Wading through the content clutter to discover gems so that users don't have to, is a valuable service brands can and should offer their community.
If content is king, then valuable content is the emperor. Hopping online is like disappearing down a rabbit hole only to get lost in a kingdom of content created by any citizen with an internet connection. But how much of it is useful, interesting, original, grammatically correct and worthy of water cooler talk?
It can take hours for a user to stumble upon something that entices them to share it with the world. But what a service they have done. Because now all their friends can see it, like it, share it, pin it, retweet it, favourite it, comment on it and perhaps even discuss it in the real world. And so we are not all just content creators but also content curators - collecting articles, videos, podcasts, songs, images and meaningful quotes against sunsets and displaying them for all to digest in delicious, snackable portions.
Be the custodian of relevance
In pursuit of creating fresh, revolutionary content, it's easy for brands to underestimate the value of content curation. This is not the lazy brand's option but rather a clever way to talk to your community while saving your pennies. As someone who dedicated eight years to working in magazines, I know how tricky and time consuming it can be to create a piece of content that will resonate with your readers.
There are features meetings to be had, interviews to set up, photo shoots to organise, behind-the-scenes moments to capture, pages to design, words to sub-edit, images to photoshop, publishers to please...
In the world of content marketing this already blows the client's entire budget. And so to save time and money, we often resort to rehashing tried and tested topics, slapping on a stock image and calling it new, wondering why we don't get the reaction we were hoping for.
It's a matter of good taste
Isn't it smarter to spend valuable time unearthing amazing, existing content that speaks to your target market, complements your content strategy and talks to your tone, values and editorial pillars? Showcase and label said content, add your opinion, invite conversation and voilà - you have curated engaging content your community is hungry for.
Of course, in an ideal world your content strategy is a healthy mix of both curated and created content - all of which is thought-provoking, edited and sincere. This is what users want and what they will remember you for.