Any business with an online presence will understand how important content marketing has become, enabling companies to attract new visitors, form relationships, and ultimately generate more sales. But while we are all familiar with the concept of creating content – whether that’s an article, an infographic, or a video – many will be less familiar with the concept of content curation. With increasing pressure on businesses to provide a steady flow of interesting content, there is not always enough time in the day to fulfill the original content quota. Content curation fills the gap, helping business owners and marketers to grow their blogs by cherry picking the best content from other sources, and presenting that information in a different way. So, how do we explain this concept to a five year old?
Daddy, what is content curation?
Content curation is a bit like rummaging around in a toy chest, sifting through various options until you find what you’re looking for. There may be some sorting and arranging to do, and each day you will probably be drawn to something different. And while you may not have invented Dora the Explorer, Barney the Dinosaur or the yellow Teletubby, you can certainly bring the three together to create a new story that hasn’t been told before.
Content curation doesn’t mean writing new content: it involves seeking out, compiling, and sharing content that is already out there. And as we all know, sharing is important.
It’s a great tactic for busy marketers, which enables you to keep on top of your online presence and provide extra value for your customers. To build lasting relationships, we must share our discoveries. Don’t keep all the Teletubbies to yourself.
Where do I find things to share?
You know what you’re interested in, and what your playmates (customers) find interesting. There’s a lot of variety out there – re-watching Frozen, finger painting, building with Lego, making blanket forts, digging for worms, etc. Once you’ve selected your favorite things, you need to find sources to curate from, such as the craft cupboard, the linen drawer, or the shed. Sources you can trust to provide the adequate raw materials.
When it comes to business, there are just as many sources available to derive quality content from. Ideally, they should be sources that you and your customers are already familiar with, and which you know to be reliable. These might include:
- Industry blogs
- Trade publications
- Twitter lists
- Social influencers
- Scientific journals
- Feed readers
Try looking everywhere – you never know what you might find.
How do I show people what I’ve found?
Well Jimmy, you can do that in a number of ways.
A popular way to share curated content is with a weekly blog post. Another way to look at it might be ‘show and tell’, where every Friday you bring what you’ve found to class and share your thoughts with the group. Link roundups are simple to make and can be very helpful to readers, essentially finding the best of what’s out there so they don’t have to. Here’s an example of a roundup from the Huffington Post: The 25 Greatest Viral Videos Of All Time.
Another way that you can shared curated content is via an email newsletter. This can be seen as the digital equivalent of collecting together some of the best things you’ve found that week – perhaps a toy car, a Happy Meal toy, or some Pokemon memorabilia – putting them in a box and sending them to your friend. Except on a much bigger scale, to a lot of friends. And you still get to keep the toys as well. Here are 7 examples of exceptional curated emails, including a weekly new images update from Unsplash, and curated events from the CMO Council. If you can highlight your own guest content, as Influence & Co. does, then you’re onto a winner.
The last (but not least) way to share curated content is via your social media channels. Think of this as the stuff you show your friends when you’re out in the playground. And it’ll likely be a real mix of things – it might be something you’ve found one moment, like a frog or a really great conker, or it might be something you made yourself, like a daisy chain or a drawing. All are equally exciting, and it’s ok to show things that aren’t necessary your own creation. In fact, you should. Variety keeps things interesting.
A good rule of thumb for social media goes 5-3-2: that is, for every 10 posts, 5 should be content shared from others, 3 should be content from you, and 2 should be personal. Here’s more on how and why the 5-3-2 rule works.
Ah yes. A timeless and inexhaustible question.
Let us consider the modern consumer, and indeed child. They are increasingly attached to smartphones (or some other connected device). They are hyper-connected to a world of information, even while on the go, which allows them to make purchase decisions based on their own research. ‘Sales’ in the traditional sense in dying out – now you’ve got to be riding the content marketing bandwagon (or kids’ ride-on electric car) if you want to have a chance of success.
Every ecommerce business needs a blog. Look at our online business and ecommerce platforms. WordPress is tailored heavily towards blogging. Shopify has blogging software built into its system, encouraging store owners to get writing and sharing. This is a direct response to the consumer environment, which demands informative, relevant content to facilitate research. But of course, as we’ve discussed, coming up with new content every day, or every week, is not always feasible. Content curation is what helps busy brands to keep up – and the content itself is no less useful. By delivering on a regular basis, you can improve your SEO, position yourself as a thought leader, generate new leads, and have regular material for your social media pages.
Or to put it another way, you will be the child that the others like and trust, because you show yourself to be curious, clever, and sociable.
Whether you’re part of a busy marketing team, or running your own one-person operation from home, using a tool like MyCurator will make sure you are always able to deliver relevant content to your readers. All you need to do is select your preferred sources, and the content will be delivered to you via RSS feeds. When you select a piece of content to include, MyCurator pre-fills the post with editable content, saving considerable time when putting together a fully curated article. In summary, it’s like having your favorite bedtime stories – and others like them – dropping into your bookshelf every day. Just don’t keep them to yourself.
Gareth Simpson – Technical SEO & Startup Founder
Gareth is a veteran SEO and content marketer with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He loves to share his knowledge with others online. You’ll find him working hard on growing his business and writing content.
This article is by Ian Campbell at Business Transition Simplified. Ian has been a long time customer of MyCurator. He writes here about the importance of setting up an RSS system to provide a daily stream of articles about your industry, competition and economy.
Think of it as a business intelligence system providing important news without you having to search for it. MyCurator is a great tool for setting up this type of system. Its AI based training system will allow you to narrow in on the articles most important to you, weeding out up to 90% of off target and junk information.
Click on over to his site to read the article, and he also has a wealth of information about long term planning and valuation for your business.
A person who organizes and maintains an RSS System can be thought of as someone who generates their own individualized news funnel focused entirely on internet content related to one or more specific topics that person is interested in.
If you are a business owner, imagine automatically receiving a daily stream of articles in one summarized package that with little time commitment and little out of pocket cost will keep you and your management team up to date on things that may directly or indirectly impact your business, including – as you elect and organize:
- industry data, trends, and competitor news.
- industry specific and broad-based technological advances.
- ongoing business consolidation in your own industry(ies) and industries populated by suppliers to your business and its customers.
- the world and country-specific economies, central bank policies, government fiscal policies, regulatory policies, and government debt, and the financial markets.
One of the hardest tasks in curation is tracking down the original source of an image. Even if you start with the original source of an article, the images used in it may, and probably did not, originate with the same author.
To track down the original source, try using Google Image Search to find it. Its amazing how accurate it is in finding multiple copies of the image on the web. Unfortunately, it still takes a lot of digging to figure out which one is the original. The following steps will get you started.
Finally, if you can’t find the source, make sure you use a thumbnail. Using just a thumbnail, and not a larger or full size image, is good practice and seems to be a way to share an image without knowing where it is from.
- In Chrome, you can right click an image and choose Search Google for Images. Otherwise go to google image search and drag the image into the search box.
- A page will open with links to where that image is found. Scan for an obvious source for the image. Click on it and use the link to credit the image. If it is a stock photo site, you will often have to pay to use it.
- Many times you’ll have to dig deeper, click on the “view other sizes” link.
- A new page will open with photo links of where the image is found. Usually the largest image is where the original photo is held. Scroll over the top of the images to see the site info. You may have to click through a couple sites before finding the original source.
- Once you find it link properly.
I’ve heard a lot of these in my contacts with clients and at WordCamps this year. This article brings the most common myths together in one place, with solid answers for all of them. Content Curation is not a short cut or a magic bullet. It takes some work. MyCurator can help, but it doesn’t do it all.
If you’ve spent any time in the content marketing space recently, you’re probably well aware that content curation is a major topic of conversation. It appears that most people fall into one of two camps: either you’re totally gung-ho about content curation or you think content curation is killing the industry.
Akismet, Jetpack, Disqus, all of these big companies are utilizing the cloud to deliver services through a plugin. Can a small WordPress development shop even attempt this? Yes, you can, and it’s not that hard to do. Heavy volume processing, shared data across clients, AI and big data are just some of the services you can more easily deliver through the cloud. In the attached presentation I will cover some of the key concepts that you need to know to get started including:
- Identifying processing best delivered through cloud services
- Architecting a cloud service plugin
- Building a cloud service on Amazon with PHP/Apache
- Communication between your plugin and the Cloud Service
- Tips, volume metrics and other lessons learned in 4 years of supporting Artificial Intelligence and volume processing through a cloud service plugin
Here is the PDF Presentation: Deliver a Cloud Service through a plugin
This is a good article by About Erika Heald at spinsucks.com about the many ways that content curation can be done badly. It gives nice insight into how it feels to have your work copied without attribution. Worth a read and has some tips to re-iterate good practices at the end.
In the start-up marketing world, I’ve often heard the adage “ask forgiveness, not permission.” Unfortunately, it seems many content producers are living by this advice, and unwittingly sabotaging the very influencer relationships they hope to build through their content curation process .
You see, influencers are tired of having their name and hard work appropriated by brands they don’t know.
This Post from Marissa Burdett on Hootsuite provides a new angle on how to think about curation. I like her focus on inserting yourself into conversations rather than just posting content.
MyCurator is a great tool for finding and posting content, but how you approach your curation is key to its success. Read her articles for some fresh ideas. Do you think it helps your curation process?
To make a stronger impact, think of curation differently: it is not a replacement for interaction, but rather a tool to spark conversations. #HootChat regular, Martin Lieberman, puts it this way:
If all you do is push content, all you’re going to get is retweets. If you engage, you’ll get a whole lot more replies. Which do YOU want?
Thinking about curation as an active process inserts your brand into the equation. It’s okay to use tools to automate the process so long as you are involved before and after content is shared. Remember, good curation doesn’t end with a shared link—take it one step further and engage.
As a blogger, you may think you are generating enough content. As this article points out though, content curation adds a new element to your work. It allows you to “offer your reader the world and a broader information experience.” MyCurator it makes it easy to begin curation on your WordPress blog. And our Notebooks capability allow you to save up interesting articles for more complex curations or as source information for your original content.
Content curation has been around for a while, but many bloggers, including book marketers, don’t realize the advantages or benefits it offers.
This form of marketing comes in various forms throughout the internet. Of those variations there is one common thread: content curation is related to article marketing, or more specifically to content marketing.