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What is Curated Content and How to Leverage It

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  • What is Curated Content and How to Leverage It

When planning a content marketing strategy, many people feel that producing and distributing original material is sufficient.

Although your number one goal should be creating new content for your niche, another effective way to enhance your content marketing strategy is by leveraging curated content.

Curating content is a lot like helping your audience with their homework; by collecting and organizing information from many different sources into one article, guide, video, or podcast, you save them the trouble of searching through all of that separate material on their own.

That is why curated content is a great way to drive website traffic, solidify your audience base, and enhance your trustworthiness as a brand.

Read on to learn more about curated content as a marketing technique, as well as some best practices related to content curation.

What is Curated Content?

What is Curated Content

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If your goal is to elevate your brand’s reputation and credibility, you should be consistently publishing fresh blog material and social media content across all of your channels to keep your audience coming back for more. You may, however, find it challenging to create and publish unique content that often without running out of ideas or becoming repetitive.

That is where content curation comes in.

Marketers utilize content curation by pinpointing engaging, instructive, and inspirational material from other reliable and prominent sources, such as major news companies, relevant industry-related websites, as well as influencers and content creators with moderate to large followings.

Once identified, externally-sourced content can be aggregated or shared in a curated way through your own channels. Done right, this kind of material becomes a valuable addition to your content base, and takes some of the pressure off your team to produce original content for each blog article or social media post.

How Do You Curate Content?

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Curating content refers to the process of choosing material from various sources to publish on your own platforms. The process includes proactively searching for, gathering, compiling, and delivering relevant material from your niche to your readers, viewers, or listeners.

Curated content can mean a range of easily accomplishable tasks, such as:

  • Sharing a link to a relevant article in your blog post after having briefly summarized its main takeaways and how they tie into your own content pillars,
  • Quote-retweeting a content creator’s tweet about a topic or cause important to your brand,
  • Compiling a list of expert advice on a certain subject to make a comprehensive guide,
  • Publishing an influencer’s post as an Instagram story on your brand’s profile,

…and many other similar actions.

What is Curated Content Good For?

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of content curation, here are some of the main benefits of including curated content in your content marketing plan.

Filling Up Your Content Calendar

The majority of brands today have to manage several social media profiles, blogs, messaging channels, and other platforms to enhance their visibility as a brand and maintain a solid online presence.

It takes a very devoted team to produce material for all of these channels. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the pressure to churn out dozens of pieces of content per month can have a negative effect on the overall quality of your content.

Leveraging content curation can therefore help relieve some of the burden associated with needing to constantly come up with new content for your calendar.

Aside from the obvious benefits of helping your content marketing team deliver their best work, using curated content can also help spice up your content base. Weekly highlights, trending topics, and compilations of expert advice all contribute to diversifying your content and keeping it as engaging as possible to your visitors.

Gaining More Credibility

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Frequently sharing external material that is pertinent to your area of expertise helps you gain more credibility among your target audience. Not only that, but it also contributes to establishing your brand as the expert authority in your niche.

Sharing material produced by other reliable sources lets your audience know:

  • you are familiar with the topic at hand,
  • you have understood the material in a way that enables you to summarize/aggregate it into a more readable format, and
  • you keep up with trends, fresh ideas, and relevant opinions in your niche.

Adding your own remark or personal touch to every piece of external content you share can provide your followers with more food for thought, which further emphasizes the credibility of your brand. Including low competition keywords and optimizing your SEO should be your main focus here.

Simply put, when your readers search for opinions on certain topics—or answers to certain questions—they will know that you have them. You’ve shared them or compiled them, even if you didn’t (entirely) produce them yourself.

Forming Relationships With Content Creators

There are many definitions of an influencer, and many may disagree on the minimum number of followers a content creator must have to be considered one. However, there is no doubt that creating links between your brand and reputable influencers in your niche, no matter the size of their following, can be beneficial to your own brand reputation.

By recommending, sharing, or using an influencer’s material in your social media posts, how-to guides, and other resources, you can ultimately expand your audience reach. Simply put, their traffic becomes your traffic as well.

Promoting influencers’ work by sharing it on your channels is a great and effective way of cultivating long-lasting bonds with them and keeping your shared audiences interested in your own writing portfolio down the line.

Ease and Convenience

Once you get the hang of it, curating content can be done in as few as three clicks (e.g. when sharing someone else’s post on social media).

Often, the only difficult or time-consuming aspect of content curation is finding appropriate material to share. Learning how to distinguish between high quality material and useless fluff is key in this respect.

If you have a small team, you can utilize a virtual assistant to keep an eye on prominent websites or creators’ profiles to quickly spot an opportunity where your brand could share or gather quality content on your own channels.

Leveraging Curated Content

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Only Use Reliable Sources

Probably the most important aspect of content curation is being careful to share content that was produced by trustworthy and respected sources.

To begin with, audiences searching for content in your niche are mostly aware of who can and cannot be trusted as a thought leader, unless they’re learning about the topic at hand for the first time.

Influencer content can be tricky in this regard because, no matter the following they have amassed, the very nature of an influencer’s work is based on the premise that their audience is getting their personal, unfiltered views on certain topics.

Therefore, content creators that are well respected in your niche can sometimes go off the mark, or use language that you do not wish your brand to be associated with (some of which can evade even the most efficient profanity filter).

Therefore, checking the content you want to share or link to is absolutely essential to keep your brand reputation in good standing. Your audiences will remember you by the types of people or other brands you associate with, so make sure your marketing team vets each piece of content before deciding to share anything.

Repurpose Old Material

Content repurposing is another arena that goes well with content curation.

The idea behind combining the two is straightforward. Instead of posting repurposed, repackaged, or recycled content as a standalone post, maximize its relevance by including similar information from a new or trending post made by another trusted source.

For example, if a prominent YouTuber posts a video on a topic you covered in the past, you can share their video in a new post as a segue into reintroducing your own coverage of that topic.

This approach can be as simple as merely linking to your previous post underneath the shared video or, better yet, writing a new post with some tweaks or additions that refer to the content creator’s points or expand on them using your own set of data or evidence.

Keep It Relevant and Succinct

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The primary goal for all content creation is that you capture and hold people’s attention by publishing material that is not only relevant, but also clear and concise. This rule can be applied to content curation, too.

Even though long-form material seems to be all the rage these days, ask yourself this: if you continuously post long-form articles as a way to expand on another creator’s point, could that have the opposite effect of making readers click out of your article much faster?

To circumvent this effect, try to keep all your curated content relevant and succinct. Present it to your audience by introducing one major idea that you either summarize or briefly elaborate on by adding your own comments.

Additionally, focus on giving it an impactful title. “Expert weighs in on the housing crisis” might do an okay job at getting some people interested, but using something along the lines of “No end to the housing crisis in sight. Here’s why” may be much more effective in bringing more eyes to the article and the externally sourced piece of content you wish to share.

Appeal to Your Audience

Curated content is a fantastic tool to engage your target audience and motivate them to spread the word about your brand. Knowing and understanding what your audience wants to read, see or hear should be the foundation of your content curation plans.

Relevant content that is externally sourced, but organized or compiled in a readable and captivating way, is a great approach to start discussions on topics that your audience is interested in and already talking about.

Therefore, when looking to use material from outside your unique content base, consider whether your audience would be interested in the items you end up selecting.

Some great ways to get people interested in your curated content include sharing blog entries that you elaborate on by adding infographics, images, charts, videos, and other kinds of visuals. These posts will boost readability and audience engagement by preventing your curated material from coming off as monotonous or derivative.

Balance Original vs. Curated Content

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Nobody likes to see a Twitter profile that is full of retweets, nor a blog section devoted only to compiling Best Of’s and Ultimate Lists of XYZ. Not only does it come off as clickbaity and tacky, it may also attract the wrong kind of audience whose engagement provides little to no value to your brand strategy.

Having a good balance of originally produced content and curated material is what makes reputable brands stand out from the myriad of other ones in the same niche. A good ratio would be 70:30 in favor of original content, but with the right curation techniques, you may even get that ratio to 50:50.

Just like with most things in life, balancing original and curated content is all about remaining authentic and true to what matters to your readers or viewers. Your engagement rates will tell you whether you have managed to hit that sweet spot or not; if likes, comments, or shares are going up, then you know you’re doing a good job.

Final Thoughts on What is Curated Content

For brands looking to be a source of engaging, reliable, informative, and/or entertaining content for their audiences, content curation can be an excellent addition to their overall content marketing plan.

Curated content prevents you from being “just another [niche] brand” and instead positions you as an industry leader and trustworthy source of quality information. As we’ve discussed throughout this article, that effect is achieved through a smart fusion of your own unique content and curated material.

We hope that the information provided here has given you enough food for thought to be well on your way to building a successful content curation strategy.

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