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In the world of online marketing, curation is key. Similar to selecting and presenting artwork and artifacts in a museum, curating content involves finding and sharing examples of great online content. Though you might never become an art museum curator, there’s no reason you can’t excel at sourcing and exhibiting content online. Understand what you can accomplish through online curation and know how to curate content effectively.
Image via Flickr by Anonymous Account
As a general rule, any digital marketer, content creator, or social media manager should curate online content. If your role involves marketing or branding, then researching and sourcing information related to competitors and other industry entities should already be a major component of your day-to-day work.
Adding curation into the mix does more than just fill gaps in your brand’s own content creation strategy. It also gives you the opportunity to flex your marketing muscle and show off your ability to network in your space. If you’re looking for additional exposure and opportunities to connect, content curation can benefit brands in virtually every industry.
If your brand creates its own content and maintains a consistent editorial calendar, you might be wondering how sourcing and sharing outside content can benefit your brand. Whether you’re looking to develop your brand identity, grow your audience, or establish consistency, curation can help you achieve the goals you’ve set.
As you’re building your brand, you’ll quickly learn that consistency is critical. Posting irregularly or letting your channels linger idly for too long doesn’t send a positive message. Instead, it tells your audience one of two things. It indicates that you don’t value them enough to make regular communication a priority, and it also reveals that your brand might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
No matter if your marketing team is large or small, it’s almost impossible to do it all on your own. Even if you have a team producing great content that tells your brand’s story, it’s tough to cover all the angles. You can try, but you can’t be an expert on everything.
Sourcing high-quality content that’s relevant to your industry is a great way to keep up consistent communication without overwhelming your marketing team. Curating content in addition to creating your own is also the ideal way to maintain consistency without blowing your brand’s marketing budget.
Whether you manage social media profiles, create content, or develop email marketing messages, you’re involved in brand identity. Though your company might have a great story and a unique way to tell it, a major component of establishing your brand should be carving out a space in your industry. Even if your industry is relatively small or you work within a narrow niche, it’s your responsibility to tell your brand’s story within a larger context.
Content curation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to further develop your brand’s identity. Not only does researching relevant content help you get to know your industry better, but it also allows you to project your brand’s own voice and establish it in a meaningful space.
No one likes self-absorbed brands or people and companies who only talk about themselves. Sharing other brands’ content is a smart way to grow your audience through building relationships. After all, the more connections you make with related brands, the more you’ll improve the chances they’ll do the same for you.
As you increase your reach, you’ll grow your audience organically. This growth gives you the opportunity to generate new leads, a primary goal for most digital marketers.
If you pen blog posts, write white papers, or produce eBooks, you already know how powerful these types of media can be for promoting your brand as a knowledgeable voice. Whether you create thoughtful blog posts consistently or you produce one or two in-depth pieces of content, you’ll gradually become a go-to voice in your industry.
Well-executed content curation can accomplish the same goal. When you source, display, and connect some of the best content in your space, you can establish your brand as a highly knowledgeable expert in your field.
From web to email to social media, content curation works well on many online platforms. As you gather and share, however, it’s important to remember that effective curating requires much more than simply posting outside content with no comment. Instead of just aggregating or reposting links, know how to use each platform to your advantage to get the best results.
Your company blog should serve as a font of knowledge about your brand and your industry. Adding curated content to your blog is a great way to add more depth to your company’s original writing and provide more value to your readers.
One of the most effective ways to incorporate curated content into your editorial calendar is to develop a regular posting schedule. For many bloggers, this translates to a weekly, biweekly, or monthly post dedicated to curated content.
The format of your blog post might vary depending on your industry and the content you’ve chosen, but a curated blog roundup works well in most instances. Create an eye-catching roundup by gathering the most newsworthy blog posts in your industry, adding your own expert-level commentary, and providing links back to top voices. Encourage comments on the blog post and prompt your audience to build a conversation around it.
Your brand’s email newsletter is another effective place for sharing industry content. Like a well-executed blog post, a newsletter should include much more than just links to outside content. Use the space to add your brand’s voice to the content you’ve curated, and take advantage of the opportunity to build your reputation as an expert.
Keep in mind that the curated content you share in any given newsletter should align with your overall email marketing goals. If you rely on your email newsletter to drive leads, for instance, be sure to incorporate your brand’s own content and links into each mailing.
If you’ve created a curated roundup on your blog or in an email newsletter, don’t hesitate to share a link on your social media channels to drive traffic to your post. Tag the brands you’ve highlighted in the post to let them know you’ve shared their content and to give them the opportunity to connect.
Even if you haven’t posted a blog roundup, you can use social media for content curation. On Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, share or repost your industry’s best high-quality content. Elevate it from a simple share to a curated post by adding your own unique take on the content. Don’t forget to tag any relevant brands in order to create connections, encourage re-shares, and drive a larger conversation.
As you incorporate curated content into your social media posts, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance. Curating content can go a long way toward building your brand, but don’t do it at the expense of your own content. Instead, build curated posts into your social media calendar.
Keep in mind that your curated posts can fall flat if you don’t use them effectively. Use tools like Followerwonk to learn more about the brands you want to connect with. Build your curated posting schedule around their most active times in order to be as effective as possible.
Assessing the value of your curated content can be challenging, but tools like CurationReports make the process easier. Rely on CurationReports to track the success of your own content as well as to monitor the impact of your competitors’ content.
Sorting through all the online content to find the best can be a daunting task. Make the most of your time by gathering content with a few common tools.
You can rely on Google Alerts to monitor the web for your industry’s top news. Simply create a Google news alert for one or more of your primary keywords, and you’ll receive a daily email that links news articles, blog posts, and even press releases that feature your keywords.
If you’ve already identified major players in your industry, use an RSS reader like Feedly to subscribe to their blogs. Don’t forget to check your feed reader daily to stay on top of industry news and to source content for your curated posts.
In addition to subscribing to key blogs, be sure to follow influencers on your social channels. Not only is this a great way to connect with influencers, but it’s also a smart way to keep an eye on what they’re curating.
Content curation doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you want to grow your brand, increase your influence, or build relationships, content curation can help you get there. Follow these guidelines, and discover how to get the most out of curating content.