The internet is filled with information. For a business to succeed, it's critical to share and promote only the most relevant content available. With so much content how does a company filter out the noise to highlight only the most important content around a specific topic? How does the company position itself as a thought leader without having to constantly focus on product original content?
While achieving an optimal balance between original and curated content is always a discussion, the debate boils down to: it's both finding great content while also producing great content.
The right combination is not easy to achieve. With these best practices and tools, however, sharing great content can become a fun, engaging and valuable experience. These content curation tips and tricks will not only position any business as an industry leader, organize the content in a cohesive fashion, but it will also become an effective source of traffic.
Back to Basics: What is Content Curation?
Content curation is the act of sorting, collecting and distilling through mass amounts of digital content on a specific topic. After the initial vetting process, the curator, then needs to present the collection in an organized manner, enabling readers to follow a logical thought pattern.
Content curation is not automating a bot to collect or scour the internet. It's not a google alert that is then published. There is actually a logical sequence and contextual map that presents the material in a valuable manner. A good curator, is constantly searching for, vetting and sharing only the most relevat digital content online.
Unlike content marketing, which involved producing new content, curating content means reviewing existing content for delivery in an organized manner. content curation does not include generating content, but instead, amassing content from a variety of sources, and delivering it in an organized fashion. A content curator is not creating new content, but instead, for finding the most relevant content surrounding a specific topic and channeling the information in a format that is coherent.
Secret Sauce of Content Creation
For many businesses, investing in content curation is to help boost SEO ranking. The more content a company shares about a specific topic, the higher the potential that the topic will be associated to the company. Eric Savitz, staff writer for Forbes, wrote in a recent article that content curation is a natural fit for many businesses battling SEO challenges. In fact, he believes that curation is the new form of delivering updated content that is rich in keywords, relevant information and industry specific.
Tips for Curating Content
According to colleague Beth Kanter, content curation involves three steps- seek, sense and share. In my opinion, that's the best content curation guide. Sourcing the information and managing the filtering process for readers and making logical sense of it, in a presentable manner is critical. Sharing it to the relevant readers is also.
I'd say there are two more steps- schedule and simple.
Curating content means taking the time to allot time on a consistent basis to develop and review the content on the subject. Spending hours will make anyone overwhelmed. Spend just enough time to identify the most relevant content that actually provides true value on the subject at hand. Usually a few leaders will emerge and then the rest is a matter of presenting it in a simple, engaging manner.
In today's highly visual digital world, curating content becomes even more difficult because it means there's another layer to the curation process- finding the most appropriate visual graphic to pique the reader's eye to stop and engage with the relevant content.
Ironically, automation and advancements in streamlining the search phase of curation, there's always a chance that some tools will find some undesirable content. Human intelligence is critical in the content curation process. It's essential and means that behind it all someone has to take the time to filter out what the bots may have automated.
After the basics and offering some tips on achieving a solid curation model, here are some tools that I use to curate content that consider all of the factors mentioned above- value, logic, visual and simple.
In an ideal world, curating content should not be placed in silos on a 3rd party site rather it should be embedded onto a blog or company site to keep the site fresh and dynamic.
One aspect of content curation I haven't mentioned yet is fundamental to the entire process, namely ethics. Sharing content without crediting the source is unethical.
A relatively new player to the curation market, ZEEF (from the word sive) , adds the human factor to curation and empowers various users to vote and comment on the quality of other curators. ZEEF embraces the underlying philosophy of content curation by combining both highly advanced algorithms with human intelligence. Using a directory approach positions them in a unique category from others in the industry because ZEEF has added the ability of other readers to rank the best lists and content based on the quality. Briefly stated, it combines the list making ability of Listly with the voting potential of Reddit to produce the best resource of information.
In many ways, ZEEF is producing an ongoing, and ever growing, cherry-picked, directory of topic specific content that has been pre-screened for human consumption.
Real people filtering and voting on the most beneficial content.
Hands down, Flipboard wins the mobile, visual and simple content curation awards. They've streamlined the entire process to make curating valuable content as simple as a swipe. With Flipboard, users create and follow magazines that are of specific interest and can then be shared across social channels.
As mentioned, in the world of content curation, author attribution is fundamental. What curators can do is to add their opinion within the quality piece of content. Meddle offers just that. It enables curation, attribution enhanced by user insights. Beyond enabling individuals to curate valuable content, Meddle offers enterprises the ability to turn the entire team into company ambassadors. Imagine the reach and impact a business could have if the entire team is sharing meaningful content.
Meddle is designed to help people who aren't professional marketers boost their online visibility by curating content and then tailoring it, with a short intro, to their audiences. In the process they are showcasing their company as one of experts who are knowledgeable about the market and passionate about solving clients' challenges.
In a world of information overload, valuable content is turning into a commodity. Positioning a business as a thought leader requires a combination of creating valuable content along with curating content that is relevant, visually engaging and logical. Following these tips and tools can help any business to content success.