Content curation is hugely important to your online business. And its importance will only continue to grow. When I talk with people about whether and how they are curating content, I find that many don’t understand how to curate content. And a good number of people don’t even know what content curation means.
So today we’re going to start from the beginning and talk about the what and why of content curation. Then next time I’ll share with you some of the easiest and most effective methods of content curation.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation escapes any exact definition but I’ll give it a try. Content curation is the discovery, selection, organization and sharing of the best and most relevant content on any given topic. The content involved is usually articles, but can (and should) include videos, photos, infographics, and podcasts.
Once the content is found, selected and organized, it can be shared in a variety of ways. Most commonly, curators share the content on their blog, in a their email newsletter, on social media networks, and/or in a virtual newspaper-type publication such as Paper.ly or Scoop.it.
It is also worth mentioning what content curation is not, as there is a lot of that going on too. Putting someone else’s content on your blog, in whole or in part, without giving the original creator credit, is not curation. It’s stealing. Even publishing someone’s entire article on your site and giving them credit, without their permission, is not okay.
Finally, just pulling together a bunch of links and publishing them is not good content curation. The point of content curation is to be helpful to your audience, which involves putting together useful content that saves them time. Therefore, it’s essential that you make sure all of the content is relevant and quality. You also need to include a summary rather than just a link, so your audience can evaluate its importance to them before they click through to read the entire article.
Why YOU Need to Be Curating Content
Now that you know what content curation is, you might be thinking, “So what? Doing this doesn’t really interest me.” Well, it should. And here are three reasons why.
1. You Are the Expert in Your Market
You’ve likely heard me say this before, but it’s worth repeating. You need to be building a tribe of loyal followers. People are only going to trust you, and therefore follow you, if they see you as an expert. To be seen as an expert, you must be keeping your audience up to date on what’s happening in your market.
You need to get your audience in the habit of coming to you to get the lastest news. And, they need to feel comfortable that they won’t miss anything if they follow you. Good content curation will make this happen.
2. You Must Keep Your Audience Close, or They Will Leave
The amount of information you can find online today is literally limitless. Anyone who is trying to keep up with everything that’s going on in her market finds it an overwhelming task. There are a lot of excellent resources out there. But there isn’t enough time in the day to follow them all.
So, your audience is going to be looking to narrow things down. To lower the noise. Which means they are going to choose just a few people to really follow. And the ones they are going to choose are those who are giving them the most relevant information in one place.
If you can’t provide a “one stop shop” for your audience, they aren’t going to find time to read what you do provide. They’ll find another expert who can do it all. Content curation will get you as close as possible to doing it all.
3. There’s No Way You Can Personally Create Enough Great Content
For some people, content curation is a dream come true. You may hate writing, and take joy in simply sharing other’s good stuff.
But, if you’re more like me, you would love to write it all. To be the “one stop shop” for everything, and have everything be created by you. Just the thought of that, however, is enough to wear you out.
Not only does time not allow for this, to try to do this would be a disservice to your audience. First, you can’t be the expert on everything. You owe it to your audience to expose them to people who know more than you about certain aspects of your market.
Second, it’s good to have a variety of viewpoints and opinions. Content curation is the best way to bring that to your audience. You don’t want them going other places to get the best content. You want them to sit back and relax, secure in the fact that you’ll bring it to them.
Next Time . . .
We’ll talk about how to most effectively curate content. Until then, share your thoughts with me in the comments. Are you curating content for your audience? If not, why not? If you are, how effective do you find content curation in helping to grow your business?