Content Curation is a technique that allows a lean startup or a small business to keep their social and Content channels running without having to re-invent the wheel by creating original content that already exists. It also allows for a breather so that your Content Marketing team can focus on new ideas (often out of content that they curate). Here’s presenting a lean startup’s ultimate guide to content curation. Feel free to send me additional ideas or questions that I may have missed out on!
Ultimate Guide To Content Curation: A 3- Step process
What Does Content Curation Mean?
Hint: You’re probably already doing it. But it’s important to know what content curation means as a starting point. Content Curation is a 3-step S-O-S process and it includes:
a) Step 1: Seeking Content: You need to seek brand relevant content for your communities. This means, depending on your area of specialization, your niche, you need to identify content that your community can engage with.
b) Step 2: Organizing Content: You need to add value to the content when bringing it together. Add your own touch, optimize it for your brand, have a view, organize in a fashion that your community finds value in it. Ensure that it is easy to understand and does not feel like a mix without a story. Your curated content needs to have a connecting thread. For the reasons that Google may penalize you for duplicate content and that it is highly unethical, ensure you do NOT copy and paste the whole piece of original content from a web page. You need to add your own thoughts to it, and make it unique. Curation involves work. (Read: Curation and its impact on SEO)
c) Step 3: Sharing Content: Do not steal thoughts. Always add credit to the original creator. On Twitter, while Tweeting, “quote” or “Retweet with a comment” if you’re not changing the contents of the original Tweet. Write a MT (modified Tweet) if you altered anything. I’ve already shared thoughts on how to attribute long form content and images- (name, site link) and a polite thank you! Optimize posts when you’re sharing on different networks.
How Does Content Curation Work?
You need to follow a simple 3 step process and make it work! Here are some tips on tools to think of and use when curating content.
a) What’s your brand topic/ keyword/ strategy: As a brand owner you need to know clearly about what you need to be known for. This holds true even when you’re building a personal brand. Be aware of what your topics are.
b) What are your sources of content?: The simplest tool is to use Google alters, RSS feeds and get content that’s in your niche. Use Twitter and Pinterest to generate ideas. You could also use third party services like Buzzsumo or Topsy to know what’s relevant and being shared in your field. LinkedIn pulse/ Newsle allow you to see what your professional contacts are sharing. Be specific. Share the content that is valuable. Try and avoid being fixated with just one source, read different points of view before ascribing to a single view point.
c) How are you adding value to curated content: The rule of thumb is that in a curated blog post, your inputs are clear and form at least a third of your entire blog post. Social content is a bit easier where you can add your own headline/ comment in a few characters before you reshare it to your community. You must also add value to existing content by linking it back to what your followers are looking for. Ask yourself, what could keep your community engaged?
d) Are you consistently curating?: Your social channels need engagement and at a consistent basis. You need to join in the conversations and be there. Connecting with the original creator or getting your community’s view-points on a certain curated piece is a great way to build engagement. If you write a blog, ensure that all of your content is not just curated. Your readers and community will like you to share original pieces once in a while, so make efforts to create value. Using Twitter or Facebook with automated sharing enabled through bots is not the consistency you want. You want to be authentic and human. So, be there and invest time, even if you’re curating content, to keep your brand community engaged. Curate for people, not bots.
e) What tools are you using for curating content?: There are tons but a few that I have used personally include (these are all free tools): Feedly, Pinterest, Storify, Paper.li, List.ly, Scoop.it, LinkedIn Pulse, Newsle, Buffer Daily app, Flipboard, Rebelmouse, Google alters, Email Newsletters, Twitter, Evernote, Google+ communities among others.
f) Example of a Curated post: See our Monthly Content Marketing and Social Media insights post!
Why Content Curation Is Important?
Pawan Deshpande, the CEO of Curata has listed down the main points wonderfully well on Forbes here. To summarize:
a) Consistent content creation is hard: Content is king, but only the most relevant content for the community creates engagement and impact. However it’s not easy as 56% marketers according to Curata reported finding quality content was a big challenge.This is likely even worse for a startup and a small business with a lean set up. So by curating content or using tools that help, marketers and brand owners are saving time while engaging communities at the same time!
b) Content curation is powerful: Content is powerful- a recap here. Curation is a time-effective mechanism with the chances of propelling your engagement a lot, once done right!
c) Content curation aids trust building: By curating content, a lean startup or a small business can immediately be seen as a thought-leader by the community. Sharing content from competitors, or others can in fact help build trust
d) Curation helps us remain social: The whole point of social and digital is engagement and co-creation. No one puts it better than my favorite idea guru Nilofer Merchant:
— Nilofer Merchant (@nilofer) September 14, 2012
Why Content Curation Is Here To Stay?
With an information overload, as consumers we seek experiences that are curated. Just how many of us are selecting holiday destinations to land up on one perfect blog post that has all the information curated in a readable comprehensive format. We don’t necessarily need all the information, we need the most relevant information. And search apart, Professor Clay Shirky talks about the human need for curation also from a community perspective beautifully here. Some of his inputs (originally found via Mashable):
Curation comes up when search stops doing everything people want it to do… And what we’ve seen over and over again is search… we’re still not at the end of the kind of quality search can do… But I think the second time curation comes up is when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community, which is to say…But when curation is really, you’re going to be choosing these things to synchronize a community, like a book club, that’s a place where again, humans do that better than machines in a way that…And I think the job of curation is to synchronize a community so that when they’re all talking about the same thing at the same time, they can have a richer conversation than if everybody reads everything they like in a completely unsynchronized or uncoordinated way.
What new content experiences are you curating next? 🙂
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