A few months ago, the Scribewise team sat in a client meeting pitching our Executive Activation program—a service where we help clients curate content and create on-brand commentary and messaging to share on their LinkedIn profiles.
We were deep into explaining how curating and commenting on trending news and articles could boost their thought leadership when someone on the client team asked, “Wouldn’t it just be better to rewrite these articles ourselves?”
Truthfully, it wasn’t a question we were prepared for. As content marketers, the concept of content curation was just one of those things we “got.” But to an outsider—someone whose job doesn’t revolve around creating brand trust and awareness—building on someone else’s thoughts didn’t make sense when you could just make those same points yourself.
It made us realize we needed to take a step back—to first explain what the point of curated content even is.
What is curated content?
Curated content is content created by another brand or organization shared by a company that believes it’s high-quality and interesting to their audience. On a very basic level, it’s the corporate equivalent of forwarding an article to a friend or coworker.
But the point of curating content isn’t just to keep your audience informed. When used strategically as part of a marketing plan, it allows you to amplify your voice and provide unique value to your audience.
Why curate content instead of creating it?
At Scribewise, we’re really big fans of creating great content. And we like to think we’re pretty good at it. But even as advocates of creating unique content for your brand, there are some specific advantages that you can only get from content curation:
- It builds authority. Curating content creates opportunities to share your voice, perspective and value. Each time you share an article or bit of news with your audience, you’re telling them what news you think is worthy of discussion. If you do it consistently, your audience will look to you for guidance on what to pay attention to.
- It creates trust. No one trusts an egocentric salesperson, so sharing only your own content is like waving a red flag. Curating content breaks up the self-promotion, providing value to your audience, boosting credibility and positioning your brand as a trustworthy resource.
- It’s community-driven. Thought-leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Curating content pushes you to interact with other leaders in your space and encourages your audiences to jump into the conversation by sharing their own thoughts and opinions.
- It doesn’t contribute to the noise. There is already a lot of content out there, and if we’re being completely honest, a lot of it is trash. Content curation helps amplify the good stuff without adding more to the ever-growing content wasteland.
- It’s low hanging fruit. We like to say that content can’t be good, cheap and fast—you can only pick two. Curating content is a sneaky way to get all three. Because you’re sharing the work someone else did, curation gives you an opportunity to include great content in your marketing strategy without investing a lot of time or money.
How to curate content
The first rule of content curation is not to overthink it. Here are three simple steps to start adding curated content to your marketing strategy.
- Find your content. Look for articles, infographics, videos or other forms of content worth sharing with your audience. Make sure they’re relevant, timely (posted within the past week or two) and high quality. Social media, your favorite newsletters or top industry publications are all great places to start browsing.
- Add your opinion. Content curation isn’t just sharing content you found online. Your audience can find this on their own. Add some value by giving your opinion. Why do you think this particular article is interesting, or where do you think it misses the mark? Tell your audience what you take away from the content you’re sharing.
- Create a conversation. The ultimate goal of curating content is to engage with your audience, so be ready for thoughtful conversations every time you post something new. Encourage your followers to let you know what they think of the content and be ready to reply to comments and messages.
Curation is just one piece of your content marketing strategy, but it’s an important one. It’s a (relatively) quick and easy way to share your value, build communities and fill in gaps in your editorial calendar. But don’t get too stuck on what to share and when. Find content you enjoyed reading and share your thoughts. Authenticity is key!