Content Curation is a strategic activity that changes your efforts to enrich your weekly editorial calendar. It is a “must-do” activity for any kind of business, helping you to stand out in social media. You have written blog posts for the next three months and planned a photo shoot for your products next week. Then you registered and expected that podcast that will air in a couple of days.
Great, you are done with content creation strategy, but you still have to deal with social media. Posting, sharing, re-posting, and re-using what you have produced is excellent.
However, people forgot and change. You may be interested in sharing content that brings value for your customers now and ensures positioning.
That is Content Curation, folks!
We don’t want to cheat: it is a time-consuming activity unless you have a strategy, the right plan, and tools!
What is Content Curation?
The “curation” is something that a museum does. So, why do we use this word for something so different, so playable and changeable as content?
Even if the method can be quite different, curation works in the same way for both worlds.
A curator picks the best elements, manufacturers, and objects to display. In this way, the users can see and learn from the best that civilization has to offer.
In content, it happens the same, less or more.
We can identify content curation this way:
The process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest, usually to add value. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users.
We live in a society where the amount of content is almost infinite, and we want it. More precisely, we want the best content possible.
Mike Kaput defines this situation as a “one-stop-shop for quality content.” He means that we used to find out different pieces of content from blogs and newsletters and newspapers and more.
Now, we prefer to look at some content aggregators. Here we can find a vast amount of high-quality pieces of it, all in one place.
Why content curation is fundamental for digital strategies
Why content curation is so essential for digital strategy, and how can marketers achieve it?
As Heidi Cohen, by Content Marketing Institute, says:
While saving your valuable audience time, content curation isn’t a cheap substitute for original content creation. Rather, content curation yields measurable benefits aligned with your business goals.
As she says, it:
- Fills your editorial calendar with quality content from a variety of voices
- Extends the life of existing content across your organization, including non-marketing information
- Supports ongoing content amplification and distribution.
Content curation is essential for two main reasons. One that follows the marketers’ point of view, and another one more on the users’ side.
First, if you can take care of curation properly, you will be able to save time.
A bit more of fatigue at the beginning of the process will undoubtedly repay you. You will post a more significant amount of exciting pieces of content. By doing so, you will keep your channels alive but not self-referential, without spending hours in the process.
And of course, as Cohen points out, there is less rush to create brand-new pieces of content. You will be able to make your content plan to breathe and develop different formats. You will also have the chance to test them, without panicking to let the channels empty or with weak content.
What about the users? They will find in only one place several interesting and high-quality links about a topic they are fond of.
There will be several voices that will give the conversation different flavors and ideas. Moreover, people will less risk feeling bored by seeing only the brand’s content.
If you are not entirely sure about it yet, think that this initiative will increase your brand awareness and engagement!
Proper content curation is not impossible to achieve, but you have to plan it carefully. That is why we selected five steps to follow. At the end of each of them, you will find a set of tools to make your job easier.
Identify Your Target Audience
You will never be able to create an efficient content curation if you have no idea of your audience.
Every marketer works with a specific niche. He must know it well to provide the most useful pieces of content.
Knowing your niche and your audience will make you understand which kind of content to create, allowing you to select only the best ones and not waste time.
For example, let’s say you are a SaaS platform, and you provide services to improve the marketing workflow. Your target audience is composed of innovative marketers that want to work smart instead of harder (sound familiar, right?).
Or, let’s say you are a marketer that wants to attract more new customers. You curate your content to establish your voice in the crowd, your challenge is positioning your brand.
To be clear, you need to identify your target audience, why they may care about you, headache, hopes, and expectations.
Getting useful data, you understand who they are, why they like your brand if there are differences in the audience, and which elements and content they expect from your curation strategy.
How to select your perfect target audience?
There are several ways to select the target audience that most fits you, but one of our favorites is buyer personas.
Thanks to buyer personas, you can divide your audience in a series of models – we suggest you not to exaggerate, so keep the number low, not higher than 3-4.
Creating a fitting persona means that you can determine where to focus your time and efforts, leading product development through a more precise direction.
As a result, you will be able to attract the most valuable customers to your business—the more detailed, the better.
There are several elements to consider, for example, gender, age, level of education, social networks used, industry, job, goals and objectives, passions, habits.
Of course, target analysis does not end with the crafting of a few models. You also have to know what they say and the needs they express.
Thanks to social listening and monitoring, you will be able to collect data about the conversations people are having over your brand and then analyze them to take long-term practical actions.
Tools to Create Your Buyer Personas
How can you get a handle idea of your buyer persona? You could do all of it manually, but do you want to lose so much time? We don’t think so!
As for many services, the web is full of tools and websites that can help you in this, particularly delicate step. Let’s see a couple of them.
- Hubspot. Hubspot created a tool called “Make my persona,” in which you can create a full buyer persona, from the avatar to their job title, size of the company they work into, daily challenges, and consumer habits.
- Ghostwriter.ai. We are particularly proud of our Profiler. It can catch real-time insights from conversations, analyze and combine data and help you create a set of shining, perfectly fit buyer personas. It helps you not only find out your ideal customers but also find out which topics they like the most.
Select The Best Sources
Once that you discovered who are your perfect customers and what they want, you have to pick the ideal selection of sources to guarantee them an always updated and new content curation.
You do not want to be a content aggregator. You want to do content curation.
What is the difference? It stays in the accuracy and personalization of the process. An aggregator, by definition, collects several articles around the same topic, and then people need to select amongst them. It is not so useful and also very time-consuming.
On the other hand, in content curation, you have the chance to pick the best sources for your audience.
Where you can find sources for content curation?
I have my content sources
You can use, for example, Twitter. Hashtags are great tools to use if you need to find articles concerning a specific topic. Only write your hashtag into the research bar, see which results in the service provides and select the most useful to you.
Other exceptional sources are blogs and newsletters. Every field has its influencers. Even if we are talking about a tiny niche, you can bet that there will be some experts about it, and you will find him or her on the web. You can share their articles and tag them, and this may lead to an exciting discussion.
So depending on your niche, you have to wisely select the right sources.
As for us, addressing marketers fellow, we keep us informed on many valuable sources like:
- Zest. Zest is a popular aggregator of articles about marketing and business.
It is a vertical aggregator, which means that its pieces of content are about a few topics and that the audience made of marketing experts.
- B2Community. Again, Business 2 Community collects articles for experts, mainly about marketing and business.
Content Curation Tools
A different thing is managing all those sources, picking the best pieces, and sharing. Again, let’s see together some other tools that will help you when your creativity seems to be a little weaker than usual.
- Twitter advanced search. It is an enhanced tool that Twitter gives you, and that may be super useful to find out pieces of content for your curation. The Advanced Search tool allows you to filter your research by adding or eliminating some specific words, select account, and set filters. It is lovely if you are looking for a topic in particular.
- Scheduling tools. No, no, we did not make a mistake. We will talk about scheduling tools in a couple of paragraphs, but let us introduce them here. Some kinds of scheduling tools, like Hootsuite, allow the user to import their social feeds and select a series of sources to use for their posts. It is like you have a list of selected, always fresh pieces content right here, just in the next tab. Not bad, isn’t it?
- Ghostwriter.ai Content Curator Here, it is our purple ghost again! The real difference of Ghostwriter.ai is that we pair pre-selected sources with specific topics and custom buyer personas. You find news and sources for many different topics, and the Ghostwriter.ai suggests to you which news is matching more your buyer persona interests. You save time and money from identifying the right content and automatically figuring out the target audience fit. We only select verified sources that will match your target audience.
Craft Your Pieces Of Content
Now you are (almost) ready.
You have a content calendar (if not, take a look here ), and you know when to start content curation.
Moreover, you developed an in-depth knowledge of your target, and you are aware of what they want.
You also selected some of the most exciting sources of your niche. Everyone is going to love them.
It is time to create your pieces of content! There still is some work to do!
What do you do when it is time to develop a piece of content?
Usually, we decide which channel to use, we write an engaging copy, add a photo, and select a bunch of hashtags for the platforms that require them.
What you need here is your creativity and something to measure your guts’ inspiration.
Create, let ideas flow, do not fall in love with them and test, test, test.
You can, for example, have a look at what your competitors are doing – which kind of content they publish, how often, and how the audience answers to them. You can use the Facebook Ad Library to inspire yourself (and lurking as well) what your competitors, or similar activities, are doing.
If you are not sure about what content to pick, you can take advantage of A/B tests.
Even large and well-established companies like McDonald’s continuously run A/B tests to go ahead with the most successful post.
Content Curation Tools
It seems pretty straightforward, but did you know that you can do it also thanks to several tools?
- Canva and Freepik. No post is ready if its photo is missing! A lot of the articles you are going to use will have their photo or graphic but, just in case it did not happen, there is no reason to worry. Freepik is a portal in which you can find high-quality photos and vectors that you can freely use for your posts.
Canva is a tool that allows you to create almost any kind of graphic with your style.
- Ghostwriter.ai Predictor. A word can make all the difference in the world, and we know it well!
That is why we implemented the Predictor, a tool that allows you to test your ads’ reducing the number of A/B tests that you need to run spending budget on it.Add the creativity, paste your copy text, and our Artificial Intelligence predictive analysis tells you if your ad fits your objectives!
Use AI to Create New Social Posts
Last but not least, to finish off a post, you have to pair it with the perfect copy.
It sounds easy, but sometimes inspiration is not coming. How can you do it, so? Why don’t you leverage the power of our Social Post Generator?
It is the perfect tool to automatically generate different versions of your post, or, if you prefer, to give a boost to your inspiration.
Give the Social Post Generator the link of the content that you want to share, and it picks for you dozens of possible copy texts and some AI-studied hashtags that pairs with your buyer personas. Cool!
Here you go, your content curation is ready!
Schedule Your Content Curation’s Posts
If creating all the posts may be time-consuming without any help from technology, it is the same without proper scheduling.
If you imagine posting by hand 4-5 pieces of content per day, you would probably give up in less than a week, right?
That is why schedule tools exist – to plan your calendar.
You only have to spend a few minutes once a week to arrange the next seven-ten days of content in all your channels. And then you can (almost) forget about it.
A couple of tools. There are a lot of those, but we decided to propose to you only the two we liked best.
- Hootsuite. Hootsuite is one of the most popular tools for scheduling in the world. It allows posting on several platforms, Instagram included, and it can provide some Twitter feeds. It has a practical calendar-like display, and you can click on the time of the day you want to post to start writing.
- Buffer. Buffer is another comprehensive schedule tool. The calendar allows marketers to “plan, reschedule, drag things around, see performance and more, all at a glance, just like you would with a regular calendar.”
- Postpickr. Postpickr is the scheduler that we love, and we use it. It allows you to import sources in many different ways. You can organize your project by team and topics and create regular formats that will place themselves in their slots once you have created them.
Now, it is time for you to start your content strategy!
Have you any ideas already?