In simple terms, the process of content curation is the act of sorting through large amounts of content on the web and presenting the best posts in a meaningful and organised way. The process can include sifting, sorting, arranging, and placing found content into specific themes, and then publishing that information.
It’s a great way to boost your content on your website and social media, and it helps to alleviate the ‘It’s all about me and my company’ scenario. For social media we would recommend that 10% or less of your content should be promotional, and 70% your own original content, leaving 20% for 3rd party content. But how do you find great share-worthy content without spending hours trawling the internet?
There are two main curation techniques information gathering and content publishing however we mustn’t get confused with content aggregation. Content aggregation is just the pulling together of posts based on keywords, often automated, with little regard to content often resulting in poor quality content circulation. Content curation on the other hand produces better quality content but does take a little more time.
Curated Content – Information gathering
This is a simple way of getting started with content curation by using tools that alert you to the types of content you are looking for. There are huge range of free tools to do this, but our favourites are.
Google Alerts – Setting up a Google Alert for content gathering couldn’t be easier. Simply select the keywords for the topics you want to include, and Google will email you with stories published on these topics. While very simple you do get a lot of unsuitable material too, so a little manual sifting is required.
Twitter Lists – A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list allowing you to keep your information source accounts separate from your other accounts.
Feedly – Feedly is an RSS aggregator tool which allows you to see all your favourite web content in an easy to read content dashboard which you can then choose to share through your social channels
Read it later Apps like Pocket allow you to take snippets of information when you are browsing and store them for reading at a time that suits you. Ideal for organising content you find and want to share later.
Curated Content – Content Publishing
If you want to go a little step further with content creation content publishing platforms are a great way to gather content and build your own hub of information ether creating a new publication or easily sharing content across all your digital platforms. Two platforms that we like for this are Scoop-it and Paper.li.
Scoop-it is a social platform in its own right and you can gain followers to your boards but does have the advantage that you can add your own commentary and insight to posts and allows you to post directly to your own social platforms. You can also create newsletters based on your content to email out.
Paper.li brings web content on your chosen topics into one place. It will than organise this content in meaningful sections in an attractive newspaper style. It also creates aggregate twitter feeds on the page. You can set how often you want to publish your newspaper and can choose to automatically publish or review all the content to make sure you are happy with the selections. It also has the added advantage of letting any Twitter accounts that you have curated content from know you are using their content. This helps build engagement and followers.
Whichever route you decide to take, content curation is a great way to extend your digital footprint, improve engagement and build your reputation as an influencer in your market place.