The Case for Curation: Find and Share Great Content for Your Audience

If you share content on your blog, social media and email newsletters, you don’t have to create it all yourself. You’re already a curator of great products, choosing only the products that fit your store’s brand and serve your customers’ needs. Why not do the same thing for your online communications?

Between news sites, blogs, email, social media and countless other sources, the amount of content online can be overwhelming. Despite the growing power and ease of automatic filters like search engines and aggregators to help us sort through the clutter, we depend more and more on other people to help us find great content.  Whether it’s for entertainment or education, these curators help us find what’s worth reading, watching and sharing.

By collecting and sharing meaningful content about your industry or interests, you can build a dedicated audience of like-minded people–exactly the kind of people who are most likely to buy from your store.

As an expert on your products, your customers and your industry, you’re better equipped to find and share relevant content than almost anyone. Here are some tips for becoming a great curator.

 

Find content people care about

How do you find meaningful content to share with your audience? Chances are you already follow your industry pretty closely. Do you read industry blogs or websites? Subscribe to professional organizations and read trade magazines? Get emails from your friends and colleagues related to your work? If so, those are all great places to find content to share with your customers. Think about their needs and motivations, and share things that help them accomplish their goals (and yours).

 

Keep it fresh

Timeliness is one of the keys to successful curation online. The web makes it possible to share with people around the world in seconds, so content can go stale very quickly. If you see something interesting, share it early to ensure your readers or followers get it from you first. Plus, if you’re one of the first to share an important or exciting piece of information, you can get a lot more mileage out of it as others catch on and share it themselves.

 

Keep a healthy mix

Don’t just share articles from the same source every time they publish something. If their content is that meaningful to your audience, your readers probably already follow them too. Spread the love, and share content from a variety of sources. On a related note, it’s important not to share only content from other sources. So be sure you mix in plenty of your own writing, images or videos.

 

Make unexpected connections

If you’re like me, you find interesting ideas in a variety of topics, not just the things you do for a living. If you find a connection to your work in something totally unrelated, don’t be afraid to share it. Your readers will appreciate the new perspective, and you may pick up some new readers.

 

Add value

Don’t just copy and paste the link to your blog or Facebook page, add a note about why it’s important and why it’s worth your audience’s time. Remember, your readers may only be able to see the headline or a small thumbnail of a video or image, so it can be hard to tell why something is meaningful. So tell people why it mattered to you and what it means to them.

 

Tell a story

Great museum curators don’t just put stuff on the wall and walk away. They carefully coordinate when, where and how it’s presented in order to tell their own version of the story. When you share information, you can add your own point of view to it by presenting it in a specific way. For example, instead of posting links to two opposing articles, work them into a short post that presents your take on the situation, with quotes and links in the text.

 

Give credit, get credit

When you share content with your audience, be sure to give proper credit to the original creators and/or publishers. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s also a great way to earn links back from them. Most blogs have a feature that notifies the author when someone links to their article, and many of them will respond and share your content in return. Same goes for most social media platforms.

 

By finding and sharing the content you find meaningful, you can help your readers and followers sort through the growing tide of information on the web today. But more than that, you can also help grow your audience and support other content creators you respect, all while saving time and money on creating your own content. So get out there and start sharing!

Happy curating!
– Clay Delk, Senior Content Strategist, Volusion

 

This post is part of our Method & Message series by Clay Delk, Sr. Content Strategist at Volusion. Check back every other Wednesday for the latest discussions on content, context and commerce on the web.


About 

Clay Delk writes about the intersection of copywriting, usability and design, and how it can help others create the best content to serve their users. Outside of work, Clay enjoys mantiquing, making furniture, homebrewing and doing things outside.

2 Responses to “The Case for Curation: Find and Share Great Content for Your Audience”

  1. Annie Cholakian

    Is it permissible to share anyone’s content or do we need permission first?
    Annie Cholakian

    Reply
    • Clay Delk

      Hi Annie,

      It’s usually okay to share people’s content as long as you provide attribution, usually a link back to their site or the original publication. For blogs, social media and most multi-media content, people create and publish it with the goal of being shared. Unless a publication explicitly says you can’t share their content (like many TV and movie studios), it’s probably okay to share. Unfortunately, the rules for sharing content online are still pretty foggy–so it’s best to err on the side of over-attribution.

      Thanks,

      Clay

      Reply

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