Social media influence is measured by the quality of your content. But what if you can’t always come up with content? If you are like many people, content creation may be one of your most difficult challenges.
Sharing content from others
Now, suppose I were to tell you that you don’t always have to create your own content. Sharing content from others can be just as effective and valuable to your audience as if you had written it yourself.
This is called content curation. Connecting with communities and building influence in a way that grows your business can be achieved with a strategy that balances curated and original content. In this post, I’m going to discuss the value of curated content and give you some actionable tips to easily implement this tactic as part of your social media strategy.
What is content curation?
Content curation is a form of content marketing. It involves gathering content relevant to your niche and adding value in the form of personal opinions and expertise before sending it to your target audience. As more content continually floods the web, more businesses need to take on the role of making sense of what we really should be paying attention to. Today, we are drowning in information. Filtering through it and organizing it is a valuable service for your customers and clients. Content curation is as important to social media as content creation. We need both.
Creation versus curation
There are clear benefits to both content creation and curation. There’s no correct answer to whether you should focus on one more than the other. It’s important to mix curated content with original content. Don’t rely on the curated content alone. Curated content should only be used in addition to, not instead of, original content. A mix of both helps companies achieve a number of online marketing objectives, including creating awareness, building thought leadership and attracting new business.
Here are some benefits of both content creation and curation to help you decide on a mix that’s right for your business.
Benefits of content curation
Efficient, topically focused collection of information that appeals to customers looking for a single source on a topic.
Grows awareness of your business as an authority on your topic.
Collecting and sharing content from influential members of your community can help get you noticed by them, resulting in mentions, follows or even referrals.
- Keeps prospects engaged as part of your lead-generation efforts.
Benefits of content creation
Builds thought leadership through original ideas and insights into your industry.
Communicates your business’s unique voice, opinions and personality in a way that you control.
Allows you to tell compelling stories about your business’s success in serving customers.
Provides material that moves prospects further through the buying cycle.
- Provides material for others to share, including customers, prospects, employees, journalists and industry bloggers.
Having a mix of new and curated content demonstrates thought leadership and expertise by providing useful industry news and original articles about your products and services in a way that’s helpful to customers.
How to curate content
Curating content can be as simple as clicking one of the social sharing icons on an article that you are reading. However, it can be even simpler than that. Automating part of your content curation will help you save a lot of time. Just remember that pure automation is not the answer; there’s nothing engaging about a Twitter account on auto-pilot.
Wrapping it up
These are just a few suggestions. Ultimately the best ideas for content creation and curation will come from a specific analysis of your own industry and target market. Be mindful of the usefulness of the content you share and make sure to empathize with your customers’ interests and goals. The key is to put in the effort of understanding what motivates your customers and to assemble a compelling mix of curated and original content to inspire them to engage and buy.
As always, you have the last word. Is content curation part of your social media strategy? Do you plan to do more of it after reading this post? Let me know in the comments section!
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About the Author.
Matt Southern is the Social Media Manager at Bureau, a Canadian communications firm.
With an advanced diploma in Public Relations and a B.A. in Communication Studies he's passionate about learning how to build connections with people, which translates into his work and his writing.
He specializes in helping businesses build a human connection with their audiences through integrated strategies involving social media, content marketing and search engine optimization.
You can visit his website at MattSouthern.com, where he blogs about topics that are designed to educate and provide value to small businesses looking to get more results out of their social media marketing.