• Colby Horton

Become a Content Curation Superhero

Content curation is a valuable content strategy for all associations. More than re-sharing content on social media, content curation is a way to provide additional value to your members while highlighting your organization’s industry expertise.

Every day, we create over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – data in the form of blog posts, tweets, videos, podcasts, articles, infographics, Instagrammable photos etc. Your members are swimming in this pool of content roughly 6 hours and 42 minutes a day, continually inundated with great content, mediocre content, and content that makes them say “huh?”


How powerful is that data? Check out these numbers from TechJury:


With so much information being thrown at us, it’s hard to know what to trust. Now look at it from your members’ point of view. Everyday, they’re inundated with content, continuing down a constant wormhole of fact checking sources and determining what is relevant and what’s credible. That’s where your association comes in. Because of your organization’s place within its industry, it holds a unique position to become the one-stop shop for valuable, trustworthy content.


But no matter how large your marcom department is, there’s no way you can provide the infinite content your members seek. In fact, when surveying B2B content marketers, 60% say the same thing: producing consistent content is the biggest challenge they face. And that’s where content curation comes into play.


But what exactly is content curation? And how can you use the strategy to your association’s advantage? Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s your content strategy superhero to the rescue.


What is Content Curation?


So, let’s get right to a short-form definition, and then we’ll expand from there. Content curation is sorting through a vast amount of web content and presenting the most relevant content to an audience in an efficient and organized way.


Think of a museum curator. Her job is to sift through an enormous amount of art and present what she perceives as the best artistic contributions to her museum’s patrons.


Just like that museum curator, content curators sift through an infinite amount of content on the web and provide links, commentary, photos, etc., to a universe of subscribers or visitors. And like the museum itself, content curation is intended to create a one-stop shop for quality content.


You’ll sometimes hear the terms “content curation” and “content aggregation” used in the same manner. But, the two definitions are very different. Aggregation relies on algorithms to find what machines consider relevant content. On the contrary, curation has a valuable human aspect, handpicked for a certain audience. These handpicked selections provide content that might resonate outside of what algorithms deem relevant, making these selections unique and non-replicable. For your association, curation can create value to your membership – and puts your organization as the informational resource of “all things” industry-related.


Strong Benefits


Outside of helping your members find the most relevant industry content available on the web, there are many other benefits content curation brings to your organization. Let’s discuss a few.


Establishes Credibility and Trust


It’s no secret that members join your association to learn more about the industry. Many will join for the networking opportunities - the ability to discuss the hardships of being a business owner with other business owners; the need to talk to peers about the latest technology in the industry; the urge to learn more about how a certain law affects other like-minded industry professionals in the area. Content curation can help as well, establishing credibility and trust of your organization as you provide outside research from third-party organizations. And, when you carefully select content to share with your followers, you are giving them more value by providing them access to multiple perspectives.


Fills Content Gaps


Your members want quality industry content. But unless your association has a large team of content writers, you’re not going to be able to provide the amount of content they seek. According to a recent report from HubSpot, the most publishing cadence on social media is 3-4 times a week.While a bulk of your content should be produced in-house, most likely, there will be some content gaps that need to be filled. Content curation can help.


Displays Thought Leadership


When you think of “thought leadership,” you often think of influencers, famous bloggers or a well-known person. But in our own industry spaces, real thought leaders are subject matter experts who share real experiences and commentary. Content curation is a great place to start establishing true industry thought leadership. You see, your members (and followers) want your take on certain industry trends, changes, or philosophies. Retweeting content or resharing a Facebook post without comment is not very helpful to your followers. They want to know what your organization thinks about the resource you shared. I’m not suggesting writing a lengthy explanation. Just one or two concise sentences explaining why you think the content is valuable. Adding your own unique insights is even better!


Builds Relationships


Let’s be honest with ourselves - creating content is somewhat ego-driven. Content is written to be read and maybe even more importantly, to be shared. As you share content through curation, you’re building relationships with trusted industry sources. And when those sources are looking for content to curate and share, they’ll look to your association. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.


Identifies Trends to Create Better Content


Just by the sheer process, content curation allows you and your association leaders to stay on top of trending topics. The process requires you to sift through hundreds of articles, blog posts, and social media posts to find relevant, high-quality information. You’ll start to recognize those topics that are getting the most attention - both from a subject coverage standpoint and an engagement standpoint. You’ll start to notice emerging trends and become early adopters. And it provides relevant topics for your content calendar.


So Now What?


Now that you understand what it is and how it can benefit your association, where exactly do you use content curation? Depending on your marketing focus and overall content strategy, one of these strategies could work for your organization.


Curate for Social Media


It’s Social Media Marketing 101 - for every 10 posts on your social channels, five of them should be content from others, three should be content from your association (brand messages), and two should be fun or non-work-related (a look at your organization’s culture, a member profile, etc.). It’s called the 5-3-2 Rule and it’s built for content curation. Be cautious though - don’t simply link to someone else’s article on your social media. Add commentary to discuss why the article is relevant to your followers.


Curate for a Weekly Digital Newsletter


Association news is always a huge part of a weekly email newsletter. But if that’s all you’re sending your members week after week, it’s going to become stale. Add curated industry news to the mix and watch your engagement rates go up. (And if you need help, we’re here for you!)


Curate for Your Blogs


Everyone loves listicles! You know, those articles that tell you the “10 Best Places to Travel” or “The Top 5 Ways To Increase Member Engagement.” Content curation creates great listicle content that your members will love (and so will your SEO scores!). As guidance, select an industry topic and find five articles that pertain to that topic. Throw them into a blog post and voila, you’ve got yourself an engaging blog post! You might find that a weekly wrap-up of curated industry links from your organization’s site and others could become your most popular blog posts on your site.


Measure Your Results


According to a recent report, 82 percent of marketers curate content. But only half of content curators measure the effectiveness of their curation. In today’s digital age where analytics programs are prevalent, there’s really no excuse for this. Conversion metrics provided through your social, email or website platforms should give you enough information as to whether the type of content you’re curating is of interest to your association’s members and followers. Measuring the efforts will allow you to re-evaluate the type of content you’re choosing, ultimately giving your followers what they want to see.


Conclusion


Content curation is a valuable content strategy for all associations. More than re-sharing content on social media, content curation is a way to provide additional value to your members while highlighting your organization’s industry expertise.


How Can We Help?


Association Briefings has an expert team of journalists with sound news judgment ready to help you with your content curation needs. Reach out here to get started.


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