In the not-too-distant past, information could be difficult to come by. One might need to travel to a large library, special collections or the headquarters of an association to get technical data.
The Internet changed all that. Now, we are bombarded by information and often suffer from information overload. While this is a problem for many industries, the savvy marketing professional or social media expert sees it as an advantage.
Grow Your Online Presence
By categorizing and providing access to information, Google has become one of the wealthiest companies in the world. However, Google did not have to create all of this content but rather just curate it for others. As a marketing or social media guru, you can learn from Google’s success to improve your own bottom line. Not by starting a search engine, perhaps, but by finding, sorting and providing pertinent information to those who are interested in the topic your company addresses, otherwise known as content curation.
Let’s say, for instance, you own a plumbing supply store. Your customers are primarily professional plumbers and do-it-yourselfers. You want more visitors and more interaction on your website. Content curation surrounding plumbing topics will help you spread the word about your store, get more calls and maybe even improve your search engine ranking.
So, you know you need more content on your website. But, you don’t like to write and nobody has enough time. Content curation, or finding the information your customers want and need, is a perfect way to add fresh content regularly, but without spending too much time doing it.
The Tools You Need
An online place to display the curated information: You can use your company website, your Facebook page, your Google + page or any other form of social media. Even better, share the content through all of the channels that fit your audience. However, you do need to think about how curated content will be displayed on the site and how it will help you accomplish your goals.
A content collection system: If you care about your niche, you read about it and keep up with the latest trends. All you need to do is collect the information you find valuable. You can do that by keeping a bookmark file, by setting up an Excel spreadsheet, using an RSS feed or any other way that suits you. Just be sure to record the links. For example, Scoop.it and Feedly allow you to input the topics you’re interested in, and then they monitor the Internet, showing you the articles and sources related to your topics. On the other hand, Hootsuite helps you curate the rapid-fire information streaming through social media. Rather than spending hours trying to chase down topics and links, Hootsuite brings it all to one place. You can even sign up for the Hootsuite University to gain pro status.
Someone to manage it all: With the amount of content available, have your entire company get involved. Set up a Dropbox account where everyone can move their curated information each week, and then direct someone to sort out the best information, write a brief comment about the material and post it to your selected location. The curator must know the needs and preferences of both the company and the customers so as to present the best information.
Content management doesn’t get any easier than that. You can provide useful, timely and provocative content. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead. Curate.