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Five Skills You Need to Curate Standout Content

by Elisa Silverman  |  
August 24, 2015
  |  4,178 views

Some 27 million pieces of content are shared each day, according to a study by Nielson and AOL. And that was in 2011!

All this content flying around demonstrates the (true) clichés that content is king and distribution is queen. However, in the attention economy, actually getting your content noticed is what makes you belle of the ball.

At a time when marketers are challenged to furnish steady streams of engaging ideas and content, curating other people's content is an effective content marketing tool. Nevertheless, curation merely shifts the challenge to "How do I identify and curate valuable content?"

I recently read Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas and Predict the Future, by Rohit Bhargava. In it, the author presents a framework for identifying nonobvious trends. Within that framework, he homes in on five critical skills that he says are also valuable for marketing professionals. He says...

  1. Be curious.
  2. Be observant.
  3. Be fickle.
  4. Be thoughtful.
  5. Be elegant.

Here, I take a closer look at how to apply those skills to the process of content curation so your curation rises above the din of the content waterfall.


1. Be curious: Learn something new about your personas

To break out of our ruts and see beyond our tunnel vision, we need greater curiosity, Rohit says.

Specific application: Update your personas. Have they stagnated? Are you focusing on the same pain points and needs? Consulting the same sources?


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Elisa Silverman is a freelance B2B content and copywriter, crafting relevant, engaging content for technology companies and professional services firms.

Twitter: @ElisaKapha

LinkedIn: Elisa Silverman

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  • by David Butler Mon Aug 24, 2015 via web

    We invented a Story Sheet to provide the automation to marketers with these skills. We help marketers and story creators capture and catalog ideas, related media, and then ideate. Our cloud is @ipositioning. Interested in your feedback on using a universal format to communicate ideas.

  • by Elisa Tue Aug 25, 2015 via web

    Hi David - if you have multiple eyes and hands on the same piece of content, it's definitely helpful to have a centralized workspace. I think the key is to make sure the workspace meets the need of that project without being overly complex.

  • by David Butler Tue Aug 25, 2015 via web

    Excellent point. Thanks Elisa

  • by Michael Gerard Tue Aug 25, 2015 via web

    Great post on content curation Elisa. Thanks. With content curation accounting for ~25% of the mix for a typical content marketer (Curata stat), these tips will no doubt come in handy.

    I've found Rohit's 4th skill to be especially valuable. (i.e., be thoughtful) This provides an opportunity to add your own "analyst insight" as a content curator. This may include accentuating a point by the original author, offering up an alternate opinion, or using the author's content to support your own position. The result of creating your own content as part of curation? . . . establishing yourself as a thought leader, increasing the "SEO juice" of the curated piece, and further interacting with your ecosystem of thought leaders (i.e., the original content's author in this case)

  • by Elisa Wed Aug 26, 2015 via web

    Thanks, Michael. Indeed. If you want to curate - you need thoughtful; otherwise it's aggregation. Although aggregation can be the 'thoughtful' if you're aggregating stats/info that result from the 3rd skill - seeing what others miss.

  • by Rohit Bhargava Wed Sep 2, 2015 via web

    Elisa - thanks for this great article and the extended thinking. I really enjoyed reading it and appreciate you taking the time to read the book and put together such thoughtful tips for how others can use the ideas in there!

  • by Rohit Bhargava Wed Sep 2, 2015 via web

    Michael - thanks for the comment. That is indeed one of the most important but also hardest tips to follow thanks to the pace at which most of us consume information. A good reminder that no matter how much we attach ourselves to technology, there really is no substitute to taking a breath, slowing down and just thinking!

  • by Elisa Fri Sep 4, 2015 via web

    Hi, Rohit! Thanks so much for the feedback; I'm glad you like it!

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