Content curation refers to compiling third-party content from various sources in a meaningful way. Like a good art curator, you collect the best content or the content that fits a topic and comment on it.
Don’t just link to the content. Add your own thoughts to the content. Why do you link to the content? Is the article helpful, comprehensive, does it offer further information? Don’t leave your readers in the dark about your intentions with the curated link.
How content curation works
There are companies and communicators who base their communication entirely on content curation. While such a strategy can be successful, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Rather, it should complement and enhance your own messaging. If you create and communicate good content of your own, you can provide further value with third-party content.
If you have to choose between content curation and your own content, say due to resource constraints, I recommend building a foundation of original content first. Then, complement and enhance it in that way.
If you share third-party content without commentary, your readers and customers won’t be able to appreciate your understanding of the topic. If you put the content in context and make it clear which aspects of the shared article you agree with (and which you disagree with), your expertise becomes clear, and you avoid unintentionally adopting the opinions of others.
Types of content curation
There are different approaches for this kind of blog post:
- Aggregation: with aggregation, you summarize the most important contributions in the industry on a specific topic and present them. Your readers get a quick overview of which recent publications deal with the topic.
- Distillation: In distillation, you also first summarize your curated content, then filter it more deeply and highlight its key messages. Monthly finds are one idea. Under a main theme, you present there different curated contributions of different authors and publications, show different aspects of a topic and give reading recommendations.
- Chronology: Alternatively, you can present curated posts in a chronology. in corporate communications, this approach is suitable for mapping fast-moving trends or developments in online PR. You can signal to your readership that you are both up-to-date and have solid background knowledge.
- Mashup: Another popular type of content curation is the mashup. In a mashup, you research different perspectives on a particular topic. This method allows you to take a nuanced look at a controversial topic and gain new perspectives if necessary.
- Elevation: The curation of daily topics and articles is called elevation. This method allows you to bring your reader up to date and give them an overview of the latest trending topics in the industry.
If you’re doing content curation, you should make sure to get noticed. Do good and talk about it. You know, don’t you? On Facebook you tag the person whose content you recommend, on Twitter you use his Twitter handle in the tweet and on your blog you inform about the pingback function. You can email someone and briefly let them know that you recommended their post XY. This way you earn the trust to tap into once you have something you want to introduce to a wider circle of interested people.
Critical posts are good curated content
External content and sources need to be filtered and analyzed. This does not mean that there should be no critical articles on a topic. On the contrary. The more authentic and diverse a topic is reported on, the higher the information level for the readers and the more credible one’s own business becomes. No company will place a flood of negative content on its own website. That’s clear. Companies should have the sovereignty to offer critical voices a place. Company-relevant topics are communicated more extensively and offer more opportunities to engage with readers.
Pay attention to the quality of your source. Does it have a good reputation? Does it produce reputable articles? Is the content informative? If you can answer all questions, it’s worth sharing.
Make sure that the content you share is appropriate for you and YOUR content. It doesn’t make much sense if you blog about writing tips then post tips and links about dog training. Makes sense, right?
Let the content producer know when you’re linking to them. When a post is linked, the linked party (content producer) usually gets a pingback. That means he automatically gets an email saying who linked him where. These pingpacks do not always work. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to send a short mail to the author. This has two advantages: 1. the author is happy about it and 2. you have a first contact. You will definitely be remembered.
Curating content not only ensures that you are perceived as an expert. You strengthen your network. The more often you refer to colleagues, incorporate their opinions and possibly open a discourse, the more likely you are to be perceived as relevant. This, naturally, pays into your expert status.
There is a variety of tools available for curation:
Buzzsumo shows the popularity of the topic in social media for entered search terms. The free daily limit is quickly applied, so the tool is fit for purpose if a full version is purchased.
Curata is a software for professional content curation. The software facilitates the steps of finding, creating and sharing content.
Pocket is an online service that simplifies the collection of information. Articles, photos or videos can be easily stored in a personal digital pocket to ensure they don’t get lost. This eliminates paper clutter on the desk or confusing text files.