Looking for content to post to your blog, socials and other channels? You don’t necessarily need to create that content yourself. Original content creation is important, but it can be time consuming. If you want to sustain a robust posting schedule and stay connected to the digital zeitgeist, you’ll want to employ content curation techniques in addition to content creation itself.

Content curation is a simple process of finding pre-existing content that’s relevant to your brand and reposting or repackaging it for your audience. That does not mean trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own. Rather, it’s a matter of combing through what’s out there and presenting the most relevant bits for your brand.

Content Curation Ethics

It’s very important to note that content curation is not the same thing as stealing content. You should always give credit where it’s due by not only naming the source of the content but also by linking back with a tag or another clickable link. This means that it’s essential to vet your sources and make sure you aren’t including content from objectionable creators in your curation. If you see someone post a funny video, then take the time to watch their other content to make sure their messaging is in line with your branding and ethics.

Giving credit also gives you the space to naturally incorporate content from marketing partners, including brands you’re collaborating with and influencers you currently work with or want to work with in the future. Sharing influencer content that isn’t actually sponsored by your brand can help make the connection between your brand and that person more authentic.

Content Curation Formats

So, what does content curation actually look like in practice? There are a lot of different ways to curate pre-made content. Here are a few you can try:

  • Roundups: What’s going on in the world right now? Posting link roundups allows you to share a range of different curated content, and it makes proper attribution easy. You’ll be linking directly to the source.
  • Reposts: Some platforms make it easier to repost other creators’ content than others. The retweet is the most obvious example of this, but you can use apps and other tools to help repost on platforms like Instagram.
  • Commentary: Content curation doesn’t mean that your voice has to be entirely absent. You can embed, post or link to videos from other content creators and create a short text blurb with your brand’s take.

Some of these formats can be combined. For example, you can add personalized commentary to a roundup.

Finding Content to Share

Content curators who excel tend to have their finger on the pulse of what’s trending before it becomes mainstream. That means you may want to assign content curation duties to someone on your team who enjoys diving into social media and online communities like Reddit. Putting some genuine enthusiasm behind your curation activities will make it more interesting for your audience.

This is important because it doesn’t necessarily make sense to share content that’s already widespread. If your audience has already seen it, then they won’t appreciate you showing them again. Focusing on smaller creators who haven’t yet “blown up” can be a good way of staying ahead of the curve and making sure that everything you share is fresh and interesting.

Getting Content Curation Right

Remember that curation is the operative word when it comes to putting pre-existing content together for your audience. In addition to following ethical protocol for proper crediting and sourcing, you’ll want to make sure that the content you curate is relevant for your brand. If you’re a fast fashion brand that targets college-age women, for example, then you probably don’t need to compile a list of the 50 greatest sports fails of all time. Instead, you could focus on relevant cultural things like music videos showcasing stylistic elements that are in line with your brand’s aesthetic.

The fact that you’re sharing someone else’s creation means it’s especially important to personalize curated content. What relevance does this particular item have for your brand? Why should your followers continue to look at your feeds rather than going to the original source of the curated content? These are important questions to consider.

Ultimately, the goal of content curation is to save some time and give marketers the freedom to do more than just spend their time creating new content. Keeping sight of that will help you streamline your curation process and build in efficiency. Content curation can be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.

The process of content curation can also be an important way of building connections and boosting your visibility. If you consistently share a brand’s content, they might take notice and share yours too. That means you’ll want to have some original content to go along with the curated content you put together. Content curation shouldn’t make up your entire content production strategy. Try to balance curation with creation to cover all your bases and use your time efficiently.

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