In an ideal world, we’d all have no problem filling our calendars with fantastic content to share.
After all, there’s no doubt that content is the best way to capture your audience’s attention, earn their trust, and nurture them into leads.
Unfortunately, not just any content will do. If you want to capture the attention of more than 4.5 billion people online, then you need the kind of content that’s going to deliver exceptional value and meaningful insights. That’s the sort of stuff that takes a lot of time and effort to create.
The good news? Content curation could be the perfect way to fill the gaps in your schedule with plenty of rich and shareable information.
Using content curation, you can save yourself a lot of valuable time and energy, delivering engaging content that speaks to your market.
So, what exactly is content curation, and how do you get started?
What is Content Curation? The Basics
Let’s start simple.
Content curation is the process of organizing and presenting external content to your audience in an engaging way. For instance, you might take someone else’s infographic in your industry and share it with some useful insights of your own (while referencing the original creator).
Though, ideally, you would create all of your content yourself, the truth is that doing that is practically impossible – particularly when you’re running a business at the same time.
That’s why around 85% of marketers now use content curation to help them out. Content curation is faster and easier to leverage than original content, and it delivers just as many benefits as any other form of content marketing.
Curation is particularly powerful for newer businesses that are trying to establish a foothold in their industry. After all, you get the option to mention other companies and associate yourself with people that your audience cares about.
When you curate content, you’re delivering value to the audience in a host of ways, including:
- Finding valuable content for your audience: This means that your customers don’t have to do the hard work of tracking down the right content on their own.
- Delivering an enriching experience: According to stats from the Content Marketing Institute, your content is 6 times more likely than traditional marketing to lead to conversions, thanks to the fact that it’s imbued with real value.
- Spreading influencer outreach: With curated content, you’re helping influencers to reach more customers and audience members. In return, they’re more likely to work with your brand and help you to grow.
So, how do you get started with content curation?
Step 1: Defining Your Target Audience
How do you know what kind of content you should be creating?
Easy. Just ask your customers.
Ultimately, every piece of content that you share should be targeted towards your specific user personas. That means thinking carefully about the quirks, behaviors, and pain points of the people that you want to interact with.
Usually, the easiest way to develop a deeper understanding of your customer is through customer personas – fictionalized representations of your target audience. However, you can always build on those personas with strategies like:
- Talking to your customers: A poll on social media is an easy way to capture your audience’s attention, engage them, and learn a little more about what makes them tick. Speak to your audience about their goals and aspirations, run surveys through email to learn more about their pain points.
- Spy on your customers: While sending surveys and questions to your audience is great; there’s no guarantee that they’ll respond. That’s why it’s much easier to see what questions your customers are already asking elsewhere. For instance, Quora gives you a fantastic overview of your customers and what they need to know:
- Conduct external research: Competitor research and keyword analysis are other excellent ways to learn more about your audience. For instance. Google Ads keyword planner will give you an insight into what your audience is searching for online. Google Trends will show you which topics are currently trending in your industry, and BuzzSumo will help you to learn what types of companies your audience resonates with the most. Surveys are also a great way to figure out what your audience really wants from you and your content. You can use a free survey maker to get interesting and useful insights into your audience’s needs, desires, and problems.
Step 2: Identify Relevant Content
Getting to know your audience is an excellent first step.
However, that’s all it is – the first step.
Next, you need to figure out what kind of content you’re going to share in your curation strategy.
Although it’s easy to tell yourself that you’re only going to deliver the highest quality content, it’s not always easy to separate the good from the bad.
Start by using your user personas to place yourself into the shoes of your potential reader, then:
- Highlight critical problems: You know the benefits that customers can access by using your products and services. However, negative messaging can often work much better at grabbing audience attention. For instance, helping your audience to fix the mistakes that they’re already making, or protecting them from external threats helps you to connect with your customers on a much more emotional level. This way, you’re telling your audience that you’re not just giving them something valuable, you’re helping them to avoid missing out too. This guest post on Entrepreneur.com doesn’t just tell you how to be a better entrepreneur; it shows you how to get out of an existing “rut”:
- Offer solutions to problems: Once your audience knows that you understand their problems, then you can begin to show them that you have the solution. Do it right, and you can frame your solutions as “must-have” requirements for people who want to avoid disaster. This is the best way to use emotional impact to drive your point home.
- Prioritize interaction: Don’t just post your content and then leave it there to gather dust. Encourage your audience to deliver feedback and insights in the form of interaction. Interactive content helps you to learn more about your prospects as you go, so you can constantly improve your curation. For instance, TED.com is always curating new and amazing talks from experts around the world. However, the platform also encourages people to interact with comments and questions.
Step 3: Create Your Curation Workflow
At this point, you have a good idea of who your audience is and what they need from you.
You’re curating content that’s engaging and eye-catching, and you’re even learning from the feedback that your audience delivers.
Now, you need to make sure that you’re providing what your customers need on a consistent and reliable basis. That’s where your curation workflow comes in.
- Start by finding the right tools: A software solution that allows you to capture, process, and queue curated content in the same place is essential. This ensures that you have a streamlined way to deliver what your audience needs every week. For instance, Triberr Curate is an excellent choice for many companies, as it compiles all your content sources into easy to digest streams. Furthermore, you can organize all your sources – blogs, social accounts/hashtags, and keyword queries – into content groups. Moreover, each content group can specify its own social sharing accounts for greater control. This means that you’re not spending hours organizing content every day.
- Create SMART Goals: With the right tools to guide you, you can take the next step into creating some intelligent goals. For instance, while it’s nice to say that you want to be a “thought leader” it’s difficult to quantify that goal. Instead, you might decide that you want to earn a certain number of email subscribers or website visits in a specific period of time. You need your goals to be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.
- Know your roles: Make sure everyone in your content curation team knows what they’re doing. From the people you have searching for valuable content to the editors on your payroll, everyone should have a purpose to keep things flowing smoothly.
Step 4: Enhancing Your Curated Content
Simply posting links to other people’s content on your social media, or copy/pasting blogs onto your website won’t make you a curation expert.
The packaging is key.
That means that you still need to follow the basic guidelines of excellent content creation – even if you’re just curating your posts. For instance, attractive headlines will always be essential to capturing audience attention. Make sure that you’re using the right unique terms to drive attention to whatever you’ve found.
- Hook your audience: After your headline, the hook or lead is the most valuable part of your article. It’s the first section of content, intended to draw a reader in and get them interested in whatever you have to say. You’re responsible for creating this hook when you’re curating content. A good option is to use empathy, like “We know how hard it is to earn blog traffic”. Alternatively, get the conversation started with a question: “How much time do you spend building your email list each day?” Social Media Today takes advantage of the question approach, as well as an eye-catching visual in this curated post:
- Get the formatting right: Remember, it’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. You need to ensure that you have the formatting right in every curated post. Short and snappy sentences that draw the reader in is a good start. Additionally, images will always make your content more eye-catching, particularly when you’re sharing on social media. Posts that include visuals are around 150% more likely to be shared on Twitter.
- Play on emotions: We mentioned empathy above, but there’s more to curating emotional content than empathy alone. You need to think about how you can convince your audience to see the value in what you’re sharing. Would a picture really help to get the point across in a more meaningful way? Perhaps you can add a section to the content that you curated that includes your own personal experience and insights. Make people see not just the content that you’ve curated – but the brand behind the text.
Step 5: Distributing Your Content
All of the amazing curated content in the world isn’t going to help if you’re not promoting it well enough.
For example, take a look at NextDraft newsletter by Dave Pell. He carefully curates the best of best to deliver a list of the ten most fascinating articles each day. His audience has followed him for years, and have high expectations for what’s in the newsletter. Dave carefully analyzes and curates based on what his readers need to know.
Dave isn’t just pouring out tons of content and hoping that something will hit the mark with his readers. He makes sure that every update is curated and summarized in his unique voice to ensure readers continue to love his work.
- Be consistent: You can count on Dave’s email newsletter to land in your inbox every day. Moreover, the curated content is extremely high value along with his commentary.
- Make the most of your available channels: Whether it’s email or a social channel, help others by removing the noise and leading them to the information if they want more. You can create small bite-sized snippets to share or pluck a quote from within the content to share, but most importantly, add your own voice to it. This helps highlight why you think the content is valuable to your audience. It also gives readers a sneak peek into what quality they can expect from all your curated content.
- Ask for help: You’re curating content from other people who have spent time and effort creating whatever you want to share. Asking for their help is an obvious way to expand your reach. @Mention the person who created the content and highlight why you’ve featured them. A little bit of flattery can go a long way here. Highlight how much of a thought leader your chosen author is, and they may be more likely to re-tweet or re-gram your post.
- Simplify the curation to distribution process: Make sure that it’s easy for you to get from the point of finding an excellent piece of content online to sharing it with your audience. There are plenty of tools out there but Triberr provides a suite of tools all within one single platform. Take your content and schedule it into the queue, or promote content by giving it a boost. onto a distribution timeline that works for you.
- Work smart, not hard: In today’s digital world, it’s incredible to think that anyone could still see leveraging tools or technology as “cheating.” Ultimately, using the power of tools like Triberr help optimize various parts of your workflow. This makes it much easier for you to stick to your preferred schedule for sharing content with your followers. For instance, you can use website custom audience pixels to target audiences that are interested in specific topics online when sharing your content on social media. You can also automate things like sending emails to subscribers whenever they sign up for your newsletter or make a purchase.
Step 6: Analyze Your Outcomes
Finally, we come to often the most overlooked stage of the content curation lifecycle.
There are countless companies out there who assume that their work ends with distributing content effectively. However, as with any marketing strategy, the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best return on your curation investment is to do your homework.
It’s still essential to track page views and visitor growth to determine exactly which content gives you the best results. The more tracking you do, the easier it will be to determine things like:
- Which topics generate the most interest from your target audience, as well as which authors and other websites your audience likes most.
- What kind of content leads to the most interaction with your brand. What gets your customers talking, and what pushes them to the next stage in the buying cycle?
- What generates loyalty and repeat customers? Are there any curated posts that encourage your audience members to subscribe to your newsletter, for instance?
- When are your people most likely to interact with curated content? Are there any days when you don’t get much engagement?
Use Google Analytics to get started or try tapping into the statistics that you can collect from other digital marketing tools, social media services, and more.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on whether certain methods of content curation are actually driving growth for your business and website, or whether they’re just pushing people to check out your competitors. If you’re pushing too many of your customers to another website, then it may be time to either collaborate with that company or change the way you’re posting curated content.
The SMART goals that you created towards the beginning of this content curation guide will help you to determine which metrics you need to track.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the feedback that you get from customers in the form of likes, comments, and testimonials too. This qualitative feedback can be incredibly helpful in ensuring that you share the right content in the future.
Ultimately, excellent digital marketing can’t exist without content.
However, as most business owners already know, creating plenty of original content is a complex and time-consuming process. If you don’t have the time to design the right content and run your business at the same time, then you may need to spend a fortune on specialists to do the work for you.
While content curation will never replace original content when it comes to earning customer attention and loyalty, it can help to supplement your marketing campaigns.
However, just like any other marketing strategy, you need to ensure that you’re using curation correctly. That means understanding exactly what your audience needs from you, what kind of content you’re going to curate, and how you’re going to share it with the world.
Once you’ve distributed your curated content, remember to keep an eye on how it’s driving results for your business. Your company, customers, and even your industry will change over time. Making sure that you adapt to the right content is the best way to stay ahead of the curve.