Has anyone ever said, “As a publisher in a content-driven landscape, you are responsible for producing unique content every day,” and you scratched your head at the amount of resources it would take to craft something meaningful on a daily basis?
Creating original content for your site can be exhausting if you don’t have the budget, staff, or time to publish day in and day out. Research from Ascend2 shows “lack of content creation resources” as the most cited challenge to content marketing success. Therefore, you may often find yourself in a struggle to fill up your editorial calendar.
That’s where content curation comes in.
Content curation is a powerful strategy you can leverage to produce effective content for your site. It involves sifting through a mountain of information on a certain topic and plucking out the best content to present to your audience. While all curated information must include attribution to the original source, you can (and should) add your own commentary, headlines, or visuals to increase the value you provide.
Why go through the hassle?
For more than one reason. Content curation helps in:
- Improving brand visibility. More than 50 percent of marketers that practice content curation indicate that it has increased their buyer engagement, web traffic and overall visibility. (Source)
- Increasing click-through-rate. Posts having links to third-party websites result in 33 percent more clicks than posts linking to owned websites. Curation clearly dominates clicks. (Source)
- Generate sales-ready leads. 41 percent of marketers that curate content state it has increased the quality and/or number of their sales-ready leads. (Source)
It is important not to get confused between content curation and content aggregation. The latter doesn’t include commentary or other elements. Content is simply pulled from third-party sources and presented to the audience without changes. Also, it is often complied automatically without considering quality.
Nobody prefers aggregated content. It sucks. People want the best content. Content that is hand-picked based on quality. And all that comes from content curation.
Content Curation in Action
As they say in screenwriting, it’s more fitting to show rather than tell. To that end we’ve decided to share a few examples of content curation in real life.
1. Round-Up of Tools, Resources & Apps
Have you ever been inspired by a tool? A marketing tool? Or have you ever gone through a list of tools and discovered useful options that you weren’t aware of?
If you’ve already bookmarked a series of blog posts that talk about tools, there’s a likely chance you’ve already witnessed curated content.
Websites often collect a description of tools that people regularly use, and follow it up with their own insight regarding what it does, its benefits, or how you apply it in a business setting.
Here’s an example, from Buffer’s blog:
This is a viable strategy to not only post great information for your audience but also develop a relationship with publishers whom you’re fond of.
2. Insights from Experts
There’s more to content curation than just round ups.
Some websites have created a hub of information on specific subjects like technology. Since topics like these are fairly broad, it is difficult for publishers to create all original content by themselves to fill up their content calendar.
Consequently, insights from subject matter experts is a welcome addition to site owners looking to curate third-party content around specific topics. The external perspective can be combined with original voice to present a slew of content to your audience.
Take a look at this example:
The site gets high marks for thoughtfully weaving in quotes from key opinion leaders. Also, the author has integrated her own thoughts into the piece.
When you publish such content, be sure to link back to the expert’s site in attempt to make them notice your post. Managing to get their attention early will make it easy for you to gather new insights or quotes from them in the future.
Even if you manage to scale your content marketing using curation, an important hurdle still remains.
You have to ensure that the curated part is of interest to your target audience. Without this, you will fail to attract or hold their attention.
One of the effective ways to gauge their interest is using interviews.
Curated content with the most engagement isn’t always found in the most obvious settings for your industry. Anybody can curate articles from popular websites. The effort doesn’t stand out. Interviews, on the other hand, show that you’ve worked hard to connect with an important figure in your industry.
Below is an example, from Yotpo’s interview featuring Tommy Walker of Shopify Plus:
Interviews allow you to showcase how an authority figure feels about a certain topic, what information they have on it already, and what is their personal take on it.
Getting Started With Content Curation on WordPress
Content curation on WordPress can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. It involves being on the lookout for relevant content, saving excerpts or posts you wish to use later, and adding to the information to offer your own unique perspective.
Luckily, there are some handy practices and tools that make it convenient to discover and curate top content. Let’s first look at the ones that you can use outside WordPress.
Curation with Content Discovery Tools
It’s not easy to pick out the best pieces of content when you have to go through a lot of sources. Incredibly, the tools mentioned below can do a lot of searching work on your behalf.
Quora is one of the best places to find the most authoritative content on any subject matter. Questions are answered by individuals with expert knowledge on specific topics. The best contributions sit at the top courtesy of a voting system. However, the best answers don’t necessarily provide most value to an audience. Search the site deeper for factually verified and well researched content.
Feedly provides quick, mobile-optimized content pieces via RSS feeds. You can browse content from your favorite YouTube channels, blogs and news sites to get ideas for upcoming posts. The tool is also great for keeping tabs on hot conversations in your industry. Users are able to add a few of their favorite sources to Feedly. All you have to do is open your favorite blog, copy its URL from the search bar and add it in your Feedly account.
With Alltop, you get access to aggregated content. The site gathers news pieces, blog posts and stories from popular places all over the internet. If used correctly, you can speed up your content discovery process. Articles are nicely grouped into categories and with specific keyword searches, you can quickly discover sites and blogs that feature the latest prices related to your industry. Once you hand pick the best content, you can curate it by repurposing it in your own words or by adding your own commentary to it.
Google Advanced Search provides quick and easy access to specific content. You can also narrow results by timeframe and domain name, ensuring that you always get relevant and up-to-date information. For instance, you can search the domain “techcrunch.com” if you’re looking for interesting content related to technology and use key terms like “latest stories” and “top news” to discover fresh information about the technology industry on a given webpage.
This site lends authority to curated content because it pulls content from industry experts and leaders. You will learn new things about your industry from people who are driving it forward and innovating. Learn how to drive traffic to a WordPress website from a pro WordPress user, or how to design a beautiful landing page from a top web designer, all while gathering valuable content ideas to curate. Learnist has a huge backlog of expert insights on a variety of topics, so you’re almost certain to discover something for your target audience.
SlideShare hosts great content that is presented to the audience in a series of educational slides. The slides are visually appealing and often include nuggets of knowledge that can boost page views for your WordPress site. Rather than just curating valuable information filled with your own commentary and a list of excerpts, take a page from SlideShare’s book by turning curated content into a slideshow where each section has its own commentary and image. Slideshows can also be repurposed into Facebook posts, tweets, LinkedIn updates, and more.
Content Curation with WordPress Plugins
Within WordPress, you can handle content curation through a variety of plugins. These come in handy when you’re searching for new content on a variety of subjects, but have less time on your hands.
Some plugins have been purposely designed to support curation, while others are WordPress variants of popular web-based curation services. What follows is our compilation of plugin options that enable you to effortlessly curate content.
This plugin offers a mix of content curation and aggregation to allow WordPress users to provide the most relevant information. Once you define your sources, the plugin will deliver content through RSS feeds, and then articles can be curated from those or other sources that you manually find.
Upon selecting an article, the plugin pre-fills the post by pulling some of its information, allowing you to insert your own commentary. This works well for site owners who want to publish full posts around curated information.
2. Editorial Assistant by Sovrn
This plugin is for WordPress users who want to publish their own content, but love to get ideas from several high-quality sources published on the internet about the same subject. Editorial Assistant offers the best content and also enables you to pull images from the original source with just a single click.
Another benefit of this plugin is that it’s time efficient. You get a point and click interface from which the related information, visuals and citations can be added. All functionality works in harmony with your production effort in order to increase engagement and visibility of your WordPress site.
This is a handy plugin that enables WordPress users to create appealing curated lists that can be organized by tags, categories, and sub-categories. Links come with cookie-enabled checkboxes that allow readers to save their progress. In addition, icons are created from the URL of an entry to add organization and style.
Essentially, you’re able to create an ultimate resource on a subject with CM Curated List Manager. The plugin also enables you to add blog posts from your website to the organized list, which helps drive readers to stellar content in one place, instead of making them bounce from page to page.
This is an ideal plugin for WordPress users who need to rapidly scale content production efforts with limited resources, time, and budget. By prefilling the original information and visuals, ExpressCurate gives you a powerful starting point for content marketing.
Moreover, the plugin presents you with an annotation area where you can add your perspective, format post, choose an image, determine the link type you want to include, and a lot more. Users can publish the curated post immediately or schedule it for another time.
You can use this plugin to stream RSS feeds from different sources directly on your WordPress site. Get started by simply choosing your sources and embedding shortcodes on your webpages or posts. WP RSS Aggregator allows you to import any number of feed items.
Additionally, the plugin enables you to tailor feed output with customization options like scheduling imports from feeds, limiting posts’ age, and selecting how many posts to display. And with Premium add-ons, you can import RSS feed into your post directly.
Content curation is a great way to deliver high value content to your audience while saving time. Get started by looking at your existing content marketing strategy and find areas where curation fits in. The tips and resources mentioned above will ensure that you’re equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to slay content production challenges.