Content Marketing 201: How to Curate Better Content

Previously we showed how hard work, diligence, and a bit of smart planning can help you find better content. If you’ve found great content, you probably want to share it with your audience. Before you hit “publish,” provide context for your audience to help illustrate why the content matters to them.

LBe creative.
Let’s say you found an article that discusses the best examples of financial institutions using LinkedIn. It contains interesting data points, key players in the financial services industry, and a compelling argument. You like this article and want to share it.

You could copy the link to your social media channels with little to no context or explanation. Or you could update the argument and recycle the information to reflect your brand’s message.

Trendy DIYers on Pinterest have a handy word for this sort of creative repurposing: “upcycle,” to update and recycle.

An upcycled article can become an infographic (using the article’s data and institution logos) or a “response article” on your blog (using the article’s main argument with your thoughts added in). You can divide the article into bite-sized chunks (using key facts, data, and quotes) to tweet to your followers. Or you can post a link to the article on Facebook but provide context to your fans on why your brand thinks it matters.

Pro tip: Upcycle some of your old or archived branded content to give it new life and relevance.

 

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Be honest.

Nobody expects your brand to know everything about everything. In fact, most people today understand that we search Google for the answers to most of our questions.

Citing your information source for curated content is the honest thing to do. It enhances public perception of your brand. When you cite someone else’s work as the inspiration or source for your content, people believe your brand is transparent and trustworthy. (It’s also illegal to steal copyrighted material, so please, don’t do it.)

Depending on the medium, the main things to include when citing a source are the source’s name (company or public individual), date, and link (or publication information for a non-digital source). For example, that infographic in #1 above. Don’t use the article’s data and logos without proper attribution to the source.

Pro tip: When in doubt, cite your sources!
love thy listsBe organized.

Last time, we said you can organize content however you like, as long as you stick to that system. Well, that was mostly true.
Organize finished content however you like, but the best way to organize found content and resources is to sort content by whether it inspires curated content or new created content into separate folders.

(We’ll focus on the “create” category in our next post. Keep reading for organization tips!)

You can sort content as you find it or on a scheduled basis. Try organizing your curated content by industry or topic. Start small and curate content on one or two topics. If you can stay focused on those efforts, add more to your plate.

Don’t forget to map your curated content to a calendar to publish your work consistently. Again, start small and work your way up.

Pro tip: Create daily or weekly themes with your content curation. For example, join the trend #tbt (Throwback Thursday) and post curated content of old photographs and news stories that your audience will find relevant and interesting today.
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Be open-minded.

Some days you won’t know whether to put a great piece of content in the “create” or “curate” category. It’s OK if you don’t know what to do with it right now. Give yourself the chance to be inspired in the future by filing it away in a separate folder.

Check that folder every few weeks to see what you can retire or throw out and what inspires you to create (or curate). If you wind up with lots of little bits of content on the same topic, consider combining them into a new idea.

Pro tip: Create a Word document for each “inspiration” piece to list ideas as they come to you.

Think we missed a crucial step to curating content? Let us know on Twitter, hashtag #bettercontent.

And tune in next time to learn some practical steps to creating better content!

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