A Beginner’s Guide To Content Curation

Content curation is an incredible tool. It should be added to every digital marketer and business owner's arsenal. Here's how to get started.

If you have any experience with content marketing, then you’ve likely heard of content curation. It’s a vital part of many successful digital marketing strategies. It is also a surefire way to supplement content creation.

In a nutshell, content curation is the act of discovering, compiling, and sharing existing content with your online followers. That content can be shared on a company blog, email list, or a social channel. There are several reasons brands to use content curation, the most obvious being:


  • Offset minimal resources

    Content curation does not require the same time, money and expertise associated with creating original content. Thus, you are able to communicate and add value to your audience without the added expenditure.


  • Create networking opportunities

    When you curate content, you source and share content from industry experts. You can use this opportunity to establish relationships with those same experts.


  • Share different voices and create value

    Many brands only share original content. However, this doesn’t always provide fresh perspective on topics and can be viewed as overly promotional. When you curate content, you engage your audience with multiple voices and add more value.


If you’re ready to jump on the content curation train, here are some basic tips to get you started.


1. Start with a content curation plan

This seems like a basic concept, but it’s an important one. Decide which topics you want to cover. Consider topics that aren’t on your original content calendar. Curating peripheral content can help you tap into a new audience. This can also help you increase the top-level of your sales funnel.

Besides peripheral content, create a list of pre-approved experts and websites to curate content. You may need to submit a request to the expert or publisher if you desire to syndicate their content. Which brings me to the next point.


2. Avoid content plagiarism

Content curation is all about sharing other people’s content. “But curators don’t copy things; they don’t plagiarise. They add value by linking the right pieces of content together to give a better overall experience than the individual pieces would give on their own.”


Photo: © katie_martynova, YFS Magazine

“Pay attention to what constitutes ethical curation, and how [you] can share third-party content without running afoul of copyright laws.” In most cases, the first step is to prominently identify the source if you are curating. The Content Marketing Institute suggests: “show respect for the original content creator by crediting that person and linking prominently to their original work.” This makes you more credible as well.


3. Decide where to publish


After you’ve picked which topics to cover and the content to curate, consider the best way to share it. Social media is the easiest and most common medium for content curation. Use a social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule curated content during peak times.

Another popular place to curate content is through email and on your website’s company blog. When curating content it’s important to follow best practices for republishing content.


4. Vary topics and content type

While curation is typically easier than creating original content, you still need to dedicate time and energy to your curation strategy. This includes diversifying topics and content type.


Photo: © YakobchukOlena, YFS Magazine

For instance, if you can’t afford to create infographics, videos, e-books, or podcasts you can work with publishers to curate their resources. The key is to create a win-win situation with the content creator or publisher and ensure you don’t violate their copyrights.

Also, leverage current events and popular search terms to boost your brand reach If you’re unable to create content around a breaking story or event, curate content that is relevant to the topic. Use Buzzsumo to find trendy and popular topics that are relevant to your industry.


5. Track and iterate

Before you share your curated content, set metrics and use tools to track and measure your curation efforts. It’s estimated that 40% of curators don’t measure the effectiveness of their curated content.

Most social media and email marketing platforms offer built-in analytics. So there is no reason not to track the curated content. And if you publish curated content on your website use Google Analytics to see how users engage with it in comparison to your original content.

In addition to analytics, be prepared to interact with your audience.


Final thoughts

Content curation is an incredible tool. It should be added to every digital marketer and business owner’s arsenal. It can help your business supplement original content creation, drive cost-effeciencies, help established brands diversify their voice, and network with industry experts.


This article has been edited.

Derek Miller is a content marketing consultant for CopyPress, a leading digital content production company, specializing in articles, infographics, interactives and videos. Connect with @itismillertime on Twitter.


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