Its Gary O’Toole here and I am back with part 3 of our epic content marketing 101 series! In part 1 we looked at what content marketing is and why you should do it, in part 2 we looked at the different types of content and how they can be used effectively within a content marketing campaign.
In today’s post we are going to look at curating other peoples content to leverage authority and create engagement with very little effort on our part.
Definition of Curate:
- Curate something to select, organize and look after the objects or works of art in a museum or an art gallery, etc.He curated the acclaimed ‘Africa’ exhibition at the museum last year.
- Curate something (especially on the Internet) to collect, select and present information or items such as pictures, video, music, etc. For people to use or enjoy, using your professional or expert knowledge I would definitely read a blog that was all curated content.
- A UK rock band are curating the BBC ‘s digital music station for a week.
Some content marketers and social media thought leaders suggest that we should use a ratio of 80/20 when it comes to sharing content 80% curated content and 20% original content that links back to our own content hub. I personally think you should take statements like this with a pinch of salt as there is no one size fits all strategy that is suitable for every product, service or business.
However I do think that every one should consider using curated content as it is an extremely easy way to fill out your content schedule with relevant content that creates engagement and inspires discussion. The concept is really simple and just involves finding high quality content that is relevant to your niche and sharing it with your audience!
As a very simple example I shared this post from INC.Com earlier this morning:
Within an hour I had over 10 engagements via Twitter – which included likes & retweets. Ok that is not massive engagement that is going to blast you into the social stratosphere but it is proof that it works and is a valid strategy that does create relevant engagement.
The root of curating content involves taking pieces of media created by someone else and sharing it with your audience. This can be very beneficial when done properly. The main thing to make sure you do is give proper credit to the original creator of the content you’re sharing. If you don’t do that, you will be plagiarizing the content, not curating it.
Think of curating content like gathering information for a research paper.
You present the ideas that have been shared by someone else but you give them credit through footnotes, end notes or a bibliography.
Now you have a firm grasp of what content curation is – lets take some a moment to look at the pros and cons of integrating it into a content marketing strategy:
- You can provide valuable information to your audience When you share well-curated content, it is still very beneficial to your audience. You are the expert and you know what information will have the most impact. You are also identifying the information that is most important.
- You can save money on creation costs Curated content has already been created. You are simply finding the information that’s available and plucking out what you want to use. This can help when you don’t have a budget to create content.
- You can save time Creating content takes time. If you are using curated content, you save the creation time and can use that time to do something else
- You can position yourself or your company as a tastemaker When people begin to rely on you to share valuable information with them, they begin to consider you a tastemaker. You showcase your expertise by becoming known for identifying what information is important and should be read and or used. This can really help if you want to position yourself as an expert in a specific industry.
There is a lot of value in curating content but I caution you to not lean on it too heavily or not take the time to find content that is truly beneficial and will support the branding efforts of your business. There are content curation specialists who will tout the benefits of it without mentioning the challenges. Don’t dive into the content curating arena without taking time to consider all sides of it.
- You have to be careful to verify the information you share You can’t assume that the content you’re sharing is accurate. Remember that whatever content you curate is a reflection of your brand once you share it. Even if you give proper credit to the original creator of the content (which should always happen); you still take responsibility for sharing the information. If one of your customers complains or finds fault in content that you’ve shared, you will have to answer for it. You have to be aware of this and make sure you are confident in the accuracy of the information you’re sharing.
- It takes time to curate content well While it may not take as much time to curate content as it does to create it, you can’t do it haphazardly or in a hurry. You are using this content as a way to benefit your brand
and that must be remembered at all times. This means you have to take the time to really research the content you’ll be sharing. Even if you didn’t create it yourself, you should be able to share it with same level of confidence.
- You are providing a platform for whoever created the content By sharing content created by someone else, you are effectively providing that person or organization with a platform. This can benefit you but it can also send your customers to another organization which could be a potential competitor. You have to choose the source of your content carefully to make sure it’s a brand you don’t mind promoting and isn’t a direct competitor.
Curating content can be very valuable and a great way to provide information without having to create it yourself. The keys to good content curation are research, moderation and insight.
It’s imperative that you research the content you want to share before you share it. Don’t just read it over and make your decision from that point. Take the time to check the sources given and research the creator of the piece of content. Make sure you aren’t unknowingly supporting a company that isn’t aligned with your branding
There should be a balance in the amount of curated content you share. Don’t become a content curation factory, only known for sharing information created by other organizations. When you do that, you become more of an aggregator and less a curator. You should look for ways to create your own content as well. It’s important that you create your unique voice while you’re sharing the insights of others.
While you are curating content and sharing it, you also need to include your own perspective. It’s never a good idea to simply share a link to a piece of content. Include your thoughts about the content and why you are sharing it. Doing this shows that you’ve taken the time to really read and digest the information you’re sharing. This also helps you to include your own voice while demonstrating why this piece of content supports your brand.
Why Should I Use Curated Content?
As we have discussed there are many great reasons for using curated content but here are what I consider to be the top 4:
1.) Its Super Quick & Cost Effective
Speed and cost are always our primary considerations when making any business decision and content creation should be different! Think about it if we could research and compile a list of 10 resources that would beneficial to our audience this might take an hour to research and literally 10 minutes to create the post – if we tried to replicate the content within in each link by creating it ourselves it might take 10 hours per link!
It is beneficial for us as we save a significant amount of time which we could spend doing other tasks within our business (IE: promoting our content so people actually see it) and its beneficial for our audience as they get links to 10 in depth resources that will enable to achieve their online aims faster!
2.) Its Results That Count
At the end of the day – vanity aside, its the results the content produces not who created it that counts! A rough example is – think of all the funny video sharing pages on Facebook that rack up literally millions of likes, views, shares and comments – in most cases they are just sharing someone elses video content, yet they are the ones who are benefiting and growing their audience!
Just to be clear reposting a third parties videos on your page without permission is not recommended as it will probably lead to your Facebook account getting banned – I just thought that would be a great example to get the concept across!
You could spend 30 hours creating a post from scratch that does not get any engagement or you could spend 3 minutes finding, captioning and reposting a piece of content and see your engagement go off the charts! It really does not matter how it happens, its the end result that matters.
3.) You Can Address Your Audiences Needs That Might Be Out Of Your Area Of Knowledge
Curating content allows you to address your audiences needs by leveraging another more knowlegeable experts authority! If you see a question coming up on your page that you can not answer, do not try to answer it with a flakey answer – simply look for a piece of content by an authority figure that answers the question, in a clear and concise manner.
Your audience will much prefer that you hook them up with a helpful answer that actually helps them achieve their aims than you trying to be a know it all and providing a sub standard answer. A true expert knows when to pass the question on to a more a authoritative figure.
4.) Content Curation Creates Professional Connections
Content curation creates professional connections with key industry influencers! When key influencers notice that you are sharing their content with your audience on a regular basis, it opens up the door to conversation! If you are smart you can use this visibility to start to work your way to suggesting (or being invited) to post your own original content on their blog.
I would like to add that in order to obtain guest post spots you will need to be ready to produce an extremely high quality piece of content that matches or exceeds that of your proposed host. I will cover guest posting and the entire process behind that in a future guide.
I hope you have found this post useful and make sure you come back on Wednesday for the final part in this content marketing 101 series. On Wednesday I am going to be talking about how you can use content marketing to generate leads for our business. We look at how we can use content to educate and inspire our prospects. We look at how educated consumers make empowered buying decisions and how educated consumers can save us a lot of time answering the same questions over and over again.
If you are new to content marketing I highly recommend you to join over 2000 students from over 100 countries and take my “Content Marketing Mindset” course over on the excellent Udemy – the course is $97 but to all Sociocaster blog readers its free using the link below! Its a little rough around the edges but it is packed with some super solid information that will get you up and running with your first successful content marketing campaign very quickly!
Have a great week and I will see you Wednesday!