Content curation is the process of cherry-picking the best pieces of content surrounding a specific theme. According to an infographic published by Mashable, 571 websites are created, 347 WordPress blog posts are published, and 3,600 Instagram pictures are uploaded in any given minute. With the millions – and perhaps billions – of gigabytes of information floating around on the web these days, content curation can be a very powerful tool when building an audience.
Marketing firm and software developer Curata conducted a survey last year which found that companies that use curated content on average get 30% more page views than companies that don’t. Websites like Mashable have built huge followings by publishing curated material. After all, readers appreciate not having to sift through throngs of websites to find the best information.
If you’re planning on using content curation as a part of your own content marketing strategy, here are some tools to help get you started:
By now, you’ve probably realized that Google is more than just a search engine. While performing a simple Google search will yield helpful results, you can also use of some of Google’s other tools in your content curation efforts. Set up Google Alerts for specific topics, and have a list of relevant links delivered to your inbox as often as you want. You can also customize Google News to deliver news relevant to your industry. You can also use Google’s Blog Search function to find interesting articles and discussions on your chosen topics.
Top industry associations tend to be good about keeping track of top news in their fields. Subscribe to their newsletters or follow them on social media to stay abreast of what people are talking about in your industry. You should also subscribe to conference newsletters, even if you don’t plan on attending the conference. It helps to know what topics and keynote speakers who are making a splash in your industry.
RSS feeds are a great way to keep up with your industry’s best blogs and to stay on top of trends. Just sign up for an account with an RSS reader like Feedly or Newsblur, and subscribe to the top blogs in your field. If you’re not sure which blogs to follow, just look up a list of top blogs in your industry. Coincidentally, many blogs have their own curated lists of top blogs which you can find with a simple Google search. If a blog you’re interested in doesn’t have an RSS feed, sign up for the site’s newsletter instead.
Ask Your Audience
Crowdsource good nuggets of content by asking your audience to give you a heads up whenever they come across interesting articles. You can even set up a special email inbox for this, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social media is a great way to keep up with curated content. After all, social media users curate content every day by sharing and retweeting. Keep track of your chosen hashtags on Facebook and Twitter to see what your followers are talking about.
Though it started out as a simple social bookmarking site, Delicious has grown into one of the best content curation tools on the web. This program allows you to easily “capture the web you’ve been missing” by saving and organizing interesting links you find online. You can also discover the specific content pieces that others have tagged by clicking the “discover” tab.
Curate Your Own Content
Companies often have loads of helpful content stashed in old blog posts, videos, slide show presentations, articles, and other sources online. If this is the case with your company, find ways to curate your own past content. Some ideas include:
Creating a new list blog post that includes past blog posts around a certain theme (e.g., “Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2012”).
Creating an ebook out of popular pieces of content written on the same topic.
Create a video series based on your past written content.
Create a resource section of your website where you categorize your most helpful blog posts and articles. You can also term it as a “Best of ___” page.
Create a video or slide show presentation to publish online.
Create infographics of stats pulled from your content.
With more content than ever before being created and shared every day, content curation allows your brand to select the best examples and to create the context in which you present them. This also gives you a chance to connect with those whose content you’re curating and to stay in the know when it comes to industry trends and thought leaders. This works both ways, as your company extends its reach whenever its content is curated. In essence, everyone involved has something to gain from curated content.