Create vs. curate? They aren’t mutually exclusive.
According to Mark Sherbin, some of us are still trying to wrap our heads around what exactly content curation is. How does it differ from content aggregation? Should it be a higher priority than building your own content?
He makes the argument curation as a strategy is divisive and even states: ” Who the hell should you believe? ”
Continuing … Curation doesn’t require you to replace content creation. Instead, curating content eases some of the editorial burden. As a result, your role as content strategist consists of one part creator, one part curator.
So What’s the right way to curate?
Curation doesn’t require you to replace content creation. Instead, curating content eases some of the editorial burden. As a result, your role as content strategist consists of one part creator, one part curator.
To curate content the right way, experts suggest best practices like these.
Explain why the content is important to your audience
Rather than simply posting content, it’s important to put your own spin on it. That way, you can imprint your brand on an article without claiming full ownership. It also builds reader trust by clearly showing you actually read the article, raising the value of the pick in the eyes of the audience.
Include clear links and credit for the original content
The way to avoid morally dubious curation tactics is to clearly identify the original writer and the source of the content. That way, audience members find information through your site, and publishers, if they take any action, will thank you for sending traffic their way.
Post snippets of content
Curating content doesn’t require you to post articles in their entirety. Instead, it’s important to post snippets of content. Curata’s Curation Habits Report 2012 finds that medium snippets (141-1,200 characters) get a 20% higher click-thru rate than small snippets (<=140 characters).
Pickiness is encouraged
Most marketers will tell you that producing too much content is almost never an issue. Aided by software, curation offers the temptation of posting as much content as you can get your hands on. But experts say it’s better to be picky — your audience can only digest so much content.
In fact, Curation Habits Report 2012 finds that email newsletters featuring curated content average 12% list growth when they publish less than 50% of articles they find. In comparison, curators that publish more than 50% only average 5% growth.
“Your search for relevant content may return 200 to 300 useful articles,” Kolowich [Rich Content Daily] explains. “But the closer you can get to those 10 absolutely vital articles — the cutting-edge ones that advance your audience’s understanding of their jobs — the stronger your readership will be. Respect your readers’ time and they’ll repay you for it.”
Find a unique voice
Again, you want to associate your brand with the content. In order to accomplish this, you should find ways to stamp your flair on the content you share.
According to Steve Rosenbaum [Magnify.Net], “Curators have a voice. If you’re a company that produces a consumer product, you need to figure out not just what you’re going to say, but also the kind of content you’re comfortable drawing in around your brand and how you’re going to contextualize it.”
Following best practices clearly requires time and effort.
Deciding whether content curation is right for your business
So how can marketers at mid- to large-sized companies reduce that burden — especially when they’re spending time to create content as well?
1. Is there a dominant publication in your market?
2. Does your topic of focus align with the interests of your audience?
3. Is there enough content to curate out there?