At Kayak, we constantly emphasize to our clients that they need to be leaders in producing online content and expressing new ideas within their market or industry.
It's something that we find so important that we recently wrote a book about it (available now on Amazon). Often, clients don't have trouble understanding this concept, but do struggle to actually create or imagine the content they need.
In other words, they find that brilliant ideas aren't always sitting out there waiting to be captured in a blog post or white paper.
Usually, finding the inspiration they need is just a matter of thinking things through. Today, though, we'd like to share one of our favorite ways of generating content that relatively easy and straightforward, and that your customers and target market will undoubtedly love. It's called content curation, and it essentially involves pulling together key points, ideas, or even graphics around an idea to make key themes or discussion points easier to understand.
How can you add value by simply compiling what others have written, sent, or posted? The answer involves the marriage between time, convenience, and availability. When you highlight that information, you make it easier for your customers and potential customers to find, and to understand in context. Plus, as an "insider" within your industry, you might have noticed things they wouldn't, or wouldn't have the time to find on their own. For all of these reasons, content curating can be more helpful than you might imagine.
Here are a few quick and easy steps to set up your own content curation posts:
Pick the right topic. Ideally, you want something that's both current and important to your audience. Also, know that some topics are too big to be summed up with a content curation post. It's easier to gather information for a topic like "small business uses for social media" then it is for "the future of social networking."
Only add the best resources. Your curation only has value if it brings together the best pieces of information, not just the ones that are easiest to find. As with any type of content, yours should be unique and valuable, not just quickly arranged and posted.
Offer critiques and add-on points. If you want to go farther than simply listing the top resources, add your own thoughts or critiques to each one. That makes them easier for people understand and appreciate the topic, while showing your expertise in the market.
Give credit where it's due. Naturally, you want to attribute links and authorship to content creators. Giving credit where it's due is always the right thing to do ethically, and can even be good for your online marketing as it shows that your site is a hub of information, rather than just long pages of text.
Share and share alike. To really make your curation post valuable, make sure that it's easy to share, both as a whole and in individual pieces. That way, others can comment, re-tweet, and otherwise spread your ideas for you, which is convenient for them and invaluable for you.
Content curation works so well because it isn’t just another way for you to throw something onto your blog or social profiles – it's something that's great for your readers and target market, as well. So, if you have a great idea for a post that sums up the thinking around an important topic, or just want to share some of the resources you rely on to stay informed, why not put them together into something that's easy to read and understand? It's a great way to add something to the Internet and your own online marketing plan at the same time.
Side note: Pinterest is an excellent content curation tool.