Let's be honest, creating and promoting engaging content is not for everyone. For some, it may seem effortless; 1600-word blog posts flow from their fingertips. Or an expertly produced YouTube video yields thousands of views. For you, it may just be another small business hat you feel forced to wear, and unfortunately, it never fits quite right.
We can't all be content marketing rock stars, and that's totally okay. Don't stress over becoming the master creator, but instead shift your focus to becoming the master curator.
For years, music enthusiasts have been crafting mixtapes. Taking their favorite tracks from professional artists, and weaving them into thematic collections of tunes, these music fans find a way to win hearts, influence minds, and make a name for themselves. The best DJs built their empires on quoting and remixing established content.
Integrating this mixtape marketing strategy into your content marketing can save you time and help you grow your audience.
Establish your mix
Content curation is simple. You find the best articles, images, videos, and other forms of content that is topical and relevant to your audience, and you share it with them. You can share this with them in a variety ways: by posting on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook, creating curated video playlists on YouTube, or (my personal favorite) crafting the ultimate curated email newsletter digest.
If you are successful in finding and delivering valuable content, you are fulfilling a need for your audience by saving them time. And you'll save yourself time if the exercise of writing a long-form blog post takes you weeks instead of days, or hours.
You'll also find that collecting other people's content will help you sharpen your own skills and area of expertise. After all, if you're only reading and sharing the greatest content, you are bound to learn a few things along the way.
Track your favorites
Here's how to get started with curating content.
So, just like a DJ, you need to be a good listener to be a good curator.
Keep an ear and eye out for the best content in your specific niche. Sometimes this means seeking out under-the-radar sources. If you are a financial advisor, for example, it pays to share content from a leading publication, but knowing that your audience is probably reading that already, you should also find lesser-known, but equally valuable articles.
Add your top sources to a feed. For blogs and articles, set up an RSS feed reader, like Feedly. For videos, you can subscribe to specific YouTube channels. For images, follow your favorite creators on sites like Instagram. For social content, create lists in Twitter, or follow specific users on Medium.
You don't have to, and quite frankly shouldn't, consume all of the content on your feeds. You are getting into this curation game to save time, not eat it up. Start designating a small chunk of time each day to scan the headlines of your content feeds and look for something to catch your attention. If it seems like something your audience would be interested in, read further, and then pocket that content for curation if it's exceptional.
You can literally pocket that content using an app called Pocket. This lets you save the link for later use. You can also collect a list of links, or content in a Word or Google Document. If you are sharing your content socially, an app like Buffer will allow you to add your curated content to a shareable queue. If you are creating a regular email digest, effortlessly send your curated content directly to a newsletter via Curate, a mobile app.
Then, give it your spin. Also, like DJs, your success as a curator will be determined by your ability to be creative and deliver something unique and interesting. Do this by giving your curated content a personal spin. This can consist of a few sentences on why you chose to share what you did, or simply a thumbs-up emoji.
How you arrange and present your content is also a fun way to make your delivery unique. If there is a way to tell a story in the way you sequence your content, tell it. An example of this might be juxtaposing two separate articles in a point-counterpoint manner.
Make it your own, so it doesn't seem like you're simply copy-and-pasting.
Don't forget to pay royalties
Finally, when sharing content that you didn't create, it's important to give credit where credit is due. Don't attempt to pass off someone's content as your own (that's called plagiarism). Many DJs who've failed to do this in their music have found themselves dealing with both social and legal repercussions.
The easiest way to be transparent is to position your content as shared content. Include links to the original sources, and do not re-publish full articles on your own site or properties. Include the creator's name, and give them a shoutout if you share on social media. Most content creators want to see their works get spread, but giving your followers a clear path to learn more about them is both courtesy and expected.
Ready to rock? Growing your audience with curated content has never been easier.
Tom Tate is the Product Marketing Manager at AWeber where he is passionate about helping customers grow their businesses with email marketing tools and tips. He is also the host of the Ask Me About Email Marketing podcast.
As the Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine and President of Website Services, Peter has established himself as a prominent figure in the digital marketing industry. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Peter has been a driving force in shaping the landscape of digital marketing. His leadership in creating innovative and targeted marketing campaigns has helped numerous businesses achieve their revenue growth goals. Under his direction, Website Magazine has become a trusted source of information and insights for digital marketers worldwide. As President of Website Services, Peter oversees a team of talented professionals who specialize in SEO/SEM, email marketing, social media, and digital advertising. Through his hands-on approach, he ensures that his team delivers exceptional results to their clients. With a passion for digital marketing, Peter is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies, making him a sought-after thought leader in the field.