Content Curation Basics: Understanding the What, Why, and How

Content Curation Basics: Understanding the What, Why, and How

Explore the fundamentals of content curation. Learn to identify, organize, and share valuable content effectively to boost your digital strategy.

Oct 10, 2023
11 min read
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How to Curate Content

Did you know that over 82% of global content marketers integrate content curation into their strategy? This means if you’re not curating content, someone else is, and they’re most likely ahead of you. 

But what exactly is content curation and why should you care?

This guide will delve into the ins and outs of content curation, exploring what it is, why it's beneficial, and how to effectively curate content. Let's get started.

What is Content Curation?

Your content shouldn't just be about promoting your brand. It also should provide value to your audience. This can include sharing relevant news, tips, or even entertaining content. It keeps things interesting, and positions your brand as a thought leader in the industry.

Content curation is the process of discovering, gathering and sharing other people’s content with your target audience. It involves carefully selecting content from various sources that aligns with your brand’s values and audience interests.

When done correctly, content curation can help diversify your social media feed, build credibility and trust and ultimately drive engagement.

Lego successfully curates content by featuring a stunning shot by @a_toyphotographer and @bevvypix from @stuckinplastic.

How Much Should You Curate? Finding the Right Content Balance

You now know the importance of content curation. But how much should you curate? It's essential to strike a balance and avoid over-relying on either curated or original content.

A study by Curata sheds light on this, suggesting an ideal content marketing mix of 65% original content, 25% curated material, and 10% syndicated content. This means while curated content plays a significant role, it should complement rather than dominate your unique content.

Let’s break it down further:

Original content forms the backbone of your brand's voice and demonstrates your expertise. Curated content expands your reach and shows your active involvement in industry trends. Meanwhile, using syndicated content from external sources adds variety and depth to your content mix.

The Benefits of Effective Content Curation

You Can Post On Social Media More Frequently

Creating original content is the heart of content marketing, but it's time-consuming. 

When curating content, you're not constantly creating your social media posts from scratch. Instead, you're finding existing content and putting your own spin on it. 

It also allows you to post more frequently. And as we all know, consistency is critical on social media. Posting regularly provides more opportunities to engage with your audience.

It Spices Up Your Content 

Unless you're the creative type who can come up with new ideas, it's easy to fall into a content rut. By curating different types of content, you add variety and keep your audience engaged.

Furthermore, you'll also provide new insights and perspectives from the content you curate, which adds further value to your audience. 

You’ll Build New Relationships

Many content creators love it when their work is shared and credited, and they will likely reciprocate. By curating from other thought leaders, you can start building a network of connections within your industry.

It Establishes Your Brand as an Expert

Choosing the right content to curate showcases your expertise in a field or industry. By consistently sharing high-quality and relevant content, your audience will start to see you as a trusted source of information.

Additionally, by adding your own unique perspective or commentary, you can establish yourself as an expert who can provide valuable insights and opinions.

It Can Help Drive Traffic

The posts you find online should be top-performing and share-worthy content. As a result, viewers engaged in your content will be naturally driven to check out your page, leading to increased traffic.

It’s Cost-effective

Whether it's hiring a writer, designer or photographer, creating original content can be expensive. By curating content, you cut down on costs and still provide valuable information for your audience. 

It Can Inspire New Ideas

Curating content is research-driven, meaning you're probably learning something new. You may come across unique perspectives, data and ideas that can inspire your own original content.

You’ll Put Out Higher-quality Content

Let's say you're writing an article about the latest trends in your industry. 

While your insights are valuable, including curated content from the most qualified sources can add credibility and depth to your piece. By citing reputable sources, you also show that you are well-informed and up-to-date on the latest developments in your field.

How to Discover Content for Curation

Content curation sounds easy on paper, but curating quality content requires you to find and share the right pieces. It's not just about finding random, exciting posts but also ensuring they align with your brand and target audience.

Let's start with what you can do to find content to curate:

Use Aggregator Tools

Content aggregator tools like Feedly or Flipboard are your best friends if you want reliable, diverse and quality content. These tools allow you to follow multiple sources and filter content based on your interests.

These tools also broaden your horizons by exposing you to a wider range of topics and perspectives, all in one place. This lets you quickly sift through them and select what's best for your audience.

Sign Up for Email Newsletters

Newsletters are a gem when it comes to content curation. 

Businesses or industry experts generally send newsletters summarizing the most important news and developments in their field. By signing up for these newsletters, you can share valuable and up-to-date content with your audience. 

Since newsletters are intended to be exclusive to subscribers, they're generally well-written and curated by professionals. This makes them an excellent source of reliable content.

Utilize Social Media in It's Full Capacity

Don’t limit your content curation to just one or two social media platforms. Different platforms offer unique types of content and engagement opportunities. For example, LinkedIn is great for professional and industry-related content, while Instagram is ideal for visual storytelling.

To maximize your reach and variety of content:

  1. Join groups related to your niche on Facebook and LinkedIn. These communities are often rich with discussions and content sharing.
  2. Follow relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated with current trends and popular topics.
  3. Explore Reddit, Quora, and other forums and find popular pages or communities that align with your brand's interests.
  4. Subscribe to influencer channels. Influencers often share cutting-edge content and insights.

Use Search Engines

Google and other search engines are fantastic resources for content curation. 

Simply type in an industry-related topic or keyword and see what comes up on the first page of the results. You can also check the "People also ask" section for related queries and potential content ideas. 

Additionally, use Google's News tab to filter results by recency and popularity. This subsection provides timely and trending topics that are based on real-time news and events.

Lastly, set up Google Alerts for specific keywords or topics you want to track. This will send you notifications whenever new content related to your chosen keywords is published. 

Use SEO Tools to Find Trending Topics

Besides Google or Bing, you can use various SEO tools like Ahrefs, Google Trends, and BuzzSumo to help you find trending topics and popular keywords. These essentially cut out the filler in your search, saving time and giving topics that people actually want to read about. 

You'll also see what's being searched online and the traffic it generates - all invaluable information for content creation. 

Double-check the Source

Getting caught up in the excitement of finding a viral topic or headline is easy, but it can hurt your credibility if the source is unreliable. When in doubt, research and confirm the information and always err on caution. 

Verify the source's credibility by checking their website and social media presence, looking for any red flags or signs of misinformation. 

Remember, it's always better to find a different source or not share the information at all.

How to Organize, Customize Your Curated Content for Sharing

Let's go through a few tips to help you organize and share your curated content effectively:

Organize Your Content in Categories

With your sources firmly in place, it's time to organize the content you find. 

Instead of randomly posting content on your blog or social media, it pays to be more organized. This means grouping similar content into categories or themes. For example, if you run a tech blog, your categories could include:

  • "AI and Machine Learning"
  • "Gadgets and Gear" 
  • "Digital Marketing". 

Alternatively, you can section content by type, such as articles, infographics, videos or podcasts. 

Segment Your Content by Channel

Your content across multiple channels, such as your blog, social media platforms, and email newsletters, will be received differently on each platform.

While a long-form article is ideal for blogs or LinkedIn, it's not the best format for Twitter or Instagram where character limits apply. Similarly, visual content like videos is better suited for platforms like Facebook and Instagram than LinkedIn or Twitter.

Constantly adapt your curated content to fit the specific channel and audience, and consider repurposing it in different formats for maximum exposure.

Customize Content to Make It Your Own

Curating content doesn't mean simply reposting what others have shared. 

To truly stand out, try adding your own personal touch to the curated content.This can include adding a personal opinion or insight, creating custom graphics or visuals, or even repurposing the content into a different format to increase engagement. Your curated content will be unique and potentially more valuable rather than just another repost.

Additionally, you can create content from scratch and enhance it with curated elements. Including relevant statistics, quotes, or case studies into your original articles adds depth and credibility to your content. 

Summarize Your Content for Easy Consumption

Have you ever read an article just to realize you've only grasped half of the content? This often happens when information is presented in large chunks and paragraphs. This is especially the case with technical or complex topics.

To make your content more digestible, add a summary or key takeaways at the beginning or end of the post. This allows readers to quickly understand your content and decide whether to dive deeper or move on to another piece. 

Tag your sources

It's easy to steal content without giving credit to the source. However, it's the quickest way to lose credibility, alienate potential followers or get banned from social media platforms. 

Always tag or mention your sources, including the author, publication, journalist or website. This is the safest way to share content ethically and avoid potential legal issues. 

Schedule Your Posts with Online Tools or A Content Calendar

To effectively curate content, you need to be consistent with your posting schedule.  

Social media platforms, whether it's Facebook or Instagram, have specific times and days when engagement is highest. These are when your followers are most active and likely to see your content.

You can use online scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to maintain a regular posting schedule. These can be set for a specific date and time, ensuring your posts go out optimally.

Alternatively, you can create a content calendar to plan out your posts throughout the week to ensure a consistent flow of content.

Use Analytic Tools to Track Engagement

Like any marketing strategy, your bottom line determines your overall success. In the case of curating content, this means measuring engagement and tracking your progress. 

Take a look at the social media analytics to track engagement rates (likes, comments, shares), reach, and click-through rates. These metrics show which content types and topics gain the most traction, helping you fine-tune future posts.

You can also use Google Analytics to track website traffic from your social media. Pay attention to the quantity and quality of engagement, including interactions with industry leaders or influencers. Regularly review these analytics (monthly or quarterly) to identify trends and adjust your strategy for ongoing improvement. Adaptability is critical to maintaining success in content curation.

Engage with Your Community

If you're doing content curation correctly, you'll eventually build a community around your content. This could be a group of followers; other thought leaders in your industry or even just loyal readers.

Take advantage of this community by responding to comments and messages, asking for their thoughts and even reposting user-generated content (with permission). 

When responding, you can also plug in your own content if it's relevant. For example, if someone asks for the latest A.I tool for e-commerce stores; you can link to your blog post discussing it. Alternatively, you can recommend your own products if they provide a viable solution. 

Interactions build relationships, which lead to loyalty and engagement. Your followers will also appreciate the personal touch and see you as a valuable source of information in your industry.

Key Takeaways: The Process of Content Curation

  1. Find Relevant Content: Use tools like Feedly or Flipboard, sign up for industry newsletters, and explore various social media platforms.
  2. Verify Credibility: Ensure the sources of the content you plan to curate are reputable and legitimate.
  3. Organize Content: Group your found content into categories or themes for easier management and coherence, i.e. Industry News, Tutorials, etc.
  4. Customize for Your Audience: Add your insights or summaries to make the curated content more engaging and aligned with your brand voice.
  5. Adjust your content for your platform:  Tailor your curated content for the specific platform you are sharing it on, considering factors like character limits and audience preferences.
  6. Tag and Credit Sources: Always credit the original creators or content sources.
  7. Utilize Scheduling Tools: Schedule your posts for times when your target audience are most active.
  8. Measure and Analyze Performance: Use analytics tools to track engagement and adjust your strategy based on what resonates most with your audience.
  9. Engage with Your Community: Actively respond and interact with your audience to build a strong community around your curated content.

Conclusion - Content Curation Should Be Part of Your Social Media Strategy

Content curation is a strategy that some content creators and marketers overlook entirely. However, it's one of the most valuable techniques for building a strong online presence and connecting with your audience.

By curating content, you're giving one more reason for followers to engage with your social media profiles. It also allows you to showcase your expertise and knowledge in your industry, which can lead to valuable partnerships or opportunities.

So don't wait any longer; start researching and curating content now to build a stronger community and grow your online presence. 

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