13 Feb 2013

How Do We Define Content Curation? (Weekly Q&A)

Content CurationThe social web has long since been a primary focus of the savvy marketer. Over the years, the type of widely available and popular platform for social interaction has expanded to include some newcomers. For example, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Delicious have all reached a level of significance many of us did not expect in a market dominated by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

With this change has come a question of how to best market using all social media. It seems to come down most pointedly to content, and not just in the creation and syndication of materials. It is now also about content curation. But what is content curation, and how is it different from aggregation and synidcation? How can it benefit the average marketer?


What Is Content Curation?

Content curation is the process of finding relevant, high quality content that you know will be enjoyed or beneficial to your social feed, and then posting it for their benefit. This content could be blog posts from around the web, industry news, editorials, videos, tutorials, apps and software and anything else that you feel would be positively received.

This is different from content aggregation, which is the automated reposting of large amounts of content based on a software or app’s collection via keyword. It is not filtered or monitored by a human poster, and so it is usually considered to be of less benefit to the marketer. Unless they are running a service that specifically seeks to constantly update content, such as you see often on Twitter.

It also differs from content syndication, where you are creating the content which you then work to have seen by as many people as possible within a short time frame. A common example is with news stories, which sources will attempt to get onto high visibility feeds such as Google News. Press releases are another form of content that would be syndicated using a website that specializes in PR work, like PRWeb.


How Can Content Creation Help My Marketing Campaign?

Content curation is all about engagement. You are providing something interesting that will catch the reader’s attention and so create a dialogue. The more followers you have, the more the content will create a response and so a conversation will be struck and hopefully in depth. The topic of that discussion should be somewhat based on a relevant industry matter.

This helps as it both gets people interacting on your social pages, as well as establishes you as a trusted source of information. Kind of a one-stop shop for updates on the niche. Thanks to the common practice of reposting on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in particular, it can also increase your visibility.

If you still need another reason, it is a branding must in that it provides context for the nature of your work. You will be providing both the curated content gathered from third party sources, as well as your own unique content created yourself. Which will strengthen your position and show a side of the niche that perhaps you won’t get across entirely on your own.


How Do I Properly Employ Content Curation?

The implementation of curated content is easy, if a little time consuming. Remember that you are going for quality, not quantity. If your goal is to flood your feed with as much content as possible at all times, then you are looking for aggregation and this is the wrong article for you. You should be looking to curate only the best, most helpful and relevant third party materials you can find.

Finding this content isn’t actually that difficult. Here are some tips:

  • Use Google Alerts;
  • Use some specific tools that were designed to discover and collect that content for you;
  • Next, you want to go for more obscure content. I always recommend StumbleUpon for these searches, as you will be able to find random pages related to your niche that might not have been seen by many others you will be competing with on the social web. You can also check out SpinSnap, or the Firefox extension Yoonoo, which has a Discover widget.

My preferred tools are these:
content marketing
Action Tip: When you post content, make sure to provide some well written insight or an opinion on what it is you are seeing. This should be extension, with at least two paragraphs letting your readers know what you think. This immediately includes you in the conversation, and shows you know what it is you are posting about. Again, this will help establish you as a reliable authority and source.


Conclusion

Content curation is an important part of a social marketing strategy, and an easy one to incorporate to boot. Have you found success with the tactic? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: 1.