Content marketing has become a red-hot buzzword for brands of all sizes. According to our B2B Marketing Trends survey, 87 percent of marketers use content marketing as a key part of their strategy. Curated content is a subset of content marketing where a person(or team) consistently finds and shares the most relevant and highest quality digital content on a specific topic.
Curated content can complement your original, created content, allowing you to update your blog and other content marketing channels without a huge additional investment of time and money. In fact, plenty of content curators publish a steady stream of content in less than 20 minutes a day.
Given how much content is published online virtually every minute of every day, content curators never lack for ideas or inspiration, even if they cover fairly niche business topics. Another advantage of content curation is that linking to and sharing third-party content allows your brand to participate in the broader conversation online instead of existing in a silo off by itself. Often participation in the online community can lead to greater engagement through comments, shares, and linkbacks. This also positions you and your brand as an industry thought leader.
Content curation not only allows you to participate in the industry conversations, but allows your brand to own those conversations. Intel’s website IQ.Intel.com is a great example, where they are curating content focused on the impact of technology in our lives. Instead of following the conversation elsewhere, Intel developed their own destination site to curate the conversation and provide their own impressions.
Content curation differs from content aggregation in that content aggregation can be fully automated through technology. Take, for instance, automated tools like RSS feeds or Google Alerts. Content curation requires a human being to select quality content and add original commentary on the topic. Simply republishing a few sentences (or more) from an article published elsewhere doesn’t add any value and doesn’t really count as curation. Responsible curators include a link back to the original source as a courtesy to the content creator and a service to the reader, who may want to read more.
Here are a few examples of curated content:
Copyblogger shares links to other relevant content relating to the writing and marketing process:
AllSalesForce.com publishes a mix of original content and links to online articles elsewhere that relate to SalesForce and its software partners:
Of course, content curation isn’t limited to blogs. Marketers can also use curation on social media or email. Freelance journalist Ann Friedman curates an interesting article she’s reading in her weekly email newsletter:
Curation can be used to supplement original content or, if you’re pressed for time and money, in lieu of created content.
Curation can also form the foundation of what we call the content marketing pyramid. Because curated content requires a low time commitment compared to other types of content, it lends itself to high frequencies. As we move up the pyramid to short form blog posts and infographics to ebooks, white papers, and print books, the content becomes higher effort and lower frequency.
Using this pyramid as framework, you can quickly identify areas in your content marketing strategy that lack content. If your content looks more like an inverted pyramid, you might want to add more curation so you’re hitting all the major content “food groups” and getting a more balanced diet.
Stay tuned! In part 2, we’ll examine content curation in greater detail and offer tips for effective curation. To get started with curating content for your organization today, I recommend you check out our ebook 5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Content Curation Rockstar.
Want to learn more about content curation, and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy? Watch this webinar with Cameron Uganec, Director of Marketing and Communications for HootSuite: 6 Tips for Successful Content Curation.