Don’t have enough time to create your own content? Fortunately, that’s not a problem. While it is important to try to create unique content that represents your brand or your business, you can still gain a strong following through the use of content curation. In this guide, we’re going to look at how to implement content curation into your online marketing strategy, including how to do it and the tools to do it with.
What Is Content Curation?
Content curation is finding great content in your niche or industry (preferably not created by your direct competitors if you’re a business) and sharing it with your audience. It’s really as simple as that.
Ways to Curate Content
Here are some great ways you can curate content!
Curate Content on Your Social Media
The easiest way to curate content is using your social media networks. People will follow you on Twitter and Facebook if you become known for sharing the latest news in your niche or industry. Best of all, all it takes is the click of a button to share something. Curating content on social media helps you keep your profiles up to date, gives your audience something to talk about, and helps you build relationships with content creators who will be thankful that you are sharing their work.
Curate Content on Your Blog
There are two ways that you can curate content on a blog that everyone will appreciate. The first is to create a link roundup on a periodic basis that shares popular content from your niche or industry.
The second is to write up a personalized summary of articles on your blog and then link to the original. The summary would be just a paragraph or two of your own unique perspective about the topic, and then giving credit where it’s due to the original poster.
Think about sites like Upworthy – they get thousands of shares for each post, and all they are really doing is collecting videos that will elicit an emotional reaction from YouTube. Then they just add on a great headline, short summary, and a link to the video’s creator. And voila – thousands upon thousands of shares.
Curate Content on Your YouTube Channel
If you have a YouTube channel, but don’t have any unique videos for it, then curation is a good way to go. You can create playlists on your YouTube channel that consist of other videos you have found useful. For example, if you have a Web design business, you could turn your YouTube channel into a hub of videos to help website owners learn more about SEO, managing their domains, and security issues. It will make your YouTube channel more robust without you having to actually create one single video.
Curate Content on Social Voting Networks
Audiences on sites like Reddit, Inbound, and StumbleUpon look down on people that come to their network, submit their own content, and leave. They like people who come in and share great content, with only an occasional piece of self-promotion. So if you plan on becoming a big deal on these kinds of networks, it’s best if you find great content and submit it.
This will help you build a reputation for being a great content discoverer, and will likely help you make friends on those networks along the way. So instead of just submitting your own content, people will be happy to do it for you.
What NOT to Do
Let’s go back to curating content on your blog for just a moment. As mentioned, the two ways to do it right is to create great link roundups or to do a personalized summary with a link to the original content.
The wrong way to do it, of course, is to post full original content from other sites on your own blog. This is called stealing content, and it’s a huge no-no. The exception is, of course, if you get the author’s permission and permission from the site the content was published upon if it is not owned by the author.
What is the punishment for stolen content? For starters, Google usually can tell where content originated (i.e., the site that published it first). So most of the time, you’re not going to win there. Plus, if you don’t have any original content on your website, it won’t rank well anyway.
Next, there’s what happens when someone finds out you have stolen their content. After sending you a potentially nasty email, they can go after you with a DMCA Takedown, find out who you use for a domain registrar and Web hosting company and report it to them, and report you to Google and other search engines directly.
So one way or the other, you will not benefit by taking full pieces of content off of other websites without their permission. If you do need full pieces of content for your blog, stick with press releases or content that has been published under Creative Commons.
Great Tools to Use
Now that you know how to curate content (as well as how not to), let’s look at some tools that can help you discover and share curated content.
Alltop has the top blogs covering a vast range of topics from A to Z. Use it in your quest to finding the best blogs to subscribe to for regular content curation.
Feedly is a great RSS reader to use to subscribe to the top blogs in your niche or industry for content curation purposes. They even have a number next to each post that represents the social popularity of those posts. This can help you weed out the best content for your content curation.
Google Alerts can help you discover new content about a specific topic all across the Web. You can limit alerts to results from blogs or current news for better results.
If you want to curate great content on Facebook, then try PostPlanner. It will go out and find great content that is popular on Facebook on particular topics for you to share on your Facebook page. You can even schedule your shares so they are spread out throughout the day.
Buffer is another great tool to use when curating content. In addition to being able to schedule your shares throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages, you can even find handy suggestions that are matched to the content you are already sharing.
Scoop.it is a “freemium” network devoted to content curation. After you create a free account, you are able to save content you like on your profile, organized by topic. Not only that, but you can have Scoop.it automatically share content you have saved on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social networks. They even offer a handy bookmarklet you can add to your browser to use on any site you are currently reading.
Storify is a “freemium” service that allows you to create stories using updates from across the Web on a single profile page. By connecting your Storify profile with your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Foursquare accounts, you can use them to search for updates on specific topics and use them as sources for your stories. As an added bonus, you can share your new Storify story with your social networks as well as notify the people you mentioned in your story as sources.
For those who like to curate content on their smartphones, LikeHack is a great app to try. It allows you to connect to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts and aggregate the best stories from them. It’s a great way to de-clutter your news feeds to find the best content to share with your audience.
Need a more enterprise-level solution for content curation? Then try Curata. This premium service (pricing which is based on your organization’s needs and rumored to be anywhere from $6,000 per year to $1,000 per month and higher) helps you find the right content to curate using an engine that will learn based on your needs. Then it will help you organize and share that content with your audience, as well as analyze the results of your content curation strategy.
Whether you are just short on time to create unique content of your own, or you want to boost your popularity by sharing lots of content that your audience will love (and get to know other bloggers in your niche or industry simultaneously), content curation is a great thing to implement in your online marketing strategy!