The web is a virtual ocean of information. Everything you could ever want to know about a given topic (and a lot you don’t) can be found in its dark depths. If you’re looking for something specific, it’s all too easy to drown in all that content. But like its real-world counterpart, the digital sea can yield some valuable treasure for those who can navigate its waters. There’s a lot of useful, fresh material out there. The trick is discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds the specific subject matter your followers are interested in. Adding your own voice to this handpicked collection is called content curation. Unlike content creation, content curation does not involve the generation of content. Instead, you gather content from a variety of sources and deliver it in an organized fashion. Now, this doesn’t mean amassing every bit of information about a given topic. You need to be deliberate in what you present. This is where your content curation strategies come in.
Here are 5 effective tips to get you started.
1. Determining Your Audience & Messaging
To bring order out of the chaotic deluge of information out there, you first need to have a solid idea of what you want to say. Remember, the content you choose will reflect on your brand. So take the extra time to get a firm grasp of what your brand is about. This is the cornerstone of any content creation strategy. If you’re clear on what your brand is about, choosing the relevant content that supports your message becomes much easier. Another point related to this is to make sure you have a good understanding who your audience is. If you know what they’re looking for, you’ll want the content you select to cater to their specific interests.
2. Finding the Diamonds in the Rough
Once you have a solid grasp on your message and audience, it’s time to look for content. Simply throwing up tons of material does nothing for your brand. In fact, having to wade through a tangle of content they have seen a dozen times before is a good way to lose potential followers. Effective content curation highlights amazing content that readers have never seen in a way that adds value and impresses the original source. You want the red meat of content, not the filler. Selecting the most pertinent information, and presenting it in the clearest way possible, will keep your followers happy and coming back for more.
3. Researching Relevant Content
Speaking of content, it’s worth it to spend the extra effort digging deep for relevant content your audience will probably not come across themselves. We’ve all been to different sites that rehash the same, tired material as all the rest. It gets tiring. And believe me; your followers feel the same. Sharing valuable information that your audience hasn’t seen before is a quick way to get a reputation as the go-to source for fresh content. This may seem like a tall order, but luckily there are tools that can help you. An often overlooked one is RSS. Yes, yes… I know. It’s like the Twitter of yesteryear. But don’t underestimate its ability to update you on new content, often as soon as it goes live. With a lot of people relying on Twitter for the same info, this can give you an edge by allowing you to share content that isn’t on anyone’s radar yet. Also, don’t be afraid to check out sources abstractly or tangentially related to your topic. The most popular sites probably have their content shared often. However, sites that publish content strongly relevant to your audience 10% to 20% of the time are a great source, simply because their material comes across as fresh and new by virtue of being unseen by most of your audience.
4. Positioning Yourself as an Authority in your Field/Niche
Well curated content isn’t just a matter of collating material. Unlike museum curators, content curators add their own original content. This commentary can add immense value to content. Intelligent insights enhance the value of content by framing the information and giving it context. This can put you head and shoulders above your competition by giving your curated content that human touch. Another benefit to well thought-of commentary is positioning yourself (or your brand) as an authority in your field. Keeping in the forefront of your audience’s minds when they think of your particular area of expertise often pays dividends later.
5. Maintaining Content Consistency
And, finally, be consistent. Like any form of content marketing, content curation requires a regular publication schedule. If you want to keep your brand in your audience’s consciousness, you need to be visible. That being said, don’t over saturate. It’s better to keep a balanced update schedule that to bombard your audience with multiple daily posts.
A site with well-curated content can be a godsend to users. Like a comfortable hangout where you can go to get the straight skinny on a topic that interests you, it’s a place you can keep going back to. As a creator, having something that keeps bringing people back should be something you’d want to look in to. I hope this helps you get started formulating your content curation strategies. Just remember to credit the original creators!