Content Curation: A Beginners Guide
There are two types of content marketing, Curation & Creation (try saying those two words fast). People sometimes don't realise that you don't have to be constantly creating new content all the time, phew. So what's the difference:
Content Creation - creating your own content, blogs, infographics etc. Content Curation - the process of gathering existing information from various sources
and sharing it. But where do I find it, how do I store it and how do I post it? How do I become known as a source of good content myself and not an annoying spammer. Stick around as this blog post will help!
If you’re new to Content Marketing I would suggest that content curation is a great place to start, particularly if you haven't got your head around creating your content yet. You can make an impact in a relatively short space of time with just a bit of prep and organisation. Content Curation is also a great addition to your Social Media Marketing adding more variety and value to your brand.
Remember QUALITY over QUANTITY!
So, I know what you’re thinking – why am I sharing other people’s content? Aren’t I just stealing other people’s work? Shouldn’t I just be doing my own so they come to my website not someone else’s? Well, the truth is that sharing other people’s content has a number of benefits. There are two caveats; you must know your audience, their likes, interests and struggles and you must always include the original creator in the post.
If people like a shared article they have read on your social media stream, they might share that post, exposing your profile to an even wider audience.
Meanwhile, the original creator of the content sees that you have shared one of their posts and might retweet or share your post exposing you to their audience.
Builds Relationships (Influencer Marketing) - By regularly sharing Influencers' articles you can build a relationship with them. Hopefully, over time they might share a blog post of yours giving you access to a larger audience. This does actually happen. I have built up a relationship with a couple of Influencers within my industry and they will now regularly retweet blogs for me. This massively widens the reach of a post and improves my industry credibility.
Sharing carefully-selected curated content is also a great time saver. None of us has the time to be creating quality content every day.
When you regularly share great content you become a trusted source of good information. You build your own authority and gain your own influence.
The best bit about all of this is the more content you research, the more you start to understand what makes great content. This in turn will inspire you to create your own great content.
So how do we find this content? Well, there are a number of ways and as with most things in life it’s all about the preparation. Take the time to find the influencers within your industry and research the best websites that provide great sources of information, and then tap into these on a regular basis. We want to create a list of essential sources of information that we can access quickly, consider the following:
Via Social media sites – use Twitter lists (see blog) and hashtags and search features within each platform
News aggregators such as Flipboard, Feedly, Reddit, Buzzfeed, Pocket and LinkedIn Pulse
News websites such as the Guardian have great sections
Buzzsumo is a great content research tool
To collate all the info I use Feedly, which is a content aggregator. It's a free desktop application and is really user-friendly. Once you have found your sources of content, you simply add these to the Feedly list and every time a new blog is published by the website, it will appear in Feedly. Once a week I will upload various content found in Feedly to Facebook and Twitter via Hootsuite. This makes the process of curation much simpler.
It’s also great when you are going on holiday. By uploading a number of articles before you set off for sun and pina coladas, you know you will have fresh content on your platforms every day.
When you get really confident you can also start to automate your curation with tools such as IFTTT and Zapier.
But, remember to keep referring back to how your audience reacts and interacts to all your posts/shares so that you keep posts relevant, interesting and useful. Otherwise, you are just sharing stuff for the sake of sharing it.
So What Should a Shared Post Look Like?
It’s really important not to just repost something. You need to add your own stamp on it and always remember to refer back to the original source. When you share a post it should have five components:
1. A picture – really important
2. Intro about the post – write your own
reasons for posting the article
3. Tag the original creator
4. The link
5. Hashtags if relevant
How often? This depends on how frequently you post to social media sites in general and the amount of content available to you within your industry. I post curated articles on Facebook 3 - 4 times per week, LinkedIn once per week and on Twitter everyday. Remember to take note of the articles that do really well as you can repost a couple of weeks later (if still timely and relevant).
The best place to start is by looking at what's being shared on your own platforms by others. Keep an eye out for the curated content and you will soon see what resonates with your audience.
You could, of course, make this blog post the first piece of content you share...