Curated Content: An Explanation and A Guide

Curated Content: An Explanation and A Guide

If you feel like you’re lagging behind in creating original content, I have good news. Experts say only a fraction of your content should be written by or about your company. They recommend you follow the 5:3:2 rule, which says about half of your content should come from other sources.

“With regards to social sharing, it’s all about getting the right balance, so think of it as for every ten posts:

  • 5 should be content from other sources that are relevant to your audience, otherwise known as curation.
  • 3 should be content you’ve created, that’s relevant to your audience, or creation.
  • 2 should be personal, fun content that humanizes your brand to your audience, to be referred to as humanization.”

For more information, read Matt Byrom’s article on the 5:3:2 rule.

Now, what does it mean to provide curated content?

Basically, it is the practice of sharing information in a timely, purposeful way. Ultimately sharing what we think our peers or customers will find interesting or should know.

It can’t be just anything you read though. The shared pieces must be pertinent to your readers–the content needs to inform, educate or entertain them. Your goal is to provide your audience with value.

Why should I curate content?

  1. Content curation can make you a thought leader
    If you are curating content that’s valuable to your audience, you will develop a reputation as an expert and thought leader. You earn respect; your company is elevated.
  2. Content curation improves SEO
    Adding curated content to your social media mix has other value. It enriches and increases your social media posts; the more robust your content, the more value you provide your followers. Done well, this will result in more social shares and links to your posts. In turn, your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will improve.

Getting started:

Here are a few tips on how to begin your content curation plan.

Stay relevant

The first step is to determine what to share with your audience. For example, if you market security systems to homeowners, look for statistical studies about home break-ins; tips from newsstand magazines on making your home more secure as you make it more attractive; a slideshow that shows do’s and don’ts of home security; a heartwarming feature about a small town where few lock their doors. Keep a running list of topics and be on the lookout for new ideas and ways to connect stories back to your business.

Find qualified sources for curated content

To be regarded as a trusted source, the information you share must be accurate. Use reliable sources that are related to your business or product. In our business, for example, I turn to Adweek, The Nonprofit Times, Moz, Direct Marketing News, Hootsuite Blog and others.  Major newspapers, magazines, trade association publications, and reputable government or university sources can also supply interesting and relevant content. Content written by proven and reputable influencers in your field are also great resources. Follow hashtags relevant to your product/services, set up an RSS feed or set up alerts in Google news for topics of interest to your followers.

Do due diligence

Always make sure that you read everything you share to ensure it is accurate and aligns with your company and its mission. Be wary of bloggers; if you use information from a blog, make sure the blogger is respected. Avoid blogs that are only tools for selling products and services. Make note when publications or articles are sponsored by a company or product; this doesn’t necessarily mean the content isn’t a great find. Also, be wary of sharing competitors’ content!

Mix it up

You can share curated content in different formats — video, columns, photos, podcasts, webinars, experts’ columns, slideshows, infographics, etc. Sharing news articles and blog posts are just the beginnings of a well-curated plan. Don’t be afraid to add your thoughts or comments when you post either after all your followers are following you, not your resources.

Bonus: Keep it interesting

It’s ok to share lighthearted content if it is tied to your business in some way. If you run a wholesale floral business, find a heartwarming video of a bridal bouquet toss or a video of spring blossoms at a public garden. These kinds of content take your feed up a level, and make your brand more personable.

But like I said in my last post on curated content…this doesn’t necessarily mean your favorite cat videos are in the clear. At the end of the day, stay on brand and be of use (or, in some cases, entertainment) for your customers.

Not sure how this relates to you or just need a few pointers? Give us a call or reach out on our website. We’d be happy to help.

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