How to Excel At Content Curation

Content curation success-1Content curation success depends on discovering, selecting and packaging high value, sharable information that’s relevant to a specific audience.

While not created from scratch, curated content is key to marketers’ content offerings.

Content curation accounts for 25% of the content marketing mix according to Curata research.

Content curation is a form of lean content, a well-established business model. It’s central to Top 40 radio and their Internet counterparts where the top hits of a specific musical genre are played. In the process, DJs become music curators whose tastes and commentary appeal to a target audience.

Why use curated content instead of creating original content?

Because it doesn’t cost a ton of money since it leverages public domain or cheaply available information. It’s at the core of popular media entities like Buzzfeed and Upworthy that excel at attracting an audience for specific pieces of content.

But—don’t put your content curation strategy on autopilot since half of marketers experienced some type of problem with their curated content based on research by IMN.

7 Tactics for content curation success

Content curation requires special skills, specifically, a strong point of view and expertise at content selection and presentation. It takes an expert with in-depth area knowledge to pick the content gems your audience seeks and needs.Content curation success-1

1. Provide editorial selection expertise.

Become known as a trustworthy filter and thought leader on a specific topic. As such, the key to successful content curation is to process a mountain of facts, data and information into a few key nuggets. This is less resource intensive than original content creation.

Avoid becoming a shill for other brands and entities. Remember your objective is to stand for your brand.

2. Add commentary to augment existing information.

Give the selected information context for your specific audience. The objective is to enhance their knowledge and provide additional value. Even the smallest amount of explanation or opinion offers readers a reason to choose your curated content as their information source over the original.

Make the connection between curated content and your products and services without being promotional. While it’s nice to provide helpful information, it has to support your organizational goals and be appropriate for the platform on which it appears.

3. Write attention-grabbing headlines.

While a critical component of any content, headlines are particularly important for content curation since it’s one of your information’s few points of distinction and can be the difference in content virality.

Develop headline expertise within your organization. The ability to craft headlines that stand out and pull readers in often requires specialized resources, although less than creating original content.

4. Package your content to attract attention and facilitate consumption.

Done well, content curation involves structuring information to encourage readership and sharing.

Incorporate your 360° brand into the content. Make your information recognizable for your audience before they even read 1 word of it.

Outline and highlight key points. Visitors read about 20% of your content according to Jakob Nielsen’s research. Many content curators depend on “Best of” type lists to aid information scanning.

Add images to appeal to readers’ visual senses. This pulls potential visitors into your information because graphics act like flashing signs. Also include other content formats such as videos, presentations and audio.

Optimize your curated content for search and social sharing. This means incorporating keyword phrases and adding appropriate meta-information to links and images.

5. Offer curated content on regular schedule.

Create an editorial calendar for publishing curated content. It’s easier to build a following when readers know when to expect your information. This is particularly important if you’re integrating curated content with original content.

6. Distribute curated content effectively across channels, platforms and devices.

Deliver curated content across your owned and social media outlets to maximize your reach. Consider both online and offline options.

Use third party and advertising to support your efforts where appropriate and cost effective.

7. Track results of curated content to achieve your objectives.

Incorporate appropriate content marketing metrics to determine content curation effectiveness. Use a call-to-action to support your analytics and enable you to measure results from your content curation efforts.

Keep curating content to augment your original content creation since results will build slowly over time.  As you become more efficient and your audience grows, you’ll get more bang for your effort.

What other content curation success tactics would you recommend and why?

Happy Marketing, Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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