Dictionary.com defines Curation as: “To pull together, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content.” A well-known example of online curation is Pinterest, where users gather specific images and organize them into lists and categories, allowing others to come and view the images.
Why is content curation important? For individuals, curating content that appeals to a specific consumer market can help them stand out, like it did for Ross Hudgens, the founder of Siege Media, a content marketing agency. For businesses, it can help further your online brand identity that adds value to the target audience, as stated by Susan Gunelius, the President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company.
Hudgens found that when he began curating content and sharing it consistently online, not only did his follower count rise steadily, but it also led to him developing invaluable relationships, which in the long run were far more important. These relationships helped lead him towards founding Siege Media and “working with some of the biggest brands in the world”.
Some advice from Hudgens on how to find and curate content:
- Leverage “underground” content.
- This means find and share content from sources like RSS feeds, or go digging and find a less-popular, but reliable site that shares relevant content.
- “Frame” your curated content.
- Do not just post the headline, add your own thoughts and comments to it. If it is possible, add or improve existing design elements.
- Aim to impress the original creators.
- The goal here is to establish a relationship with the author by adding value to their creation. If it doesn’t impress them you will likely gain little to no benefit from the effort. Always link back to the author and give them credit where credit is due.
For a business, the above advice remains the same, with a few added platforms one should consider curating content for:
- An online magazine
- Your blog
- Publish blog posts about content that you have curated and add commentary or analysis to add value to the curated content.
- Email marketing
- Curate your own content or use content from third-parties to add value to your email marketing campaigns.
For students, content curation can help lead to valuable relationships and job offers. For businesses, content curation can add value to marketing and branding campaigns, as well as add a human aspect to your existing brand. But for both, content curation starts with finding quality content, and adding value to it with your own commentary and analysis.