Content Curation 101

A solid online marketing and communication strategy should include some level of content curation – discovering and sharing content created by others. This approach increases your value to your target audience because you are sharing your direct thought leadership on a topic and other relevant developments. You become a one-stop resource for people to stay informed.

The balance of original content (created by you) and curated content depends on your goal, your industry, and your resources.  If the pace of new information is brisk, curating content is likely to be more important to your audience. You can also lean on content curation more heavily if you do not have the time and resources to create enough new content to meet the expectations of your target audience.

Have a Content Curation Plan

Answer the basic questions for yourself before you dive in to content curation. What is your goal? What does your target audience need and expect? What topics will you cover? How much content do you need?

You want to set yourself up to do something different and amazing for your target audience. So you need to take time to look at what is already offered out there. How can you attract attention and an audience?

I was recently talking to a client in real estate. She noticed that other agents share the same national news. She determined that she could provide value to her target customer by focusing on news about the communities where she does most of her work.  Her goal is to make herself am information hub for people who are interested in those communities.

Finding Great Content

There is a lot of content available. I recommend that you find at least three sources to tap so that you can maintain a variety of content. Here are some places to look:

  • Google search – set up a Google alert for your topic
  • Social search – search Facebook and other social media platforms that you use
  • Blogs
  • Influencers
  • BuzzSumo – helps you to discover, curate and share content to complement and extend your content marketing
  • Feedly
  • Sprout Social – designed to help businesses find content that helps them connect with customers
  • Hootsuite – set up streams for hashtags and keywords
  • Buffer – another tool that lets you find and share content

Using Content for Impact

Select the content that is closest aligned with your goals and you customer interests and needs. Understand that even though you did not create the content, when you share it you align it to some degree with you and your brand. So, select content that you are comfortable associating with.

Distribute the content consistently. That could mean sharing on Facebook and/or Twitter.  It could mean sharing links on your blog. Have a distribution plan and stick to it. That is the best way to build a following with your target audience.

Don’t just share links. Add your own commentary to everything you share. Connect it to you. As part of the mix, ask questions – do you agree? what would you do? have you had this experience? etc. This is how you use the content that someone else created to create engagement between you and your target audience.

Watch What Happens

Pay attention to the impact of your posts over time. While some individual posts may have significant and immediate reaction, you mostly will be monitoring trends over time.

  • What sources seem to generate the best content for your needs?
  • What types of content engage/don’t engage your audience?
  • What types of content have the most direct impact on your goal?

Develop your list of measurements and questions you want to monitor and take periodic assessments. Start after 6 months and determine the right interval for you. Although you will likely be attempting to engage weekly or more frequently, don’t measure too soon. All of this takes time and the best insights are gained over the long-term.