Want to amplify your brand, but don’t have the time to create all the content that entails? There’s a solution: curating content. Learn about the benefits of developing a content curation strategy for your brand here.
What is content curation?
In a basic sense, curating content is exactly what it sounds like: the process of finding quality content and selecting the best of it to share with others. For brands, this can look like sharing blogs, videos, infographics, and more—anything you think will be of value to your audience. The only rule is that whatever you share has to be properly attributed to its creators.
“Curated content is content curated by another brand or organization shared by a company that believes it’s high-quality and interesting to their audience. On a very basic level, it’s the corporate equivalent of forwarding an article to a friend or coworker,” explains marketer Erica Hayton. “But the point of curating content isn’t just to keep your audience informed. When used strategically as part of a marketing plan, it allows you to amplify your voice and provide unique value to your audience.”
When you share the content you curate, it can be on social media, on your blog, in marketing newsletters, in videos—whichever medium you’ve discovered is the most effective way to communicate with your followers.
What are the benefits of content curation?
Benefit #1: Content curation saves you time, energy, and money.
If you’re already creating content for your brand, you know it takes a lot of time to conceptualize and produce. Feeling burned out? Give yourself a break—find good content instead!
“Spare yourself some of the time and expense by sharing high-quality content already created by others,” says project manager Lindsey Perron. “This content can fill in the gaps that exist in your current content offerings, providing additional depth of information or expertise that might otherwise be lacking in your current content library.”
Keep in mind, though, that this doesn’t mean that it’s a smart move to scramble to find a cool blog to share when you can’t come up with content. Instead, scheduling the content you curate is the best way to save your time and energy. It’s an especially good strategy for small business owners or one-person marketing teams.
Here’s how to save time and money by curating content:
- Plan your topics. If you want your content curation strategy to benefit your brand, you can’t just share whatever you feel like—it has to be valuable to your audience. What needs can you fulfill with content created by others?
- Use an app. Tools like Pocket and Feedly make it easy to keep track of articles you’d like to share later on. If you’re already on Twitter, you can try out Twitter Lists.
- Schedule in advance. Integrate your curated content into your social media calendar—don’t just post the second you find something worth sharing. This helps keep your content—both original and curated—coming to your audience at a steady pace.
Benefit #2: Content curation provides extra value to your followers.
Your followers are interested in what you have to say (that’s why they follow you, after all!). Educate, entertain, and inspire them even further with content from other creators. Providing variety also prevents them from getting bored with the typical marketing content your brand might be focused on promoting.
“When you carefully select content to share with your followers, you provide them with additional value by giving them access to multiple perspectives,” explains Christina Newberry, a marketing writer. “Sharing curated content shows you care about providing information and resources rather than just building your list and making sales.”
Here’s how to use your content curation strategy to provide extra value to your followers:
- Define your audience. It’s impossible to know what your followers want to see without knowing them well. Content curation should always be relevant to the people you’re sharing it with. Measuring the engagement your curated posts get is a good idea to see what really resonates. (This goes beyond types of content, too—where is your audience, and when are they the most active, for example?)
- Do your research. Is this content something your audience is likely to have seen before? If so, there’s not much point in sharing it—you don’t want your brand to look slow or behind the times. You should also curate content from a variety of sources instead of pulling from the same place every time.
- Add your voice. Your unique take is why your audience follows you in the first place! Simply rehashing something someone already said isn’t really content curation. You have to add something new or specify exactly why you found it helpful or interesting. Ideally, your addition will be something that reminds audiences how your brand can help them.
- Get creative. Want to do more than just share a post on social media? Cultivate multiple pieces of content and turn them into something new (while crediting the original sources, of course). This could take the form of a newsletter, blog post, infographic, or video—anything that’s different from the source and adds a touch of your brand’s voice or feel, particularly in terms of creativity.
- Consider user-generated content. Share your brand’s reviews and customer testimonials—yes, these are considered curated content! “This is a fantastic way to create additional content without having to spend a lot of time and money on the process,” says Jacob Thomas of CleanPix. “Your customers will also love the chance to be featured on your company’s social media pages.”
Benefit #3: Content curation helps position your brand as an expert in your field.
When you share great content about your industry, you demonstrate that you’re in the know. And when people begin to associate your name with the concepts you stand for, you increase the chances of being thought of as an authority figure in your particular area.
Marketing director Amanda Milligan puts it this way: “Google does a significant amount of curation for users, choosing what it thinks is the most appropriate results for a particular query. When users see that you’re ranking at the top for a certain keyword or topic, there’s an assumption you made it through the algorithm for good reason and know what you’re talking about.”
Just be sure to add your own take when you curate something—otherwise, there’s no reason for your audience to follow you (instead of whoever created the content you’re sharing)! People follow your brand because they trust you or are interested in what you have to say, so you should always take the time to explain what you’re sharing and why. What you contribute doesn’t have to be long, but it should add your unique perspective.
Here’s how to use your content curation strategy to build your brand’s authority:
- Always fact-check. This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people think content curation is simply the act of seeing a headline or title and retweeting it or liking it. If you don’t read or watch the content, you can’t be sure that you’re providing value to your audience by sharing it.
- Use multiple sources. You don’t look like much of an expert if you just share content from the same source over and over again.
- Use lesser-known sources. No one will be impressed by you sharing articles that they’ve already seen. For content curation to make you look like an expert, you may need to do some deep diving and find new, interesting sources to pull from.
- Add your own take. Anyone can click Share and call it a day. For content curation that actually enhances your brand, add your perspective. It’s why you have an audience in the first place!
- Pool your findings into new content. Creating a round-up blog or an infographic from your research, for example, makes your brand a destination to learn a host of new things. Then, when people link to your content, that’s yet another authority signal to search engines and prospects alike.
Benefit #4: Content curation encourages networking opportunities.
When you share something you’ve curated with your audience, you’re endorsing that content—and that’s flattering to the creator. That’s what makes content curation such a fantastic strategy for getting in touch with other big names in your industry and getting on their radar.
“By sharing great content related to your field, you will instantly be seen as someone with whom other people in your industry want to associate,” Perron says. You will be able to get access to other authorities in your industry, making you seem as more of an authority by association.”
Here’s how to network through content curation:
- Link to the original creator. While you can always write them an email to let them know you found their content valuable, a backlink is typically universally appreciated (and won’t get filtered into their spam folder).
- Tag them on social media. Not only does this let the creator know that you appreciated their content, but it has the added bonus of increasing your audience: their followers may see your post, too, especially if the creator decides to share it.
- Consider collaboration. “Brainstorm which brands you may have a natural alignment in objectives or values with,” Milligan suggests. “How can you work together to provide something of value to both your audiences?”
- Add your voice. If you have something to add to the content, do it! This inserts you into the conversation around the topic, increasing the chances that you’ll be found in searches for it.
How do I measure the results of my content curation strategy?
Once you’ve implemented a content curation strategy, how do you know if it’s effective? Depending on how you share your curated content with your audience, there are some different measurements you’ll need to focus on.
- On social media, keep track of likes, comments, and shares on your curated content. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on any follower growth you see: is your curated content attracting new viewers?
- If you’re sharing curated content via email newsletters, keep an eye on the overall open rate and the click-through rates of the links in each email.
- On your brand’s blog, views and shares are the most indicative metrics of what’s performing well. Make sure to track overall website traffic, too.
These are just some basic rules of measurement—to run effective A/B testing on curated content, there’s a host of other things you’ll need to keep track of.
How do I start curating content?
While you can always start saving fantastic content manually using bookmarks, Excel sheets, or the tools listed above, that’s still a lot of work on your plate. You may find that your brand needs help discovering and vetting reliable resources, optimizing your content calendar to find the perfect blend of original and curated content, or using the best practices in backlinking that will benefit your brand—both on the search results pages and in your industry as a whole. That’s where we come in.
At Kirkpatrick Creative, we believe in advertising that’s engineered to work: advertising that trims the fat and focuses on what’s the most effective for the specific needs of your brand. Content curation is part of several of our clients’ social media plans, and we’re constantly measuring and analyzing the results we see to discover what type of content resonates with each brand’s audience.
Ready to get started on an authority-building content curation strategy with an experienced team? Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today.