Content Curation: The Oldest Media Activity

Media companies have always curated content. With limited time and space, newscasts, prime time schedules and papers have been carefully assembled from the best available content.

Kitty on a pile of newspapers - from Brit Randolph on FlickrAs marketers become publishers in their own right, it is natural they become expert content curators also. In Content Curation – It’s What’s for Breakfast These Days on Social Media Explorer, Stephanie Schwab says brands the curate interesting content from outside sources ultimately expand their brands. That is one of your objectives, right?

Curating content reduces the burden of original content creation, allowing marketers to pull from the best information available for their audience, regardless of source. By consistently providing valuable content, marketers move beyond broadcasting to anyone that will listen and begin developing an audience that specifically listens to them.

Marketers using content curation to build an audience and develop their brand today need to overcome two new challenges.

Extreme Expectations
Audience demands are higher than ever. With millions of sources to choose from, serving the audience first is critical. Good is no longer good enough. Today, success requires being the best at meeting the needs of your specific, focused audience.

Curated Sourcing
Just as content is curated, sources are curated. Most Twitter lists are examples of curating sources, not content. Say 100 is an excellent list of 100 individuals, curated by category thought leaders including Seth Godin and Clay Shirky. With so much content and so many great sources, simply sharing great information (as if it is simple) isn’t enough. Your audience must first discover and choose you.

Marketers can meet these challenges and establish content curation as a key element of content marketing programs in three ways

Focusing on your Audience
Serving your audience must be your first, second and third priority. This requires knowing your audience and looking to meet their needs first. Never allow your corporate interest to undermine your focus on your top priority, your audience.

Seeding your Content Curation Program
You don’t need to seed it with industry influencers or folks with a strong following (although it is great if you can!). Look for opportunities to seed with people that already look to your company. Long time clients. Employees. Personal connections.

Use your Original Content
Your original content drives traffic and grows your audience, as it is shared (curated!) by others. Great original content grows the audience you are focused on and increases the changes you will be curated as an information source.

Media companies always curated content to appeal to an audience. Marketers must do the same, not sharing what serves their own purpose, but carefully selecting what serves the needs of the audience and becoming a trusted and relied on source of information. Like the media companies of old, these marketers will find curation isn’t only sharing content. Curation, done well, is valuable content in its own right.

What content will you begin curating?

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