The 3 Content Curation Superpowers

10 Ways You Can Curate Content To Build Your Brand

content curation superpowers We’re drowning in content. As Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt famously said, “Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.”

As a result, we don’t need more information; we need help finding the important stuff fast. 

Tweet ThisContent curation provides your audience with a life raft in a sea of information.

The 3 Content curation superpowers

“Content curators are the new super heroes of the web.” In the words of Steven Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation.

From a marketing perspective, content curators get their superpowers in 3 ways. content curation superpowers

1. By being a tastemaker.

While the clarion call of content marketing is “more fresh, original content”, the reality is that your target audience is drowning in content.

Face it—even if you could create sufficient content to keep up with the demand, the reality is that you can’t keep shouting, me, me, me on your owned and social media platforms. No one will listen.

Unlike other paid platforms, social media isn’t about your brand or company. It’s about the participants. Translation: you have to be active and engaged. You can’t just pay to promote your brand.

Accepted social media practice is to share 20% of your content and 80% of other people’s information.

Therefore you must be selective. Highlight your most recent content as well as your most relevant content mixed with other people’s content, including your competitors.

The prize goes to the person or brand that can cull through everything that’s flooding into our communication channels and select the useful, important gems based on understanding your audience’s persona.

Actionable Content Marketing Tip:

  1. Determine the topic you want to be known for. Go narrow, not broad. Think sub-topic related to your brand or company.
  2. Set up listening posts. Turn the content spigots on slowly. You don’t want to be overwhelmed. Find the places where the important conversations in your category take place. Start with Google Alerts and Alltop and extend your posts to the key media entities and social media forums.
  3. Create curation stations. Set up a set of places and systems for selecting and sharing the gems you find. Test the best technologies and platforms for you. Don’t forget that you must add your commentary and context to the information regardless of where you distribute it.
  4. Curate a mix of content formats. Provide all 5 basic forms of content curation.

2. By tapping into the power of existing content gold.

Content curation enables you to extend the shelf life and reach of your existing information. These nuggets with their relevant longevity are known as evergreen. They tend to focus on recurring topics or holidays.

To maximize the power of this information, you must be able to retrieve it quickly and easily. Here’s where digital asset management comes to your rescue. A deeper read of Joe Pulizzi’s column on CMI’s hiring of a content curator reveals that this is the jewel in the content crown.

Content curation isn’t just OPC (aka Other People’s Content). Content curation is the ability to find and give new life to your existing information. 

The process starts by auditing your existing content. While it’s not sexy, a content audit enhances your ability to utilize your content when and where you need it without relying on the original creator. 

Actionable Content Marketing Tip:

  1. Perform a content audit across your organization. You never know where items of value might be hiding, lost without any categorization.
  2. Enhance every new piece of content across formats with metadata. You must be able to find, store and retrieve your content. Think thematically so to facilitate your content use.
  3. Develop a calendar for highlighting evergreen content. Don’t just assume that people will remember to repost and share your event-related information. Schedule it into your editorial calendar. If necessary, dress it up to expand its reach and make it feel new again. 

3. By leveraging other people’s audiences.

Contrary to popular belief, the engine behind content curation isn’t lean content. The power behind content content curation is its distribution.

What matters is how you take other people’s content and make it reach a bigger audience by spotlighting other content creators and make them look their best.

Done well, content curation can act like egobait and lets you to tap into other people’s communities. It attracts influencers to your curation where they share your stuff and broaden your reach.

This is aligned with Social Triggers’ Derek Halperin’s 80-20 rule of content marketing: Allocate at least 4 times the effort to distributing your content as you do to producing it.

Actionable Content Marketing Tip:

  1. Curate content created by the key influencers in your niche on social media. Don’t just share every piece of content and communication that your target influencers publish.
  2. Create original curated content involving thought leaders. Take a page from Lee Odden and his curated content ebooks. Talk about epic curated content. Understand that part of Odden’s success is attributable to his position as a top influencer.
  3. Leverage the opportunity of curation and social media participation to build relationships. Nothing beats meeting people IRL. Get outside of your comfort zone and mingle, online and offline.


Bear in mind that marketers feel the need to continually create more and more content. Yet in today’s flood of information, less may be more – at least from your audience’s perspective.

Use the 3 content curation superpowers to guide your target market through the available information while spotlighting the hidden gems they want and need.

By doing this, you provide them with real value by saving them the time needed to wade through the information.

How have you used content curation to build your organization’s thought leadership?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

PS: Want to learn more about content curation? Then please join me at Content Marketing World for a complete workshop on Monday, September 8th.

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2 Responses to The 3 Content Curation Superpowers

  1. Thanks for this post Heidi. I know that content creation is something I need to look at in more detail. I think a lot of people are afraid of curation out of fear of being slapped down for having duplicate content – It is important that bloggers learn the difference between duplicate content and content curation.

  2. Rodney Robinson says:

    Great Post, Heidi. I agree and have found it a problem that so much information is available today. It is out there and our job has changed from trying to tell the same story to adding value and making use of the information. I especially like tip 2: