Here at Inbound Rocket, we love ourselves a good bunch of content marketing. We’re trying to publish at least one article per week, and in the meantime, we’d like to stay active on various social media channels to you the reader informed about relevant items in the industry.
However, if you’re always creating new content, it can turn out to be one of the most time-consuming things in your schedule.
Especially as a startup or small business with a limited budget, this can run your bank account dry within no-time.
An excellent way to publish more content though, without spending lots of time and budget, is to recycle the content you already have and that of other credible sources in your industry.
This process is called content curation, and in this post, we will be looking into how a successful content curation strategy can help your business produce more content in less time.
But before we dive into the how, let’s first have a better understanding of what content curation is.
What is Content Curation
According to our dear friends at Wikipedia, Content Curation is:
Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users.
In other words, where the process of Content Marketing focuses completely on the creation of your content, Content Curation can be seen as an extent of Content Marketing, where the creation of the content comes from finding relevant pieces of content in your industry that are interesting for your target audience or your Buyer Personas, in other words, you curate your content.
This content curation boils down to three pillars:
- Figuring out what topics and what content your audience loves and identifying or finding the most shared and talked about stories in your industry that ties into the themes you defined in the first step
- Reviewing and organising the content
- Sharing on the best items, you found for your target audience to enjoy
And next to the added advantage of not having to spend your entire budget trying to produce enough compelling content yourself, there are more advantages to doing content curation.
When you do content curation, and you share the content of others, this also helps you to gain a bigger reach (the more and better content you share, the easier it is for people to see you as a relevant source and start following you as well) and it helps you to connect with influencers. After all, when you share the most relevant content in your industry, there is a high change that this content is from an influencer and thus it helps to build a bond with them.
The three steps to content curation success
Of course, no one wants their feeds filled with useless content. So just because something might sound nice from a clickbait headline doesn’t have to mean the content is good.
You need to find the best content out there, the hidden gems, the content that you would enjoy and as a result the content your target audience is talking about and sharing already organically.
Just like you’re trying to solve the problems of your customers with your products or services, and you’re trying to solve these problems through media you own and create (content marketing) so does the content curation need to solve your customer’s problems. In other words, your content needs to be helpful and more than just a nice click bait headline.
So how do you know?
The only way to find out is by reading, listening to, watching the content of others.
You have to be willing to dive into the content and figure out if a particular piece of content is well-written, interesting enough and accessible enough for your audience to consume it. So no content behind a pay-wall, no content that you first have to go through a rigorous signup process, etc. It should be content that they can consume straight away.
But where to start? How can you find compelling content for your audience? The best way to figure out is by thinking, where are the places you go to online to get inspiration and learn from there. This means:
- Taking the RSS feed of your favourite websites, and adding them to services like Feedly this way you have a quick and easy overview of all your related websites
- Subscribing to newsletters. Try to identify the hidden gems in your target area consistently sending out great content. They are already doing a lot of curation for you, so this will save you a lot of time.
- Setting up Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a free service to which you can subscribe to get email alerts when a certain topic is found. Be sure to narrow your search down as much as possible though otherwise your mailbox will be flooded.
- Forums and special interest websites. Places like designernews, growthhackers, or similar type of communities for your industry are perfect places to find hot and trending content. The best way to start here is a the top post sections, posts that aren’t getting a lot of traction are not showing up on these lists and are probably not worthwhile of your attention anyhow
- Creating Twitter lists. Twitter can be a bit overwhelming to do content curation, but just like setting up Feedly with the RSS feeds of your favourite websites, creating Twitter lists will help you to bring order to the chaos. Create Twitter lists of people belonging to certain niches, or accounts which are just sharing industry related news.
- Special content curation websites like Quuu.co can do a lot of the hard work for you. Accounts start at nothing and already delivering you two interesting pieces of content every day that you can share with your audience. We’ve been using them for some time now already at Inbound Rocket, and the content that they deliver always seems to be on par with our audience.
#2 Review and Organise
Now that you got yourself a lot of potential content, it’s time bring it down to the most interesting content for your audience. Not all content is created equal, and so this means times to get your hands dirty.
Some content works better in your newsletter, while other content works best on a particular social media channel like Facebook, or LinkedIn. By reviewing all the content, reading through them, watching it, you can start to organise the different sets of content and see if it is relevant or that it can be skipped. And if it is relevant, for which channel is it to most relevant?
Pro tip: Sometimes content identified doesn’t have to be shared straight away, sometimes you can also archive it for later to be used as a reference in an article you’re creating yourself.
What we do here at Inbound Rocket is use the Evernote Chrome extension overtime we see something interesting we save the article to our Evernote. Because Evernote gives you related items when viewing an article, or when writing your content you automatically get contextual links you can include in your pieces, to make them more vibrant and relevant.
The final step of Content Curation is the actual sharing of the content you created. Sharing Curated Content can happen in a lot of different ways. Depending on your marketing strategy, the following three methods of sharing your Curated Content could be beneficial for your organisation.
Sharing Curated Content on social networks
The first and probably the easiest way to share Curated Content is by sharing it on one of your social channels. It makes it a lot simpler to keep on sharing relevant and fresh content to an audience that quickly scrolls through their newsfeed every day.
By doing proper content curation, you can have that “thumb stopping” content, that makes people want to enjoy following you. If you follow the Rule of Thirds, then one of the thirds should be addressed to sharing other people’s content:
- One-third of your social media content can be used to promote your own business, convert readers and generate profits.
- One-third of your social media content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded business.
- One-third of your social media content should be based on personal interactions and to help build your (helpful) brand
At first, it might be a bit scary to share outsider content by other business or thought leaders in your industry. But by doing so, it shows your audience that you know your industry well, that you’re collegial and aware of your competitors.
It also indicates that you’re collaborative and confident enough in your brand, in your own business to share someone else’s content. And by tagging the original authors, it helps connections with online influencers and builds your community.
Sharing Curated Content on Weekly Curated blog posts
Creating weekly curated blog posts is another great way to help your audience. If you collect helpful resources, categorise them and publish them as a go-to resource for your readers it makes it easier for them to see what they might have missed in your industry in that week.
It saves your audience a lot of time because instead of them doing the research, subscribing to newsletters, etc.yoyou’redoing all the hard work for them.
Sharing Curated Content on Weekly editorial newsletters
With email being still one of the most important ways to communicate with your customers, having a weekly editorial newsletter can be a big opportunity for your business.
Almost like the Weekly Curated blog post, a newsletter like this will save your followers the time to do the research themselves to find all the great content.
Pick out your gems, organise them and send them to your email list. And just like with the thirds rule for social media, it is easy to include your own content in between the handpicked content by others.
If done properly, Content Curation can be a great timesaver and a great opportunity for you to grow your online presence. The most effective marketing is no longer just about your product or even your customer’s needs.
Today’s most evolved marketers understand their strategy needs to include a larger set of helpful content that considers the entire market and industry their company is operating in.
But remember, curating content is first and foremost about helping your audience. If the content you’re creating isn’t accomplishing that, then you need to be more picky and have a better look through the content before you start sharing it.
How are you using Content Curation in your marketing process?