The Power of Curation for Your Content Strategy
No April Fools to be found here as we start another new month. Robert’s already covered that. Instead, I bring to you the next instalment in our year-long calendar of topics relating to content strategy.
This month we turn our attention to content curation, and just a day after Twitter have started to open up their own curation tool, it’s a hot topic right now. Throughout the month we’ll be looking at it from a variety of angles:
- How to curate great content
- How to do it fairly and legally
- How to credit sources
- Examples of those who do it well
- Recommendations for tools for helping your content curation efforts.
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Let’s start our April theme by asking: why curate?
It’s a noisy old world out there, isn’t it? Every second we post staggering amounts of new content to the internet. While search engines evolve to make finding content more meaningful, and social networks evolve to try evermore to deliver content that is deemed relevant to us, there’s no forgetting that there’s a giant mass of content that we will never see, read or watch – or even begin to know how to get through it to the content most meaningful to us.
Content curators are, in my opinion, the heroes of the Internet. They are the people who help to shape and make sense of that giant mass of cat memes, surfing dogs and comedy cabin crew with their oh-so-zany safety announcements. Content curators make sense of the Internet. They share, they group, and they collect content into meaningful themes and orderly spaces that just, well, they just make sense. They’re so darn helpful. And who doesn’t like a helpful person … or organisation?
But, why should organisations turn to curation as part of their approach to content strategy and digital engagement? Here are a few reasons why…
1. It’s quicker than creating everything yourself
Don’t get me wrong, good content curation takes time and effort, requiring a good degree of skill to determine what’s worth sharing, and what’s utter rubbish. But there’s no denying that it’s quicker to curate content than it is to create a piece of original content (at least, a good one!). So, if you’re a time poor community manager, then curating great content could be a smart approach for you to take. The more great content you share, the more your community is likely to grow.
2. Position yourself as the go-to source of knowledge
Think about this for a second. You want to find a piece of information. Do you go to the library that holds books only written by one author? Or do you go to the library with books written by thousands of authors?
If you curate content well, and provide quality links, boards (think Pinterest) and collections, then you increase your value to your audience far more than you would by just creating everything yourself. To your audiences you assume an appearance of neutrality (yes, you really did just share that blog post written by your competitor, and yes, your audience loved you even more for it), and become a “destination” for them to find out more about topics relevant to them and you.
3. Show expertise and authority
The act of curating great content does take skill and know-how. You need to understand your subject well to be able to do it well. And so by curating content – and curating well – you not only position yourself as a “go-to” person, but you also help to position yourself as expert and “in the know”. You become the person who has – in their view – filtered through tomes and volumes to hand select the best content there is to share. What else might you know? What else can they learn from you?
Curating content is, to some extent, an act of giving. You’re giving visibility and – importantly – credibility to other content creators. In turn, those other content creators will appreciate the fact you have shared their content with your communities. Perhaps they may be more inclined to share your content when you do create and publish your own.
5. Stay abreast of trends and easily test content out
The process of curating content forces you to go out there and look for great content, sifting through what’s available and reading lots of great articles (and some not so great ones too, of course). However, through that process you’ll learn more about your subject, expand your own knowledge and – importantly – gain an important view into what your audience loves and hates. Sharing a blend of other people’s content is a great way of safely testing different content types and themes out on your audience to ascertain what works and doesn’t work, and then applying those lessons to the original content that you choose to create for yourself.
What other benefits do you see from being a content curator as well as a content creator?
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or sign up to our e-newsletter for a regular round-up of our blog posts. And if you need help getting started with your own approach to content creation and curation, then do get in touch with us.