4.2 billion people across the globe are using social media. That’s over 53% of the world’s population. If you’re a business in the modern world, social media content is an indispensable part of any marketing strategy.
But what if you don’t have a full social media team, or you’re low on a content budget? Or maybe you’re just having a hard time filling the whole annual content calendar!
Enter: curated content—one of the best strategies in content marketing. Used correctly, content curation can elevate your brand, expand your audience, and drive company growth.
In this article, we’ll explore content curation and why it’s important in social media. We’ll also give you a head start on how to use content curation successfully.
What Is Content Curation?
Content curation is simply this: sharing content that someone else created. It sounds almost too easy, right? But content curation is a very intentional content marketing strategy—and when you do it well, it can bring significant benefits.
The key to the strategy is the word “curation.” You’re not just firing off a random retweet now and then. You want to think through relevant content, topics, and ideas that match your current campaign, mission, or overall strategy.
Content curation means finding content that is:
- High quality
- Relevant to your brand
- From a strategic source
The shared content could be a tweet from a partner, an informational video from an expert in your space, or an Instagram post from an influencer connected to your brand.
With content curation, you are essentially saying to your audience, “Here is something worth checking out!” You’re pulling some of the best content from the web related to your brand and keeping the conversation going.
You might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t this just stealing?” You’re not the first to wonder that, but the answer is no. With curated content, you’re not sharing other people’s work as your own. You always link to the original source and cite them for their work. In fact, it can be a great way to amplify a partner because you’re saying that what they made is worth sharing.
You also don’t want to share content from a direct competitor, so be careful to know your field and where you fit in it!
Benefits of Content Curation
Now that we’ve defined content curation, let’s look at the benefits it can offer your company or brand.
Curated content can boost your brand, save resources, and expand your pipeline. It’s a tried and true strategy that the best content marketers use to their advantage in the constantly evolving social media space.
Let’s explore the top five things that curated content can do for your brand.
Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader
Carefully selecting and sharing content can show your audience that you are an expert in your field. It shows that you’re in on the most urgent conversations, up-to-date on trends, and knowledgeable about what others in your area are saying.
By sharing curated content, you’re also establishing yourself as an authority or what’s worth sharing. If you do it well, people will look to your brand to help them find relevant resources and even help them form their own opinions about your field.
You want to be sure that the content you share is accurate, well-crafted, and from a trusted source. We’ll get into that in the section below about how to curate content the right way.
Cultivate and Expand Your Audience
A study by the Content Marketing Institute showed the following statistics:
- 75% of marketers say content marketing increased audience engagement.
- 72% of marketers say content marketing increased their number of leads.
Curated content is one of the best ways to get there.
Curated content provides a tremendous amount of value to your audience. We all get tired of sales emails or blog posts where a brand just congratulates itself. Sharing curated content helps your audience expand their sources and perspective, which is an immense value add. Sharing valuable content will keep your current audience engaged and coming back for more.
Content curation can also help diversify your distribution channels to reach new people. You can share all different types of media, whether video, audio, blog, podcast or more. By consistently sharing value-focused content across various mediums, you’ll draw more traffic to your site, increasing leads, subscribers, and sales.
Fill Gaps in Your Content Calendar
Consistency is one of the most critical elements in a content marketing strategy. Because the global conversation and trends are shifting every day, you need fresh content to push to your audience.
But let’s all be honest here. That takes a ton of work!
As you plan out your content calendar, it can be hard to develop enough topics to fill every day. Or, maybe you’re lower on content creation resources. In both cases, sharing content from other sources is a great way to fill those gaps while continuing to add value. It’s a benefit to both you and the source you share.
Expand Your Network
Curated content is also an excellent way to expand your peer network, connect with influencers, and build brand awareness.
Part of the curation strategy should be considering brands or influencers with whom you want to connect. Find fresh content from them and reach out to ask if you can share it on your networks. Explain why you find it valuable and how it connects with your brand’s mission. You can also reach out to influencers who share your mission and ask if you can work together.
Sharing and tagging key brands is also just a great way to get noticed. Others may link back to you or notice your mission in connection with their work.
Perhaps the most apparent benefit of content curation is that it saves time and money! If your post for the day is something someone else created, that means you don’t have to spend time creating a post for the day.
Curated content is an excellent strategy for smaller brands or companies that have fewer resources devoted to marketing. You may not have a writer or videomaker on staff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some value-driven content elsewhere and ask to share it.
Even for larger companies who have an in-house team, content curation is an excellent resource-saver. You can keep your content fresh and consistent without having to recreate the wheel every time.
How to Curate Content Successfully
So, we can all agree now that content curation is a boon for marketers. But how do you do it the right way? What pitfalls should you be sure to avoid when sharing others’ content?
Let’s dive into some of the most important how-to’s around content curation.
Do your own fact-checking. Even reputable brands sometimes share content that is inaccurate or misleading. Do your due diligence to be sure everything you post is accurate and fact-based.
The best way to fact-check is to look for the source of any piece of data or any claim. Find the original study or original quote and make sure the source presented it correctly. If you can’t find a factual basis for a claim, don’t publish it.
Add Your Unique Spin
Make sure you aren’t just hitting “retweet” and calling it a day! Even with curated content, you want to add your brand’s unique voice to the original piece. Your audience will see you adding to the conversation.
Not all content is the same, and not everyone will have the same thing to say about it. Just like content-first design, content curation should be done with a thorough knowledge of what you’re sharing and of how you want to share it. In other words, what you want to highlight or spark a conversation about, with your unique take.
A great example of how to add value to a piece is retweeting your comments. With any retweet, you can choose to “quote tweet.” A quote tweet means you will retweet the original post, but you can add your thoughts at the top.
Cite Your Source
Always, always, always cite and link to your source. Without citing your source, content curation just becomes plain old stealing. We also recommend reaching out to the source first and requesting permission to share. You can politely share how much you loved the piece and explain why you want to reshare it.
Ensure that you cite them correctly, in the exact way they ask, and link to the original post. On social media, you should also tag them!
Use a Content Curation Tool
One of the best ways to streamline content curation – and be sure you’re doing it correctly – is to use a content curation tool. These tools help you identify content that fits your voice and brand, schedule posts, and correctly link to the original source. They also save you even more time!
Crowdfire provides an all-in-one solution for content curation. With one app, you can search an extensive database of relevant content, automate scheduling, and manage all your social accounts from one place. One team says they saved 30 minutes every day by using Crowdfire’s content curation tool. Crowdfire also provides industry insights, tips, and continued learning. Start with a free trial to learn more.
Content curation is one of the best strategies you can employ to boost your brand. It amplifies your voice, connects you to others in your field, and saves you resources. Try a content curation tool today to expand your reach.