One of the biggest challenges faced today by content creators, marketers, and business professionals is what to do when they hit a brick wall in terms of coming up with and publishing a steady stream of content. Maintaining an active presence online demands regular activity, which means you have to provide content that meets the wants, needs, and demands of your audience or they will start looking elsewhere. That is where content curation can step in to meet those demands.
Content curation is basically nothing more than creating new material from old content. In some cases, the previously published content is rewritten in its entirety to present it in a different format or with a new point of view, tone, or style. In other cases, the key takeaways from the old content are culled and merged into a new, mostly original piece of content. Rather than rehashing old data by tweaking sentence structure and order, or digging through a list of synonyms to avoid sounding too much like what you are re-writing, you can make content curation a highly effective way to stay involved with and visible to your audience. It can fill a void when you simply have nothing new to publish, and still provide your readers and followers with valuable, appealing, and relevant information.
Here are nine top tips for effective content curation that help you revitalize previously published content and maintain the visibility and viability of your online presence:
1. Be interested in the subject matter yourself. It can be incredibly hard to take data from existing sources and restructure or rewrite it so that it is interesting to someone else if you have little interest in it yourself. Furthermore, when you are curating content on a topic you are truly interested in, this gives you the ability to inject your own opinions, thoughts, and individual perspective to the piece without sounding forced or distanced from the subject.
2. When you are linking to existing content that is not your own, make sure you provide source information. In other words, give credit where it’s due. Not only is it a matter of good etiquette, but it also helps position you to receive valuable links to your own content in the future.
3. Rather than tossing a collection of snippets into a few paragraphs of material and calling it done, devote the time and attention to a curated piece as you would to an originally created piece of content. While curated content may seem easier to create because you are pulling data that already exists, it can actually be more difficult than penning an original article simply because you want to keep it as engaging and appealing as possible. Reciting a list of data that someone else has already published is not going to accomplish that.
4. If you have a large volume of previously published material, keep an inventory of the content that has been most effective or successful in the past. This will provide you with an on-hand source of information that has already been proven to work, and you can revamp it to make it more relevant to current trends or topical changes that have taken place since the original piece was published.
5. Do some research to find out what content has performed best in the past for other publishers. Don’t just limit your evaluation to the subject matter, but also look at what type or format has been most successful, as well as other factors like day or time of the post, where it was posted, and to whom it had the most appeal. You can get a lot of great ideas for your own content, even if it is curated, by investigating what has been working well for others – especially your competitors.
6. Avoid overt salesmanship. This is basic advice that applies to all content, not just that which has been curated. Your audience already knows you are marketing something, so you don’t need to throw an unsolicited and heavy-handed sales pitch their way when they are simply seeking information. Minimizing the salesmanship and maximizing the value of your information is the best way to attract, engage, and build a relationship with your audience.
7. Know your audience. This is always important for any form of marketing you are doing, but it is critical when creating or curating content. To keep your audience interested in you, you need to know what is interesting to them, then give them information that helps them answer questions, solve problems, resolve issues, achieve goals, or complete tasks. Valuable content, curated or not, helps you maintain a desirable level of authority and credibility in your industry or niche.
8. Curate content from sources that have less visibility. Generally, when someone is searching for existing information to pull bits and pieces from, they turn to a search engine and take a look at the first page or two of search results. While data may be the most popular in terms of search ranking, that does not always mean that rehashing it will work well for you. This is primarily because if you are using it, chances are there are dozens of other content curators using it, too. Try to dig deeper to come up with lesser known sources. Not only will it provide you with content that has been less curated (and thus less visible) than other information, it can also provide you with a wealth of material that imparts a higher value to your readers.
9. Include content curation in your content management strategy. Rather than turning to curated content when you are stuck in a rut or haven’t been able to create a timely and relevant piece of original content, include strategies for curation in your current content strategies. This will keep your workflow and publishing activities moving forward seamlessly and effectively, and help boost the success of your overall marketing strategies.
Some content purists take a dim view of content curation because they believe the only material worth publishing is that which is completely original in every way. While that viewpoint is logical in theory, it isn’t always achievable when you attempt to put it into practice. This is because coming up with pristine content has become an obstacle simply due to the sheer volume of information published to the internet on a daily basis. Being original and engaging 24/7 is not as easy as it sounds, and that’s when you can turn to content curation to keep the attention of your audience by giving them a new format, style, tone, or point of view for previously published information.