What is content curation?

It’s adding your voice (and value) to a handpicked collection of content. Gathered from a variety of sources, around a specific topic, that you publish and share with your fans. Wherever they may be.

Curation is a human act. Done thoughtfully with a human eye on relevance, curation turns trusted web sources into valued web destinations, and that’s what brings the lead gen mojo. It takes more than bots armed with keywords to generate demand.

Content curation is an essential 21st century skill.
As we approach information overload, the ability to curate is becoming more and more important. Curators don’t just belong in museums.

The perfect mixtape. An immaculate bookshelf. A capsule wardrobe. Whether we’re trying to choose the best Instagram shot to make the main grid or building a watchlist on Netflix, we’re all constantly curating.

But it’s not an inherent skill. Many of us struggle with being selective. It can be very difficult to decide between the things we need and those we can leave aside. It gets even harder when we’re asked to justify those decisions.

Buzzfeed is a prime example of brilliant content curation.
Have you heard of Buzzfeed? Whether you’re a regular reader or have just seen the URL on your newsfeed from time to time, it’s worth taking a closer look at this social news and entertainment website. Why? Because it attracts a whopping 150 million visitors each month.

What strategies are available to content curators today?
Well, there are several models that make for brilliant curation. The two main approaches are aggregation and distillation.

Content aggregation is the act of pulling in content from a variety of different sources across the web, and publishing them on one platform, website or blog. This process is automated through RSS feeds and offers the distinct advantage of updating content in real-time – a process that can’t be achieved when simply curating content by hand.

Distillation – The idea behind distillation is that adding a layer of simplicity is one of the most valuable activities that someone can undertake. Distillation is the act of curating information into a more simplistic format where only the most important or relevant ideas are shared. As a result, there may be quite a bit of additional content that is lost for the sake of simplicity – however the value comes from the fact that anyone digesting this content no longer has to contend with a high volume of content and can instead consume a more focused view of information.

Give your audience quality content that they can appreciate.
One of the biggest shifts the content marketing revolution has brought about is the change in focus of communications. B2B marketing used to be all about promoting your brand, making sure people understood your value proposition, emphasizing your selling points. Today, the focus has pivoted 180 degrees to zoom in on the needs of the audience — solving their problems, addressing their interests, giving them something of value.

Audience listening is the key to developing content that resonates with your targets — content that will make them want to engage with you and eventually, if they have a need for your product, to buy from you. And the tools you need to listen effectively are a lot closer than you think.

In sum…
Curation is about selecting, organising and presenting content. While algorithms can gather content too, a human touch is necessary for brilliant curation. There are several strategies you can use to get your content to your audience and keep them coming back for more, all while establishing your brand as a reliable source of great content.