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The world of digital marketing is fast paced. Trends come and go so quickly that it is near impossible to keep up. Many small businesses and even marketers know the importance of regular, timely and engaging content but struggle to come up with enough original content to remain relevant in the digital world.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. You don’t need to create 100% original content to successfully market your brand online. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Cue the concept of content curation.

What is content curation?

Similarly, to how a museum or art curator gathers and displays various pieces, concept curation is the practice of gathering and sharing the most relevant and meaningful pieces of content other than your own. Content curation is achieved by amassing content from a number of different sources surrounding a topic or industry, and then personally delivering them to your audience.
Generally speaking, curating a variety of content to complement original content is an ideal content strategy for most businesses. Why is this the case? Because this type of approach will add variety and value to your followers/customers. It is also far more cost-effective and efficient than producing the same amount of original content.

This type of approach can help position your brand as a thought leader in your industry. You are on top of anything and everything that is going on. This ultimately creates brand trust amongst your followers/customers.

How to curate content

First of all, I’d like to draw your attention to a comment made by Mark Sherbin, curation is not aggregation.

“Content aggregation relies on automation, using algorithms to find content. Content curation features handpicked content, often introduced with a snippet of copy from the curator. Performed correctly, content curation can create a big value addition”

It is of the utmost importance that a business hand picks and shares only the best, most relevant content. Once you’ve found a piece of content that you think you would like to share, it is beyond important that you thoroughly read and examine the content. Is this content relevant to your brand? Will it be useful for your followers? If the answer is no, keep looking.

There are tools that can assist businesses to sift through the abundance of online content to find the most relevant information for your business. They can be as simple as a Google blog search & Twitter Lists. Or one of the many, more specific, tools such as Scoop.it and Feedly.

From there it is up to you to ensure that you select carefully. Although this sounds fairly time-consuming, it has nothing on researching and writing your own blog posts (trust me).

Final tips

Don’t forget that when you are content curating, the content is not your own. You must give credit where credit is due. Not only will this keep you out of trouble, it will help your business to develop relationships with other businesses and thought leaders in your industry.

It must also be stressed, that content curation alone, is not an ideal marketing strategy. Do not become complacent sharing other people’s content and forget to create your own. After all your customers and followers are interested in you for a reason. The best strategies will combine original content with value adding, curated content.