This post is a contribution by Ally Greer, Director of Community & Content at Scoop.it. You can find her on Twitter at @allygreer or @scoopit!
Content curation works. Over the last few years, it has surfaced as an important element of online publishing and, more specifically, content marketing. For Marketers, Content Curation not only saves money and time but adds credibility, generate leads, brand awareness and improves SEO.
Whether you’re a seasoned curator or just getting started, check out these ten tips for curating rockstar content.
1. Choose a topic that you deeply care about.
When considering this first one, it can be either a relevant topic to you personally if you’re using content curation to build a personal brand or thought leadership, or one that’s relevant to your brand. To choose your topic, think about the things your audience is probably already asking that you can answer, as well as the things you’re already reading and sharing on behalf of your brand. Don’t overthink it – the more naturally it comes to you the more naturally you’ll be able to maintain it. If you’ve chosen a topic that you love or that has meaning to your brand, content curation will be less of a burden and more of an educational activity.
2. Be specific with your topic choice.
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is, “what is my niche?” The more targeted your content curation is, the better chance you’ll have of ranking in search engines as well as establishing yourself as a leader in that area. For example, try “Content Marketing for Real Estate” rather than “Content Marketing.”
3. Build a customized home for your content to maintain your brand personality.
Curating content on social media is probably the one thing everyone already does without even being aware of it. If you’re tweeting multiple articles per day on behalf of your brand (or even yourself!), it’s probably because you think they will be of value to your followers. But, once you’ve tweeted some awesome content, it disappears into the mysterious black hole of old tweets. There is one way to avoid this, though: build a home for your curated content. There are plenty of tools out there that provide a one stop shop for content discovery, publishing, and sharing, and many of those tools also allow you to customize your content hub to create a branded experience for your readers. If you want to take it a step further, you can even host your curated content on your website in order to keep visitors engaged and on your site for longer, therefore leading to higher chances of generating a lead or making a self-serve sale.
4. Be selective and rate each piece of content to improve user experience.
Don’t be trigger happy when curating content! Make sure you read through each of the pieces of content you’re curating and make sure that they are at an appropriate quality level for your audience. Once you’ve curated a piece of content, you’re attaching your name to it and driving your audience to it. If your audience is confused as to why you’re sharing this piece, they’re less likely to trust you in the future.
5. Enrich your content with insight to add perspective and context.
When sharing a piece of online content, don’t just push it out to your audience and shove it in your readers’ faces – take a few moments of your time to share your insight to the content you’re sharing. The purpose of content marketing is to add value to your audience, and adding insight to curated content brings you one step closer to doing this. Also, use this opportunity to add a CTA (call to action) or engage your readers by asking for their thoughts or opinions.
6. Choose the right images and titles to appropriately tell your story.
Just because the author has chosen a specific title or image for his or her piece doesn’t mean you have to use this title and image as well. Part of adding value via content curation (taking it a step further than just adding your insight) lies in choosing a relevant image and title that could potentially bring a new perspective to the original piece of content that you’re curating. If you feel as though you could get your point across with a better image, do it! If you’ve added something to the article, make sure to reflect that in the title as well!
7. Share your curated content on social media to remain top of mind to your audience.
While it’s important not to forget that social media isn’t everything and it certainly isn’t just for broadcasting, it’s also crucial to stay visible to your social media following. If you’re on social media and not posting on a regular basis, you’re not going to be seen in anyones feeds. Content curation is the perfect solution for this conundrum – it’s a way to find content to share on social media while also adding lots of value and driving traffic back to your website.
8. Find and engage with other curators in your space to encourage cross-promotion.
While I wouldn’t suggest resharing all of your competitors’ content, I would highly encourage forming relationships with like-minded folks. This could mean some of your competition, some influencers in your space, or professionals who hold a similar position to yours at other companies. By sharing and engaging with the content of others, you can build relationships that eventually lead to co-marketing partnerships and content cross-promotion.
This is a strategy that just works. Everyone loves a little ego boost now and then! In fact, just recently, Scoop.it’s CEO Guillaume Decugis was pinged on Twitter thanks to a post from marketing influencer Rachel Miller that he had curated. Though Guillaume had never interacted with Rachel before, his curation and tweet of her post sparked a conversation that eventually led to a guest hosting gig on Rachel’s weekly tweet chat.
9. Curate your own content to increase distribution.
There’s no rule that says you can’t curate your own original content as well! Curation is about adding context and you can probably repurpose your old posts into new pieces by changing the context slightly or adapting it to a new audience. We often tend to overestimate the distribution our content had but chances are many of your new followers and readers didn’t see your previous year’s hits, so why leave out the original evergreens you’ve created as well? There are never too many ways to distribute content.
10. Give credit where credit is due.
To wrap it up, let’s bring it back to the most important element of curating content – making sure that the original author receives the credit that he or she deserves linking back to the original content, featuring its source in the curated post as well as crediting the author in your insight. Not only is this ethical and the only legal way to do it but if you’re doing it correctly, you’re going to build relationships with authors whose content you’re curating (see number 8).