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6 reasons why your business needs to curate content and 17 practical tips for doing it

drinking-from-firehose

Trying to get valuable information from the Internet can feel like drinking from the firehose.

When people think of information these days, they’re as likely to feel as overwhelmed as they are empowered.

Truth is, there’s more information out there than any of us can handle and this presents both a problem and an opportunity for marketers and PR professionals.

The problem is this: too much information produces so much noise that it’s hard to detect clear signals.

The opportunity lies in the antidote to noise: finding and sharing great content.

In other words, content curation.

What is content curation?

Effective content curation involves three key activities:

  • discovering high quality content;
  • contextualizing that content for your target audience; and
  • sharing that content within your networks.

Here are some compelling reasons why and how you should be using a content curation strategy in your business:

1. Curate content to show what you know

In many areas of business, product knowledge and technical expertise contributes to your success. By identifying and sharing insightful and high quality information and distinguishing it from the noise that surrounds any topic, you demonstrate your authority and credibility – regardless of whether you create the content or not.

Tips for doing it:

  • Identify and follow the thought leaders in your industry.
  • Monitor key websites and blogs using Feedly and track new information by keywords using Google Alerts.
  • Find other curators that you respect and share what they’re sharing.

curata-find-organize-share-1024x342

2. Curating content to create value

A fundamental concept in any business is the creation of value from raw material and inputs.

In the information age, content is the raw material inputs to which you need to add value. Helping people find information that is relevant to their needs is valuable. Collecting lots of good information on a topic into one place is valuable. Filtering out noise is valuable.

Helping people find the content they need is a value creation activity in the information era. [Tweet this]

Tips for doing it:

  • Don’t just pass information on. Take the opportunity to add context or commentary that makes the information relevant to your audience.
  • Look for content that can offer practical insights to key issues or pain points in your industry.

3. Make curation an act of giving and helping

Human beings are programmed for reciprocity.

When you give value, you create an incentive for the receiver to reciprocate. Curation is a way to give your followers access to your knowledge and add value. In return, your most engaged network followers will have an incentive to invest in you – both by paying attention and building your influence and referring you to their networks.

Tips for doing it:

  • Be consistent and stay on topic.
  • Pay attention to what your followers like, retweet and share, then give them more of it.
  • Focus on answering questions and being helpful – not selling.

4. Share your personality through curation

Curating content isn’t only about showing off what you know. It’s also one of the best ways to way to show how you think and who you are.

You are what you share. [Tweet this]

Know, like and trust – that’s what drives people to do business with you. Use curation of great content to go beyond your subject matter knowledge and also share what you love and care about and believe in. Only by getting a bit personal can your customers/clients get to know you and trust you enough to do business with you and/or refer others to you.

Tips for doing it:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix into your curation some great content about a sport or recreational activity you love, or a charity or community cause you support.
  • In general, avoid politics and religion (though there can be exceptions).
  • Always try to be respectful, even when disagreeing or being critical.

needle-in-haystack

5. Curate to win attention

Advertising interrupts what people are doing (eg., watching TV, reading a magazine, etc.) in order to get their attention.

Give attention to get attention.

This is much less effective than helping people find information that they are truly interested in. When you focus on delivering information that people want and need, you win the most precious and scarce commodity of all – their attention.

Tips for doing it:

  • Invest time and resources in finding content to share at least daily (on LinkedIn) or several times per day (on Twitter and Google+).
  • Interact and respond meaningfully with followers who respond to your shares.
  • Think of curation as a micro-marketing tactic you need to do frequently.

6. Curate to drive engagement

Content is the coin of the realm on social networks. Sharing great content online is an inherently social act that creates opportunities for engagement with clients, customers, prospects and leads. Seize those opportunities.

Tips for doing it:

  • Monitor Twitter and thank people when they mention you and retweet your content.
  • Seeking out opportunities to share the content your influencer’s share.
  • Initiate engagement by commenting on blogs and shares (LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ are all good for this).

By incorporating these basic content curation practices into your day-to-day business life, you can reap all the benefits of clearly defining your corporate and/or personal brand in the minds of your customers and prospects.

 

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