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Content Curation: Make It Work for You


One of the challenging things in maintaining a blog, distributing a newsletter, or even sending a “how are you doing?” email to a customer is figuring out what to write about. But surprise! You don’t have to create everything from scratch. Instead, rely on content curation. Have you heard the term?
Content curation is “the art of finding and repurposing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue to engage your audience,” according to Alan Rosenblatt, a partner with turner4D in Washington, DC, and expert content curator. He says curation makes sense to “feed the beast” that now includes social media, blogs, websites, email, and other channels. “These channels represent the primary way to interact with audiences,” he said, “and with some of them, you interact with far more people than through any other means.”
He suggests five mission-driven steps when you decide to curate content: Find, Frame, Share, Analyze, Get Results
  • Find an article, website, piece of data, quote, or whatever that would appeal to your target audience
  • Frame it, for example, by writing a little intro or explaining why you are sending the link
  • Share it (see below for some ideas)
  • Analyze by looking at your website traffic, foot traffic into your place of business, or other means
  • Get Results by figuring what worked, what didn’t, what you will do next time, etc.
What should we curate?
Look for content that:
  • Supports your mission
  • Comes from a credible source
  • Is well written, designed, or spoken (for test, graphics, and audio/visual)
  • Is information that your audiences might not otherwise come across.

Example: Your company makes gift baskets. You find an article about what celebrities give to each other over the holidays. Or you are an accountant. You find a nifty checklist with the top deductions tax-payers forget about.

REMINDER: You are curating, not confiscating or plagiarizing! Remember proper attributions!

How do we share it?
Ideally, you use the content in more than one of these channels, depending on your target audiences:
  • Blogs (your own, or as comments on others)
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Youtube
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Your website
  • Other places your target audiences go to for information.
What do we do with it?
Rosenblatt refers to the importance of the “framing message.” In other words, rather than just post a link, you might:
  • Write a headline and short introductory sentence so people know why you chose to share it
  • Extract the main points for a blog post or newsletter article
  • Compose a tweet, with a link to the article

Depending on the audience and channel, you might come up with a catchy or a more serious phrase. Also, consider a call to action, or what you want the audience to do as a result–share it further, give you a call, etc.

How do we sustain our curation strategy?
  • Set do-able goals. You can’t share everything, nor would your audience welcome it. Maybe 3 curated pieces per week as an initial goal? (or less or more, depending on what you can do on a sustainable basis).
  • Use technology for the tasks that can be automated, such as gathering external content from which to select, scheduling Tweets, and other aids.
If this hasn’t convinced you…

“Content curation is one of the most important strategic questions a campaign must deal with,” Rosenblatt told me. “If interaction is valuable to your organization, then it is your mission to make sure you are doing it well. Content curation is an essential part of that.”

What has worked for you–or not worked? Leave a comment, and let me know.


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