"Curation can bring a lot of value when it has the human touch." —Kimberley Castleberry
Why is there so much mystery surrounding content curation? And why are marketers still struggling to understand it? It could be that influential voices disagree regarding it. It could also be that there are too many uncertainties that leave you unclear about what you should be doing and how.
One thing is clear: Myths about curation still abound.
Curating content for your audience's consumption is not a feat to be taken lightly; after all, you have a purpose for putting that content together. So let's consider some common myths about content curation, along with tips and advice to help you correctly make use of it.
Myth 1. It's lazy and unoriginal
Some online influencers think content curation is a waste of time. But curation works pretty well when done correctly. If you do it right, you'll be helping your audience get the content it needs while helping you achieve your content marketing goals.
Tip: Identify what content you want to curate by ensuring it's something that really matters to your customers. Seek out only the best resources, and add value to that content by explaining why the content is important and why it matters to your audiences. They'll love you for serving up valuable content—and your original insights—that they need and can use.
Myth 2. It won't do much for your brand
Pawan Deshpande notes that "Curation can add credibility to your corporation's perspective on an issue by demonstrating that others who have no vested interest in your company still share your views." I like this guy... and enough said.
Tip: Selectively share only the most relevant insights with your customers, and make sure those insights align with your goals and your brand. A survey by Curata found that most content marketers say curation has helped their brand visibility.
Myth 3. It takes too much work
It will take some work, but not all that much. And with the right tools, you'll be into the game in no time.
Myth 4. Content curation is easy
I know, that contradicts No. 3. But some think that slapping a few links together and posting them on their site actually makes sense. It doesn't. The content you share with your audience should satisfy a need of your target audience. Every. Single. Time.
Tip: B2B Marketers make mistakes when curating content. Don't be one of them. Take a look at that link, and avoid those mistakes.
Myth 5. Your best sources are top online influencers
Online influencers are generally great sources of content, but they're not the only sources of great content. Sometimes, it will take manual intervention to find the right content to satisfy your readers.
Tip: It can be tricky finding the right content—and, admittedly, all content curation tools are not made equal. Depending solely on them for finding the right content mix will not always work.
Myth 6. There is no ROI
Again, knowing the purpose of every piece of content you create or curate is important. Without a strategy in place, you won't effectively maximize the value of curated content.
Tip: Conduct A/B testing, just as you would do with your own content, to see which resonate with your viewers.
Myth 7. It's not right for every business
Content curation is a valuable part of the marketing mix, especially on brand blogs. Deshpande again: If there's no single, authoritative destination for your market, it may be a topic that's ripe for curation.
Tip: spend 30 minutes on Google search and on some curation tools to see what you come up with. I can guarantee that you'll be amazed at the content you can find to satisfy your own needs and your audience's.
Myth 8. Content curation is merely automated aggregation
Some content curation programs do automated roundups of content with little interaction on your part. Although there may be no value added (your own insights) in an automated aggregation process, you shouldn't rule it out completely.
Tip: If you use automated content, ensure it is approved before being pushed out to online. There is no better way to customize the content for your audience than by adding some human involvement.
Myth 9. It's a quick fix for your marketing problems
Really, it's not. Pushing the same content to everyone is not what is needed or necessary, especially when you don't know what to do as your next step.
Tip: Curate based on your targets needs, likes, and emotions: Take a topic that gets a lot of attention, study it carefully, separate the wheat from the chaff, add your commentary, then press send. It's a process, and it can take time.
Myth 10. Curating other people's content is stealing
Of course it is, if you don't add context, or opinion, or your brand's voice, and simply lift content in its entirety. But then, that's not curation.
A skilled curator adds value by bringing their expertise or perspective to the conversation.
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There's a tidal wave of information out there that your prospects will never see, much less consume. Your job is to find that content and to provide customization and insight to help them consume just what they need.
And keep in mind that curation doesn't work in a vacuum; make it a part of your content strategy—but not your entire strategy.
Here's a nifty table from Beth Kanter to help you understand with clarity how to go about with your curation efforts.
And here are a couple of helpful MarketingProfs articles:
- "Curating Content: A Few Principles and Tools to Guide Your Efforts"
- "Four Things You Need to Know About Content Curation"