There has been an ongoing debate surrounding the idea of content curation. A number of content curation critics would have many of us believe that content curation is a vile thing much akin to stealing someone else’s work in order to garner attention and engagement from online audiences. It has been said that content curation overshadows, and in many cases replaces, your own original content and work.
The truth of the matter is, however, content curation is a vital part of any content strategy. When utilized as a means of augmenting your own original content as opposed to replacing your own content creation efforts, this strategy can be quite effective in a number of ways not the least of which is offering internet users the largest amount of information on a specific theme in a single organized presentation on your webpage or via social media.
Before we look into tips for successful content curation, it is important that we are clear on what exactly we’re talking about here. Content curation is the act of sifting through the exabytes of content shared via social media, blogging, etc. surrounding a particular topic or theme. Content curators seek out the most relevant and useful pieces of content and then present them in an organized manner so as to be useful to their online audience. Content curators generally do not create their own content, but rather search the web for the information most relevant to their audience and funnel it to their own website or RSS feed so that their audience has access to the most relevant information possible in a single location.
Utilizing content curation as part of your content strategy can be extremely beneficial to both your business and your online audience. If your content curation efforts have been successful, you’ve created a one-stop URL for your audience to gather the most pertinent information about a specific niche, industry, or topic. As you go about collecting content on the web, your audience can engage with your own content, as well as the most relevant and up-to-date content regarding your business’ particular industry.
Now that we’re clear on what we’re talking about when we say content curation, and we know why this content strategy is important, let spend some time talking about how to do it. First, it is important to be clear on the fact that content curation should be only part of your content strategy and should not replace your own unique content. What Guaranteed SEO recommends for your content curation to content creation “sweet spot” is 25-30% sharing of your own content and 70-75% sharing of your curated content.
Here are some of the most popular and effective tools that are used for content curation:
Pinterest & Content Curation: Pinterest’s rapid rise to social media fame meant that it became a household name for users looking to collect and share pictures and images from around the World Wide Web. With a feel reminiscent of a virtual scrapbook, Pinterest often gets overlooked as tool for content curation. According to an article published in the Globe and Mail, Pinterest is leading the “content curation boom“.
To illustrate how useful Pinterest can be in content curation, have a look at this user’s pinboard aptly titled “Content Curation”. Pinterest allows users to collect information in the form of images, infographics, blog posts, and the like. Content posted on Pinterest is easy to consume and share making it extremely user-friendly and time efficient. Additionally, Pinterest makes it easy to track shared content allowing you to track down the original site on which the content was shared meaning you can share this content on your other social media platforms as well.
Storify, is a social media site which works similarly to Pinterest in that users collect information and content from around the internet. The difference between the two is that with Storify, users are able to present the curated content in such a way that is reminiscent of the telling of a narrative.
LinkedIn & Content Curation:
As you connect with colleagues and friends on LinkedIn, you increase your network and have access to all of the information your connections are sharing via their LinkedIn profiles. What tends to happen for most users, however, is that a lot of their connections are people they have worked with in the past, entered into a contract with, or are simply family members or friends. What this often means is that the information your connections are sharing may not be particularly useful to you in your industry and will not be content you wish to curate or share.
Something many LinkedIn users overlook is the fact that Linked in has it’s own built-in search engine called LinkedIn Signal. Using LinkedIn Signal allows users to search for content posted on LinkedIn which is relevant to their market or industry shared by a LinkedIn user. In turn, this content can be shared via InShare, or posted on other social media sites.
List.ly, Paper.li & Content Curation:
Both List.ly and Paper.li, are excellent platforms for content curation. List.ly operates very similarly to a blogging site such a Tumblr where users can post about anything, but with List.ly, the content is displayed in the form of a list. The topic for a list can be anything from “The Best Places to Eat in Chicago” to “The Dentists in Vancouver Who Most Deserve Your Business”. With List.ly, users can vote on the accuracy of your list, and can also add recommendations to your lists. Paper.li works similarly to List.ly, but with Paper.li, content is displayed in the form of an online newsletter. Additionally, Paper.li has a built in feature similar to hash tagging which allows users to find information relevant to their topic of interest.
Google Alerts & Content Curation:
Google Alerts is an excellent tool for keeping track of the instances your company or business has come up in conversation on the internet. In addition to monitoring your own online reputation, Google Alerts can be used to monitor the posting of information relevant to your industry, business, or topic of interest. When a user sets up a Google Alert for certain industry-specific keywords, Google will e-mail that user when information related to the chosen keywords is posted. This content will include blog posts, images, YouTube videos, and anything else users post on the internet. In turn, the content curator can then share this information via their own social media profiles, blog, or website.
HootSuite, Curata & Content Curation:
HootSuite is an excellent platform when it comes to managing your social media accounts. It is a tool which allows you to access all of your social media accounts in one place meaning it is easy and efficient to post to your Twitter, your Facebook, and everything else all from your Hootsuite desktop. HootSuite also has a built-in search feature which allows users to search both Twitter and Facebook for information relevant to them. Because this is done within the Hootsuite desktop, it is then easy to share this content and information across all of a user’s social media profiles.
A tool even more precisely honed for the purposes of content curation is Curata. This content curation platform allows you not only to search the web for information pertinent to you and your industry, and organize the relevant content in such a way to make it relevant and engaging in the eyes of your audience, but over time, Curata learns what topics you find most relevant and ensures that content fitting these parameters is displayed first. Curata makes it even simpler to curate content with the addition of a browser plugin which allows you to bookmark relevant content as you browse the web.
Lastly, it is important to note that content curation is not stealing. To the contrary, sharing other people’s content can be extremely beneficial to the content creator. Each time a content curator shares a piece of content, it creates a link back to the content creator’s site. By linking to the content creator, you are helping to increase their readership, aiding in improving their PageRank, and building a symbiotic relationship between yourself, the content curator, and the site you are linking to, the content creator. In short, content curating is good for your business, the creators of the content that you share, and your audience.
With all of this information in mind, content marketing might seem to be a little bit more difficult of an undertaking than you might feel capable of. Guaranteed SEO can help simplify the whole process for you by offering content creation services as well as help and advice on content curation and managing social media.