The Challenge: Information Overload
The sheer mass of content clouding our computer screens is often bemoaned. Yet, the issue is not necessarily the vast amount of content,comt but sorting through it. This is what content curation is all about: be the filter – you will be thanked for it with recognition and trust!
Imagine the curator of a museum preparing an exhibition. The curator begins his work by identifying and compiling works of art suitable for the exhibition from all over the globe. Once this is done, the works of art will be arranged and contextualized in the exhibition rooms according to whatever aspects matter the most. A content curator's job is quite similar: searching the internet for relevant content, filtering and contextualizing it. This differs from a list of links insofar as the human factor is central to the curation process: a content curator seeks, senses and shares thematically relevant content with the targeted audience. The more specific, the better (to illustrate this with an example: a confectionist should not communicate about pastry in general, but about extravagant icings).
The Solution: Seek, Sense, Share
Before we get right to it, a preliminary remark is in order: content curation will only be fruitful if it is integrated in a thought out content marketing strategy: the big picture matters! This means you have to do your homework first: identify your target audience, create an editorial schedule and coordinate your content curation activity with other marketing plans at hand, such as product launches, promotion and trade fairs. As soon as you have worked out your marketing concept in its entirety, you can begin your content curation efforts. These can be summarized with three words: seek, sense, share.
The first step is all about seeking out content. Tools such as Google Alerts or RSS feeds, but also Twitter feeds of already established thought leaders in your field of interest as well as professional publications will prove useful. Since the web never sleeps, seeking out interesting content should become a daily routine. Continuity is key.
Once you sifted through your sources, all relevant content is selected and classified. In order to do so, you should consider why a particular information you found online is important in your subject area. Even though you are linking to other sources, content curation is about adding your own perspective on the matter: this is why I think this is important.
You have found interesting content and you have added value to it by supplying it with your own expert opinion. Now that you are ready to share your finding with your audience, you should make sure to enable your readers to also share the curated content on social networks: keep in mind that this is about growing an audience!
Finally, a decision has to be made concerning where the curated content will be shared. This depends on what kind of content you are going to share. If it is mainly graphs and other visual content, a platform such as Pinterest, a digital bulletin board, may suit your needs well. Other curation tools are Scoop.it, Delicious, Pearltrees or Storify. An own channel of communication such as a blog, an electronic newsletter or a micro site are also good ways for sharing curated content – at least as long as you equip them with social sharing tools.
The Advantages: Be the Trusted Expert
Since you have become the go-to-guy for relevant content in your subject area on the web, people will recognize you as a trusted expert. This has the effect that your audience – and with it potential clients – will consistently expand.
Because you link to the content created by other sources, you improve your search engine ranking through backlinks and establish a network (your sources will return the favor). When you are also producing original content – which you definitely should – other content curators will link to your site as well.
As paradoxical as it sounds: content curation strengthens your brand by not talking about it all the time. The ability to see beyond the tip of your nose will enhance your credibility with potential clients: since you have established yourself as the expert, why should they not also buy from the expert?
We gladly give you advice on how to strengthen the image of your brand with content curation. Of course we also offer content curation for your business – either as an added component to an already existing marketing plan or as part of a completely new content marketing strategy tailored to your needs. Get in touch!