Your website is up and running and you’re gradually getting the hang of this content marketing thing. The challenge is that it takes so much of your time to manage it that you simply aren’t doing enough to make it worthwhile. Writing was never your field of expertise, and all the various SEO requirements are quite mind-boggling.
There’s a simple solution: content curation. It won’t absolve you from the need to produce your own content ever again, but it will certainly reduce the quantity while still giving you good search results.
What Is Content Curation?
Every content marketing strategy needs to include sourcing, selection and sharing of the best, most suitable content relating to your subject matter. Content curation doesn’t mean duplicating the content of others or plagiarizing. It means repurposing already-written material and posting a link to it on your marketing site with full credits to the original author.
Why Use It?
It’s just not possible (or ideal) to post your own content exclusively, and curating and sharing information from experts in your field with your own audience helps to position you as knowledgeable and networked. The result? Over time, your target market begins to associate the expert content you publish with your brand and that creates brand affinity. In addition, it provides you with an almost inexhaustible supply of information that you haven’t had to come up with. And the best part? You (mostly) don’t need anyone’s permission to use it—as long as you do it the right way.
Types Of Content
Curated content can be blog posts, white papers, infographics, images, videos, podcasts, e-books or almost any other type of material you can think of. This includes anything you believe is useful for your target audience, such as:
- Relevant news
- Training material
- Networking events
- Industry activities
- Research and reports
- Statistical analyses
- Slide presentations
- Galleries and image collections
- Surveys, polls and contests
- Comments from your blog or others
Most curated content comes from email newsletters you receive, links found on social media, Google alerts or RSS feeds, press release distribution services and competitors’ websites.
With a content marketing practice as potentially sensitive as using material produced by others, it’s imperative that you follow certain conventions to avoid trampling on anyone’s figurative toes. The most important of these are:
- Never simply copy and paste material from another site onto your own. Even if you credit the author this creates duplicate content online, which can result in penalization of both sites by Google search. Rather, post the headline and the synopsis or lede on your site, then link to the rest of the information at its original location.
- Always credit the original author or publisher. Even if you rewrite the piece almost completely, if you’ve used only one source and you’ve quoted extensively from it, you must credit the source either with a link back to the site or a notice to state where it was taken from.
- Check copyright, particularly on images and videos. These are more likely to carry copyright than written copy, and even if the image is recognizable as a stock image, if the original publisher paid for it then you may be using it unlawfully.
- If you’re publishing curated content on social media, post the headline and synopsis on your own website first and then publish the link to that. That way users come to your site first before going to the source. The reason for this is that it will do nothing for your brand or traffic if users go directly from social media to the original website.
To Comment Or Not To Comment?
Finally, posting curated material on your website without insights from you might fill the content gap, but it isn’t likely to do much for your reputation or image. Ideally, post a comment on the relevance of the piece, your opinion on its usefulness or the reason why you’re posting it. This can be included in the synopsis as an introduction from you, or accompanying the link on social media. However you decide to do it, putting your own stamp on it is vital to make it work for you. It’s all about saying to your readers “Hey, look at this piece I found. I thought it would be useful to you because…!”
Including curation as part of your content marketing strategy can save you significant time—time that you can spend closing deals or overseeing projects. You just have to do it right to make it work.