13 Content Curation #FAILS

Improve Your Content Curation To Yield Results

Content curation failContent curation is hot!

It’s a no brainer for marketers like you who need to continually feed your target audience’s insatiable needs for information.

Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what research by Trap.it found:

  • 57% of marketers curate 10 or more pieces of content per day.
  • 74% of marketers believe that content curation is important to their content marketing strategy.

Content Curation Research-2014-Trapit-1

Number of pieces of curated content-Trapit 2014The marketing challenge: To make your curated content stand out so that it supports your content marketing strategy and achieves your business objectives.

13 Content curation FAILS

To ensure that the content you curate yields measurable marketing benefits, here are 13 content curation FAILS to avoid.Content curation fail

1. No key topics

Don’t just curate and share information without any plan or focus. Your objective for using content curation is to augment your own content with other people’s content as part of the public discourse.

Like your original content, focus the information you curate to one or two key topics associated with your expertise in order to build your reputation. Think in terms of the major keywords you use for search optimization.

To maximize your results, use a content curation editorial calendarContent Curation Editorial Calendar-Annual Version-Heidi Cohen

2. No audience focus

Take the time to determine which topics your key constituents seek and how they relate to your main content foci. Otherwise, you’re just adding to the noise from your audience’s point of view. Therefore, create a marketing persona and a social media persona to gain audience insight.

Remember, as a content curator, you provide a key service to your audience by hand selecting the information they need to consume. Done well, you save them time and effort.

3. No editorial selection

Human choice is the critical factor in creating the optimal content for your audience. Think of content curation like a museum curator. He doesn’t put every type of painting or all of an artist’s works in one show. Rather he carefully picks the most important works so that together they tell a story and are enhanced by the other works in the show.

Similarly, while technology can help you gather and aggregate the appropriate information you must augment the algorithm with a human editor who selects the best content for your readers.

4. No original content reuse

Don’t just publish original content and forget about it. Instead add appropriate metadata so that it’s findable in the future and can be re-imagined in different forms. (Note: To this end, it’s useful to audit your existing content.)

On average marketers tend to reuse content 2 to 5 times.

Additionally, this means that you need to use a mix of your own content and other people’s. There are a variety of different rules of thumb. One popular content curation mix is 4-1-1: 4 pieces of other people’s content, 1 piece of your content and 1 piece of promotion.

5. No media mix

Just as you need to use a mix of content types and formats, the same holds true of your curated content. In 2015, it’s important to use photographs and videos to draw your audience into your content.

6. No tailored context

A key element of content curation is to put the content into perspective for your audience so that they can have an enriched experience consuming your curated information. This is particularly important when you share other people’s content since it enables you to add your voice and branding. 

7. No commentary

Your commentary and opinion clarify and enhance the content not only for your target audience, but also for others who read it. This aspect of content curation is key for helping to build your thought leadership by adding your perspective to the public discussion.

8. No content beyond the original information

Just sharing links, especially via social sharing buttons doesn’t help your content marketing. When you curate other people’s content, the objective is to enhance the message with your thought leadership.

Also, research has shown that you need a mix of curated content and promotion to maximize your results. Neither only curation or only promotion works as well.

9. No credit to original author

Like the research papers you wrote in school, attribution is an element of content curation. When it’s missing, it looks like you’re stealing another author’s work, trying to make it look like it’s your original work when in fact it’s not. Here’s some help with the legal fine print of content curation.

10. No branding

To support your content marketing efforts content curation needs to be recognized as yours. Therefore it’s important to integrate your brand into your curated content. You can do this in a number ways by using your 360° brand in your commentary, images, presentation, URL shortener and social media representatives.

Your goal should be to make your brand stand out in your curated content even if elements get lost when shared or reformatted by others.

11. No image

When curating content, you can use another image to draw prospects into your curation. Adding a new image to the text is one way to make someone else’s content speak for you. Peg Fitzpatrick does a great job of this when she shares content on Google+.

When using another image, follow your brand’s guidelines regarding images and photography to integrate your brand. (Here are 5 visual content tips to help you with your brand.) Also, make sure that you have the rights to use other people’s images.

12. No new title

Headlines are a key element where the power of the content creator is crucial, especially if you’ve got expertise writing titles that stand out. Upworthy has shown that a title can have a significant impact on results.Upworthy Title Test

Here are 7 tips to write stellar headlines for your curated content.

13. No hashtags

Hashtags signal that your content shared on social media fall into a specific category. Use 1 to 3 hashtag per social media share. Adding hashtags to your curated content helps your potential audience find the information faster while broadening your content reach. BTW, here’s how to maximize your content curation distribution.

Don’t blame bad luck when your content curation efforts don’t yield the results you desire.

You need an documented content curation strategy to avoid these 13 content curation #fails.

How do you use content curation in your content marketing strategy?

BTW, here’s a content curation glossary as a reference.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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