Content Curation: 12 Ways To Add Value

You Can’t Automate Content Curation [Human Needed]

Producing sufficient quality content is the biggest challenge content marketers face according to recent research by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

While automated content curation offers a possible solution to this growing problem, it misses a critical point. To be done properly, content curation requires the added value that only humans can provide to convert curated information into quality content that supports your business objectives. 

To ensure that it yields the optimal results and achieves your business goals, here are twelve ways to enhance the value of your content curation. 

  1. Understand that your audience is a community. Unlike other forms of content marketing, content curation goes beyond identifying your audience in terms of building a marketing persona and social media persona. Content curation involves engaging with your readers as a community of real people.
  2. Select the most important information. The goal of curating content is to reduce information overload by following a “less is more” approach. While automated content feeds and curation provide almost endless streams of input, curators add value by culling the most important pieces out of those broadly available. This editorial process allows your readers to focus.
  3. Show a variety of perspectives. Give your audience more than one point of view. Offer your audience a well-balanced selection of key topics from different sources.
  4. Ensure information is timely. Present readers with the most up-to-date information available. One element of curation is ensuring that your audience is well informed on the latest developments in your category.
  5. Provide context for the curated information. This translates to a combination of a well-defined point of view provided by your editor or curator in the form of selection and commentary and by the branding of your curated content. Make these elements an extension of your 360° brand.
  6. Organize, categorize and prioritize content. Go beyond republishing information based on limited keyword searches. Bring human understanding to your information architecture.
  7. Spotlight relevant original content. Use content curation to highlight a quality piece of your own content. This is a great way to give new life to your older content.
  8. Check sources and acknowledge them. Before using an article or other form of content, verify its source. An important part of this process is to ensure that a quote or keyword isn’t taken out of context thereby presenting misleading information. Give credit where credit’s due and reference the appropriate source in the content. Curation requires a respect for authorship. It doesn’t permit theft or plagiarism.
  9. Optimize the title for each piece. Since titles are important hooks to get prospects to consume your content, it’s critical to tweak and enhance each component’s headline. This requires an understanding of how to write for digital media.
  10. Choose a relevant excerpt from each piece of content. The editor has the ability to select the most important portion of the article to highlight. This isn’t always the first paragraph that most automated services offer.  A human being is necessary to read and determine what matters most to his audience. This process reveals the curator’s point of view.
  11. Craft relevant commentary. In addition to providing a point of view, the editorial perspective should enhance the content for the reader and the conversations that follow from the content as well.
  12. Format content for optimal presentation. Present your content to maximize readership and social engagement. Here are thirteen ways to dress your content for success. Don’t underestimate the value of including a relevant photograph or image.

Content curation is a great way to augment your content marketing offering. It enables you to leverage other people’s content to meet your target audience’s content needs and your goals. While part of the process can be automated, it requires people to supply the editorial function and perspective that can’t be delegated to machines.

Are you using content curation to enhance your content marketing? If so, what positives and negatives have you found to the process?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/2868659447/

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.miller.52056223 Mark Miller

    Heidi – I couldn’t agree with you more. The idea that an algorithm can curate content as well as an experienced community advocate is more of a sales pitch for software than the solution to a problem. Community is built through interaction with people, and the human curation of content is the first step in that process. Thanks for calling that out.

  • ozio media

    Curating content is one of the oldest online practices and even the original internet directories once relied on human minds to determine the true value of websites. Because of the inimitable ability that real people have for sorting the wheat from the chaff search engines will certainly favor well curated content. This makes posts of curated links a valuable part of an effective blogging strategy.

  • GagaForGod

    Great article. I find that tweeting or selecting excerpts is a great way of social sharing as well as marking useful articles. Thanks for the information.

  • okcsteve

    please everyone that works in marketing kill yourself now