocket, making Scoop.it an ideal choice for smaller, newer sites.
RSS feeds and curated content lists are functional, but they often lack some pizzazz. If you’re looking to make your content curation more unique and engaging, Flipboard might offer the best choice. This platform enables you to create a proto-digital magazine, making it much easier and more fun for your audience to read through each piece.
The platform automatically updates material from your favorite content sites, and it enables you to seamlessly integrate your own content. This way, you can build a more captivated audience centered around your work and let content curation fill in the gaps. Best of all? Flipboard is 100 percent free to use.
As you curate content, you’ll compile a list that potentially contains hundreds of links. Elink.io makes it easy to curate these links and convert them into a webpage or newsletter. This platform is probably one of the easiest to master because it doesn’t require much technical know-how to create beautiful and captivating pages.
Elink.io is powerful enough to help you create content lists in minutes, so you can start building your audience faster than ever before. While it doesn’t have as many unique features as other content curation platforms, it’s a perfect launching point for many creators.
Curata is an all-in-one content curation tool, making it ideal for individuals or brands that want to expand their reach. This tool has everything you need to curate and distribute content across various channels. Best of all, Curata uses machine learning to automate the curation process, so everything is fresh, relevant, and unique to your brand.
This tool is a bit more expensive than others, but it’s perfect for those who are serious about leveraging content curation for their marketing needs.
Content curation can be a lifesaver for brands who need to find inspiring and educational content to fill their social media feeds.
By mixing curated content with your own original content, you are able to establish your brand as more than a sales machine and instead put the company forward as an industry leader and reliable source of information.
Understanding what is curated content is just part of having a well-rounded and successful content marketing strategy.
In order to see exactly where your content strategy stacks up, try taking our content maturity assessment.
You’ll see exactly where your content stands on the maturity scale and see if there are any gaps in your strategy that can be filled!