12 Attributes of a Successful Content Curation Strategy

Why Your Marketing Needs Content Curation

At its core, content curation is like a great editor who brings his unique taste and understanding of his target audience to his selection of the best content for his readers. He provides context for the content so that it’s more than collection of information.

Content curation defined

Content curation chooses the most relevant, highest quality digital information to meet your readers’ needs on a specific subject. It involves a process of assembling, categorizing, commenting and presenting the top content. This digital content can be in one or more formats such as text, blogs, feeds, images, video and presentations.

3 Reasons your content marketing strategy needs content curation

As an integral part of your content marketing strategy, content curation doesn’t push masses of content to your audience. Content curation is a core content marketing element for the following three reasons:

  1. Offering your audience a combination of original and third party content provides a branded context for your work.
  2. Curating other people’s content positions you and/or your organization as a tastemaker in your field.
  3. Creating sufficient content is a marketing and business challenge.

12 Attributes of a successful content curation strategy

Here are twelve attributes your content curation strategy should have to insure success. Since content curation is editorial at its heart, you’ll see that many of these elements are similar to any other form of content publication.

  1. Has defined, measurable goals. As part of your content marketing strategy and by extension your marketing plan, content curation needs objectives that are associated with those of your business. These goals should be precise and quantifiable. (Here’s data on B2C marketer’s goals and metrics.)
  2. Targets a specific audience. Content curation like other forms of content marketing requires understanding your readers’ marketing persona. From a business perspective, this can be your customers (or a subset of them), your employees or your investors.
  3. Contains red meat content, not filler. Content curation presents quality information, not pages of stuff. Skip the fluff and get to the essence of what your readers want and need.
  4. Follows “the less is more” theory. Instead of overloading your readers with useless information, you select the most important things they need to know on your topic.
  5. Incorporates original content. Unlike museum curators, content curators include their own (or their organization’s) original content. This enhances original content by proximity to other high quality content. (Here are 26 Content Marketing options (chart included).)
  6. Adds real value. Provide commentary as to why the content is worth your readers’ time. These insights should enhance the content promoted.
  7. Has a human touch. While a lot of curated content can be automated, it still requires human engagement to make final selections, organization and commentary.
  8. Provides branded context for your information. In other words, you need to dress your content for success. Regardless of how you curate your content, it’s critical to put it in a well-designed format that reinforces your brand. It doesn’t matter what channel you use to distribute your content. For example, it can be a blog, an email or Pinterest tiles. (Here’s how to create your brand.)
  9. Involves a community. As with any social media or content marketing, your audience should be at the heart of your content efforts. Clay Shirky says it best: “Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community.”
  10. Offers information in small chunks. Think content snacking. Content curation is like a wine or food tasting. You get a small amount and need to go elsewhere to get more of what you like. Use a quote or paragraph and link to the rest of the original piece. Republication of an article even if you include the author’s name and link to the original piece isn’t curation.
  11. Sticks to a schedule. Like other forms of content marketing, content curation requires a regular publication schedule, a sort of modified editorial calendar.
  12. Credits its creator. Content curation gives credit where credit is due. It’s not plagiarism or theft. Let your readers know who created the content. (Note: Some content curation tools capture and display full articles using inline frames. This makes the website appear to have rights to use the content. I strongly disapprove of this use and my webmaster has created code to stop this activity.)

Content curation is an integral part of a content marketing strategy.  Whether you just have a blog or more complex content marketing offering, content curation puts your original content in a branded context for your target audience.

Have you used content curation as part of your content marketing strategy? If so, what was your experience?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Note: This article was inspired by this week’s #BlogChat topic: Content Curation.

Here are some related articles you may find of interest:

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosimoes7/169983321/

Tags , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://twitter.com/OliverD_ Oliver Dechant

    Great article, all of the points are important to practice. Yet none are easy to master!

  • http://BasicBlogTips.com Ileane

    Hi Heidi, I love the image you used and it ties right in with your usage of the word “tastemaster”. What are some of the tools you’re using for content curation? I’m a fan of Scoop.it but there are a lot of great choices. You mentioned that there are some tools are using inline frames and that you have something in place to prevent this. I’d love to hear more about that. I’ve had several of the articles from my blog scraped without any attribution. Thanks for the post Heidi.

  • http://www.internetbillboards.net/ Tom George

    Thank you Heidi. As someone building a community of content curators, I really appreciate well thought out helpful information like this I can share.

  • JessieZubatkin

    I want to emphasize your last point on your post – #12, credit it’s curator. This could not speak more to the heart of what curation is and has to be to remain relevant as a marketing strategy. Without citing the original creator, providing clear and direct link back to the original content and NOT copying the entire post – then that’s curation. Otherwise, you have to call it something else entirely. Thank you Heidi – great post. I wanted to share a post the CEO of Curata wrote a few years ago that talks specifically about ethical curation and I’m hoping your audience will chose to curation ethically moving forward. http://www.contentcurationmarketing.com/articles/18383/content-curation-fair-use-5-rules-to-being-an-ethi/

  • MarketingChef

    Fascinating! “Curating other people’s content positions you and/or your organization as a tastemaker in your field.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.vanpeursem Ron VanPeursem

    Excellent, Heidi. Thanks! “Content Snacking” and “Less is More”. Great mantras for content curators!

  • http://www.liza-shaw.com/ Liza Shaw

    Great well presented article, thank you