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What is content curation?

Content curation is the process of finding and collecting online content and presenting the best pieces in a structured way. Unlike content marketing, curation does not involve creating your own content. Instead, you are researching and sharing information created by other people that your audience will appreciate and respond to. Like all other aspects of marketing, content curation adds value to your brand and creates lasting relationships with your customers.

How is content curation used?

Content curation is omnipresent on the Web. All places where content is shared and discussed are good examples of content curation, including RSS feeds, social media posts, news aggregation websites, and links and articles referenced in blogs. There is no standard type of content either. Websites often curate and share text, video, audio, images and infographics.

Why is it valuable to the user?

As more businesses embrace inbound marketing, the Web has become increasingly crowded with content. Business owners across the globe are trying to stake a claim in their industries and producing a massive amount of content as they do it. This leads to a situation often referred to as content saturation. When there are so many publishers writing about a given subject, consumers are challenged to sift through it and find quality information. Businesses that curate content, as well as publish their own material, are helping customers quickly get good information from the best sources in the industry.

Many businesses collect helpful articles from other resources online, organize them and share them with readers, essentially making their brands an online magazine that shares the best content found on relevant topics users will like. The goal is to make your website a "one-stop" destination for the best information about your products and services, eliminating the need for consumers to research related topics elsewhere.

  • "Best of" aggregator blog posts - Some brands curate articles throughout a specified period of time and publish them on a certain day of the week or month. This creates an expectation among their readers that the best articles will be provided to them in a digestible format and at a predictable time. One example is Hootsuite's weekly post called "This Week in Social," where they share the latest trends, announcements and features from the world of social media.

  • Email newsletters - Email is another great channel for content curators because it offers direct contact with the consumer. You can deliver the quality content directly to them, saving the users from having to search for it. Many email marketing sites like AWeber offer A/B testing, where you can test different headlines and see what draws the greatest response.

  • Sharing on social media - Offering valuable information from other industry leaders can reap big rewards on social media. It demonstrates confidence and expertise to your followers, showing them you know your business well and value the opinions of other influential people.

SEO benefits of content curation

Content curation can also boost your search engine optimization efforts by helping you earn inbound links from other influential websites. This is a process that's sometimes referred to as preciprocation. Start by making a list of authoritative, influential sites that have shown a willingness to link to other resources, either through blog content, news round ups, or "how to" tutorials. Share their articles on your social media and email marketing channels, and make sure they are aware after you've done it. Also, you should interact with them in their blog comments or through email. Make sure your interactions with them demonstrate that you have a genuine appreciation for their work by asking good questions and making thoughtful comments. The next time you write about a related topic, reference them in your article, and after you distribute it to your fans, ask your link prospect if they would consider sharing it with theirs. Do not expect quid-pro-quo. Even though your company has promoted their work, it does not obligate them to do likewise. Still, your chances of getting shared and linked to are far greater when you have put in the effort of developing a genuine relationship with your prospect.

Content curation benefits everyone. It benefits the publisher whose work you are sharing, it benefits your users by saving them time from having to look for great information, and it benefits you by keeping your customers engaged and enjoying your brand. By curating content, you can generate new ideas for your own content strategy while earning the respect of your peers in the industry.

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