You can be one of the best businesses out there or an incredibly successful CEO. However, there will always be more to learn about your industry. Whether it’s a new perspective, you hadn’t previously considered or an element of your industry you haven’t discovered yet.
But how do you find the time to learn this information? You don’t have to. It should already be incorporated into your content marketing strategy. We’re talking about curation. The time-saving alternative to creation.
We’re going to take a look at how you can use this to the max to help your business become more knowledgeable. But before we dive in, let’s cover some of the basics.
What is content curation?
Content curation is simply the use of other people’s content in your business’s digital marketing. This isn’t to say you can steal other people’s content and claim it’s yours. We’re respectful.
So instead, you link to the business and offer your own opinion on their content. That way, everyone is happy. You can distribute great content quickly with little effort, and the business that created it has been linked to which should increase its audience. It’s a win-win!
Nobody has time to constantly create original, engaging, and fun content constantly. As much as we’d like to, it’s unrealistic (unless you’ve got yourself a team of 100 content creators. In that case, hats off, you’re doing something right).
Instead, curating means that you are still sharing informative and insightful content but without as much time and resources being used. This will keep your marketing consistent, and consistency is key, especially when it comes to social media.
This is the base-level reason. However, curation offers tons of benefits for your business. Here are just a few:
- Markets your brand as a thought leader. If you’re offering opinions on content produced by big names in the industry, you’re showing a level of authority that your audience will respect.
- Builds trust. By curating, you can show your audience that you know your industry inside and out, making them more likely to trust your brand.
- Saves time and money. This has probably become clear, but you won’t need nearly as many resources to curate as you do for creating, so time and money will be saved!
- Improves engagement. If you are continually sharing interesting and thoughtful pieces of content, your followers or users are more likely to engage with you.
- Increases traffic and conversions. Ultimately all of these benefits should lead to an increase in website traffic and, therefore, conversions.
Now, we’ve left one important benefit off that list so we can take a look at it in more detail: content curation for learning.
How to use content curation for learning
You can learn a lot about your industry by consuming content that wasn’t made by your own business. Who would have thought it? However, this isn’t the case if your idea of curating is seeing an interesting headline and instantly sharing the article.
To know if it’s the most relevant content for your audience, you need to read it and assess whether it’s suitable. You don’t want to be sharing content that is poorly written, formatted unprofessionally and uses expletives (unless you’re into that, we’re not judging).
You want to view content curation as research. By researching relevant information for different niches within your industry, you can increase you and your team’s knowledge. Here’s how:
Become a subject matter expert
You may have some great general knowledge about your business, but have you ever got into the nitty gritty? Maybe you haven’t had time to do the research yourself to produce more in-depth reports and studies, so instead, you can learn from your competitors.
This kind of microlearning builds up your overall industry expertise. Your customers are more likely to trust you if you know the ins and outs. You’ll also be able to offer great customer support if you know the answers to the nichest of questions.
Learn how effective different forms of content are
Whether it’s podcasts, case studies, or just simple articles, varying the content you distribute is the best way to keep your audience engaged. By consuming lots of different forms, you’ll be able to assess which type of content works best for your industry without having to create them yourself.
You can do this by simply seeing how you personally respond.
- Are you engaged?
- Is it easy to understand?
- Is it informative?
- What made you click on it?
Once you’ve answered these, you should also keep an eye on your metrics after sharing. Which form received the most engagement? Or generated the most click-throughs? What’s attractive for you isn’t always the same for your audience, so keep an eye on their reactions.
Once you’ve analyzed this over a period of time, you’ll know what form to focus your content creation efforts on.
Learn from others in your industry
If you find yourself continually heading to one source to find content to curate, the likelihood is that they’re doing something right.
So, ask yourself the following questions about their content:
- Why is it content engaging?
- What makes it shareable?
- How would you describe the learning experience?
- How does this attract your target audience?
- Are they doing something you’re not?
You can adapt your content strategy by answering these questions. See what you’re missing and what can be improved.
Keep up to date with industry trends
If your digital marketing is stuck in your business’s bubble, how are you going to keep up with constantly changing trends? It’s unlikely you’re always going to be on the ball when it comes to identifying trends and acting on them. And this is one of the most important aspects of content marketing.
No one is going to be excited or engaged with your output if it’s always a few weeks behind. So, by consuming content from multiple sources in your industry, you’re going to be well-connected. This means it’s more likely you’ll be able to identify breaking news as it comes and be able to create original content based on it.
If you identify some great sources you curate from often, set a notification so you can be the first to see their new content and how people respond to it.
Educate your team members
If you have a team of active learners, your business can only improve. By collectively aggregating knowledge, you’ll be able to identify areas of your product or service that need improving and be able to work on it more effectively.
This can apply to your whole team rather than just your content marketing department. If you find a piece of content that focuses on a niche in your industry you previously haven’t explored, share it in your team chat and ask them to take a look. Get feedback on how they found it and what they’ve learnt. This means there is continuous learning within your business, improving your whole team’s competency.
It’s clear that the benefits of the content curation process are near endless. But where will you find this constant stream of content? And won’t it take up too much time trying to find it? There’s a tool for everything these days, and this is true for curation.
In fact, there’s a lot more than just one tool, so let’s take a look at a few of our favorites to get you started.
You may be thinking that the benefits of curation are all well and good. But how does it bring people back to your website? Aren’t you just promoting other people’s content?
This is a legitimate worry, which is why we’ve developed personalized call-to-actions. These are small pop-ups that can be added to the content you’re sharing that link back to your own website. This provides an initiative for your audience to click through to your website, even if they’re enjoying content from another source.
Alongside this, we send you relevant articles every day that are specific to the subjects you are interested in. If you want, we can completely automate the process for you and post this curated content on your behalf. However, if you want to use content curation for learning, feel free to start sifting through the content and begin sharing information with your team.
UpContent is all about building trust and deepening relationships with your audience through curation. They analyze millions of articles per month to make sure the content sent to you is the right content.
It’s a great tool that is integrated with automation apps, so you can set it up to fulfil all of your curation needs.
The best feature of UpContent is the number of articles they can send you from a huge range of publishers around the world. This means you are getting up-to-date, relevant content daily from sources you may never have found otherwise. This provides brilliant learning materials for you and your team, alongside engaging content for your audience.
Scoop.it is a particularly great tool when considering your team’s learning strategy. It offers private hubs and internal email newsletters so you can share the best and most interesting pieces of content with your team members to encourage a sense of social learning.
It also has a powerful content engine that keeps an eye on hundreds of global sources so it can bring you the most relevant and up-to-date content out there. Perfect for staying on top of trends!
Starting your curation strategy
You’re almost there. You know the benefits of curation, you know how to learn from it, and you know some of the best tools to help you do it. All you need now is to kickstart your content curation strategy. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we put together a quick step-by-step guide on how to do just that?
- Identify your audience
You don’t want all of your marketing efforts to be wasted on the wrong audience or even worse, no audience. Your curation strategy should be customized and personalized with a specific customer in mind. There are a few ways of discovering your target audience, and creating a buyer persona is a great place to start.
Imagine your ideal customer. Where do they live? What kind of income are they on? What demographic do they belong to? Do they have pets? (Seriously, this helps.) There are plenty more questions to consider so you can begin to build up a multidimensional persona. You can then share it with your team, so you always have a customer in mind when deciding on what content to share. Check out this free template to get started!
- Decide on the platforms you’ll distribute content on
This should be decided by your target audience. Are you trying to appeal to middle-aged businessmen? Great, focus your marketing on LinkedIn. Or if you’re wanting to attract 18-25-year-olds, jump on TikTok.
You could have the most watertight content curation strategy but it still may not be effective if it’s focused on the wrong type of social channel. Check out this brilliant article by Sprout Social that explores all the different platforms and their demographics through researched statistics.
What type of content will you share?
This will be influenced by your target audience and the platforms you will use. Which content works best for your platforms? If you’re focusing on YouTube, then you’ll want to consider informative videos or vlogging. However, if Twitter is more your style, then infographics can be easily shared and viewed.
It’s always good to include a variation of the forms of content you share. Some people are visual learners, preferring infographics and videos. Others like to focus on long-read articles. To appeal to the widest audience, keep changing it up.
What tool will you use to help?
It’s unlikely you’ll be able to enact a great curation strategy without the help of some tools and apps. So read up on each one available to you and figure out which will be the best match.
Many of them offer free trials or even free subscription packages, so you can try them out before committing to a significant amount of money.
The value of a stellar curation strategy should not be underestimated. Your business will steadily grow and run smoothly if your team commits to using content curation for learning.
Now you have everything you need to get started and create a company full of learning professionals. You’ll see endless benefits for your team members, your business, and your customers. So what are you waiting for? There’s no excuse now. Get cracking!
Have you seen the benefits of content curation for learning in your company? If so, let us know in the comments!