Content curation: Take your content marketing to the next level

Feb 16th, 2015

You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of creating good content in recent years but have you ever thought about how you could utilise the wealth of existing content in your industry to create original, meaningful and informative material for your audience? 

Whether you’re creating an eBook, making a video, writing a blog post or even crafting your first white paper, curation can help you to make your content the best it can be.

Beth Tanker, a specialist content curator who written extensively on the subject, defines this method as “the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme”.

In essence, content curation is about three key principles; finding information, making sense of it and sharing it.

content curation cycle

Here are some tips to get you started.

1) Network in your community

When curating content for your business, reaching out to communities  that write about topics relating to your industry is a great way to start. Deploying neat communication skills and reaching out to your community can help reduce the leg work involved in producing targeted and relevant content. However, you should be ready to reciprocate  if these relationships are to last. Investing time and energy in nurturing these connections can yield impressive results; engaging with your network can help you to provide unique, distinct and valuable insights on news and trends in your industry.

2) Research other content

Before creating any piece of content, a period of research is imperative. As part of your investigation, you need to find out what else is being written about the subject in question.  Is there a proliferation of content already available on this topic or is information in this area lacking? Using tools such as BuzzSumo or is a great way to identify topics of interest, existing content and content creators on the web.  By having a good understanding  of what is being said, you can create content with a unique perspective.

3) Break everything down

You’ve decided on the topic, format and, possibly, your collaborators; the next step is to take all your research and break it down into small, bite-size sections. Storyboarding your ideas may be a good way to start, or you may prefer creating lists. What’s essential is ensuring you map out all your information in a way that is clear to you and your collaborators.  This will save time and ensure that effort is not duplicated. It also gives you an opportunity to show collaborators where their input will be necessary. A powerful tool such as Trello can help in this area.

4) Sense check

Sense checking is a vital step in curating good content and is all too often overlooked. As well as proofing your work to detect and correct production errors and ensuring that your content makes sense, ask parties that are external to the process to review your piece at regular intervals throughout production and once again at the end.  Don’t leave this stage to chance. Making grammatical or factual errors or neglecting to reference your sources can seriously undermine what you have to say and, ultimately, damage the reputation of your business.

5) Share

Once you’ve created a piece of content that you’re happy with, you’re going to want it to be seen by your audience. Social media offers the perfect platform for getting your content seen and creating engagement. Share your work on multiple social channels and encourage collaborators to do the same. Using tools such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite, you can schedule in multiple social updates over a specified time period to ensure that your content gets maximum exposure. You might even want to e snippets from your content and drip feed them to create heightened levels of interest.

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