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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 program 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're 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 centralize 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 importance, for your brand too, if being useful to your audience is something that you appreciate matters for modern marketing. By spending the 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 and demonstrating a commitment to an editorial calendar that remains on-topic, it 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 starting point
  • 2. My favourite are specific newsletters - the content is more considered. You might get these 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 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 then 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

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 or tweet us

By Danyl Bosomworth

Dan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital. His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan’s interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan’s background here Linked In.

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