The Internet is full of content: evergreen, repurposed, co-created, and curated.
That’s maybe one of the reasons why “Content is King,” it is prevalent, never scarce. But of these types of content, one claims to be the 15-minute King — curated content. You can come up with a good content in just 15 minutes. As the old adage says, “automate, aggregate, and share.”
While curated content has gained popularity since 2010, it is still being a common, accepted, condoned, and effective content strategy for many Web publishers and social Web users. Of course, people love being told what’s hot and what’s not. It is indeed a big marketing opportunity and even a bigger mystery to do it rightly.
So, how can curated content be an effective content strategy and be SEO-friendly?
With that in mind, I have curated experts’ tips on content curation to get you started with the realm of tastemakers.
1. Museums Are To Artworks. Marketers Are To Online Posts.
This is probably the best metaphor to clarify what content curation is. Museum collects and houses the best artworks it could possibly get. Marketers, must in the same way, collect and share only the best materials to pass along its readers, fans, followers, and customers.
In an article by Kevan Lee of Bufferapp.com, he defined curation as sorting the large amount of web content and picking only the best, most meaningful tidbits of information and exhibiting these in an organized and insightful manner.
People don’t want facts; they care most of what importance your content brings to them. Ease? Overlooked stories? Patterns? So what? Audiences are getting smarter. Anytime, they can throw you a tomato with a note on it that says, “Here lays your thoughtless content.”
Takeaway: Curation is not a straight report of facts; it is an online museum that has the best and the most relevant content that serves as a discourse of best knowledge distribution.
2. Models Of Content Curation
Yes, you don’t just go there; collect all the best data and kaching! Publish your curation King. There are models to be determined to clearly identify your purpose.
Looking at how curation might be applied in very specific situations, a trend curator and founder of Influential Marketing Group, Rohit Bhargava puts models of content creation as follows:
1. Aggregation is about curating the most relevant information about a specific topic in one location. It is often in the form of catalog list. “16 Best Resources for Digital Marketers” can be one of the examples. Some also argue that this is the easiest way to do curation because it is often algorithmically automated.
2. Distillation is more on getting only the best relevant ideas and putting it in a simplistic format.
3. Elevation targets mainly the smaller ideas or daily musings posted online and then creating a larger and overlooked trend out of it.
4. Mashup on the other hand refers to uniquely curated juxtapositions and creating a concrete or new point of view.
5. Chronology, remember history?
Takeaway: Identifying your model will give you a clearer direction to where your curation efforts will best work. Mind identifying the model for this article?
3. 6 Content Curation Approaches
Content curation is considered to be one of the most cost-effective, efficient, and expert ways to combat Google Panda. But did you know that there are little-known but helpful strategies to consider before even proceeding with your curation?
Now that you know the models and importance of adding more content value to your curation, it is also important to know the possible strategies you can use to better express your own commentary or annotations.
In a Content Marketing Institute article, written by Pawan Deshpande, the most effective content curation can be done in 6 different approaches.
1. Abstracting is a low-effort approach where you literally copy-paste bits of content from your source. This works by pulling the source title, first few sentences and an image from the article. This might cause the curator some trouble for copyright allegations. This is also known for having too little SEO-value.
2. Summarizing, as the word suggests, requires more effort than abstracting. It can synopsize the idea of the whole source with additional beneficial keywords, making it a unique content as far as search engines are concerned.
3. Quoting is one of the popular ways of annotating third-party content. It gives thought-provoking block of information from the original content with a mix of the curator’s own commentary or thoughts on the topic. This is known to have a good SEO value and readership value.
4. Retitling means creating a provocative and relative short titles out of the original content. This is most specially known in social media sharing and mobile curation sites. With little effort, you can add value to your reader.
5. Storyboarding includes weaving various content. It could possibly include tweets, posts, photos, videos, and blog posts to come up with an interesting story or the curator’s own commentary.
6. Parallelizing is about taking 2 points of seemingly unrelated ideas and drawing a connection between them. This enables the curator to tackle a wider scope of discussion. Its SEO and readers values are known to be high because of its original and unique view point.
Takeaway: Carefully assess and choose what you think is best for you and your readers.
4. Create A Content Ecosystem Or Be Part Of The Bigger Ones
Reblogging, sharing, pinning, repining, aggregating – whatever you call it – other people say, “A writer’s curation is other writers’ “theft”.”
This shouldn’t be the case in content curation. This isn’t solely about pushing a share button nor repacking someone else’s articles. Steven Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify.net shares simple and best practices in curating and sharing others content.
One of his tips and probably the most remarkable one is being part of the content ecosystem. How? Be a creator and an organizer at the same time. Rosenbaum emphasizes the three C’s as a strong content mix in curation – create, contribute, collect. Create some content and let others have their share on it. Let them contribute and collect the best ideas that you think will better improve or challenge yours.
Takeaway: We are coming to a recession where researching and reading for 4 hours a day is a luxury. The goal of this is to create a one-stop-shop for all your readers’ needs.
5. Curate Across All Platforms, 2-3 Times A Week And The Favor Bank
Content curation may serve different objectives. It can be a way to keep a broader partner network, a value-added content for your blog, traffic-driver, awareness, and link bait.
You might ask then, how can you make your curation effort more consistent and effective? Here’s what Matt Heinz’ answer on it.
If you are seeing hope in curation, you can actively curate 2-3 times a week at max. You don’t need to do that everyday unless you’re a robot. You too can, of course, curate across all platforms. Curate posts from influencers, microsites, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, but remember not to overboard. You’re content might sink in holes or might taste like an awful salad. Nobody wants that. Heinz’ tricks also include prioritizing content from partners and prospects to show them you value them and the law of “Favor bank” will do its job. It is also of major importance to spread your content to equally good sources.
Takeaway: Exist everywhere and engage to valuable some.
6. Curation And Google Panda
Google Panda update was a clear signal to all digital marketers that content should be unique and of high-quality. So, how can curating someone else’s content be beneficial to your site? Isn’t it considered as duplicate content?
In an SEO test conducted by Bruce Clay, Inc., they have found out that auto-generated type of curation constitutes duplicate content while editorialized curation improves page ranking. The test concluded that curation in the form of original content, paired with excerpt and enhanced annotations as well as links to curated content can help a website achieve the benefits of fresh content without any threat of negative search rankings.
With Google Panda update in mind, there are many variables to consider for effective and SEO-friendly curated content. The most important, according to Virginia Nussey of Blue Clay, is having unique content. Nussey adds that a general length guideline for an effective curation is 200+ unique texts of original content per story.
Takeaway: Curation doesn’t mean duplicating. It is still best to input your own thoughts and deliver the best and valuable ideas to your audience.
7. Curation As Link Magnets
One of the very important notes to remember when curating content is attributing your original sources. An even more important thing to know is that you should link only to — as what Jason DeMers calls it — ‘good neighbors’.
Good neighbors mean a wide variety of high-quality and relevant websites. These outbound links to your accountable sources will eventually result to inbound links. Not only you get your original sources’ attention but might as well gain the eyes and attention of their own followings. That could mean thousands and thousands of traffic.
When done right, you might also get to rank for both short and long-tail keywords in your niche as a result of curating valuable content from high quality sources.
Takeaway: Reaping SEO benefits can be achieved by properly giving credit to your sources, by spreading the link love and building relationship to your sources and your niche audiences.
8. Content Curation Ethics and Links
Ethics and fair use are big questions when it comes to curation. Are there ethics and best practices to follow when it comes to content curation?
Founder and CEO of Curata, Pawan Deshpande, pointed two major practices concerning ethics and links. First, he said, “create, curate, but don’t pirate.” Originality and the amount of content is some of the key factors to have your curated content rank and succeed for a specific goal. Like printed media, fair use, ethics, and copyright play important roles in the curation process.
Next and probably one of the most questionable thoughts in content curation is putting “nofollow” attributes to your sources. The idea with this tactic is to hoard the link juice and avoid appearing to be a link farm. But with the changing algorithm and increasing attention to influencer marketing, some experts have advised not to put “nofollow” attributes to the sources as long as these sources have high quality content and have high authority.
As far as link juice is concerned, putting “follow” attributes is indeed passing link juice to the linking website but that should not be main concern when your goals include gaining credentials, building relationship with the influencers and entering the spotlight of thought leadership.
Takeaway: Between the two schools of thought, always determine your goals before deciding which one will work for your overall strategy.
9. There Are Tools For That
In this increasingly online silos, where everyone seems to be a magician, it is important to make sure that you are well-versed with technology.
Nowadays, many curated content are customized using different tools to swiftly pull information from multiple sources of Internet’s library. How many curation tools do you know? 2? 4? 6? Now is the time to know up to 47 curation tools varying from business grade tools to personal ones that can be used by businesses, marketers, individuals, and hobbyists. This ultimate list of curation tools by Meg Sutton of Curata can help you pull and pick the best and most relevant content for your target market. Some of the tools are Storify, Curata, Feedly, Bundlr, Kuratur, Pulse, Magnify, and 40+ more tools.
Takeaway: Check it out and cut through your tasky curation. Give us a pick of what differentiates each application.
10. Strategic Scheduling And Content Curation Promotion
Now that you have highlighted the things that interest your market, curated in a user and SEO-friendly manner, indeed you have done a good job. There it is — you now have something ready to publish. Excellent.
So, how can you make sure that this curated piece can reach your target market? How can your curation tools help? In an article by Top Rank blog, the author emphasizes on what features should you look for in a curation tool and what can it do to ease your sharing and promotion. One of the features, which many of us might find the best, is the built in social scheduling and amplification. Admit it, your target market might be on the other half of the planet and deeply asleep while you’re blogging. To efficiently prove your existence, auto-posting to major social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+ can be a good relief. But remember to strategically schedule all your posts. Know the best time when your target market will best consume your content.
Takeaway: Some of the promotion features include newsletter exporter, integrated URL shortener, and of course, curated performance tracking and data pulling.
11. Curation, The Next Level Strategy
Whether you are trying to power up your content marketing or wanted to join the spotlight of thought leadership, curation is a great strategy.
Knowing what content to share, what tools to use and how to make it really work are what separate you from a wide online abyss. But then again, difference alone won’t make you stand out. How about taking your curation to the next level?
There’s no better deal than going back to the basics of your content strategy. As what Christina Walker of Writtent puts it: Research, Plan to Deliver Value, Create, Distribute, and Measure.
First rule of thumb in marketing, do your research. Mind both your target market and your competitors. Know what your market wants and what your competitors have and don’t have. Unearth all the data and information possible. Next would be planning. You don’t just go there with your samurai in the hope of slashing your competitors’ tanks and bombs. Planning is essential. Use your research to identify ways to deliver value to your target market. Will curating 10 valuable posts about banana interest them? Or will curating 101 ways to eat banana interest them better? Plan, well. Third, create and strategically deliver your content to your market. It is also imperative to measure the result of your effort. But measuring shouldn’t be the end of your strategy. After knowing the result of your effort, re-strategize and iterate.
Takeaway: You’re the only one who knows best to take your curation strategy to the next level.
When curating content, it is important to remember all these beneficial tips from the pros. As with everything else, I would love to leave it to your creativity and strategy.