Content curation is not just for people in marketing. The folks of this field know to create a hub of information regardless of the type of your niche. Since it is a fairly broad topic, you need to play with your site from different perspectives.
Curating the content is a practice to find, annotate, organize, and share relevant third-party contents for your audience on specific topics. Without any doubt, curation has become a rapidly growing trend in the world of content marketing. However, the concerns that surround the practice put doubts in the minds of content creators and content marketers in one way or the other. Many among the Twitterati have succeeded in building their followings in large part because of content curation. According to Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer, “Find good shit and share it”.
It is possible for everyone to maximize online visibility by being a part of the endlessly flowing Twitter streams and countless Facebook shares.
Most of the content curators tweet 10-15 times a day! On the other hand they remain active through Facebook pages and communities for expanding their exposure. Trust me, this really works. 25% of your tweets may get ignored but once your audience is developed, 56% of retweets contain links that would certainly be noticed.
25% of tweets contain links but 56% of retweets contain links via @neicolec http://ht.ly/6fr71
— Shelley Pringle (@shelleypringle) August 29, 2011
Content Curation - a Long and Winding Road
Other than the time commitment, the tasks of content curation are very simple. We can name it to be an effective long-term social media strategy that is purposed to increase your followers and fans. It is not possible for you to become a trusted source overnight, or even in a few months because this practice requires hard work, stamina, and utmost attention.
Here are some of the factors for doing content curation effectively:
1. Identify Your Audience
The very first thing is that you identify your audience. Whom are you trying to attract? How are you going to engage them? By finding the answer of these questions, you would certainly get great benefits.
2. Focus Your Content Sharing
Based on the audience you are trying to target, their interests, and your business goals, you must begin focusing on the content sharing on a regular basis. Pick up a few topics you are confident that your audience would be attracted to. Make sure you create variety to grasp the attention of people because 70% of people will only ever click on one topical category, so make selection wisely.
When thinking of marketing yourself as a content creator, you have to face the similar challenges as multinational brands face. Here it is needed that you convey your message clearly. For example, where you want people to click and visit, apply something that catches their eyes in no time, etc.
3. Curate Content of Impeccable Quality
Content is king. We all have to remember it. As a content curator, you are to market yourself as a supplier of useful information: a funnel that is able to filter out the craps and promotes gems. Many people would count on you to find some useful data. By providing them impeccable content quality, you can win their hearts for a lifetime.
A perfectly curated content will surely get shares and clicks throughout the day until or unless replaced/updated with something better. Every marketer should consider a few things before considering his content of high quality.
4. Curate Consistently
Consider sharing on a regular basis. Do not keep your audience wait for your next update. This may lead them to look for other similar sources. Keep your content at the level you originally targeted. Let us understand this with an example. Be aware of the actual content marketing framework for better results.
If your audience consists of individuals who have just joined the world of online marketing, try to share contents for novices rather than something that makes sense to individuals already immersed in online marketing.
5. Brand Yourself, not Your Company
Branded content marketing has no alternative. Generally people brand their companies, but your focus should be on branding yourself as a content curator. This is possible when you use your real name.
Social media is all about individuals, not logos, so people get more attracted towards authentic and original profiles. The companies mostly focus much to “humanize” but people don’t try to “corporatize”.
Remember that circumstances never remain same. By establishing a personal brand through curation, there are bright chances of carrying the same brand for new jobs or businesses.
Curation Pros and Cons
Let us now take a look at the brief pros and cons of curation.
- Content curation lets the marketers publish fresh and relevant contents in bulk; it is much better than any other content creation strategy.
- The varieties of insights content marketers usually publish provide the readers with diverse perspective, allowing them to read informative pieces from their peers and third-party sources.
- Curation makes your content look credible, positioning your brand/name as a go-to resource.
Without any doubt, curation saves time, energy, and money of the content marketers.
- Many marketers believe that content curation can make their contents look copied – which can hurt search engine optimization (SEO) to much extent.
- Another disadvantage is too much outbound linking, sending readers away from their site. When done correctly, however, outbound links and curated content would surely improve SEO.
Things to Consider
Coming to the point, the following things are must consider to nail a winning content curation strategy:
1. Use no-follow attribute on hyperlink
We can define a no-follow attribute to be one of the values that become part of the HTML of a link that forbids the search engines from ranking that particular link in any of the indexes. This can keep the links juiced in curated content, giving fewer SEO credits to third-party sources. No-follows cannot be ethical as these are unfairly taking all search credit regardless of the fact that who has originally published content.
Google is always aware of when you use lots of no-follows and are trying to engage a maximum audience in one of the popular practices named as “link hoarding”. Keep in mind, for doing so you are likely to be penalized. Content aggregation means automatic syndicating someone else’s content that you found from their feed. It is our recommendation that you use no-follow links for aggregated contents only. These may damage SEO just due to much duplication with no original insights added. The use of no-follows on aggregated articles of your website keeps search engines aware of not crediting any of the duplicate links. Check out this infographic which can help you dive into the proper method of no-follows.
2. Use your domains vs. subdomains
Domains: By keeping all the content on your domain, you can well concentrate on the inbound links at one place. Via this strategy, you can tightly couple necessary things of your brands, creating a base SEO for all of web articles of your domains. This boosts search engine results.
Subdomains: You can use subdomains for categorizing between varying website branches. For example, if you are operating in different regions, then you would create a subdomain for each region because, for instance, a British user may go to en.website.com, but a German user may prefer de.website.com.
New Domain: The new domain usually remains along with your original domain; in this way you can be credited for any of the third-party sources. It is possible to use new domains for establishing leadership on certain topics and improving SEO. One can use content marketing for providing all-encompassing resources that are reader-friendly. You can check out how these companies use curation for their brand visibility; some are using domains while other rely on subdomains. It is up to you to test any of the strategies as per your requirements.
3. Use of Share Bars/Sharing Buttons
By placing social sharing buttons/icons to your content, you are empowering readers to share exactly what they want to, thus resulting in a greater willingness from them to share. Some of the most popular tools are listed below.
Pros: This is helpful in improving the number of views on your curated contents. It also increases the exposure of your brand. With share bars, you can grasp the attention of more social media users as it allows everyone to share your curated content with just ‘one click’.
Cons: This strategy may prove to be annoying for the direct visitors of your website in case you give the readers only one option of ‘sharing’. This is likely to intrude the reading experience. Also it is believed that share bars are stealing shares and link backs from the original third-party resources.
4. Opening Links in a New Window/Tab
There are many pros and cons when you open links in a new window/tab. Some of the major ones are discussed here.
Pros: Readers will remain on your site for several minutes. This option is chosen by many publishers because they are afraid that visitors would be clicking off on a third-party links and may never come back to this website.
Cons: This greatly disables the back button, making it convenient for your audience to leave your pages; but there are 90% chances that your tab is still open. We are aware of the fact that tab bar starts looking odd with so many opened links, and to avoid the problem readers begin closing unwanted windows.
5. Topic pages
A topic page consists of internal links such as blog posts, and externally curated links – all of which have to be relevant to the topic. It is possible to provide the readers with an evergreen source of information by tagging and categorizing. With topic pages, you can improve the quality of content from SEO point of view for a few reasons such as: Each topic page focuses on a particular term, so this is keyword rich. It helps you capturing organic traffic from long tail search queries.
Topic page includes links to other indexable pages. This can create high SEO value when it comes to search engine especially Google.
It is also a way to crosscut your website content, creating quality internal links. Your contents are repurposed on topic pages; this lets your readers get the most mileage out of your pages. An example of a topic page for Barack Obama is given here.
Green Data Center News is a website that can curate content on tech and serves multiple clients of information technology field. It has been the creator of a page on Barack Obama, where it has linked all articles related to this personality to their website.
As a result of this, they have secured page rank 1 in search results for words “Barack Obama data center”.
This shows all relevant internal links, long tail queries by optimizing the page for search engines.
Content curation is able to tap into the powerful existing pool of articles, helping you extend your content marketing resources. This does not mean content curation takes no time. It is rather cost-effective, but you have to input some efforts to get benefits.
It is neither aggregation of existing contents nor is the name of too many references or links. There are chances that this may lack unique commentary since you are working on pre-existing tools.
Summarizing the whole scenario, we can say that content curation is one of the most effective content marketing strategies that help in increasing visibility and credibility. This is also credited to drive leads and improves SEO, but it is needed that you must maintain your repute as a brand by putting the work into curate content with or without aggregation.
When it comes to third-party contents, you need to remember that annotate curated contents, title changes, and links to credible web pages give you more than enough benefits. If you require further information about content curation and with which way this helps in improving the content marketing strategies, you can take a look at Content Marketing Planner. This link contains useful information about improving SEO of your site, and how you can enjoy increased leads so that you can drive engagement.
Did I miss anything critical? Do you have any killer tips? I would love to hear them!