Curation is the practice of sharing content published on other websites. It’s an effective way to produce new content, take part in larger conversations relevant to your audience, promote like-minded ideas that reinforce your brand, or even piggyback on the innovative concepts of others.
A couple words about what content curation isn’t. Content curation is not plagiarism, which is the shameful practice of ripping off the work of others and passing it off as your own. It’s also not aggregation, which is the gathering and (re)distribution of your own in-house content.
Content curation is simply leveraging a piece of content someone else created and sharing it with your network after adding a unique comment. It can be as simple “Check this out …” Just make sure the original content creator gets full credit.
To understand the role of a content curator, let’s curate a quote from Mashable (a digital platform built almost entirely on curated content) that compares it to “that person at the beach with the metal detector, surfacing items and relics of perceived value.”Curation is the practice of sharing content published on other websites. Click To Tweet
Here are some simple steps content curation methodologies you can use:
1. Publish Social Posts Leveraging Other Websites
Gawker published an article about binge watching “Breaking Bad,” which the American Heart Association curated to promote high blood pressure awareness. Curata, a content curation agency, calls this curation too, where seemingly unconnected slices of content are pulled together to draw parallels between topics.
2. Blog Posts Sharing Industry Content
Marketing Land publishes a daily recap of top news from across the digital marketing industry. Most of the articles derive from other sources. By compiling them into a single-stop resource, it reinforces Marketing Land as a thought leader and trusted resource that understands its audience.
3. E-newsletters Repurpose Content for Opted-in Subscribers
An E-newsletter repurposes content published in other channels from across an organization (press releases, product updates, media interviews, charitable events, etc.), consolidating it all for an ever-growing audience.
4. Put Independent Analysis to Work
Use independent data to support your organization and its story. Some may question if this is true content curation, but if it’s done correctly, trusted, independent data can support your organization’s efforts. Here, third-party industry research is put to use in a press release promoting Content Coaching.
5. Micro Posts or Testimonials Promote a Brand or Idea
Testimonials are commonly shared through social sites (LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook, etc.). Here, an upbeat book review is used to plug the book, a magazine, and Amazon all in a single post.
Content Curation Checklist: Do’s and Don’ts
- Do add unique content. Tell your readers why you’re sharing the content you’ve chosen. What problem does it solve? How is it relevant to them? What’s the takeaway?
- Do share unbranded content that’s relevant to your audience. Avoid “me, me, me” content. Help your audience solve their problems, learn something new, and maybe laugh a little.
- Don’t duplicate content. Repurposing content verbatim – even if you give credit to the original source – could create copyright problems. You’ll also run the risk that search engines will flag the content as “duplicate.”
- Do build a healthy mix of original and curated content. What’s a “healthy mix”? It depends on your audience and goals. Study your analytics to see how your readers consume the content you already share.
- Do give proper attribution. Give credit where credit is due and cite the information accurately.
- Do include a link. Connect it back to the original source and, when possible configure the link to open a new browser window (thereby retaining your original traffic).
- Do link to quality sites. Cite sources that are credible in your industry (.edu and .gov sites have very high authority, for example). Avoid links to spam-heavy sites.
- Do use a variety of sources. It’s OK to have a list of favorite content sources that you follow and regularly cite, but the more variety, the greater the content credibility and variety for your audience.
- Don’t use “no-follows” when linking to the other content. “No-follows” will result in search engines failing to give SEO credit to the original site. Originally created to reduce spam, “no follows” unfairly deprives the original site its rightful SEO placement. If you don’t know what this means, check with your webmaster or web development team.
It’s no secret there is an unholy abundance of material only a click or two away. As you build your brand and create infographics, articles, blogs and social posts to tell your story, take a moment and look to see if others are telling a similar story. By curating existing content and following content curation best practice, you strengthen your position and call attention to another site or thought-leader that shares a similar mindset. Not only will you create link-building opportunities, you may find a new ally and possible brand proponent.
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