Illustration for how to do content curation: an easy to digest guide

How to Do Content Curation: An Easy-to-digest Guide

Here is something you must be tired of hearing: Content is the most vital part of most digital marketing strategies. On social media, posting consistently is a must to reach your target audience. On your website, content drives in organic traffic which you can control to a great extent. However, It is sometimes hard to keep up with a content schedule, especially if you run your initiative on your own. The good news is that learning how to do content curation will help with both your communication and your time constraints.

Content curation takes less time than creating original work. For those without the budget or willpower to ebb and flow down the river of their audiences wishes for more and more content, content curation offers an easy way to generate lots of engagement and, even better, to improve your brand retention. If you do it right, you will leverage your online presence and improve the quality of your community conversations.

What is content curation? 

Content curation is the practice of selecting someone else’s content and sharing it with your audience, analysing the information your audience will receive to ensure they see it as valuable. 

There may be some who believe content curation is just a fancy word for “promoting the competition”. However, by providing your audience with valuable information, you are promoting your own brand views. Sure, it will always involve promoting someone else, but to your audience it will show that you put them first regardless of your converting goals.

People hate a business profile that only posts promotional content and makes everything about selling stuff. Your (potential) following will only adhere to your offer if they see themselves gaining something from your online output that is personal to their lives. How will this or that enhance their lifestyle? What about your message is also their own message?

By curating content, you make your page about your audience. This is the hidden gold of building relationships.

So how do you start curating content? 

Where do you get your content? What sources do you trust when it comes to broadening your own knowledge? These are the first questions you should be asking yourself. Having access to a wide variety of credible sources is the bread and butter of content curation.

But then sometimes the well may dry up. When your own sources do not offer content which fits your communication strategy, you will find that social media is a friend, albeit one you should not trust at face value. Many social media platforms have search bars and hashtags to find content related to specific themes, and while you do not need to spend hours scrolling through your Twitter feed to find an appealing piece of media to share, you should always take your time checking the credibility of the creator behind anything.

Check your sources. Check. Your. Sources.

It may sound like a no brainer, but the credibility of your brand runs as deep as the credibility of your sources. Whenever you find a new source with the right voice and ideal message, make sure to double check who is behind the blog post, video, or whichever piece of media you are sharing. There is no curator of all content online, so it is up to us to make sure our sources are credible, the authors behind our favorite are qualified, and all information can be double checked against other credible sources. It sounds like a lot of work because it is a lot of work, but once you found that one credible creator you will know when to relax a bit.

However, sometimes fall in love with style and seeming authority before we understand value. Do not lose focus from your primary goal: to share content which your audience will appreciate. Will your reader find more articles of interest if the page you are leading them to? Are they likely to subscribe to the YouTube channel which produces the videos you are sharing? Keep in mind that you are the one sending your community on this journey. You need to be seen as the ideal starting point for a good experience.

For more information on how to manage your relationship with your audience, check out our article on community management.

Optimize your time for content curation

You understand your user, you found your sources, you double-checked the credibility. It is time to schedule all that content to do live.

There are many automation tools for social media. The goal of this article is not to analyze the pros and cons of the best paid services for scheduling your posts (although players such as Later and Hootsuite are so succesful for a reason), but to point out the options available to you, regardless of a price tag. If you are unsure about where to take your content stretegy, paid automation tools can be too costly for a simple trial. A cost-effective solution for those who are dipping their toes in the waters of content curation is to use native scheduling tools.

For example, did you Facebook’s Publishing Tools allow you to decide the time and date for your posts to go live, and that the same tool can be connected to your Instagram account? This means that you can handle all of your content flow via one platform without any cost. What is even better is that you save yourself time not only by scheduling all of your posts ahead of time, you can also handle a mobile-only platform directly from your desktop.

A chance for networking

Last but not least, do not lose the opportunity of giving credit to your sources. Content curation is a two-way relationship where the creator and the disseminator have something to gain. By doing something as simple as tagging the creator in your post you make them aware of who you are and how much you appreciate their work.

This gives you an opportunity to expose your own brand and original content to people with their own exclusive audiences. You may simply get a like or a comment from an authority which your audience appreciates or you may just get a collaboration offer. The way you handle these new relationships is a sea of possibilities, and it all starts by simply making everything open and clear.

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