Psst. We have a secret for you. Content marketing isn’t always about creating new content. Curated Content Marketing — or the process of finding content that’s relevant or interesting to your audience, and then sharing it with them — is an essential part of content marketing.

Curated content marketing shouldn’t replace your other content marketing efforts. Instead, it should be integrated into your current efforts. As Hootsuite puts it, content curation lets you add extra value to your brand’s audience and customers. With curated content marketing, you’re finding a way to connect with your audience. And you do so without constantly having to come up with new ideas on your own.

Understanding Curated Content Marketing

When you hear curate you might automatically think of museums or galleries. In those spaces, the role of the curator is to find interesting and relevant content to display in an exhibition. It’s also a curator’s job to arrange the artwork in a way that makes sense.

On one level, curated content marketing involves finding content. But it can go a step further. As the Content Marketing Institute notes, it’s possible, and preferable, to transform curated content into new content. The CMI details an infographic created by someone with data curated from across the web.

Another example of content curation involves finding interesting or useful comments on relevant blogs. A savvy content marketer can curate the best comments and create an entirely new blog post or video from them.

Then there’s curated content marketing that is very similar to the type of curation you’d see at a museum. In this case, the job of the curator is to pull articles or other types of content from across the web, then share them in a new blog post. “Link roundups” and image galleries are two examples of curated content marketing.

How Does Curated Content Marketing Help Your Brand?

At this point, you might be wondering how and why sharing someone else’s content is going to be useful or beneficial for your brand.

It helps to remember that the underlying goal of content marketing isn’t to be purely promotional. Sure, you can name drop and put a call to action in your content. But your primary goal is to be useful or helpful.

That’s why a smart content marketer wouldn’t publish a “how to paint a room” blog post that simply told a person to buy X brand of paint. Instead, the blog post would break down, step-by-step, the things to do before, during and after painting a room. X brand might be mentioned as a possible paint source, but the messaging wouldn’t be pushy.

So if that marketer comes across a particularly interesting video on choosing a paint color, or a blog post that offers shortcuts and tips for halving the time it takes to paint a room, they’d be foolish not to share it, especially if the content isn’t from a direct competitor.

The curated content provides some value to the reader. And, ideally, the reader is going to remember where it came from. Curation builds goodwill and trust, two things essential for long-term relationships with customers.

Curated content doesn’t just build trust. It also helps your brand establish authority. You or someone on your marketing team doesn’t have to always be the one doing the curating. You can bring on an influencer every now and then to put together a list of their favorite videos or blog posts on a particular subject. You’ll get to benefit from the influencer’s established reputation in the field, while your audience will get some information and stories they might not have uncovered otherwise.

How to Put Together a Plan for Curated Content Marketing

The first step when putting together a plan for curated content marketing is to consider how you’ll get the content to your audience. Do you want to send out a customized email newsletter each week, with a list of useful links? Will you make a weekly blog post highlighting 5, 7 or 10 interesting things online for that week? Or will you share the content on social media?

Once you have an idea of the format your curated content will take, it’s time to dive in and find the content. It doesn’t have to be you and Google doing this. Several tools exist to make content discovery and curation a lot easier.

Content Marketing Curation Tools

Feedly

One option is Feedly, which is an RSS feed reader. You save your favorite sites to Feedly, and it lets you know when new posts are published. If any posts stand out to you, you can save them in a collection, then review the collection at the end of the week (or whenever), choosing the best ones to share with your audience.

Snip.ly

Snip.ly is another content curation tool. Along with letting you share links with the audience, it allows you to include a call to action on the shared link. It’s a way of giving your audience useful info, without letting them forget where the info came from. You also don’t have to worry about potential leads bouncing away from your site to the curated content, as the CTA follows them.

If you’ve yet to give curated content marketing a try, now’s the time to start. Start collecting links to blog posts, news stories and other content that you think would appeal to your audience. When you share it with them, you have the chance to say that you’re looking out for them, not just for your brand.

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