Is Content Curation Dead?

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Content curation has been around a long time. The best curated content relies on the editorial oversight of a subject matter expert (SME). This person (or team) has the ability to sift through reams of resources to find that one hidden gem which, when added to the compilation, will educate, inform, inspire and, maybe, even delight readers.

Curated content is intended to provide a deeper dive into a topic your customers care about, need to know about, but don’t have the time to research on their own. Over time, once you’ve proven that your curation skills offer insight few others can, you will become recognized as a thought leader in your industry or niche.

Once you start presenting the highest quality and most relevant content to your target market, you’ll be well on your way to establishing thought leadership. And, thought leadership is the first step toward building awareness and creating brand affinity.

If you’re an agency that provides content marketing strategy, curated content should be one tactic you pitch to your clients. It’s effective and cost efficient, relative to other forms of content, such as video, white papers and long form copy, if done right. (I know I’ll get some arguments on this, but hear me out.)

What follows is information that will help inform your clients about the pros and cons of including curated content in next year’s content marketing plan.

What Is Content Curation?

Content curation software company, Curata, defines content curation as “the process of consistently finding, organizing, annotating and sharing the most relevant and highest quality content on a specific topic for a target market.”

Several content aggregators have popped up over the past few years, such as Paper.li, Scoop.it, Nuzzle, RebelMouse, etc. These sites find and organize content based on either what you’re sharing on social networks or what your connections are sharing.

Hand-Picked Content Curation

Another type of curated content is hand-picked content — content that is editorially vetted from industry specific resources with the author’s personal and industry insight. By annotating the content with your client’s own SMEs, you’ve just added value that competitors can’t match (unless they can get inside their brain).

Here’s a great example from Scott Monty, former global lead for social media activities at Ford Motor Company and now Executive Vice President at SHIFT Communications.

Scott Monty - Week in Digital

His week in digital is more than just a standard industry news roundup. As a respected thought leader spanning business, technology, communications and marketing, I eagerly read his newsletter every Friday. As a sign of how much I value his insight, I rarely share his links. Sometimes, I like to keep the good stuff to myself;-)

He’s even turned it into a Flipboard:

Scott Monty Flipboard

I can think of two other newsletters (paid) I receive that include curated content:

  1. Eric Ward’s Link Moses PrivateEric refers to his curated content as “The Missing Link”. He also added a “Google Grok”. (I’ll leave it to Robert Heinlein fans to glean its meaning.)
  2. Michael Martinez’s SEO Theory Premium. Michael calls his “Seen in the Wild.”

Frankly, this content alone is worth the price of admission because I trust the authors not to waste my time with run-of-the-mill, third-rate links.

Pros to Content Curation

  • Reduces the resource burden of creating original content
  • Creates links and connections that may be reciprocated
  • Builds a hub of relevant content making the topic more findable in search

Cons to Curated Content

  • Can seem like recycling old news
  • Off-the-cuff curation lacks originality
  • You may under estimate the resources needed to curate content effectively

What Marketers Are Saying About Content Curation

“Content curation is a significant part of best-in-class marketers’ content mix: 65% created content and 25% curated content.” Michael Gerard, Curata benchmark study

“A real thought leader — someone who understands what it takes to correctly curate content — knows that without providing your own insight and voice to the content, the content you send out adds no real value to your audience.” TJ Welsh, Director of Marketing at Stryde. 4 Content Curation Tools to Boost Your Content Marketing

Remember, there are other forms of content to curate besides text and links. Curate the best TED videos for a given topic. Compile Pinterest boards that fit a niche. Round up the most irreverent podcasts you can find.

You get the idea.

So, to answer the question posed by a recent online class attendee whether I thought curated content was still a good idea — unequivocally, “Yes!”

  • Eric Ward

    This was the second most awesome article I have read in my life. The addition of one single link to Eric Ward’s Link Moses Private would have made it the most. 🙂

    • Eric-Here’s a belated Christmas gift. I linked to your newsletter and Michael’s too. Happy 2015!

    • Eric-Here’s a belated Christmas gift. I linked to your newsletter and Michael’s too. Happy 2015!

  • I had a link to your newsletter originally, but thought people might want to get to know you first;-) I’ve known you a long time, but, believe it or not, there are a lot of people new to link building aka content publicity.

  • Yael Kochman

    Nichole I loved your writing style, the post was fun to read and insightful. Thank you!

  • Hi Yael,
    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Now that I’ve read some of your comments on other blogs (thanks to Disqus), I hope you share this post with your social communities;-)

  • Hi Yael,
    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Now that I’ve read some of your comments on other blogs (thanks to Disqus), I hope you share this post with your social communities;-)

  • Yael Kochman

    Nichole I loved your writing style, the post was fun to read and insightful. Thank you!

  • saima chaudhry

    I agree, thought provoking content help to establish thought leadership, and with content cu ration its important to write engaging content.

  • saima chaudhry

    I agree, thought provoking content help to establish thought leadership, and with content cu ration its important to write engaging content.

  • saima chaudhry

    I agree, thought provoking content help to establish thought leadership, and with content cu ration its important to write engaging content.