Content creation is on the rise, with 76 percent of marketers reporting that they plan to generate more content this year than last. Producing valuable, authoritative, and compelling content, however, takes time – and many marketers have already spread their resources thin.
A simple trick, however, is saving marketers dozens of hours creating content. The secret? Not all the content that you make needs to be your own. Incredible value lies in curated content.
Of course, you must always give credit to the source, but showcasing the work of others can leverage content and help you meet pressing marketing goals while providing highly valuable, authoritative marketing materials that your audience craves.
But where should you start?
Content curation: the benefits
Curated content opens up many opportunities that would otherwise not be available. For example, you may publish a piece of content about SEO but personally don’t have a high level of expertise in the matter. Seeking out established experts on the topic and creating a blog post that features quotes about the future of SEO from leading specialists, however, instantly establishes the authority and quality that you need. As a side benefit, the experts will likely share the content in which they were quoted.
Do you want more examples to inspire your use of expert-borrowed content? Here are five tips and examples of curated content done well.
1. Leveraging expert insights
IBM has a “smarter planet initiative,” which shares examples of people and companies that use technology to build a smarter planet. This initiative ties in perfectly with the use of curated content, as the company can elevate the voices of experts in their relative niches while providing customers with great, informative material.
For example, IBM recently highlighted the work of Dr. Sabrine Hauert, who believes that robotics and artificial intelligence receive too much hype. In this piece she presents content about the ethical questions that need to be asked to make the most of the technology and set expectations and predictions for the future.
IBM’s initiative has featured various forms of curated content covering topics including electricity grids, details about water management, green building, and more.
Key takeaway. Keep an eye out for types of content would be good candidates for curation. Perhaps it’s a series of blog posts or an upcoming eBook. Look for opportunities to enhance content while lightening your workload.
2. Use quotes
A great strategy for adding life to content and infusing it with authority is using germane quotes. For example, this post from TopRank Marketing titled “The Future of Influencer Marketing: Top Predictions for 2017” includes several content marketing experts and their expectation for what content holds in the coming year.
Check out this forecast from Amisha Gandhi, Senior Director of Influencer Marketing: “I think the trend and the importance of micro-influencers will increase in 2017, but more importantly – companies/brands will look to the business results they can drive with their influencer programs versus awareness and reach. Specifically, in B2B influencer marketing, we will see companies plan campaigns that include influencer content and offers that help both lead gen and demand gen in the customer journey.”
The curated content includes a quote from each expert, a “Click to Tweet” quote, and his or her respective Twitter handle.
Key takeaway. Do you want to create more high-quality, authoritative content? If so, the easiest way is to select a trending topic, get influencers’ perspectives, and fill the content with valuable quotes and details. As a result, the content will be more valuable than writing from just one person’s perspective, and it also will help you establish authority in your niche.
3. Use audience insights
If you want to build rapport with your audience and encourage sharing, consider audience-curated content. But how does that work? It’s actually pretty simple. Take a look this example from MarketingProfs, who asked their audience to complete this sentence: “You know you’re a marketer if ….” Then the company pulled together this catchy SlideShare.
Each slide highlights an audience member’s answer, giving credit to its author. For example, Libby Eddleman Spears wrote, “You know you’re a marketer if you give your kids ideas about how to market their lemonade stand.” In the captions, a woman is saying to her children, “Did you launch an awareness-building marketing campaign first? What are your S.M.A.R.T goals? What’s your plan for engaging with your customers?”
Key takeaway. Leveraging audience insights to drive content is a double win. First, you engage your audience and discover their perspectives on the selected topic. Second, you amplify their ideas and content, and in turn, they share the content with peers and co-workers, expanding the reach of your brand.
4. Compile the best tools
Short on time but still want to create a valuable post for your target audience? If so, consider creating a “best tools” piece. Check out this post from BufferSocial titled “45 Best Mobile Apps and Tools for Marketers: How to Manage Social Media from Anywhere.”
This article specifically highlights tools that help the reader become more productive when managing social media. When creating the article, the author likely identified that as a pain point of the target audience and then decided to round up programs that would help. The post details 45 different apps that fit the bill.
Here’s another example that uses a similar strategy, published by SmarterBlogger, titled “63 Blogging Tools That Will Make You Insanely Productive.” This blog post breaks the tools into subcategories, including those for the minimalist blogger, the serious and committed blogger, and the entrepreneurial blogger. The post was highly successfully, with 154 comments to date, many of which included additional resources for blogging tools.
Key takeaway. Lists are valuable type of curated content because they save readers time and energy. Instead of your audience having to search for tools that solve specific problems, such as increasing productivity, you do the work for them and create engagement and value.
5. Social media lists
What social media channels does your target audience engage with the most? For the B2B audience, it may be LinkedIn or Twitter. But regardless of channel, you can curate content that highlights who they should follow in those niches.
For example, consider this post published by Jay Baer at Convince & Convert, titled “88 marketers you should follow on Twitter.” The list reflects the recipients of “shout-outs” given by Baer at the end of many of his Jay Today podcasts, when the author acknowledges individuals he respects and admires ‒ people he believes marketers should be following in social media.
Baer pulled from the content of previous podcasts and created the list of 88 influential and relevant marketers. The finished product is simple, including the name of the person to follow and a link to their Twitter profile. The list ranks these prominent professionals in order of importance. At the beginning, Baer starts with his top 10, using the subtitle “The Most Connected Marketers.”[
Key takeaway. List posts are a great way to share information of value without creating a large amount of content. In the example above, readers can quickly skim the list, click on the relevant links, and receive instant value from the post.
A few more ideas
The above are great examples of curated posts, but if you need some more inspiration for publishing that next piece of content, here are a few more ideas:
- The ultimate guide on a topic. For example, you could create “The Ultimate Guide to Publishing a Blog Post.” Make an outline of the topic and then pull valuable links and resources from all over the web into the post to get the reader started. This takes far less time than generating all the content from scratch and allows you to highlight the work of others who have already produced great content on the topic.
- A reading list. For example, the Content Marketing Institute published “The Most Significant Content Marketing Books Published during 2016” right before the holidays. Assemble a reading list that is pertinent and useful to your target market during a specific period of relevance. For example, you could easily craft a post on the “3 Must-Read Books to Review Prior to Planning That Next Marketing Budget.”
- Best webinars list. There are many great webinars that are available on demand. Select a hot topic for your target audience, and then pull together links and quick descriptions of on-demand webinars that your audience can listen to at their leisure.
The bottom line
Curating content helps you create more valuable pieces while maximizing the use of your existing resources. Writing a high-quality blog post may take several hours, but using a curated post could significantly reduce that time, freeing up more resources for other marketing activities. Plus, you’ll generate content that resonates with your target audience, is reasonable to manage with your existing workload … and gets results.