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Being an online entrepreneur can be pretty hectic, so unsurprisingly, there’s not always time to write those 750-word blog posts on your website.
The is where content curation comes in.
In case you don’t know, content curation is the process of sorting through all of the information on the internet on a particular topic (and there’s a lot), gathering the best bits for your readers.If it’s done well, content curation is free, time-saving, and it holds loads of value for a number of reasons. It improves your site in terms of SEO, drives more traffic to your site, helps to initiate conversation on social media, and also establishes you as an trustworthy authority on a subject. It’s also useful for your readers: you’re giving them valuable information, as well as giving additional insight and guidance. And you’re saving them the trouble of having to sift through all of the information themselves.
Content curation is perfect if you’re an entrepreneur on a budget, because it’s incredibly cheap — or free — and saves you or your frazzled content team a lot of time. (For more advice on how to manage your time more efficiently, check out our post on Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity.)
Below we’ve made a list of our top tips for content curation to get you started.
Always make sure it’s valuable and relevant
The content you’re curating should be relevant to your industry or area — at the end of the day, you’re passing information onto your audience, and you need to make sure this is appropriate for them. Millennial digital marketers aren’t going to want to read about why bungalows are the best houses for over 50s to live in.
Identify what is important to your audience — if you’re an entrepreneur then you should have already done some market research for your business and you’ll know who your key demographic is.
Align your content curation with your brand voice and your content marketing strategy. Post the things that you’d write, and that your audience would like to read.
Check your sources — only curate trustworthy content
Sharing content that is poor-quality or not reputable is more damaging than it is useful to your business. And we all know the dangers of putting a foot wrong on social media. Backlash can be brutal.
When you’re searching for content to share, ensure that the post is well written and the website is legit. Check that there are credible sources for any stats used, and the author bios to verify trustworthiness.
It doesn’t take long and it doesn’t cost you anything, but it’s worth it to protect your reputation. Make sure that you’re only sharing high-quality, trustworthy content with your followers.
Use tools to help you with content curation
There are some great tools out there to help you with content curation on social media, and we’d definitely recommend investing in some. They’re all pretty cheap and you can use them in your wider marketing strategy too, so it’s worth spending a bit of the budget.
BuzzSumo is a really popular marketing tool that can help you with content strategies and curation. You can establish what type of content works best in your area, most-shared content, and pinpoint the big influencers in your niche as well as what they’re sharing.
If you’re going to take your content curation seriously, then check out Pocket. This handy app lets you save articles, posts and video in one place, so you can go back to them later. This is a great way to collate great content that you want to share with your followers in one place, rather than scattering your content across your notes, emails and bookmarks.
For scheduling your posts and creating a content calendar, you can use a social media marketing tool like Hootsuite or Loomly. You can coordinate your content curation across all of your social channels, which is awesomely time-saving for busy entrepreneurs. Social tools like these also have an analytics side where you can see how successful your curation is, how best to improve it, and when to share content for optimal impact.
Be polite — link to the original creators
Regardless of whether you’re curating content on social media, email or your own blog, it’s important — and polite — to link back to the original content creator.
This means always including a twitter handle or link back to the author or original source so that your followers can read more on the subject if they want to.
It’s the polite thing to do, but it can also get you more involved in your community. You don’t want to just be seen as an authority by your consumers — you want your entrepreneurial peers to respect and value your opinion too.
You should always be doing competitor research and keeping an eye on others in your market anyway (for example, if you’re an online fashion store, then you should be checking out other online fashion stores to see what they’re doing). Content curation is an extension of this market research — it lets you monitor others in your niche, but means you can also use their content to boost your own brand.
As long as you remember the risks of linking to a competitor brand, and you’re tactful in your curation, then this is totally acceptable.
Likewise, content curation can help you to build relationships with others in your industry. By sharing their content, you’re generating traffic for them; likewise, they might do the same with your content, or start following you. Check out this post on how to practise ethical content curation.
Offer a newsletter too
Don’t just keep your content curation on social channels — offer a newsletter to your followers.
It’s great that you’re tweeting or posting on Facebook, but sometimes your content will get buried, or your readers will be too busy to see them during the day.
This is where a newsletter comes in. You can send these via an email subscription so that your audience don’t miss out, and curate your content this way.
Readers enjoy roundups, and you’re creating a rapport through a different medium too. Check out this free email newsletter template from Moosend. Newsletters that are colorful and more clickable will convert better, so remember to create something that is eye-catching and contains images.
There are plenty of great email marketing tools out there to make email content curation easier and to help you with automation
Use your own commentary to add value
Instead of just posting content links without any context, frame the content you are curating with your own commentary.
To be brutally honest, retweeting or sharing posts with only a link looks a bit lazy. How do your followers even know that you’ve read the content you’re sharing with them? It’s fine to do it every so often, but repeatedly sharing other people’s content without adding any of your own value will come across as spammy to your followers.
Annotate your curated posts. Find a strong quote from the text and use this as your post caption, tweak the headline to increase visibility, or add your own opinion or angle on the content.
A big part of content curation is establishing yourself as a trustworthy authority in your industry. Framing content with your own added commentary will make your curation stand out more and adds more value for your readers.
These are our top tips for content curation. They’re perfect for entrepreneurs on a budget, because most of these methods are free (or very cheap!).
It doesn’t cost to check a source, or link back to an original content creator — but the value of your content curation will increase hugely if you do. And checking that your curated content is relevant and valuable will only take a few minutes of your time, as will framing shared content with your own words.
Content curation is an easy way to drive traffic to your site and establish yourself as a trustworthy voice. Make it a part of your marketing strategy today.
What did you think of our content curation top tips? Let us know in the comments below.