We’ve all heard that content is king. But not many small businesses have the time (or the money) to create original content on a regular basis — let lone as much as many marketers think one “should” put new content up on a site.
So what’s an overstretched, budget strapped business person to do?
Curate their content!
Content curation is the process of finding excellent content of all types (video, infographics, articles, etc) and sharing the most valuable content with their readers. It puts the website owner in the role of “publisher.” You gather content that will appeal to your target audience. Just like newspapers have reporters who write original content, they also have wire services that feed them mass amounts of content that they can pick and choose from, because not all articles or photos may be of interest or appropriate for their readership.
As a website owner, you can (and should) provide all sorts of content to your readers that they would find interesting. This requires you understand your target audience, what they’re interested in hearing about from you, and what types reinforce your brand as a credible source for information.
Content curation isn’t simply copying content from other sources (unless you enjoy dealing with Copyright infringement issues or getting the “Google slap” for duplicate content issues).
Here are four ways to capitalize on Content Curation without getting yourself into hot water – along with the pros and cons for each approach.
1. Summarize the article for your readers. Who doesn’t like a digest of the biggest or best tid bits of information from a given topic area for the day, week, etc.?
Pro: What’s not to like? It works.
Con: It doesn’t do much to reinforce your brand that you are THE source for certain information or product offerings. It just shows you know how to read and can summarize well.
2. Focus on the juiciest parts. In some instances, a reader doesn’t need to read the whole article to get the gist of what it’s about. Sometimes the whole point is shared in one juicy tid bit, quote or sound bite. This is a simpler form of “story boarding” which folds in multiple sources, and multiple formats of information (ie: a tweet from someone; a soundbite from a different source; a photo from someplace else…)
Pro: Sometimes the juicy tid bit is all that’s needed. No need to go “interview” anyone else – you have the best quotes from experts right in front of you. Plus – the more effort you put into it (ie: going more towards the “story boarding” concept the higher the return in SEO value.
Con: You’re weaving together a “story” much like “real” reporters. The more sources you use, the more complex. This means actually writing and editing. It’s better than starting from scratch though.
3. Slap a new headline on it. You change the title of the article (the headline) from what it originally was to something that reflects your brand, personality or position in the market place.
Pro: It’s fast, you stay out of legal hot water by linking directly to the original article rather than posting it on your site, and you still convey a bit of who you are by how you rewrite the headline.
Con: For anyone who’s done it – writing catchy, pithy yet engaging headlines is NOT the easiest thing in the world. But it’s certainly easier than the alternatives of writing more story content.
4. Newsjack your article. Newsjacking is taking a story – often a recent article or hot topic – and addresses the topic from your perspective (a different perspective). So for example, if you run a website emphasizing frugality, an article about how some people are using Ebay to supplement their household incomes could suddenly become an article about how people are adapting to the Great Recession by using Ebay to save money on daily needs (ie: back to school clothes)… or whatever major “shopping period” was occurring.
Pro: This approach really let’s you, your personality and perspective shine through the article. Often it’s a current (and therefore more relevant) topic — and yields a higher SEO value.
Con: It can take more effort, certainly, but you’re reacting to current topics or events and looking at those events through the eyes of your target audience. In reality – this should be fairly easy if you’re dialed into them.
Sometimes, there’s just no way to get around writing original content. But incorporating a curation approach to your content strategy can help stretch your content marketing budget dollars, and still provide you new material for your site.
How have you incorporated content curation into your marketing plans? Share your tips and ideas below.
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