What Is Content Curation? A Beginner’s Guide

what is content curation

When you start creating a social media strategy for your brand, you soon realize that you need a lot of content. You launched your blog and opened your social network accounts. But now you have to keep them updated. This is where content curation comes in handy.

As we’ll see in this article, curating content can be beneficial both for your editorial team and for your brand at large.

First, we’ll set the basis on what is content curation and which are the most popular types. Then, we’ll look at the key benefits and share a number of tips and ideas you can use to curate content in the best possible way.

Finally, we’ll see how to get started and you’ll find 5 content curation tools you can start using today to organize, plan, and share the best content for your audience.

Ready? Let’s get started.

What Is Content Curation?

The term curation comes from art – curators are art experts that strategically collect and organize art pieces into coherent museums or exhibitions.

In the social media marketing arena, content curation is a strategy that involves finding content from external sources, picking the best one, and sharing it with your audience – on social networks.

Source: Twitter.

Content curation comes in different shapes and forms, let’s see some of the most popular ones.

Content Curation Types #1: Latest Content

Your audience will be grateful if you share the latest news from your industry in a timely manner.

Source: Twitter.

You’re giving them value for free only because they’re following you, that’s an advantage that will strengthen your relationship with them, and make you the place to go in search of the latest news and content.

Content Curation Types #2: Expert Voices

This may come in the form of a video, an interview, or an open letter – where an expert talks about a hot topic in your industry, or in the news.

Source: LinkedIn

Content Curation Types #3: User-Generated Content

UGC (user-generated content) is on the rise as it allows brands to leverage their users' content to carry the company’s message – with their customers' words. For example, it works as social proof, engagement, and indeed as content curation.

Source: Instagram.

Content Curation Types #4: Actionable Resources

Indeed, providing value is also something you can do when sharing meaningful content that resonates with your audience and that can also solve their problems.

Source: Twitter

Content Curation Types #5: Inspirational Content

If the tone of your brand allows for it, you can also consider sharing inspirational or funny content. To begin with, it can show your character to your audience and personalize the experience they have with your brand.

Source: Twitter.

So far, we have described what content curation is and what are the most popular types – let’s now examine its key benefits and some tips and ideas you can use to start curating content like a pro!

6 Key Benefits of Content Curation

If you have come so far, you may be asking yourself: how can I promote content created by other brands and become more authoritative instead of the very opposite?

I’m not asking for a leap of faith here – this paragraph will shed some light on what I mean.

In fact, there are a number of reasons why you should consider adding curated content to your social media marketing strategy.

Easier Than Your Own Content

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that social media marketing requires a lot of effort. Creating content for different channels with different formats and frequency may be overwhelming.

For Twitter, best practices suggest tweeting around 15 times a day.

That is why sharing content that has already been created can be a lifesaver – of course, it must be relevant to your audience and aligned with your brand tone and standards.

Source: Twitter.

Cheaper Than Your Own Content

Creating content is expensive.

Not only in terms of money – it takes time to create meaningful content and depending on your audience (do they prefer videos, infographics, long blog articles?) you may need a lot of budgets – or a big editorial team.

Sharing content from external sources does not mean that you don’t need a content marketing strategy – quite the opposite. You just need to differentiate what you post on your social networks to include curated content.

More Buzz Around Your Brand

If you want to stay top of mind for your audience, you need to be there on social.

It shows your followers that you – and your brand – are there for them. Not only promoting your content but providing value surrounding your speciality.

Source: Twitter.

Being trustworthy is the first step in building up your relationship with people who have shown interest in you and your brand and entice them to move one step forward towards becoming your customers.

Increased Audience Engagement

Everybody is looking to increase engagement these days. This is because social media algorithms favor engagement and create a cascade effect: the more engagement, the more chances you have to appear in your followers' newsfeed.

Creating great content that entices engagement can be as difficult as finding treasure at the end of a rainbow.

Source: Twitter.

That is why, when you find already created content coming from reliable sources that already have great engagement, chances are that if you share it with your audience, it will have similar results.

Advanced Thought-Leadership

It may seem counterintuitive but sharing other people’s (and brands) content will increase your thought-leadership status.

As much as you can be an expert in your industry, you can’t know everything. This is why sharing the content of other experts in the field will show your followers that you stay up-to-date with the news and have a glimpse into where your sources are.

This will position you as a trustworthy authority in your industry that is worth following and engaging with.

Meaningful Relationship With Influencers and Thought-Leaders

Content curation can also be about connecting with other experts in the field.

On top of increasing engagement with your audience, you’ll also wink at the influencers and thought-leaders that you take content from.

Source: Twitter.

You could start lively conversations and even start collaborations with other professionals in the area.

Bonus: Content Curation, Your Personal Newsroom

While your research for content to curate, you also have an added bonus.

Reading countless articles to find the perfect content for your audience, you’ll start creating your personal newsroom, with your preferred sources and formats.

Plenty of benefits: you’ll stay updated, become a better professional, and ultimately create better content when you’ll write your own.

Content Curation Tips and Ideas

Now that we have covered the benefits of content curation, it’s time to go through some tips and ideas you can use to spice up the content you share with your followers on social media.

Find The Content You Share From Unusual Places

Finding good relevant content can be super complicated, in particular, if are sharing content regularly.

You may end up re-sharing content from the same sources and this could make you look like an affiliate, rather than a thought leader. (You may want to explore the affiliate market but this is another story.)

Get creative and go looking for your sources in unusual (but relevant) places. For example, look for other thought leaders in your industry – but also search for their sources.

Alternatively, subscribe to RSS feed readers to get notified as soon as something new and juicy gets published (more on this in the next paragraph.)

Share Quality Content From Reputable Sources

It goes without saying that even in your insightful searches, you’d still need to look for reputable sources. You can start by using SEO tools to help you out and analyze domain scores and overall traffic.

Use tools like Ubersuggest to check your sources.

These tools can also help you look at finding content with a high share of voice too. This will help you find quality curated content.

Read What You Share (Before You Share It)

You may turn out with something which is neither relevant nor of any value for your audience.

Just take the time to read through the article you are about to share – or at least scan if you trust your source to check if it aligns with your brand and audience.

Add Your Take On What You Share

Re-tweeting or re-sharing without adding your own commentary is a wasted opportunity.

When you share something valuable, funny, or useful, you may want to tell your followers why you are doing so and what you think about the issue.

It will definitely help to build your brand voice and strengthen your relationship with your current and prospective customers. For example, letting them know that you have clear opinions about a situation or issue, increases the chances that you’ll be recognized as a knowledgeable expert.

Image Source.

Engage In Conversations With Authors

Make sure to always give credit to your sources – including complying with copyright. You don’t want to be the brand that stole content, because it will be bad for your reputation. Giving credit will also boost your social connections with other brands and influential thought leaders.

Content creators will be happy to see their material shared and – sometimes – will also engage in conversations with you. Being featured in their posts, or Tweets it’s good to expand the reach of your audience and for the overall engagement of your social accounts.

How To Get Started With Content Curation

When creating your social media marketing strategy, content curation it is the natural companion to content creation and it includes three main steps:

  1. Planning your curated content.
  2. Searching for your curated content.
  3. Sharing your curated content.

#1 Planning Your Curated Content

The first step of content curation involves planning.

You may be tempted to share the content that you think is relevant for your audience. Please, don’t. Understanding your audience is one of the most difficult tasks in marketing, and you want to do it based on data. Start from there (you can even start with your Google Analytics data.)

Once you have a clear idea of who your prospective readers (and customers) are, you can create broad categories of topics that resonate with them. You can have multiple audiences segments, so keeping your topics varied will help to keep all of them engaged.

What is content curation? Twitter Lists
Twitter Lists can help you segment content. Source: Twitter.

When planning your curated content, also take into consideration how often you want to share content that is not your own – the best way to do it is to test it. Once you’ve found your best combination, be consistent.

#2 Searching For And Selecting Your Curated Content

Once you have defined your content curation topics, set up your lists, and decided the sharing frequency, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start searching for your content.

Pro tip! Set aside some time each day or week to search and select your curated content. It will become a habit and you’ll get better (and faster) over time, but it’s important that you turn it into a routine.

Look for credible sources. One of the metrics you can choose to measure if what you are sharing is worth it, it’s whether the brand (or blog) has a high share of voice, that is high reach, engagement, mentions, and keyword search.

#3 Sharing Your Curated Content

That’s the easiest part of your content curation strategy. Whether you do it yourself or use tools to help you out, make sure you share the content timely and adding your own brand voice – it will make all the difference.

Curated UGC (user-generated content) – Source: Instagram

Top 5 Content Curation Tools

We’ve come to the final chapter of this beginner’s guide about content curation. And the best way to part ways is for me to share some of my favorite tools to look for content to curate.

Content Curation Tools #1: RSS Feed Reader

It’s super easy (and free!) to get started with RSS Feed Readers. Take Feeder, for example. It’s available as a desktop extension or as a mobile app and you can set it up in minutes. You can explore categories or search for specific websites or sources. Once you’re set-up, you’ll be automatically notified when new articles come out.

Image Source.

Content Curation Tools #2: Zest

Mainly focused on marketing, Zest offers an extension that collects and curates marketing related content. After you install it, you can set it up to open each time you open a new tab.

Zest: Marketing Content Curation
Image Source.

Content Curation Tools #3: ProductHunt

If you’re more into sharing info and news about new products and startups, you’ll find ProductHunt daily and weekly digests very useful. I’d recommend you take a look at what’s new there too – you’ll find some hidden gems.

Content Curation Product Hunt
Image Source.

ProductHunt is also a meta-tool – try and type in content curation in the search bar. You’ll find a list of tools to help you with your content curation efforts!

Content Curation Tools #4: The Clikk

For digital business acolytes, my advice is to subscribe to The Clikk. It’s a daily newsletter that will deep dive into everything digital business with a flair of irony and fun.

Content Curation emails
Image Source.

Content Curation Tools #5: Curata

If you want a tool that can help you manage all your content curation efforts in one place, you can use Curata. You’ll be able to find, organize, schedule, and publish curated content across a number of social media properties.

Content Curation Tools - Curata
Image Source.

In this article, we’ve shared everything you need to know about how to curate content for your business. We hope you enjoyed the read!

If you have any content curation tips or website you love, let us know in the comments below!

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