The word “curation” seems a cool thing to do. Like curating music or art for an event. But what does it actually mean? What is the difference between content creation and content curation? How do you become a content curation pro? What are the strategies that could make you an expert in content curation? If you want answers to all of these, then you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s start with what and whys of content curation. Moving forward in the guide, we will be teaching you how to boost your social media marketing with content curation. How to curate content that your audience will like and share.

What is content curation?

Content curation, in simple words, is the term used for the process of finding content, relevant to your audience, from a variety of sources online. And presenting the best pieces strategically through your communication channels. For example, compiling a list of social media influencers and sharing it with your audience.

The most important and fun thing about content curation is, it doesn’t involve creating your own content. You research information produced by someone else and share it on your channels that your audience will find insightful and respond to.

What is the difference between content creation and curation?

Content creation is way more different than curation. Content creation, in simple words, is a process of looking for a new topic, deciding the form of content, integrating a strategy into it, and then producing it. Creating your own content. For example, writing a new blog post or a social media post on a trending topic.

The process of creating content is a little more complicated and time-consuming than curation. It may involve brainstorming sessions, thorough rounds of editing, and working with different teams before publishing the content.

Here’s how you can have a clear picture. Think of content creation as the first dance of any wedding. The amount of efforts put together to select the music, mix the sentiments, personalize it, choreograph the steps according to the couple’s story, and all of the rest to make it an unforgettable memory is what creating content is all about. Whereas, content curation is being the DJ, creating a playlist for the wedding guests. Your song selection is what makes you successful. Compiling a playlist knowing your audience. Giving them the confidence that this is what they want so they could actually enjoy being there.

Think of the difference as writing a story and posting it to all your social profiles vs. compiling a list of best stories and share it for your followers (The BuzzFeed thing).

Which one sounds easier? Creating original content or gathering existing relevant information and sharing it? After all, masterpieces like Mulan or Harry Potter aren’t produced daily!

Why content curation?

According to a survey, only 5% of marketers said that they have never shared third party content on their pages. 75% of the content marketers said that it is a daily struggle to produce enough quality content to keep the audience engage on each social channel.

To understand this, first, we need to understand the significant difference in concepts and theories of traditional marketing vs. digital marketing.

One of the theoretical foundations of traditional marketing was “creating as much original content as possible.” But with the amount of information we’re dealing today, even traditional marketers now agree to the fact that creating original and engaging content daily is an unrealistic task.

Social media marketing has made content marketing almost a daily task. Previously, traditional marketing channels didn’t require a daily injection of fresh content. Today, even the brands with the best creative heads and marketing teams can’t create content with such frequency. Which gives content curation a significant rise. Digital marketers now depend more on other sources for ready content to share it from time to time.

Content curation adds value to your brand, like all other facets of digital marketing.  It helps you create lasting relationships with your consumers.

41% of marketers have proven that curated content has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads.

Pros of content curation

  • Builds stronger online relationships with your peers and audience.
  • Gives you the aura of trustworthiness.
  • Great ice breaker to create introductions and connections.
  • Saves time. (You know what this means when you’re a content manager handling different social platforms, a blog, and 5 other projects.)
  • Increases productivity esp. when you’re limited with resources.
  • You get to know your audiences better by experimenting with different types of content.

Content curation benefits everybody. It helps the distributor whose work you are sharing. It helps your clients by sparing them time from searching for extraordinary data. And it benefits you by keeping your clients drew in and making the most of your brand. By curating content, you can produce new thoughts for your very own content strategy while gaining the regard of your friends in the business.

SEO perks of content curation

Content curation can likewise support your search engine optimization efforts by helping you gain inbound links from other persuasive sites. This is a procedure that is some of the time alluded to as “preciprocation.” Start by making a rundown of definitive, influential sites which have shown a willingness to link to different resources. Either through blog content, news roundups, or “how-to” guides.

Offer their articles on your social media marketing channels, and email marketing channels, and ensure they know after you’ve done it. Likewise, you should interact with them in their blog comment section or through email. Ensure your communications with them show that you have a genuine appreciation for their work by posing great questions and making intelligent remarks.

Whenever you write on a related subject, reference them in your article, and after you share it to your fans, inquire as to whether they would consider sharing it to theirs. Try not to expect profit. Even though your company has promoted their work, it doesn’t commit them to do the same. All things considered, your odds of getting shared and linked to are far more prominent when you have put in the exertion of building up a genuine relationship with your prospect.

Don’t use social media as a megaphone for your brand promotion

Here’s a simple case. Imagine the owner of the corner coffee shop in your locality, takes a microphone and yells about how great his coffee is and that there’s a free bagel on every purchase. All. The. Time.

At first, it would be great stuff for marketing. But soon, people will be annoyed. They will start avoiding to go even near his café, as he will start screaming in their ears. No matter how great his coffee or bagel is, thanks to his antics, the coffee shop owner will begin losing his business.

This is precisely what you will be doing by sharing only original content to promote your brand. Yelling and screaming about your coffee into their screens. Once your audience is bored, (which won’t take that long) they will try to avoid you at all costs, no matter how great your original content is. Sharing self-promoting branded original content might take away your loyal and old customers too.

Content curation is your rhetorical lift in the never-ending ocean of content. Click To Tweet

How to curate content that your audience will like and share

While searching for the perfect curation topic, consider these three factors:

  1. Competitive landscape
  2. Content landscape
  3. Interest of audience

For an ideal piece of curated content, you should look for a topic that has relatively low competition. But, there’s sufficient content available for you to dig into. The topic should be relevant to your audience.

Source: Curata

As shown in the above Venn diagram, your topic should fall in the middle of it.

1.      Check the competitive landscape

Here are 5 simple questions you should ask yourself while looking into your competitor’s landscape for curation topic:

  1. Can you curate better than them?
  2. Is there a better perspective on this?
  3. Can you curate the same content from a totally different angle?
  4. Will you be able to broaden or narrow the specific topic?
  5. Will this increase your content’s discoverability?

2.      Check the availability

Write your desired keyword or topic into Google news and see how many search results you can get. Sort them by date and have a look at how many pieces of content are created on the topic per week or per day.

Check it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn too. Search by relevant hashtags, if there are any. Review all the news, visual content, and blogs.

Here are a few resources you should look for your curated collection:

  • Trade publications
  • Twitter lists
  • Specific Twitter users
  • Industry blogs
  • LinkedIn Pulse
  • Feed readers
  • Email newsletters
  • Public relations team
  • Scientific journals

3.      Check your audience interest

Once your topic passes the above two checks, here comes the most crucial hurdle. You have to make sure that the curation topic meets the interest of your business’s target audience. If they don’t find it interesting, your curated content will fail to give your social media marketing the boost you’re expecting.

You can use Google Keyword Planner to check the general interest of the online audience in the given topic. Or you can do a simple survey to get the opinion about your topic. Ask your audience how they feel about the topic in your Instagram stories, or in a live session, or by creating a poll.

Where to share

Identifying the topic for curation, collecting and organizing the content is all behind-the-scenes preparation for the final sharing of your curated collection. This will be the moment of truth.

As a content curator, you need to decide where your target audience is. And which channels are the best suited according to your audience? Following are a few channels you can take action on:

  • Social media channels
  • A dedicated site/blog
  • A news widget
  • An email newsletter
  • Feed

Content curation strategies to boost your social media marketing

Social media is not the megaphone for your brand promotion. Use it wisely. Click To Tweet

Following are a few simple content curation strategies and tips you can use to boost your social media engagement.

1. Content distribution

Let’s start by sharing 60% of curated content and 40% of created content. And then adjust it according to what resonates with the audience. The best way to divide the content on social media is by using the 5-3-2 rule. You can read more about the 5-3-2 rule in this blog.

2. Use trusted experts to curate content

No one can be expert in everything related to their field. That’s why sharing content from trusted, reputed, and authentic sources of the same niche will not only help you learn about new things but will show your followers that you know more. Sharing curated content is a great way to establish yourself as a trusted advisor. And also to grow your audience.

3. Be consistent

As everyone says, “consistency is key.” It’s one of the key fundamentals to be successful. To be consistent with original content is an impracticable approach. No one can produce unique content regularly. (Not even daily vloggers on YouTube, they also need a break after a while). To fill the holes in your social media schedule when you’re not creating content, you can use curated content. It saves time and keeps up with consistency.

4. Avoid duplication

Consent is everything. If someone is sharing any information online publically, that doesn’t mean that you can own it without giving them credit. Make sure you always credit the source. If you’re sharing their information on your website, to avoid duplication and plagiarism issues, always credit the source with a backlink. If it is a social media post, make sure you mention or tag the original source. When sharing an image or video from another page to your page, try to share it directly from the share button, instead of downloading and uploading it.

5. Add your own spices

Give the curated content your own twist. Add a little something original to the curated content. Give your opinion or insight on the curated and shared topic. Add something unique. A new angle to the story which isn’t mentioned yet in the story. Add something people could relate to. Just remember to maintain the balance between the original and the source.

Examples of content curation

1. Mari Smith on Facebook

2. Larry Kim on Twitter

Larry Kim has built a huge audience through content curation. He not only tweets about marketing stuff but adds content that is humorous and emoticon-rich.

3. SanDisk on Instagram

You might wonder how can poor SanDisk look good on Instagram when all they have is flash storage solutions! Here’s how you can make memory cards and flash drives look cool. And this is how creative you can go with curated content. SanDisk spices its Instagram feed with user-generated photos.

 

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A post shared by SanDisk (@sandisk) on

 

 

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iXpand frees up space on your iPhone, without Wifi! | Photo: @kotuttle

A post shared by SanDisk (@sandisk) on

4. Fetch on Pinterest

Fetch is an online retailer who curates content on its social media pages. If you have a Pinterest account for your brand too, content curation isn’t an option there. Every pinner is expected to curate content. Save pins from other accounts. Here’s how Fetch does it.

5. IBM on LinkedIn

Here’s how IBM is using LinkedIn smartly by avoiding any heavy tech jargons and sharing posts that have a human factor in them.

Content Curation with Social Champ

Simplifying the process of content curation for marketers

Social media management tools like Social Champ can make the process of content curation much easier for you.  Social Champ gives you the power of curating content in a few simple clicks.

Once you have identified your curated topic by following the tips mentioned above, all you have to do know is type that keyword or phrase in the search bar in the suggestions tab. Social Champ scans all the articles across the Internet on the given topic and shows you the best content suggestions.  To have a stream of relevant content from authentic sites daily, you can also add your favorite blogs through the RSS feed. This will keep you updated about the latest news from your favorite resources. And the best part is, you can directly share any posts from these sources to your social media accounts within the app.

Content Curation

If you wish to automate the process, for example, you want to post a blog post on your social profiles once or twice a week from any website, you can simply add it to Auto RSS feed. Set the frequency, customize it by adding a headline or hashtags if you want, and set the schedule. To access all these amazing and easy-to-use features, sign-up for your free trial today.

Takeaway

When it comes to digital marketing, the one who has the best content wins. Having said that, it is also annoying to read the entire blog post and in the end, find out that the answer you got so far is “it depends.” But how frustrating this sounds, social media marketing, and digital marketing can never have a “one size fit all” strategy.

Every business and every brand on social media has its own goals which are not necessarily the same. And to reach those goals, each brand has to come up with a unique digital marketing strategy. If an approach works out for someone pretty well, that doesn’t mean that it will do the same for the others too. Digital marketing strategies vary from business to business.

Putting it simply, you will get more engaging followers when you offer them valuable and engaging content. And adding content curation in your strategy can help you do so. Start the tips mentioned in this guide. Avoid curating offensive content.  Start with the 5-3-2 rule for content distribution. Keep Tracking your ROI. It will give you a complete insight into how often you should share created content and curated content.

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About Author

Sadia is Content Manager at Social Champ. She is a Computer Science graduate who discovered her love for words & now plans on writing forever. When not working on content strategy, she's either sleepy or wondering what to eat! You can ping her at sadia@socialchamp.io.

15 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for all this info! I will definitely be saving it for future reference in case I want to make a content curation post. In all honesty, when I heard people say it I never realized there was such a difference.

  2. Interesting thought about the coffee shop “marketing.” Makes me wonder if I am accidentally doing that and annoying people!

  3. I’ve been meaning to research content curation for a while now, so I’m glad that I came across this post. Thanks for the information. Very useful.

  4. I have never looked at content curation in this way before, and that is mostly because I pretty much promote my own content only. I know I should expand and promote more topic written by other authority authors.

  5. Great and detailed post. I have never heard of the term content curation. You explained it so well. Bookmarking this post for future reference.

  6. Christopher Mitchell on

    Hm, some really interesting points to consider in terms of content creation. There are also tools here and ideas that I hadn’t remotely considered. Thanks a lot for putting this together!

  7. I never knew there’s much difference between curation and creation! And how beneficial it is to share other content on our channel. Thank you for sharing this detailed post.

  8. This is an excellent article on content curation. And the examples you shared helped me a lot to understand the process of curation, and realize how many brands are doing this these days!

  9. Yes, that’s true! Digital marketing is more about content curation than content creation. It’s nearly impossible to create fresh content daily! Very useful post. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Content curation makes digital marketing much more comfortable and accessible. The more we share others content and give them credits for it, the more we can make social media a better place.

  11. Thank you so much. I learnt a lot. How I can still keep my audience interested by my research and sharing when I am unable to write new content. Loved it.

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