Are you an effective curator of content for your brand? If you don’t know the answer to that question you might want to take a look at what that means and how you might be able to improve.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation involves choosing the most relevant digital information possible with deference to the needs and desires of your target audience. Just like a museum curator might travel the world selecting the best pieces for his gallery, your job is to select (and create) the kind of content that paints the best picture possible of your brand or message. It is also your job to arrange that content contextually so it all fits together.
Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs Content Curation
Curated content is a core element to your marketing strategy. You don’t want to simply push an endless stream of content at your audience, but rather you want to select the best content for communicating your message. You need content curation because:
- It offers your audience the right balance of both original and third-party content
- It helps you create an effective contextual branding scheme
- It positions you as an authority or trendsetter in your field
- It enhances your content syndication efforts
Elements of a Successful Content Curation Strategy
Here is a short list of attributes that your content creation needs to have in order to be successful. You will notice that many of these re similar in scope to other areas of content publication and that is precisely why they are so important.
An effective content curation strategy:
1. Has clearly defined objectives – Good content curation has objectives that relate directly to your business. They should be quantifiable and precise.
2. Knows its target audience – Content curation requires an understanding of the people you are attempting to reach. You should have an ideal avatar in mind and craft your content curation strategy around everything you know about that person.
3. Contains high-quality, meaningful content without filler – Content curation is all about presenting quality content from beginning to end, not just page after page of “stuff.” Get to the point and give your audience what they want without distracting them with content you’ve included “just because.”
4. Understands that less is more – This point follows on the heels of the last one. Don’t overdo it with the content. Select the most important bits and keep things on-topic.
5. Presents original content – Original content is one of your best curation tools. Unlike a museum curator, your content aggregation strategy isn’t just about selecting pieces from outside sources, it is also about presenting content that is all your own. You can enhance that original content with high-quality, relevant third-party content, but watch out – it can be easy to start relying on the latter and neglecting the former.
6. Positions you as an authority – effective content curation doesn’t just put the content out there; it promote it. Tell people why they should read your articles or click to watch your video. If you add your own endorsement it builds curiosity and positions you as an authority on the content, not just a distributor.
7. Provides the human element – Sure, it is easy to automate curated content with content curation software, but the selection process has to be done manually, as does the commentary mentioned in the previous point.
8. Gives your information branded context – It isn’t just about the content; it’s about how the content is presented. That is what makes it unique and ties it effectively to your brand. The format of your content sets your brand apart and provides the extra element of originality that gets your audience’s attention and keeps it on you.
9. Solicits community involvement – Content curation puts the audience first. Your information should not just cater to your audience; it should create a central content hub that brings them together. It’s social media 101.
10. Presents information in digestible chunks – Think snack, not five-course meal. Content curation is like putting together an attractive sample platter. Give them a taste then link to the meal, as it were. Find the one compelling quote that you can use to get the click through to the full article and curate that for your home page.
11. Is consistent – Content curation is an ongoing process. It works best when it is done with consistency in both timing and quality.
12. Credits the creator – Nothing provides a more human element than identifying the source of the content. Good content aggregators give credit where it’s due.
Whether you only have a blog or if your marketing offering is more complex, content curation is the best way to put your own original content in a branded context that appeals to your target audience.