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Trends opinion

What is content curation?

When thinking about the content involved in your content strategy, there are two possible routes to take - creation and curation. Creation is, of course, the act of generating your own content. Curation, on the other hand, is the act of 'collecting', or 'collating' content your audience will find useful. This means sorting through the masses of content on the web, finding the useful info so that your consumer doesn't have to, and organising it in a way that makes it easy to find.
Like a museum curator, a content curator picks a theme, provides context, decides what piece of content to place where, how content should be labelled or annotated and how it should be displayed.

Like most decisions you make as a content marketer, your decisions about curating content should be based on your target audience, your content strategy, and your unique voice. You're continually looking for the content that's most useful and relevant to your consumer and making it easily available to them.

Content that counts

You can find out what this is by doing a thorough content audit (something we covered in our second blog post) and making sure you're curating content that counts. Beware of the common error of curating to fill a schedule, however.... Read everything you curate and make sure it fits in with the rest of your content. Only share something when you have a reason to do so, and standardise your timing of new posts where you can. Curating for the sake of curating is the surest way to lose your audience.

Curating should be something you do on a daily basis, so that your audience knows that they can come to you first when they need to find information they might otherwise have had to spend valuable time searching for it on the web. It will help establish you as a thought leader in your field and capture attention in a cluttered web space. You can curate content over a website or your social media properties, which will also encourage sharing contributing towards growing your audience.

Curation can do a number of things for you as a content marketer:
  • Add authority to your web presence
  • Generate inbound links
  • Keep you up to date with industry trends
  • Help amplify the outreach of your created content by attracting a bigger audience
Three S's

Content curation can be divided into "The Three S's": "Seek", "Sense" and "Share".

Finding the information, or "seeking", is only one-third of the curating process. Making "sense" of the information, or contextualising it, say in a blog post, is just as important. "Sharing" it, by publishing the blog post or infographic you use to make sense of the information, is the final step in the curation process.

Look out for our next piece, where we discuss the content life cycle.

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About Athar Naser

Athar Naser is head of Juice Content. He is responsible for content strategy and content marketing across the group as well as for department clients. He brings a wealth of global media and digital experience to the content specialist division of Prime Media Online, as well as to the already rich talent pool at the publisher of South African web portal, iafrica.com. Follow @JuiceContent on Twitter.
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