23 ideas for content curation

Putting content curation front and centre in your content marketing planning

I've been spending some time this week writing a content marketing plan for a client, at First 10. As a part of that plan I've focussed on content curation as a major part of the programme of activity over the next 12 months. In their case the reason why they're investing is that it's right strategically and suits their budget. They are a commercial marketing team with minimal internal copywriting resource, and they're not creative enough to reliably originate a steady stream of ideas. So it made sense to centralise content curation in addition to publishing original articles and media as and when they can afford it. My sense is that most marketing teams are likely needing this approach, so I thought I'd distill and simplify what's in their plan, in case it might help spark ideas for you.

I'd suggest that, even from Smart Insights' own perspective, curating content is an activity of central important, for your brand too if being useful to your audience is something that you appreciate matters for modern marketing. By spending time to find, filter and enhance content - and sharing that with social networks - you're building value in your brand. Quite simply, increased reasons to re-visit, refer and interact.

Remember that it takes time

Curation is not an opt-out or quick fix. It happens over time. When a brand does a good job of defining what it stands for, demonstrating a commitment to an editorial calendar that remains on-topic will play a powerful part in building consumer trust online. Of course it cannot exist in isolation, being active in relevant social networks, industry events and of course originating your own content play a part. Curation can play the central role in creating awareness and credibility when it's well integrated. It could be that as much as 80% of your content can be curated too, it'd depend on your marketing objectives and strategy.

Content Curation can deliver on multiple marketing objectives:

  • Improve website engagement, repeat visits and levels interactions
  • Become a crucial part in lead nurturing and conversion - through email and social media marketing
  • Help you to become a "go-to" resource on a particular topic (this will take time!), naturally you'll be more findable online as a result
  • Develop your brand as a known, credible source of information on a particular topic - important though that you're adding insight to curated content
  • Become known by influential members of your industry or topic area - links and likely referrals
  • Grow traffic - all those links will increase your visibility in search engines results pages as well as send referred traffic from the outset

Our 23 ideas to help you with content curation

Sources of content come first…

  • 1. Finding and subscribing to the best online (and offline!) magazines and blogs make the best start point
  • 2, My favourite is still specific newsletters - the content is more considered. You might get via email or subscribe to an RSS
  • 3. Of course content shared on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, StumbleUpon, Reddit and other social sharing websites
  • 4. The classic - Google Alerts and remember real-time search engines such as socialmention.com
  • 5. Curation software can be useful (I've little experience of it to be honest) including Storify, Flipboard and Scoop.it
  • 6. News aggregators, my favourite is Guy Kawasaki's Alltop
  • 7. If updates from other brands matters, then consider press release distribution services like PRWeb and PRNewswire
  • 8. I'd guess that you're already monitoring competitors anyway. If not (and they're worth the effort), setup Google Alerts and social media monitoring tools like Radian6 for mentions of their brand terms, and easy way to learn about their activities

What kind of content will you curate…

  • 9. I start with influential people - the best - who are the most important to your target audience?
  • 10. Re-purpose or talk about best practise: blogs, news, training, tips, networking and industry events.
  • 11. Statistics, research, white-papers and reports is the classic curated content - but - be sure to offer your insight and opinion on it
  • 12. Videos are great to embed: YouTube and Vimeo
  • 13. Slideshare presentations
  • 14. Guides and eBooks - if you read them, review them
  • 15. In an industry like marketing, Smart Insights get a lot of success with case studies
  • 16. Infographics and diagrams
  • 17. Tips, How To’s and lists (the classic "7 ideas about XYZ)
  • 18. I love the value in collections of resources on a theme in one blog post - see our here on Mobile Marketing Statistics

Where might you publish curated content…

  • 19. Brand blog, of course - this should be your hub for the best stuff
  • 20. Guest author posts on industry sites
  • 21. Email newsletter
  • 22. eBooks, guides and your own white-papers
  • 23. Social networks, naturally

The key of course, with all content marketing, is to learn and focus on what matters to your audience or community and align that with your brand's USP and values. That cross-over is the sweet spot from a commercial perspective. The more considered you are about any content, and the more naturally you'll optimise you content platform for search engines and real people. If I've missed obvious ideas the please add them to the pile using the comments below 🙂

Share your thoughts

  • Very useful article. I am the founder of a growing community of content curator’s and invite you to take a look at our curation site as a way to help fuel all these great curation ideas and efforts both for yourself and the client. Thanks again for sharing an insightful piece.

  • Andrew Morton commented on March 10, 2013

    Certainly agree with your central theme of building the brand but many organisations that I’ve met struggle with having possibly too many options and not really assessing them based on preset criteria – too many choices and too little strategy.

    • Agree! Having defined criteria for reviewing different content marketing options is often lacking, but needed to decide which to deploy. Need to then close the loop to review the effectiveness of different content types.

  • Nice article Dan and you got it spot at the end. Curation ONLY works as a tactic when you can relate it to the context of your audience, their needs and what makes you or your business unique in your curation over the audience going direct to source.

  • Content Curation: great post by @smartinsights on approach to use & sources to consider when creating & re-purposing content #in

  • Cant make my mind up about curation Dan. I think the danger is that unless you can consistently add genuine value to the work of others, you’re simply contribution to the crap content deluge that plagues our industry. And as Google increases in sophistication, is there not a risk such tactics will get penalised?

    • Ha – I’ve heard it called an “echo chamber” – perhaps yours is more accurate…
      We hope our curation adds some value by highlighting what matters in the deluge – many news items aren’t news.

  • Ron Orme commented on March 8, 2013

    Very useful article. Thanks

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