We agree with CNBC that curation is one of the most overused words of 2014. While the term has long been associated with picking paintings on the wall of a museum, it’s been used more broadly to describe the work of any keeper of a cultural heritage institution, and it now has turned into a term for simply selecting things to share on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Suddenly, everyone is a curator and some editors frown on using it in their content production.
What we often miss is how curation has always been a natural part of content creation. Books and research papers have long included references to other works, curated onto lists to provide credibility and to further inform readers. In the digital age, those manifest as links in the text, at the bottom of an article or even embedded videos right in the heart of your content.
How does this differ from “curation?” Mostly, it’s in how much you rely on curated material as a portion of your output. That percentage need not be all or nothing and that outdated thinking is part of why some dislike curation. But why separate them when the combination is such a potent way of achieving your marketing and publishing goals?
Curation as Part of Creation
Curation is a powerful way to expand the capacity and the quality of your content. Here’s my short list of why:
- Inspiration and Ideation: Curating as part of your output helps you explore your subject regularly, which can inspire new content based on what other thought leaders are saying right now, particularly in social. This is almost a positive side effect of curation that you just become more informed and timely.
- Supplement: Blending your commentary alongside intelligently curated content gets you the best of both worlds – quicker content production with a real-time social component and your editorial or brand voice is still heard loud and clear.
- Recirculate: Curating your own content back into circulation is a great way to realize more ROI from your investment in content. Then, pairing it up with fresh content allows you to bring your content back into the news cycle naturally by connecting it with current events or discussions.
- Companion Articles: Another use for curated content is to add a second post or article that expands on your subject but takes only the time it find, organize, and annotate the links you share. This provides your audience value, you get the extra click, and shows your authority because you are sharing worthwhile content. This helps with the authenticity of your output and lets your audience know that your content is not just an endless series of sales pitches, it is about providing them value that will encourage return visits.
That’s even while we call our blog Content Mixology – we believe firmly in that mixture of different kinds of content to help companies achieve their goals in content production. You decide on the elements of the mix that work for you based on your resources, audience and goals. Curation and social can even provide your publishing efforts a unique edge: check out my companion post about Johnston Press’ Scottish Independence Platform, where they are using curation and social interaction to provide an innovative and comprehensive way to bring a range of perspectives to an important and developing story.
How are you using curated content in your content mix? Please share your ideas in our comments section below.