Content curation is a valuable strategy for any content marketer. Curation is more than just re-sharing content. It's a way of adding value to your followers while highlighting your own industry expertise.
Bonus: Download our free, customizable social media calendar template to easily plan and schedule all your content in advance.
What is curated content?
Curated content is content that has been created by others that you want to share with your own audience. This could be a valuable blog post from a company in your field, expert advice from a relevant thought leader, or anything else that you think your audience will appreciate and enjoy.
Just like a museum curator's job is to select the most important artifacts and works of art to display, your role as a content curator is to select only the best content that you want to convey to your followers.
This curated content definition is not complicated. In fact, any retweet is a very basic type of content curation. However, to get the maximum benefit from curating content, you need to go a step further.
Benefits of curating content
1. Fill in the gaps in your content calendar
As part of your content marketing strategy, you should post content on various social networks several times a week.
Most of this content is likely to be produced in-house. However, if your social media content calendar has some gaps, curated content is an easy solution. Sharing valuable content from others is an inexpensive way to follow a regular release schedule.
2. Offer your followers added value
Your followers follow you for a reason. You want to know what you think about your area of expertise. They want to learn from you and in some way improve their own life or skills.
But not all of the wisdom you share has to come straight from your own keyboard. You are not and should not be the sole authority in your industry.
If you carefully choose content to make available to your followers, you are adding value to them by giving them access to multiple perspectives.
This is a killer report from BuzzSumo. Don't miss this one. https://t.co/bp3gnr3Set
– Brandwatch 👩🔬 (@Brandwatch) October 22, 2020
Remember that your relationship with your followers cannot be purely transactional. You have to deliver value. Sharing curated content shows that providing information and resources is important to you, rather than just building your list and making sales.
3. Establish yourself as a thought leader
How do you establish yourself as a thought leader by sharing other people's content? Easy. By sharing only the best of content so your followers know it is worth reading when they come across a resource on your feed.
As we'll explain below, you can (and should) add your own insights when sharing curated content.
Your attitude should always be clear. Just an introductory sentence or two adds a lot of additional value. If you can add a unique perspective, it will also help build your reputation as someone who really understands what is going on in your field.
4. Build your network
Sharing other people's content is a great way to get on their radar, especially if your post is sending additional traffic on their way.
If you find someone's content really valuable, be sure to share it. Let them know when you share their content with your followers. However, do not ask for anything in return. (It's very annoying when someone you don't know emails them, "Hey, I shared your content! Can you repay me a link?")
Instead, tell them what you found most valuable and that you will follow their work to see what they have to say in the future. This allows relationships with other executives in your industry to grow organically over time.
These relationships are far more valuable than doing a transactional link trade with someone who feels obliged to return a favor.
How to do content curation right
Before sharing any piece of content with your audience, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who should I share this with?
- Why should that help them?
- Is that a trustworthy source?
- Is this unique and worth sharing?
To help you answer these questions, make sure you …
Know your audience
Audience research is the first step in an effective content marketing plan. It's also the first step in effectively curating content. To share valuable content, you need to know who you are targeting.
One way to find out what your audience might be looking for is to create audience characters. That way, you can view your audience as real people and consider what types of curated content will be most helpful to them.
Remember, this isn't just about sharing content, it's also about curating content. Your role as a curator is to select only the most valuable content that you want to share on your channels. Be selective. Know what your audience wants.
Make sure you understand exactly how this content will help you before you hit the "Share" button.
Then watch out. Keep an eye on the engagement levels for your curated posts. You will learn what kind of content is really resonating with your followers. Focus on more of these resources in future posts.
Add your personal attitude
People follow you because they want your opinion. Simply retweeting content or re-sharing a Facebook post without a comment won't help your followers. They want to know what you think about the resource you are sharing.
You don't have to write a long statement. Just a short sentence or two explaining why you think the content is valuable is great. If you can add your own unique insights, even better.
Toby posted a twitter thread about writing twitter threads. 🤯
We'll be adding another Twitter tip through his thread. When in doubt, curate content. There is a lot of good content out there worth sharing!
Thanks for putting this together, @tobydoyhowell. https://t.co/OgDiI2RRnt
– Hootsuite (@hootsuite) September 23, 2020
Link and mark the original source
Remember, content curation is all about content sharing. Don't steal. Content curation is not content scraping. It's not plagiarism. You shouldn't be doing any of these things. They are unprofessional at best and illegal at worst.
When you share content from others, make sure you link to the original source and tag their social accounts.
Read @ hootsuite's annual # SocialTrends2021 report
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Read the report: https: //t.co/0CtPT0bTJr
– Madalyn Sklar – Digital Marketing since 1996 (@MadalynSklar) November 18, 2020
As you share content from others on your blog as well as on your social channels, just share a quick preview and link to the original source for all of the text, like Pocket does in this curated list of great dinosaur stories.
We've put together this Brachiosaurus-sized collection of 20 great articles about dinosaurs and the people who are obsessed with them. Http://t.co/BK1t0eiswM
– Pocket (@Pocket) November 11, 2020
As mentioned above, curating content can help build your network, but only if you respect the original content creators and do the right thing.
Check the content before sharing
You can't believe everything you read on the internet. Make sure you understand the content before sharing it with your audience. Make sure it's true. Make sure the account you are expanding is a credible source.
We have a full blog post with plenty of research tips to help you check some facts before sharing.
Schedule curated posts in advance
Curated content posts can be scheduled in advance unless you share breaking news. This allows you to keep a regular booking schedule without having to sit at your desk 24 hours a day.
The easiest way to schedule curated content posts is to create them in real time when you come across valuable content on the web using free tools like Hootlet to create and schedule your post right in your browser with just a few clicks.
With that in mind, let's take a look at a few more content curation tools that you can use to find, collect, organize, and schedule content to share.
10 tools and software to curate content
You probably won't shock to know that Hootsuite is one of our most popular content curation tools. The Hootsuite dashboard allows you to find relevant content to share and schedule your curated content posts to fill in gaps in your content calendar.
To find content with Hootsuite, create streams based on relevant keywords in your industry. You will then have an automatically updated feed of content to choose from when you want to create a curated content post.
Add the Hootsuite RSS Syndicator for even more access to sharable content and to add RSS feeds to your Hootsuite dashboard. The Syndicator also has tracking capabilities that allow you to mark content as favorites, assign items to team members, and keep track of what you've shared.
When you've found content you want to share, create a post and use the Hootsuite scheduler to find the perfect time to post.
BuzzSumo helps you find the most popular content based on the keywords relevant to your industry. You can also specifically look for content that gets the highest engagement over time to ensure you're sharing content with lasting value, rather than just catching the latest trend.
BuzzSumo also lets you identify influential people in your industry to review their latest content and see if it could be of value to your followers.
2. Twitter lists
You likely follow people on Twitter for a variety of reasons. It is possible that you can spot content that you want to share with your followers by simply scrolling through your Twitter feed. However, you can use Twitter lists to specifically search for content worth sharing.
Create a list of people who post valuable content that is relevant to your audience so you can scroll through the list anytime you're looking for curating content. You can even create multiple lists for different types of content so you always have options to work with.
Here's how to set up Twitter lists in the Hootsuite dashboard.
Pocket is a great resource for storing content while browsing the internet. Any time you come across an interesting article, video, blog post, or other piece of content, you can add it to your pocket account.
You can add and access content from multiple devices, including your computer and phone. You can also access your saved content from any device.
Then when you're ready to make curated content posts, you have a collection of materials, all ready to share and available everywhere.
Instapaper is another great resource for storing content while browsing the internet. It has the added benefit of allowing you to highlight and comment on text in any article you save.
This is a very useful feature. So you will never forget why you saved an article or why you thought it was worth sharing. It's easier to remember the most striking things about a piece when you've just read it.
If you take some notes while saving the content, it will make your curated post much easier to create later.
6. Google Alerts
Instead of searching for or finding content while browsing the internet, sometimes you want the content to come to you.
Set up Google Alerts for keywords that are relevant to our industry. You will receive an email notification every time Google finds new content with these keywords on the web.
Then set a filter for your incoming email so the alerts skip your inbox and land in a folder. You now have a ready-made source of updated content to browse whenever you want to create curated content posts.
If you're using the Hootsuite RSS Syndicator, you can also add Google Alerts to your Hootsuite dashboard.
TalkWalker is a social listening tool. It has a notification feature very similar to Google Alerts: you set up keyword settings and TalkWalker notifies you of new content that is published on the web.
TalkWalker Alerts has a few additional benefits. First, TalkWalker also includes social results, while Google only provides web results.
Second, TalkWalker lets you focus by content type. For example, you can set your filter to send notifications for blog posts only. This is a great way to ensure that your alert includes only the types of content that you are most likely to share.
Instead of setting up TalkWalker alerts for your email, you can also set up TalkWalker as a stream on your Hootsuite dashboard.
UpContent automatically searches the internet to find the content that is most likely to appeal to your target audience. You can then filter content based on factors such as influence and divisibility.
UpContent also lets you add notes to content for sharing, which makes it a great solution for curating content with a team.
With Trendspottr you can find trending content to share with your audience. Real-time information can be used to predict trends so you can share content before everyone has seen it.
ContentGems is an app in the Hootsuite app library designed specifically for content curation. A content stream is created for you to choose from when you're ready to create a curated content post. You can customize your content streams based on your selected interests using advanced searches and preferred social signals.
Hootsuite can help you curate social media content. Find content to share, schedule publication on your social channels, and track your success – all from one dashboard.
Easily manage all of your social media in one place and Save time with Hootsuite.