Do you know that 27 million pieces of content are shared daily on the Internet? Quite impressive, isn’t it? And if we add the fact that the average attention span is a mere eight seconds, it is fair to assume that a majority of this content will go unnoticed.
Fortunately for us, there is curation. Often mistaken for aggregation, curation is the process of filtering through the huge amount of digital content available, selecting the best quality information, and then organizing and sharing it with your audience in a customized way.
Many individuals and brands now use curation as part of their content strategy. It is the case, for example, of a little over half of B2B marketers. And apparently, it is a very efficient practice: 40 percent of them see positive results.
Why does it work? Here are six major reasons.
1) A Great Ally to Creation
Solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners know it. Content creation is a time- and resource-intensive process. And when you have deadlines to meet, stress may often trigger lack of inspiration.
With curation, you can take a breather while:
- Continuing to serve the needs of your audience.
- Coming up with fresh ideas for your own content strategy.
- Offering a diversity of content that you may not have thought of covering yourself.
2) Staying on Top of Trends and News
Curators are among the most informed individuals in their industry. That is because they follow hundreds of blogs and reputable sources via newsletters and services like Feedly, Paper.li, Google Alerts, and Topsy. And they only share what they know will be the most beneficial to us.
3) Establishing Credibility and Trust
We do not just love recommendations from friends and peers. We also crave information from reliable sources, especially if they take the time to explain how these recommendations will help achieve our goals, make our lives easier and, or, answer our most pressing questions.
Curators do not just pick content at random. They carefully select it based on what they know of their audience, while adding some context and rewriting titles to help make the pieces more relatable, if need be.
4) Telling Your Brand’s Story through Curation
As a small business owner or solo-entrepreneur, remember this: All the things you do online have an impact on the public perception of your brand.
Every article, video, picture, and message you curate provides insights into your interests, ideas, and your work ethics. And the more commentary you provide, the more you reveal of yourself.
People buy products from brands with personality. They want to feel the human touch and know that you stand for something in your industry.
Curation is part of the storytelling process just as much as creation is.
5) Increasing Brand Awareness and Exposure
The beauty of curation is that it allows you to show your audience that:
- You know them.
- You care about their needs.
- You want to build relationships with them.
When people feel acknowledged and listened to, they will tell their friends and peers about it and the person or company that helped make it a reality.
The content creators whom you recommend will notice you as well. First, you will get public thank yous. However, the more you continue sharing their content, the more likely they are to return the favor or mention you on their blogs. The sky’s the limit afterwards: potential partnerships, recommendations, and word of mouth…
6) Building a Community of Advocates
Because of their work, curators are connected to some of the biggest thought leaders and experts in their niches. The more you share useful information with your audience, the more those people will want to partner with you.
Why? Because they see your commitment to quality, the way you care about others, the positive reactions to your curations, and the recommendations from your peers. That makes you a leader and expert in their eyes, too.
7) Using Paper.li for Curation: 5 Examples
a) The Newsstand
This great internal search engine allows you to discover interesting papers and users. Subscribe to the papers to get an email every time new editions are available.
Each item in a magazine comes with bookmarking buttons (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Buffer) so they can easily be shared with your audience. Don’t forget to add context to entice others to click. And when they do, they will land directly on the source.
b) Twitter Lists
If you use Twitter Lists to keep an eye on experts and peers in your areas of interest, consider creating a paper that features them. It is very easy to do.
Once in your paper’s dashboard settings, click the ‘Content’ and ‘Your Twitter Account’ tabs. From there, enter the Twitter list name in the search bar (e.g. @cendrinemedia/important-social-media) and click “Enter”. Here’s a more detailed description on how-to.
c) The bookmarklet
Paper.li may not allow you to include commentary with your curations, but the bookmarklet is a great tool to add content from any page to your papers in one click.
Do you have a book to sell on several platforms? Create a Paper.li paper to promote all your reviews in one convenient spot.
Organizing a conference? Use its hashtag and the bookmarklet to turn your paper into an interactive page to which people can subscribe to get the latest news about your event. Then, embed the paper on your website.
d) Acknowledging Your Fans and Advocates
Paper.li is perfect to put your audience to the forefront. For example, you can use it feature your favorite bloggers or news sources in a specific area of interest.
e) Branding your Paper
Each Paper.li paper can be customized. Take advantage of it. For example:
- Upload custom backgrounds, banners, and logos.
- Customize colors and fonts.
- Create custom Calls to Action in your ad units
To get started with branding, check out these How-to videos on Pro branding and Pro features. They provide a great overview of what can be done and how to do it.
If you curate for your brand (as a brand), the Pro package offers some great features to customize your paper even more, including CSS styling, optional header and footer, favicon, full email newsletter service, RSS feed, and customizable ad spaces. For more information, visit the Paper.li Help section.
If you’re asking yourself if going Pro is worth the extra effort, think about this: Branded papers generate almost 6 times as many views as non-branded papers!
Screenshot source: Lucy Gray’s Global EdCon News
So, are you ready to take your brand to the next level with content curation?
Image credit: Simply CVR