Every weekday, consistently and without fail, I receive two emails.
The two emails I receive are from NextDraft and The Skimm. These e-mails contain curated batches of news which help me to stay informed about what’s going on in the world without spending hours digging through various news sites and getting depressed. They curate the most interesting and important news they discover and explain it with their own unique style and in their own unique voice.
Their unique voice is decidedly part of the value I receive from their curation. I depend on their perspective to find the buried lead (the underlying point) and to frame it in a way that makes sense within the context of the rest of the world.
Of course, since their perspective is added, I do not receive an “objective” piece of news. But then I remember that news is rarely without bias, even when all attempts are made to report the truth and nothing but the truth. And they provide links to their sources that allows me to make my own interpretations.
Do People Actually Care About Curated Content?
In a world where information overloads our senses daily, having someone pick and choose content and package it together is valuable in itself. It saves time and brings the best information to the surface.
As evidence of this, The Skimm reported 3.5 million subscribers in May 2016, and received $8 million in funding. That’s not bad for what started out as two people skimming the news and sending it out in their spare time after work. Mind you – they were producers at NBC News prior to their success, so they had an advantage by learning the ropes of the news industry.
It isn’t clear how many subscribers NextDraft has today, however in May 2015 it was reported to be 75,000 email subscribers and 120,000 app users (they have an app too, by the way). As far as I can tell, there is a one man show behind the scenes doing the curation and delivery of the news.
What Can We Learn from Those Examples?
The lesson to be learned here is that content curation is a perfectly acceptable form of content marketing. You don’t need to write the book yourself to provide value to your readers. You can report on the facts, add your perspective, put your unique spin on information, find the hidden gems or extrapolate the information into plain language that benefits your readers.
If you’re a business owner who wants to create content but doesn’t have the time or resources to write extensive pieces for your blog, consider curating content that’s relevant to your customers and target market. You can package those third-party links into an email along with your thoughts, or you can share third-party links and resources on social media. Those are two of the strategies that are most commonly employed.
It doesn’t always need to be about your industry or the services you provide either. It can be related partially to your expertise, but mostly related to the needs and interests of your clients. I like to use the “Tie-in Strategy”, a term I have coined, to deliver content relevant to my readers outside of my service offering while tying in my expertise to make the connection.
You can also do a “No-self Strategy”, which is a term I have also coined but have yet to write an article on. Basically, you create content for your audience and target market without it relating at all to your business. Purely selfless… mostly.
The bottom line is that content marketing can be the single highest ROI among any type of marketing for small businesses. That has been my own experience in the marketing of my digital marketing consultancy.
When done correctly, it attracts visitors to your website by sharing your article of curated links on social media; it generates referrals and repeat business by staying top-of-mind through repeat exposure to your brand and content; it helps drive links back to your website and produces relevant keywords, both of which contribute to increasing your search engine rankings; it proves that you’re credible by demonstrating your expertise; it increases goodwill with your clients and prospects, which creates reciprocity; it gives you an excuse to talk to people without giving a sales pitch, and; it builds relationships through repeated interactions. It plain works.
The takeaway here is that content curation can be a successful and practical form of content marketing, when done with the best interests of your readers in mind. Whether you do it yourself or you delegate it, the idea is to focus on your readers (who should also be your target market).
See if content curation is a sustainable way to create content for your business, and send me an example of your curated content when you do!
Content Curation Examples
Below are some examples of content curation:
- Further – “a once-a-week email newsletter that helps you maximize your purpose, performance, and potential.”
- Brain Pickings – “Brain Pickings has a free weekly interestingness digest. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles.”
- GenesisWP Guide – A curated newsletter with articles and links related to the Genesis Framework community (Genesis is a WordPress code framework that powers the sites I build).
Learn More About Content Curation
- Do You Have What It Takes to Publish a Curated Email Newsletter? [Infographic] by Copyblogger
- How to Do Curated Content RIGHT: A Step-by-Step Guide by Quicksprout
- Content Curation in an Age of Fake News, with Dave Pell (podcast interview with the person behind NextDraft) – by Unemployable)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Content Curation by HootSuite
- How to Attract and Keep Clients Using The “Tie-In” Content Marketing Strategy by KVNW