ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kim is Director of Marketing at Alexa. She has 15 years experience in demand generation, content marketing, and campaign management. Her expertise has helped grow user bases by as much as 7x year over year, and a startup from nothing to $1.2 million in revenue in just 3 years.
Trying to bring in more organic traffic? The solution isn’t churning out as much content as you can. Search engines today penalize websites that push out low-quality content for the sake of publishing often.
Your target audience won’t benefit from low-quality content, either. If that’s what you end up producing, your brand’s reputation can take a serious hit, and people will seek out higher-quality alternatives.
The truth is, you don’t need to be constantly publishing to boost brand awareness through content. Instead of focusing on content quantity, try strategically sharing relevant content. Content curation can help you build a following and stand out as a trusted brand among competitors.
What Is Content Curation?
Content curation is a method of selecting pieces of content that are relevant to your brand and sharing them through different channels. The goal is to add new value to existing content—whether internal or external—by sharing it in meaningful ways.
If you’re a content marketing agency, for example, you might create an email newsletter that consolidates the best content trending about SEO. While this process doesn’t require you to create any original content, you’re adding value by providing all the best online content about SEO in one place for your readers to access.
Why Content Curation Strengthens Your Brand
Content curation doesn’t just help the creators of whatever you’re sharing. It also helps boost your own company’s credibility and following, among other benefits.
It Helps You Stand Out as a Thought Leader
Sharing content can help your brand get recognized as a thought leader within your industry. The more unique, insightful content you share on a consistent basis, the better the chance customers and other brands will take notice. You can help your brand become known as an expert if you’re adding continual value over time.
When you share content, ask yourself: Is this something my audience would be interested in? If the content is already widely shared, keep looking. Even if the content is great, your audience won’t care about it if they’ve seen it all over the Internet.
Finding unique perspectives from trusted thought leaders and industry influencers is an excellent starting point. Put on your investigative hat and start digging. Scour social media (you can do this quickly using our tips below) for surprising opinions or interesting infographics you can share with your audience. This counterintuitive content will likely hold your audience’s attention.
It Strengthens Your Community
Content curation isn’t just about sharing good content—it’s about interacting with your community.
If you send out a tweet that’s seeing a lot of comments, don’t be afraid to get involved. Look for insightful comments on the social network and respond to them. A particularly high-quality response may even warrant a retweet. All the little things you do to interact with commenters on blogs and social sites will show you’re genuinely ingrained in your network.
You can also interact with the creators of the content you share. Properly attribute and tag them in your social posts about their content. And, of course, be sure to highlight why you think their content is valuable.
The creator may very well engage with a like, a comment, or a retweet. Who knows? They might even be interested in a collaboration with you down the line. The ability to build relationships like this is a fantastic byproduct of content curation.
It Keeps You in the Know
Curating content keeps your finger on the pulse of what’s trending in your industry. That information can help streamline your own content creation efforts in the future. Knowing what your audience is interested in and engaging with online, you’ll have plenty of ideas about what content you should create next.
Sharing a variety of sources also gives you a well-balanced perspective on your industry. Instead of deferring to Google for everything, your palette becomes a little more refined. You know what news sites are reliable, what RSS feeds have the most interesting content, and so on.
How to Find and Curate Content for Your Audience
Content curation requires a careful eye for detail. Here are three essential steps you need to take to do it right.
Find Content Outside the Industry Norm
Make sure the content you share offers a fresh perspective. You don’t want content that looks generic.
Following industry thought leaders is always a good practice when looking for content to share. Keep in mind that content sources should be reliable. If a site has a track record of putting out edgy content just to rattle people, you might be wise to avoid them. Stick with trusted names and verified accounts.
One way to find unique content is to use Alexa’s Content Exploration tool. Here’s a quick step-by-step process you can take:
- Start by typing in a keyword or site, such as “home design” in the example below.
- Change the date range to the past month or past week to find recent content. Unless it went viral, it’s unlikely that your audience will have seen this content yet.
- Navigate to the articles tab to find recently engaged-with content. Ideally, you want to pick an article with low shares and engagement that you think your audience will appreciate. If it’s great content, yet few people have interacted with the content, it’s likely that your followers haven’t seen it yet but will appreciate having it on their radar.
- Alternatively, you can narrow your search to specific niche topics using the visual in the summary tab. As you can see from the visual below, the “natural light” topic has a low number of articles, with a relatively high amount of overall engagement. Click the topic to filter articles about natural light.
Now, if we navigate back to the articles tab, we’ll see articles that contain specific mention of natural light. In the list below, the last article about the unique Dallas home may be good to look into further considering its low number of shares.
Add Value to Existing Content
Curating content isn’t about merely sharing existing content. Try to add a fresh take on what you’re sharing.
You might offer an opinion on the content you’re sharing. If you want to build more brand awareness, make it more memorable by leveraging your brand’s voice. If there’s a blog with a topic you disagree with, say it. Briefly explain why you disagree with it (while staying respectful, of course).
Consider creating a social media infographic from data included in an article you’ve shared. People don’t want to sift through rows of numbers, but they want the information. You can use a tool like Canva to simplify data and create a colorful infographic. Your audience will likely find it easy to consume and engage with your post as a result.
Roundup posts are a great way to get eyes on your blog. Think about compiling a list of the best thought leadership pieces of the year, for example. You’re essentially doing all the heavy lifting for your audience. They don’t have to seek any content when you’ve provided it to them in one place to bookmark.
Decide on the Best Content Sharing Channels
Content curation isn’t the same on every channel. Your approach to sharing should vary based on the channel you’re using. For example, a newsletter will give you more room to add insights than a tweet. Here are some benefits of these different content sharing channels:
- Social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit): These platforms already have built-in audiences. You can easily engage with your industry community and thought leaders within the space. They’re also ideal for giving brief insights or opinions.
- Email newsletters: You can share these directly with your email subscribers. If people have signed up to receive an email newsletter from you, there’s a better chance they’ll read it in full. You can also break down larger articles into digestible content pieces in this format.
- Blogs: All traffic goes directly to your website, where the blog is hosted. These pieces are also great for sharing more in-depth insights or opinions and creating roundups or lists that include other content.
The content sharing channel you choose is ultimately up to you. That said, you should focus on those you’ve already had success with or ones you understand how to navigate effectively.
Find Unique Content Curation Opportunities With Alexa
Great curated content can be tough to come by. A lot of companies simply share social media posts from random bloggers without any thought. The best content curators approach their curation efforts the same way they would when creating original content.
Alexa’s Content Exploration tool helps your marketing team uncover new content that audiences are engaging with. Compare engagement per article of any topic, and identify the characteristics of top content to find out what makes it stand out. With these insights, you’ll be able to share useful, engaging content with your audience ahead of your competitors.