Content curation; what is it? It can be vital to the success of your brand, business, or even for indie authors who are hard up for subjects to present on their social media platforms. But what is it? How can you use it? What’s on the need to know list?
Understanding Content Curation
Content curation, at its most basic, is a form of gathering, categorizing and distributing focused content. Once a title reserved for the curator at museums, art galleries, and zoos, the term has grown to incorporate today’s digital realm.
The Internet is overflowing with information, and while not all of it is relevant to your online presence or useful to your audience, a good portion of it is. And that’s why we need content curators.
Digital curators are tasked with digging through the iotas of content online and bringing it to their audience in a digestible, useful manner. While you may believe you need to be an expert or specialist to curate, you are incorrect.
Do you use social media websites such as Tumblr, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook to share relevant content from authoritative sources in your industry? You’re curating content.
It’s that easy! The great majority of us have been curating without even realizing it. So now that the technical jargon is understood, let’s talk strategy. Let’s discuss how to put your curating skills to proper use in shaping your online persona.
How Does Content Curation Work?
It’s your job, as a business and curator, to find the content your audience can appreciate and the stuff that’s useful to their lives or interests. As such, it’s crucial to connect with and understand your audience.
Let’s say you own a local retro video game shop. Your social media presence plays a big role in bringing in new customers. How do you grab the attention of potential new consumers? Finding relevant, trending articles and news to hook readers and encourage them to like, follow, or subscribe to your social media outlets will generate more buzz for your business. You can accomplish this by producing your own content, but curating content from other sources accomplishes three crucial things:
1. It builds authority and encourages trust because your content isn’t all about you and all by you all of the time.
2. When you curate, you create links to highly trusted and authoritative websites in your industry, which boosts your SEO.
3. Your willingness to share material from other sources can open the door for backlinks from those sources as a thank you, again boosting your SEO.
For the independent author, let’s imagine you’re keeping up with a blog to cultivate a following and increase interest in your work, but you’re too busy with your current masterpiece to continue posting your own thoughts and ideas. Instead of depleting your creativity, share cool and interesting videos, stories, and so forth related to your book, genre, creative process, industry, etc. You can even share some of your research, dropping hints at what’s in store for readers and building anticipation for your next release.
All of this is summed up in the term “curation.” It’s something you don’t just want in your content marketing strategy; it’s something you need.
The Best Strategies for Content Curation
Let’s keep it simple. We’ll delve more deeply into the ins and outs of content curation in the future, but for now, here are the strategies to covet:
- Stand Out: Choose content that contributes to your identity. It needs to mesh with your persona, not change it. Don’t be afraid to expand on it with your opinions. Add your spin to stand out.
- Don’t Be a Distributor: Don’t deal in content like a dealer on the street corner selling drugs. You need a vested interest in the content you share. It must be shareable. Read it and be ready to talk about it, otherwise you’re just a distributor.
- Give Credit: The point of curation is to share content that’s not yours. Do not forget to properly credit the source or face the wrath of the Internet and the original creator.
- Be Regular: Plan the material you want to curate and set a schedule, just like you do when planning and scheduling your content. Post regularly or risk losing audience members.
- Stay Diverse: Because the Internet is such a big place with so much potential for new consumers and followers, it’s important to use as many platforms as possible. It may seem like a lot to manage, but there are ways to tackle the challenge – ways we’ll highlight in a later blog. So stay tuned!
If you haven’t already embraced content curation, it’s time! When executed properly, it can become an integral part of your content strategy, ultimately saving time and brain power while sparking inspiration and boosting search engine optimization efforts. What do you have to lose?
Additional Contributor: Sam Zell-Breier