Being a curator of content seems simple. You simply gather content from different sources that pertain to your audience and share it with them by giving a summary of it or sharing your opinions about it, somewhere in the content. But it’s really not that simple. Once you begin gathering all the different content to share, you’ll find that you have to get a bit creative to find good content.
Add it to Your Schedule
The easiest way for you to find content to share with your audience is by adding this task into your regular routine. This will be easier than trying to spend a big chunk of time searching for content all in one day. Plus, if you’re looking for content each and every day, it will be fresh and up to date content.
Just as you would schedule any other task for your business, it’s just as important that you do the same for your research of content.
If you have a smart phone you can always use that – when you’re out and about and find yourself waiting (at a doctor’s appointment for example) – to search for some content you want to share. While you probably won’t be able to accomplish much in a 15 minute window (or however long your wait may be), it’s a great way to kill time but do something productive for your business. There are many apps you can use with a smart phone that will help you save any content you find.
Resist Shiny Object Syndrome
The web is a great thing but it can also be a huge distraction. There are lots of shiny objects on the web all vying for your attention. And it’s easier than ever to get distracted when you’re doing research on the internet. Before you know it, you’re reading article after article or watching videos, listening to audio, etc but it’s all content you won’t curate.
To avoid the shiny object syndrome, do as mentioned above – schedule your research time – and be disciplined enough that during that time you’re only going to look for content you can share with your audience. So, every time you find yourself looking at content ask yourself if it’s worthy of being curated and shared with your market. If it’s not, move on but you can always bookmark the page so you can go back and read later when you have a spare few minutes.
Keep an Open Mind
While it’s important that you stay focused and on task, don’t get caught in a rut. If you find yourself questioning whether the content is worth sharing, keep an open mind and think outside the box to see if you can come up with a way to tie it into your market. By getting creative and coming up with unique ways to share content that you tie into your market, you’ll be a step ahead of your competition.
Let’s take a look at an example: let’s say you have a marketing blog but find some fascinating article about zombies and how people are so obsessed with the zombie phenomenon lately. You can go ahead and share that content. It doesn’t exactly fit with your market, but if you think creatively – it’s important for marketers to know why something is so popular.
Another example may be if you have a blog about working from home and find a great piece of information about nutrition tips. You should go ahead and share this because it ties into working from home because people who work from home sit in front of a computer all day long and they may find themselves slipping into some bad eating habits. So this article would be great for your market so they can get some nutrition tips that will help them eat better while sitting in front of a computer.
Don’t forget that sharing controversial information can sometimes be a good thing too. It’s definitely a great way to get people ‘talking’ and interacting (commenting) on the content.
As you begin to curate more and more content, pay attention to what goes over well with your readers. Keep in mind, when it comes to content curation it’s not about sharing content you like (although a lot of times that happens because it fits with your audience) but about sharing what your audience needs and will respond to.
PS. Pick up your copy now of Kelly McCausey’s Smart Curation Skills course and take your content marketing in a fun new direction!
P.S.S Below you will find some tools you can use to gather content:
- Google Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts
Enter specific keywords and Google will send latest published content from everything it searches. Receive information via email or your Google Reader.
- Social Mention – http://www.socialmention.com/
Search social networks for content based on keywords and receive results via email. Also has a widget for tracking realtime news.
- Google Reader – http://www.google.com/reader (NOTE: Reader will NOT be available anymore after July 1, 2013).
Organize your feed subscriptions so you can keep track of the latest content from your favorite sources.
- Monitter – http://monitter.com/
For Twitter search – Get real time and trending search results based on keywords
- Social bookmarking sites
Most social bookmarking sites make it easy to keep track of content you find interesting so that you can go back to it later – Delicious, Diigo, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.
- Instapaper – http://www.instapaper.com/
Tool for saving content to read later. Great for when you come across something interesting but just don’t have even a few minutes to look at it.
- Alltop – http://my.alltop.com/
Organize your favorite content sources so you can access them easily. You can also share your collections.
- Flipboard – http://flipboard.com/
App for iPhone, iPad and Android that organizes your content sources into a magazine format in which you can “flip” the pages with your finger. You can also share from within the app.
- Hootsuite – http://hootsuite.com
Social media dashboard that helps you organize your social network feeds and content.