In my work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) I often hear executives say that they don’t have time to do content marketing. They’re already fully occupied with running their businesses and believe, not without cause, that content marketing just takes too much time. That’s one big reason they hire my company to manage this part of marketing for them.
For some business owners and managers, however, there are good reasons to take the time to work on content marketing yourself. Say, for instance, that you want to experiment with it so that you learn more about your customers’ needs and wants. Or you want to understand more about the content marketing processes so you can make smarter choices about what to outsource and who to hire. Or maybe you’re running a startup and just don’t have the budget to outsource your content marketing right now. Whatever the reason, there’s one way to get a big boost to your content marketing efforts, and that’s by doing content curation.
What Is Content Curation for Content Marketing?
Content curation is the process of collecting, evaluating and commenting on great content that is produced by other people. Don’t make the mistake of thinking its plagiarism. Plagiarism is taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Curation, much like in a museum, is having an eye for excellent work; organizing and interpreting it, giving credit to the creator(s), and presenting it to an audience you believe will appreciate it. Consider these facts:
- Content curation has become an important part of SEO now that Google has changed its algorithms to prefer quality content over technical tricks. Fresh, relevant, quality content is what moves you up in the search results.
- According to scoop.it, a leading content curation platform, 76% of the content that small and medium sized businesses publish is curated, versus just 24% that’s original. Anecdotal posts in social media indicate that curation saves executives between one and three hours per day.
- Research shows that 88% of content marketing professionals believe content curation helps them find the time to publish more content. (And that takes us full circle back to my first point about Google — fresh content matters.
Five Questions for the New Content Curator
Once you decide that content curation is for you, there are five questions you must answer. These will help you get started curating the kind of content that’s right for your business.
- What type of content should I curate — articles, charts, data, video, other?
- What topics should I focus on? — What are useful criteria for selecting the topics?
- Where do I find good content — which sites or writers?
- Where do I present it — on my website, in social media?
- How do I add value to it — comment, analysis?
I will be addressing each of these questions in future posts. I’ll outline how to find and create good content, various ways to present it to your audience(s) and how you can add value to curated content to give it your own, personal stamp. Stay tuned.