If you’ve done any kind of internet marketing these days, no doubt you’ve had to deal with the number one problem most other marketers also deal with: lack of quality content.
Whether it’s because of a lack of time or a lack of skill, getting high quality content delivered to your audience or readers on a consistent basis is hard.
Perhaps you’ve even tried to use some “shortcuts” that were supposed to be the greatest thing for marketers since the dawn of the internet. From article generators to content spinners to autoblogging and the full gamut of content creation tools in between – finding an actual working short-cut for content creation often turns out to be less than stellar – and far more expensive than it’s worth.
This is where content curation steps in.
“Curating” in its most basic sense, is really just gathering other people’s work – whether that’s art work, museum pieces, or online articles – and presenting them to your followers in a format and manner that they appreciate.
But just gathering other people’s content is not enough. There’s a reason why the old “article portal sites” died. You need to have a better use for and a better plan with other people’s content.
Each and every piece of content you share must work towards building your brand. This is non-negotiable. You can’t just pick random pieces of content that somehow, in some way, kind of has something to do with your niche.
That’s not going to help you with driving traffic or building your brand. That’s also not going to demonstrate the kind of credibility and authority you’ll need to convert your traffic into a profitable business.
What Actually is Content Curation?
As mentioned, you’ll probably end up saving a lot of money by using content curation.
After all, you’ll be picking the collective brains of several other marketers, and saving the really high quality content for your money site. Content curation is really about sifting through other people’s content and sharing those materials on your social media accounts. This creates a win-win-win situation.
Because you’re sharing links, images and depictions of good content, the original creator of that content will get free traffic back to their site. You get to build up your reputation as a marketer because your readers are being rewarded for following your social accounts with highly targeted and highly specific content. And of course your own readers and followers win because they’re the ones enjoying the content you are curating for them.
This is exactly how true blog content marketing is supposed to work. But the real difference here is that you end up winning the most because you’re saving a considerable sum of money by not having to create loads of original content.
Content curation allows you to develop integrity with your readership in an economical way. You get to entertain them, teach them, inspire them, and eventually earn their confidence. There is a drawback to content curation, however – and that is the time involved. You may not be spending money on your curation (or very little comparatively), but you’ll certainly be investing your time.
Even so, you can’t afford to be haphazard when you’re curating other people’s content. The reputation you’ve worked hard for will take a serious hit when your audience catches on to the fact that you’re randomly distributing inferior content that may not even have anything to do with your niche. That’s a good way to lose your readers and your business.
The Proper Curation Approach
As you are gleaning other blog posts, tweets, pictures and pins, you’re looking to showcase exactly what your audience is going to need to be successful. You can’t be concerned that others might be more talented or insightful than you. Here is where you really want to help out your readers.
In between all that helpful, curated content, you’ll also be sprinkling in your own original content. And also, you’re going to periodically call people to action and have them take a look at the incentives you’re offering for them to join your list. This is exactly how you play the content curation game.
When people follow you on social media, they’ll immediately be rewarded with high quality content. It doesn’t really matter whether you wrote that material or if it was produced by somebody else. The important thing is that your followers will be getting rewarded for following your account.
This is why you need to focus on sharing niche-specific material. In this way, you establish trust with them because you only send them the very best content. They will soon start paying attention to your own materials. More importantly, they start realizing the true value of the content you share, and this motivates them to sign up to your list.
This is the real key. You sprinkle in your own original content. You demonstrate an inclination towards quality in their minds because you’re posting superior third party content. You then blend in your own content which is of the same calibre as the other content you’ve been sharing.
Ultimately, your readers begin warming up to you, and this is where your call to actionable content comes in.
Now you can entice them to take a look at your lead capture pages. You might decide to offer niche related software, ebooks, discount codes, or even a complete video training series, it doesn’t matter. You are ethically bribing them to download even more content by entering their email address. This is precisely how you incorporate curated content to build up your mailing list.
Additionally, when people join your mailing list, you can call them to action to further share the emails that you’re sending them. Perhaps you may ask them to forward that email to their friends, or to their own list. You might even ask them to copy and paste some of your material to post on their own Facebook wall.
The Exciting Part
The most exciting part about curating other people’s content is that it’s actually very easy to automate. Seriously. This is actually one aspect of content promotion that tends to be automation-friendly. All you really need to do is get the URLs of the content that you’re sharing and plug them into a spreadsheet. Now simply convert that spreadsheet into a CSV(comma separated value) file, which can then imported by social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and SocialOomph.
This is now so easy. You don’t have to manually post your curated content. You don’t even have to schedule it by hand. You can do it all through done-for-you posting software. Not only do you get to share high quality content, build your list and your brand, but you can now also automate most of it.
Now having said that, you really need to ensure that you’re only posting high quality content.
Be Thorough, Be Precise, Be Intentional
Resist the urge to rip off some generic keyword searches on Google or on social media platforms. You are not interested in flashy posts or content. You only want the best for your audience. Your intention here is to find the highest quality content and weed out everything else.
The last thing you want to do is to get lazy in your posts. Just because the clock is ticking, or you are feeling tired, doesn’t mean you can afford to slack off with your content curation.
Imagine how your readers would feel. First they see only very high quality content that is helpful and useful, followed by several days of slack-ass posts from questionable sources. What are they supposed to think?
To them, this would feel more like the lazy efforts from a typical scammer. At the very least they’ll decide that your online brand is untrustworthy and that you’re not very credible. Whichever the case, you’re not going to be impressing upon people that your brand emphasizes the very best of your niche.
So make sure you’re very selective when you choose what content you are going to post. Don’t just re-post or re-blog something when you haven’t even read it yourself. Be thorough. Ask questions from the materials. Is the content up to date and well-written?
This is going to take you time because you are having to be thorough and precise on behalf of your readers. The compromise for all this precision is that you won’t have to spend money.
Pay close attention to the content that you’re sharing because it represents you, your principles and your brand. The quality of your content will either make you look trustworthy or it will erode your brand. It’s your choice.