What is curated content? Get tips, tools, and examples

What is curated content? Get tips, tools, and examples

While content creation is essential for marketing, curated content can be a solution for simplifying and streamlining your workload. Creators already spend so much time on their products or services, often leaving little bandwidth to continue generating content for marketing purposes. Fortunately, sourcing content from other aligned sources and integrating into a marketing strategy can be a helpful way to engage with a target audience.

What is curated content?

Many marketers are turning to curated content, meaning sourcing, organizing, and sharing someone else’s content.

To further illustrate what curated content is, consider an “editor’s picks” feature in a magazine, in which the editor tests out different products and narrows them down to a roundup of the best for various purposes, concerns, or categories. Similarly, a content curator sorts through different types of content and shares what will resonate with their audience across various marketing channels.

You probably see this often on social media, for instance on Instagram, when a user posts someone else’s quote or reposts an image or graphic entirely. For a personal account, the user chooses content to share because they relate to it. For a brand or business, the content marketers share because they know their audience will relate to it.

The difference between created content and curated content is that the former is your own original content created by you or for your brand, while the latter is content created by someone else that you are sharing, assuming you have permission and/or cite appropriately (see best practices, below). Content curation involves sourcing articles, videos, blog posts, data, infographics, quotes, social media posts, etc. from various thought leaders, experts, influencers, and other brands to incorporate into your posting schedule.

What are the benefits of content curation?

As we already know, consistency is key when it comes to posting (or scheduling) content. It’s important to communicate frequently to keep your brand in front of your audience and keep them engaged. Content curation is one way to do this. While you want to be mindful about not relying too heavily on it, there are many benefits that make curating not only a smart strategy but an essential one as well. Here are some benefits of content curation:  

  • Helps with posting content consistently (rather than when you feel inspired to create new content)
  • Saves time, creative energy, and money (if outsourcing content creation)
  • Builds relationships and opens doors for potential collaboration and/or cross-promotion opportunities
  • Creates opportunities for dialogue and diversifies your content, which in turn can create a greater sense of safety and community for your audience
  • Establishes your authority
course creation

How to curate content with best practices

Now that we’ve explored what content curation is and why it’s a good idea, let’s turn toward how to do it effectively.

1. Start sourcing

There are many ways to source great content. One easy way to get started is by following accounts that align with your brand’s mission and values, then start scrolling and saving—whether by taking screenshots or bookmarking. Another way to streamline news content is through RSS feeds, which allow you to filter quality content your audience will care about.

2. Divide and conquer

While you might start simply by creating a library of already-created content for plugging into your content calendar as necessary, it’s also a good idea to plan ahead, dividing your curated content into themes, or content buckets, based on what you’re promoting and when.

3. Ask for permission

When it comes to graphics or images, it’s always important to ask for permission to reshare. At the very least, you need to credit the artist or creator by tagging on them in social media posts or attributing on a website or blog. Linking to other articles or blog posts is generally more fair game, as is quoting, again assuming you cite properly. What is problematic is copying and pasting an entire post or large chunks of writing, as it can confuse search engines and, if not cited correctly, can be considered plagiarism. Fortunately, reaching out for permission can be an opportunity for networking, building relationships, and even collaboration or cross-promotion.

4. Be intentional and discerning

According to Sufi wisdom, words should pass through four gates before being spoken aloud. Are your words: True? Necessary? Beneficial? Kind? We can approach content with a similar discernment. Just as there are considerations for creating original content, there are things to ask yourself when curating. Is the content you’re sourcing:

  • True (and in that vein not stealing or plagiarizing)?
  • Necessary: Is this relevant content for my target audience?
  • Beneficial: Is this information helpful or supportive to my audience?
  • Kind: Or aligned with my brand’s core values?

You can add other “gates,” such as:

  • Inspiring?
  • Entertaining?
  • Engaging?

5. Find balance

While it has many advantages, you don’t want to rely entirely on curated content. Balance curated posts with your own original content, and then feel out the right time to post from others’ point of view versus your own. Have fun experimenting and seeing what resonates most with your audience.

woman and ring light

Curated content examples

Social curation examples

Many social media platforms make it easy to share and even save posts. Pinterest, for instance, is designed for content curation. While you can create and post original pins, it’s easy to save and schedule others’ pins. On this platform, in fact, the majority of your content might be curated. Meanwhile, recent updates to Facebook and Instagram allow you to share posts in your feed to revisit—or repost—later. Twitter, on the other hand, has historically had the retweet feature.

Other examples

You can also utilize content curation on a blog or newsletter. Many online outlets will offer curated content within articles. Online outlets such as L’Oréal’s Makeup.com, for instance, offer nail inspiration roundups of curated content from Instagram. You can take a similar approach by writing blog posts of your own curated content from social media, new data or research, news outlets, etc. Additionally, a popular newsletter format is “what we’re reading,” linking to other articles and blog posts. Get creative, and get inspired by the content you’re sourcing to guide how your content curation will take shape.

marketing funnel computer work

Content curation tools

As mentioned above, many social media platforms, including Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, already have features that help with content curation. Utilize these features as free resources.

Additionally, these five tools can support content curators:

1. Google Alerts

Keep track of relevant keywords, topics, industries, specific publications, beloved brands, or even your own name by setting Google Alerts. You will get notified via email, and can plan relevant curated content accordingly.

2. Feedly

Avoid information overload; Feedly allows you to keep track of all your favorite and most trusted sources all in one place—and organize accordingly. Paid plans are under $10 a month.

3. Hootsuite

A go-to for planning and scheduling your content, Hootsuite also offers Hootsuite Streams, which allows you to track keywords and more, as well as Hootsuite Syndicator, for monitoring RSS feeds.

4. Trendspottr

With a free and premium version, this app helps you get ahead of the trend curve by identifying keywords and topics before they start trending, not to mention track relevant influencers and viral videos.

5. UpContent

With plans at a range of price points (starting at under $15/month), UpContent makes it easy to customize your curation, so you can stay on-brand.

FAQs

Is curated content legal?

When it comes to graphics or images, it’s always important to ask for permission to reshare. At the very least, you need to credit the artist or creator by tagging on them in social media posts or attributing on a website or blog. Linking to other articles or blog posts is generally more fair game, as is quoting, again assuming you credit properly. What is problematic is copying and pasting an entire post or large chunks of writing, as it can confuse search engines. Fortunately, reaching out for permission can be an opportunity for networking, building relationships, and even collaboration or cross-promotion.

What is the difference between created and curated content?

The difference between personally created content and curated content is that the former is your own original content created by you or for your brand, while the latter is content created by someone else that you are sharing, assuming you have permission and/or cite appropriately (see best practices, below). A content curator sorts through different types of content and shares what will resonate with their audience across various marketing channels. Content curation involves sourcing articles, videos, blog posts, data, infographics, quotes, social media posts, etc. from various thought leaders, experts, influencers, and other brands to incorporate into your content calendar. Ideally, your content will be a balance of original curated content.

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Katie Davidson

Katie Davidson, Katie is a freelance writer, copy coach, and certified yoga teacher currently based in California. Her work has been published on ELLE.com, InStyle.com, StyleCaster.com, and more. She has also been featured as a yoga expert on POPSUGAR Fitness. When she's not writing (or practicing her handstands), you can find her somewhere on a beach, cacao-chai latte in hand, with her beloved pup Toby.

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