Today’s chaotic web is not an easy place for people to navigate. That is why more and more users are using content curation – the process of finding, organizing and then sharing various types of content. It is now a truly mainstream practice that provides many benefits not only to consumers but also online marketers.
The best place to see content curation at work is Pinterest. This publishing platform is merely 2 years old and it already features more than 10 million users, which according to Comscore is the fastest developing online service in history. It’s a solid proof that content curation is not only a popular trend but also a viable way to achieve business success.
Current marketing research data show that a significant number of marketers consider content curation a vital part of their marketing strategy. What’s interesting, some of them did curation unknowingly, as they simply didn’t know the term. So, what’s all this hype around curation? Why are so many people adopting this solution? There are several explanations to this phenomenon.
Information Clutter Has Led To Content Degradation
As the sheer amount of content available online grows it is more and more difficult for a typical user to find information that is relevant and useful. Content curation offers a solution to this problem by featuring a single website that focuses on sifting through all the poor and irrelevant content and finding up-to-date information on a given topic. Websites that are able to publish quality content on a regular basis are usually very successful. The general trend is to make content marketing a cornerstone of every efficient marketing plan. That is why marketers resort to content curation as a means to shine through the clutter of useless information and offer high-quality information to their potential customers.
Another potent goal that content curation helps to achieve is establishing leadership. It’s quite obvious that consumers want a brand that is not only selling products, but that is also engaging its clients before they arrive at the selling point. It can be done by publishing original, quality content from respected authorities in the field and even your competitors. This way it is possible to establish your position as a leader and a default information source for a stable group of returning visitors. Once you’ve built enough trust, you will be able to turn more prospects into actual clients.
Most users expect you to provide new content on a regular basis and are ready to show their appreciation for it. The important thing is to establish a schedule that you are able to follow, for example five links every day and a single long post once a week. Make sure you stick with this schedule every week as this will help your readers know when to expect new resources. What is more, being consistent will attract new users thus expanding a solid base of people who appreciate what you do.
Be Active In Many Places
In the past, marketers focused on attracting users to get information from a specific source, but things have changed. Nowadays users choose where they want to look for information. As a result, you must consider posting some images on Pinterest or a video on Youtube and participate in some discussions or groups on Facebook. Working with almost every established website or publisher that attracts your potential reader is a good idea. Try getting in touch with them and offer a guest post on their blog or an article for their website. Sometimes you can actually get to write your own section of the website. Simply put, think about taking your content to places your readers visit.
Three Foundations of Curation
Bear in mind that being a content curator is all about participating in a community, not just presenting others’ work in a slightly different way. It is common for people to think that one can be either a content curator or creator, but the truth is these two notions are not mutually exclusive. The true role of a curator is also that of a creator and organizer. Think about Huffington Post, their business policy is based on three concepts: creating their own content, publishing content from their contributors and collecting and organizing various articles from the web. This philosophy is often referred to as CCC (Creation, Contribution, Collection). The reason behind all of this is based on the fact that users don’t have time to search for information they want all around the web. If you offer them a quality collection of curated resources, they will come back for other news on the related topic.
Curation Is Not About Stealing
Make sure your resources have all the necessary credit, backlinks and attribution to its original creators. This is why the economy of sharing works in the first place, because we all share our audiences and provide the benefit of our endorsement. Simply taking someone else’s work without mentioning the source is not establishing any credibility whatsoever. However, sometimes it is difficult to actually decide what good curation practices are. Consider the following:
- You should add your own opinion and context
- You should acknowledge the author and link to the source
- You shouldn’t use large chunks of the original content, short quotes are enough
- You should respect requests from people who don’t want their content curated
- Pay attention to publishing rights. Don’t use images which are not licensed as creative commons without the author’s permission
With content curating you should constantly be aware of the single fact: we are experiencing a progressing information overload and it is your role as curator to separate the signal from noise. You must develop a clear and relevant attitude to information in the topics you chose to curate.
In our company, we believe that content curation will become a widely used marketing practice, and soon it will be the vital marketing element of every successful online campaign. Even now, taking content curation into account when you prepare your business plan is a sensible way to go.