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How to Explain Content Curation to a Five Year…

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
  • LinkedIn
  • Newsletters
  • 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.

But…why?

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.

Articles

Delivering a Cloud Service through a plugin

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

 

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MyCurator Content Curation Software for WordPress

MyCurator is powerful corporate level software brought to you as a plugin. It uses a cloud process to perform intensive AI processing and article classification. This allows MyCurator to maintain a low processing overhead on your site.  The software works tirelessly in the background delivering a pipeline of interesting, usable content to you throughout the day. Read more “MyCurator Content Curation Software for WordPress”

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How will Content Curation Grow my Ecommerce site?

Why would I want to post other peoples articles when I have so much content already – my product descriptions, sale pages and reviews?  These are the key pages that I want indexed high in the search engines too.

First off, you need to stand out from your competitors, and having some interesting, relevant content besides your product information can make your site more engaging for your customers.  In addition, content that is not just about your products can help you establish some authority in your product niche.  Not only do your customers see that you are keeping up with the relevant news, trends and ideas.  The search engines also like to see this broader content. Read more “How will Content Curation Grow my Ecommerce site?”

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How do you keep your Client’s new Website Growing…

With high hopes, you launch your client’s new website, as well as connecting them up socially on twitter, Facebook and Google+.  And then, nothing happens!  That client that mapped out a schedule of content posts with great enthusiasm hasn’t done a thing.  Their blog, and all of the downstream networks like twitter and facebook, just languish.  It may not be a “no time” issue. For many business people, starting from a blank page to write content is daunting! Read more “How do you keep your Client’s new Website Growing with Fresh Content?”

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How does Content Curation Help my Blog Grow?

Why should I be sending my visitors away to another site by curating their content?  That seems like a quick way to shrink my readership!

That is the question I most often hear from bloggers looking into content curation.  Frankly, it is a risk, because if you don’t do your curation well, that may well be what happens.  The key though is to treat your curation with the same creativity and focus that you would your original writings. Read more “How does Content Curation Help my Blog Grow?”

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How does Content Curation get my Small Business Found…

As a small business, I’m sure you are finding that having a strong presence on the web is becoming ever more important.  Especially with the rise of mobile phone technology, customers can look for your service or product when they are ready to make a purchase.  If they don’t find you in their search, or hear about you in their social networks, you lose the sale.

One of the best and safest ways to get your small business website noticed by search engines is to provide regular, quality content on your site.  Above and beyond your product or service descriptions and white papers, this also means a variety of news and information that are relevant to your customers.  This is called Content Marketing, and it is becoming the key focus of marketing for businesses big and small.  Content curation is a key part of this effort, and focuses on finding articles and information related to your business that provide value to your clients. Read more “How does Content Curation get my Small Business Found on the Web?”

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How Content Curation can make you a Better Writer

Content curation can be a great way to overcome ‘content famine’ on your site! View our Reno Tahoe WordCamp Presentation that covers the elements of content curation and how its regular practice can build content for your site. An even bigger benefit is that regular content curation can lead you to feel more comfortable or become better at writing your own posts and articles from scratch.

Think of content curation as a self study course in writing.  Here are the key elements from the presentation:

  • Disciplined, regular discovery of articles, authors and writing examples
  • Start with ‘reactions’ to practice writing your opinions and ideas
  • Expand to longer comments and opinions as you gain confidence
  • Feedback from your community and the wider web to judge progress
  • Curation can lead to more and better original content for your blog or site

You can view just the slides at Slideshare.net