Content curation refers to the process of identifying, collecting and presenting digital content that pertains to a specific subject. While content curation is still largely considered a buzz word, it is quickly becoming a crucial tool for companies that have a successful presence on the Internet. Curating content can offer several benefits.
Content curation is the process of sifting through the myriad of content found on the web that focuses on a specific theme. That content is then presented in a meaningful and organized manner. The task of curating content involves sifting through, sorting, organizing, arranging and publishing information.
Content curation should not be confused with content marketing. That is because unlike content marketing, curation does not involve creating content. Rather, it involves amassing content from a wide variety of sources and delivering that content in a very detailed and organized manner. For example, a content curator, the person who is in charge of curating content, does not necessarily create new content, but finds relevant content that pertains to a particular topic or theme. The curator then funnels the information he or she gathers to an audience.
What is a Content Curator?
A content curator is the individual who curates content. This person hand picks the best and most relevant content to share with a specific audience. The job is very similar to the work that a museum curator does in order to create an exhibition. A content curator:
- Identifies a theme
- Provides the context
- Decides which pieces of content will best suit the theme
- Determines how the content that has been collected should be presented to the public
A person who curates content doesn’t just collect links or gather information; this person puts the information that he or she finds into context using a key process, which involves organization, annotation, and presentation. A curator offers a highly customized and specific selection of the most relevant resources that pertain to a very particular theme or topic. This professional continuously seeks out the best and most relevant content, makes sense of it, and shares it.
Find more statistics at Statista
The Value of Content Curation
The process of content curation is quickly becoming a very important and highly useful marketing tactic for organizations across various industries. It allows organizations to boost their online presence, and maintain that presence. Additionally, the curation of content offers more value to the audience of a brand; a vital component of building a lasting relationship with loyal customers.
Content is all around us. It’s not only shared by organizations, but it is also shared by individuals. On Facebook, for example, the average person creates an estimated 90 items of content on a monthly basis. Multiple that number by the 800 million people who use the social site, and there is an abundant influx of content.
Sorting through all of that content can be challenging for the average person. It is very time consuming, and it can simply be difficult to determine what content offers the most value. Content curation is valuable because it simplifies the process of finding the most valuable content and ensures that an organization’s audience can find that content. In other words, the curation of content can help a company become the go-to authority about for a specific topic area.
Content curation can also help to boost search engine rankings for a company’s website. An organization that links several pieces of content that pertains to a specific subject increases its exposure when that particular topic is searched for on a search engine.
How to Successfully Curate Content: The 3 Ss of Success
An abundance of information is readily available on the Internet. With so much information, in order for content curation to be successful, specific tactics must be used. After all, you want to make sure that only the best, most relevant and most useful information is being shared.
Not all content is created equal, so it can be difficult to sift through it and pinpoint what is the “best”. In order for content curation to be successful, employ the “3 S” approach: Seek, Sense and Share.
The process of content curation involves three steps:
- Seek – Finding the information. This involves sifting through the vast wealth of content that is available on the Internet and determining why it is useful, how it pertains to a theme, and why it is the best content out there.
- Sense – Once the information is found, making sense of it is extremely important. Making sense of the information can be as simple as determining how the links that will be shared for it will be annotated. It can also involve how that information will be presented; for example, writing a blog post that contains links to the information. In other words, making sense of the information involves creating meaning. However, it is important to note that the manner in which you create meaning has to support the objectives of your organization.
- Sharing. The last step of curating content involves sharing. This involves, as you can probably guess, sharing the information that has been gathered once it sense has been made of it. The manner in which the content is shared should be delivered in a way that your specific audience can relate and easily understand. One of the most common and effective ways to share content that has been curated is on social media networks. Social media channels are an excellent way to share content because these channels ensure that the content – and thus, the organization that shares it – remains relevant to followers. It also helps to grow an organization’s following.
Strategies for Effective Content Curation
Content curation is all around us. Every time you share a post on Facebook, or re-tweet something on Twitter, you are curating content. However, these forms of curation aren’t exactly well-formulated. In order to reap the benefits that curation can offer for an organization, it’s important to employ certain strategies.
If you are interested in making the most of curation, here’s a look at some highly effective tactics and best practices:
- Leverage the power of underground content. Successful content curation highlights incredible content that people have never seen before in a manner that adds value. If you know someone who is really into art, you know how excited he or she gets when sharing a new, ‘underground’ artist that nobody has heard of before. Essentially, you want to do the same thing, but for content. Find highly valuable content that hasn’t been shared a million times before. Doing so will allow you to become the go-to source for people to find the best content out there. In order to build brand awareness and grow your following, you want to be a content sharing trend finder and setter.
How do you find ‘unseen’ content? Do some serious digging and think outside the box. Stray away from looking in the most obvious places. One idea is to look to locations that publish content that is relevant to your audience, but don’t publish that content frequently. This content will be fresh and unseen, which means that it will resonate with your audience, offer value, and improve your brand and boost your following.
- Highlight your content. Don’t overlook the importance of the first sentence in anything you share. That single sentence can make or break your curation efforts. How many times have you seen a marketer auto-post something from RSS feeds or schedule content from their own feeds, and the content isn’t exactly the most compelling. If you don’t want what you are sharing to be passed by, you want to make your first sentence in your posts compelling. Effective curation makes great content better. It highlights it in a new way, or adds a new element to it to make it more interesting, attention-grabbing and shareable.
Here are some ways that you can add value to the content you are sharing:
- Do a twist on words. Use the words presented in the title of the content, but twist them around to make them more attention-grabbing. The goal is to create a title that readers won’t skim past. You can easily add a sense of urgency to a title by simply flipping the way in which the words are presented.
- Add your own words. You can also add your own words to add more value to the content. Use words that pertain to the content (obviously) but make it more click-worthy. You’ll have much better results.
- Make it pop with design. Improve the design elements of the content you are curating. For example, crop photos with optimized dimensions, add new photos, consider using full-width images, etc.
- Dazzle the original content creator. If the original creator of the content you are sharing is impressed, he or she will be more inclined to share your content with his or her own audience. Additionally, the creator may decide to follow you or your brand, which will help to improve the distribution of your content for the long term. If the original creator isn’t impressed, you probably won’t gain much, if any, benefit from your efforts. Effective content curation not only offers value on its own, but it also develops a deeper relationship with the creator. How can you impress the original creator of the content? Here are some tips:
- Tag their handle
- Send a thank you note
- Ask for permission. Not everyone wants to have their content curated, so make sure you go about the process in a ethical manner
- Give credit for the content you are creating. This is also a matter of ethics, and it could be a matter of copyright, too.
Content Curation Tools
There are a lot of tools available that can make the process of content curation easier. These tools help to make the process feel less overwhelming which in turn makes it more effective.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular – and highly effective – content curation tools out there:
- Buzzsumo. This tool allows you to enter your keyword or domain, and it then offers an ordered list of the top shared content for your topic.
- Feedly. This is a great alternative to Google Reader. It acts as an RSS feed that curates content around specific keywords, domains, topics, and so forth. Content can easily be organized into boards so that it can be read later.
- Curata. This tool uses an INSPIRE discover and recommendation engine, which powers Curata to find the most customized and quality content to suit your particular needs.
- Quora. If you are seeking content that answers specific questions related to industry topics, this tool is a great choice. Quaora finds answers to specific questions, and it does so efficiently and accurately.