How To Create A Content Curation Plan To Fuel Your Content Marketing Needs Without Tears

Content Curation PlanAre you freaking out trying to fill your content marketing needs with limited resources?

Have you considered supplementing your brand spanking new content creation with content curation?

Many content marketers can be short-sighted about content curation. Only focused on reducing content costs, they confuse unbranded content aggregation with editorially curated content.

True content curation requires human input, specifically selection and commentary.

To consistently support your marketing needs, integrate a content curation editorial calendar into your content marketing strategy.

Scott Monty’s weekly newsletter, The Full Monty, is a prime example of content curation done well. Monty hand curates the comprehensive newsletter using Flipboard. That’s why it’s a weekly digital marketing must-read.

Email NewsletterSample of the Full Monty Newsletter

Content curation supports your content marketing in 3 ways: 

  • Positions you as a tastemaker. Select the must-read for your readers.
  • Augments the voices in your content offering. Choose the expertise and influencers you don’t have in-house.
  • Reduces content creation workload. Doesn’t mean zero content creation cost.

To keep your content marketing on track, we’ll show you how to create curated content to fulfill your 5 core content needs. In addition to specific examples, we’ll outline how to develop your own Content Curation Plan which will keep your content creation concerns under control.

 

Content Curation Plan DefinedContent Curation Plan

A content curation plan keeps your curation activities and deliverables on track. It’s part of your documented content marketing strategy. It ensures curated content is generated consistently to supplement your original created content to achieve your content marketing mission and goals.

To create your curated content plan focus on using the 5 core types of content: Foundational, FAQ, Cyclical, Crowd Pleaser and Long Playing.

5 Core Types of Content Your Audience Needs

 

Here’s a content curation plan template that you can use.

Annual Content Curation Plan Template

To supplement the annual content curation plan, here’s a template for your monthly content curation.

Curated Foundational Content

Foundational content is cornerstone content you want to be known for. It’s aligned with your top keyword phrases, content hubs and silos to yield maximum results.

Regardless of how you create foundational content, it is an investment in time and budget.

Curated foundational content includes:

  • Ultimate List. A comprehensive compilation spotlighting the best resources on a topic. Content curation requires research to collect and vet relevant resources. These list posts gain traction based on length and breadth. Unfortunately, big numbers can translate to TL;DR (aka: Too Long; Didn’t Read) yielding shares but limited consumption.
  • Research Roundup. Provides different perspectives using multiple pieces of market research. Although each piece of research may use different samples and have different objectives, readers get a well-informed perspective. They also benefit from sharable charts in roundup posts.

Actionable Content Curation Plan Tips:

  • Offer a download version. Allow readers to save content for later consumption via Pocket or download. Hubspot frequently does this.
  • Transform content into another format at the same time. To extend content distribution and maximize its visibility, create a related presentation or ebook.

Curated Foundational Content Publishing Frequency: 1 to 4 times per year

 

Curated FAQ Content

FAQ Content includes detailed product information, answers to customer questions, case studies, ratings and reviews, how to’s, and styling and patterns. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business FAQ content closes sales. This content works well for blogs as well as Facebook and Pinterest.

Curate FAQ content includes:

  • “Ask the Expert” or Reader Questions column. This curated content reduces content ideation since your audience supplies the questions. Your sales and customer service teams can provide the content to ensure consistency across your business. For example, Contently has an “Ask A Content Strategist” column.Curated FAQ Content-Curated Content Plan
  • User Generated FAQ content. Tap into customers and fans to supply photos and tips for their peers. Understand that only 9% of readers will comment and 1% of readers will contribute content. 

 

Actionable Content Curation Plan Tips:

  • Add links to relevant content on each product page. Answer customer questions when they’re in shopping mode.
  • Combine related FAQ content into a larger piece of content. Content Marketing Institute does this by combining their core content into a user guide. Also add this information into your welcome series and on-boarding content to reach newbies.
  • Use FAQ content to support sales. Incorporate your product into patterns and recipes. For example recipe sites like King Arthur Flour and Kraft Foods do. While content marketing shouldn’t be promotional you can suggest related products at the end of useful content.
  • Include product photos in your FAQ content. Build your brand and expand shares on Pinterest with images and directions.

Curated FAQ Content Publishing Frequency: Create based on customer needs and questions. Integrate it into your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly content offering.

 

Curated Cyclical Content

Cyclical content is information published on a regular basis. It can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or annually. Use it to establish your content as part of your audience’s weekly content diet.

Curated Cyclical Content includes:

  • Regular servings of curated content. Offer curated content on a scheduled basis. For example, Christopher Penn culls information marketers need into a weekly newsletter called “Almost Timely News.”

    Content Curation Plan-Weekly content offering

    Example of weekly content curation – Christopher Penn

  • Curated content column. This is the easiest way to create an on-going column. Select a topic or content format. You can offer it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Spin Sucks’s Gini Dietrich curates videos on her Saturday Gin and Topics column.

    Example of weekly content curation for your content curation plan

Actionable Content Curation Plan Tips:

  • Establish a process to support cyclical content curation. Ideally incorporate this into your on-going content consumption using tools like Feedly, Pocket and Flipboard.

Curated Cyclical Content Publishing Frequency: Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. It’s useful for bloggers who have difficultly maintaining publishing consistency. (Check Orbit Media’s Blogging Survey.)

 

Curated Crowd Pleaser Content

Crowd pleaser content aims to drive traffic and keep your brand top-of-mind. It includes guest blogging, LinkedIn Publishing and Medium.

Curated Crowd Pleaser Content includes:

  • List Posts. Gain attention due to their big numbers. Also, they’re an easy-to-create and imitate format. Syed Balkhi uses this format for List25 where every post has 25 points and gets a ton of traffic.Crowd Please Core Content Type-List Point
  • Influencer roundups. Are specialized list posts that tap into the power of influencers. I discovered their power by accident with my 31 PR Definitions post. Lee Odden perfected the influencer roundup with his epic curated content for conferences.

Actionable Content Curation Plan Tips:

  • Transform crowd pleaser content into other content formats to maximize your efforts. Odden’s team creates related blog posts and social media shares while it creates the big rock content.
  • Follow up with contributors to amplify and distribute your content. Don’t expect contributors to share your content. Use their names on social media to tap into their networks.
  • Incorporate visuals into your curated crowd pleaser content. Include other formats summarizing the top information as well as sharable graphics.

Crowd Pleaser Content Publishing Frequency: Publish crowd pleaser content on a monthly basis to support your business goals while balancing content creation and maximizing content distributionCuration should account for about half of this content.

Curated Long Playing Content

Long Playing Content is updated or consolidated existing content focused on keywords and topics. Its goal is to keep your image timely and visible for your audience and search.

Brian Dean of Backlinko doesn’t create new content until all of his existing content is up-to-date.

According to Michele Linn, Content Marketing Institute updates blog content on a regular basis. The refreshed content yields strong performance following the update’s publication.

Vox research showed that even minor updates and tweaks to their content yielded significant results in aggregate.

Curated Long Playing Content includes:

  • Successful curated content formats. Use successful formats based on results to create quarterly or annual pieces such as X Best Articles of YEAR. For example, Content Marketing Institute uses several versions of this approach to spotlight their best performing content including X Posts We’re Thankful For and X Stolen Marketing Ideas.
  • Consolidate related articles into foundational content. Aggregate your best content on a topic into a go-to resource. Again Content Marketing Institute does a great job of these posts under the guidance of Jodi Harris. I particularly like Editorial Calendar Tools and Templates .

    Example of Curated Long Playing Content for your curated content plan

Actionable Content Curation Plan Tips:

  • Use successful curated formats to help with content during slow perioids such as holidays.

 Curated Long Playing Content Publishing Frequency: Beyond auditing existing content annually to ensure it remains relevant include at least one successful curation format per year. For example, use a Best X of YEAR post.

 

How Create Your Content Curation Plan

Use curated content to fill your on-going content marketing needs.

Assuming you publish at least 2 pieces of content per week, one on your owned media and one on social or third party media, that’s roughly 100 pieces of content each year.

Using this suggested content curation plan frequency, here’s how you can publish almost half of your content (specifically 45 pieces) using a combination these formats. That’s almost one curated piece of content per week.

  • Foundational Content: Twice per year
  • FAQ Content: Once per month
  • Cyclical Content: Twice per month
  • Crowd Pleaser Content: 6 times per year
  • Long Playing Content – Once per year (although this could be as much as once a quarter)

(Note: These numbers are assumptions. Your content needs and use may vary.)

To get the maximum value from your curated content plan, ensure you have a mix of the 5 core types of content.

Start with your original content for the year and then add curated content where appropriate.

You should be able to tap into the power of a curated content plan while streamlining your content creation resources.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 


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  • joewaters

    Heidi, I learned a lot from Scott Monty’s newsletter and created my own curated newsletter on cause marketing. It’s been great and I’ve added a lot of new subscribers. It helps that like Scott I’m an INFOVOUR!