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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Absolutely Everything You Need for #Winning at Content Curation

    Posted by Jasmine Henry

    75% of marketers don’t have time to create custom content, according to
    Curata. Even if they do, time and resource constraints can limit velocity, quality, or marketers’ ability to effectively promote their branded assets.

    Anyone who’s ever tumbled down into an internet rabbit hole of Huffington Post, Reddit, or Upworthy can attest there’s tons of great content on the internet. There is absolutely tons and tons of fascinating videos, well-written articles, and more information than any of us could ever possibly try to absorb.

    The amount of information on the web is absolutely staggering, and it doubles in volume every 9 to 24 months. You’ve probably heard phrases like “content saturation” or “information obesity” tossed around. However, it’s crucial not to underestimate the value people place on fresh or relevant content. Articles, videos, and infographics that are on-point for a given audience will always have a place.

    Content Curation is the Cure

    Today’s super-sharp marketers are investing heavily in content curation. By republishing and recasting existing content with full credit to the original source, you’re able to save time and resources while still providing extraordinary value to your audience.

    But where do you get started? Chances are, you’re already doing a fair amount of content curation in your marketing strategy, if you’re publishing external links to your social media accounts. Are your current efforts on-point, or is there room for improvement?

    In this blog you’ll learn a simple litmus test for evaluating potential candidates for content curation, as well as a bit of insight on how to make your curation efforts as efficient as possible.

    Is This Content Right for Curation?

    If you’re considering the pros and cons of republishing a piece of content, it’s crucial to evaluate each of the following factors before adding it to your content calendar:

    • Is this content relevant and targeted? Sharing a three year-old viral video will make your brand seem out-of-touch. Share older content if it’s highly targeted. Share less targeted content if it’s incredibly fresh. Always strive to share the most relevant, fresh, and targeted content.
    • Does this content share unique, targeted value to my company’s buyer personas? Value is often new information, but it can also take the form of amusement, entertainment, or other emotions.
    • Is this information correct? If the statistics, facts, and figures displayed on an infographic seem too extraordinary to be true, it might be because they are in fact untrue. A little fact-checking can save your organization a great deal of potential for embarrassment.
    • Am I (or my management team) comfortable with publically aligning our company with the organization that originally published this content?
    • Does this content have the potential to offend, upset, or disturb any members of our audience? Remember, even if you’re curating content, it will represent your organization to the public.
    • Will this content potentially result in lead generation for a competitor instead of my organization? Even if you’ve uncovered the greatest whitepaper your industry has ever published, your sales team will prefer if you don’t link to a competing organization’s lead generation landing pages!

    Bonus Questions

    While these factors aren’t crucial for a piece of content to perform well on your blog, LinkedIn Pulse, or social media channels, think of them like a value-add. Add a proverbial point for each of these criteria content meets!

    • Is this content in a format that my team or existing creation resources might not be able to easily create on their own? The average B2B marketer uses 12 different content marketing tactics. Use curation to bolster your own repertoire.
    • Does this content align well with my organization’s curent campaign mindset? Is your company emphasizing your newest shades of lipstick? Being able to share content that’s in sync with your latest messaging and marketing themes will only help you hit your targets better.
    • Have members of my audience already engaged with this content? Always, always strive to share content that’s completely new to your audience, which can require scrappy content marketing methodologies.

    A Comprehensive Guide to Curating Rad Content

    Now that you know a bit about the difference between super high-quality curated content and articles, infographics, and videos that could be questionable, here is a step-by-step guide to republishing content in a way that will help your brand win at inbound marketing. Remember, there is no specific right or wrong way to approach curation. Concepts like risk and procedure are best handled by your company’s legal counsel and management team. However, this methodology represents just one overview that could be your ticket to success:

    1. Dig Deep

    Content that’s primed for curation might not have 10,000 repins on Pinterest. It probably isn’t “highly cited,” according to Google News. The more niche, specialized, and small your industry, the more difficult it will be to find ridiculously awesome content. However, the following sources are something each marketer should check daily for industry key words, breaking news, and other curation candidates:

    • Social Media: Hashtag searches, Facebook trends, Pinterest key terms, Google+

    • RSS feeds

    • News Aggregators (think Flipboard or Pulse)

    • Google Alerts

    Also? Depending on your organization’s budget and need for curated content, it could be well worth your while to look into some profesional curation tools. One of my favorites is Oktopost, which is a search engine just for curated content.

    oktopost content curation

    Many marketers also swear by Curata, which is a end-to-end tool for curated content discovery, organization, and even publishing. It’s basically the magical union of Pinterest, Google search recommendations, RSS feeds, Evernote, and HootSuite:

    curata content curation

    2. Curate Daily

    If there was any single recommendation you can’t afford to ignore, it’s this one. If your content calendar prescribes curating content once weekly on Tuesdays, the time to start thinking about curation is NOT Monday afternoon. It’s also probably not Monday morning, though that’s slightly better.

    Exceptional professionals consider each day an opportunity for research and self-improvement. There’s a good chance you already have a daily commitment to reading certain blogs, checking YouTube channels, and are subscribed to industry white papers. Always keep your eyes open for potential candidates for curation during your daily research time. Annotate, store, and maintain a list of curation resources in Curata, Evernote or your content calendar.

    3. (Optional): Gain Permission

    Are you trying to modify the content in any way? Do you plan on adding any caveats or additional recommendations? If your intent is to in any way modify, you probably need to gain permission. Some brands have content use and republication guidelines on their websites. Others don’t, so you’ll need to ask.

    Don’t be scared, it’s easier than you think. Draft an email to the author of the content that resembles the following, and simply hit send.

    content curation permission email sample

    Also important? Don’t publish until you receive a response. Be patient, and wait until you receive an official go-ahead in writing.

    4. Give Credit Where Credit is Due

    This one is simple, and obvious, but all too often, marketers fail to appropriately credit the sources of their curated content. Always provide credit to the original source using one OR MORE of the following methods:

    • A link to the website

    • The full name of the brand and/or author

    • Links to brand or author social media accounts

    • Title of work or campaign (if applicable)

    Even more importantly? Make sure you’re actually crediting the source, and not inadverdently crediting another brand who also curated the content. Do some digging, and if you’re unsure of how to appropriately credit a source, send them an email.

    5. Notify the Brand

    No one likes having their work stolen. However, learning that your work was curated in a respectful and flattering way with an appropriate amount of credit is a really, really great feeling. Go ahead and reach out to the individual or brand who’s work you’ve shared via social media or email. You could be surprised at how this can open up doors for future collaboration, friendship, or even mutual curation and co-branding opportunities!

    Are you curating content? What are your guidelines and recommendations for marketers who are new to this practice?

    Content Calendar

    header image credit: amanda tipton/flickr/cc

    Topics: Inbound Marketing