5 Content Curation Strategies you Can ‘Steal’ from the Best Curators
There is an abundance of content online. So much, actually, that it’s impossible to keep up with it. While you are reading this sentence, 300 hours of video are being uploaded to YouTube, 136 million emails are being sent/received and 1400 blog posts are being written. The volume of information going around every day is so huge that even the most advanced software can’t keep up with it (despite the fact that powerful spam detecting software exists).
The good news is that the World Wide Web has unleashed its secret weapon: humans. An army of talented and diligent curators who are able to sort the ‘meh’ from the ‘wow’, while also adding context to content, has emerged. There are plenty of brilliant curators out there, working day in and day out to uncover fantastic content. I have a few personal favourites from which I have learned the secrets of content curation.
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin share useful information for millennial women through their ‘The Skimm’ newsletter. By approaching an often overlooked channel and creating a powerful voice, they have actually become a social media entity. Liz Heron, the head of news partnerships at Facebook, constantly shares interesting & unique articles from around the Web. Last week she announced “Signal”, a brand new Facebook tool that will aid journalists in their content discovery mission.
Vala Afshar is a super-tweeter who will only ever share inspiring content related to technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and business. And let’s not forget the content curators that have been manually picked to curate content for various platforms & software.
After following these experts at work, I have gained a deeper understanding of content curation. Here are 5 Content Curation Strategies that I adopted from these Influencers:
1. Exercise Caution
The best curators out there did not build such impressive followerships by carelessly retweeting, sharing or promoting low-quality content. These brilliant individuals never curate an article that they haven’t read in full, they never support something they don’t believe in, and they never get lazy.
How do you think they would look in the eyes of their fans if they judged content based only on a title and the first two paragraphs? Lack of quality is the number one downfall of content curators. Granted, your audience will not be increasing by the thousands, but if you prioritize quality over quantity the people who choose to follow you will actually matter.
2. Focus on Timely & Trending Content
Nothing says virality like trending topics. As the old saying goes, ‘sharing fresh milk is good, sharing spoiled milk is rotten’. In today’s digital landscape, the life cycle of content is extremely brief. The most successful content curators are always there to share the latest scoop.
If you aren’t online to cover news as it happens, you should consider whether or not the ‘sharing window’ has passed before curating. For example, an article about the best performances at the VMAs might be interesting for a couple of weeks, but beyond that it won’t get too much traction.
3. Understand what Makes People Move & Leverage that Power
If you want to be successful with content curation you have to understand, or at least try to understand, what people feel. Simply slapping a link towards an article won’t cut it. Add your personal opinion or observation. Fuel conversations through comedy, insightful remarks or rhetorical questions.
“The Skimm” is so popular because it understands what busy, business women need. The creators of the newsletter have a deep understanding of their audience and they use this knowledge to their advantage.
4. Consider Curating Something Other than Written Content
There are so many forms of content roaming wild: infographics, content visualisations, videos, podcasts, white papers, etc. Among these, video content is undeniably the most popular and engaging. Many marketers consider it the future of content marketing. As a matter of fact, Grant Crowell and curation expert Steve Rosenbaum recently mentioned the importance of curating video content.
Of course, simply selecting videos and plastering them on your news-feed will not make you a curator. This is why the two recommend applying a few basic tips such as: adding unique descriptions and tags, offering transcriptions to videos that don’t have any (for improved discoverability on YouTube), providing attribution and creating the feeling of community.
5. Don’t Lose Sight of your Goal
If you’re curating for the sake of curating, that’s perfectly fine. But if you are pursuing some greater objective (brand awareness, thought leadership, lead generation etc.), you must make sure that you never lose sight of it. In the vastness of the Internet, it is incredibly difficult to not get side-tracked. Your goal should shape your approach on content curation. It should also remind you about the type of content worth curating.
Brands like HootSuite consistently promote relevant articles and news from their niche. By doing this they have become the go-to source for a great number of people. It makes sense. Why would you ever follow multiple pages or websites, if you can get all the information you need from one source?