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For those of you who are hazy on content curation, it is basically the sharing of other people’s information and organizing it around particular themes or topics. According to Steve Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation, “curation is the new way of organizing the web.” But why do we need it organized? As the volume of information available to us on the web grows there just simply isn’t enough time in a day to sift through all of the irrelevant information. CopyPress practices the art of curation daily on its blog with an end of the day round up of pertinent industry news and information (better known as Fresh Pressed).
For content curation to take place, there are three steps in the process.
The notion of curation has boomed and companies such as iFlow, Thrillist, and PSFK have all capitalized on the need for it by putting the right content in front of the right people. PSFK in particular focusses on urban males aged 22-30 and according to founder Ben Lerer have “zoned in on a niche group that was previously starved for the kind of information we deliver.”
Like PSFK.com, if you can pinpoint the niche and offer trustworthy, timely, and relevant content to your audience on a regular basis then you will be able to master your market and build a loyal following.
Most people that have any form of online presence have curated their profile at one point or another. If you own a Pinterest account and board with a specific theme then you’re already a curator. The majority of this form of curation doesn’t happen with marketing in mind, and that is where you will need to make some adjustments. You’ll need to be a bit more strategic in your curating and not share just for the sake of sharing. A best practice for curation with marketing in mind is to find, organize, and share with intent.
As a curator you are worth your weight in gold for the quality and relevance of content that you allow into your portal. Brian Solis (author of The End of Business as Usual) noted from Rosenbaum’s book that,
“The social capital of a curator is earned through qualifying, filtering, and refining relevant content.”
In order to capitalize you must have a strategy and action plan in place. There are certain aspects I’d like you to keep in mind whilst you’re curating.
You can’t curate for everyone: it’s simply just not possible for you to curate content for everyone in one campaign. The key to curation is zone in on a small sector of the population and give them what they’re missing.
Speak to them in a voice that they trust: Don’t bombard your audience with sales pitches or fill your curation portal with any old fluff. You don’t want to be the sleazy door to door salesman that spews propaganda left, right, and center. Give your readers the valuable information they’re looking for, no less.
If the curation is good enough, it will [almost] market itself: If you can give the reader what they want then you will develop a loyal audience that in turn will share the content and or act upon it.
Just like with anything else, there are good and bad sides to curation. In order to capitalize on curation you should know what they are in order to fully understand how it all works.
Provide Value: This one is pretty self-explanatory. As long as you are curating quality content, you are adding value for your audience (especially if they may not have found this content without you pointing it out to them).
Build Trust: By providing your audience with quality content, whether it is yours or someone else’s, you build trust. You become a go-to, trusted source for information in your niche.
Establish yourself as a Leader: Displaying your ability to separate the good from the bad displays leadership. Knowing great sources of information shows leadership. And if you add commentary to your curated content, it shows thought leadership.
People follow leaders. People subscribe to leaders. People take leaders’ advice. People buy from leaders.
With the purest form of content curation (just sharing other people’s content), you aren’t positioned very well to drive too many decisions. It’s difficult to help people make up their minds about your product or service with someone else’s content.
However, if you do more than just strictly share the content, but rather add your own original commentary as well, you can get around this problem by shifting gears to focus on how it applies to your business. Curation should fit into your content marketing strategy as much creation does.
Another problem that arises is the appeal of automated curation. This is accomplished by using software solutions.
If you are going to try and capitalize on conversion, then you cannot afford to be lazy. Don’t leave your curation to its own devices with automation, and when you do curate, curate with a purpose.