Looking for a way to liven up your content strategy without spending hours on content production? Content curation could be your answer.
Not only does content curation save you time, but it also boosts your brand’s credibility.
However, there are important rules to follow to make sure your content curation strategy is both effective and ethical. Otherwise, you’ll run into copyright issues.
Read on for the complete guide on curating content ethically and effectively.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation is the process of selecting, arranging, and sharing content from other creators to support your content marketing strategy.
Where original content creation can take a long time, content curation aims to flesh out your content strategy quicker.
At the same time, curation can help to boost your credibility by acting as evidence supporting your industry sector knowledge and overall relevance for your target audience.
This could include quotes, sections of text, images, and videos within blog articles, or it may also include guest posts from external authors.
On social media, you’re curating when you share social posts and influencer content, include third-party articles and blogs in social posts, and when you share graphics and videos made by other people.
Unlike news aggregators, which use software to scrape relevant content, content curation is usually done by hand.
There are no hard-and-fast rules around how much-curated content you should include compared to original posts. It’s just important to include both.
As Sandra Chung, Head of Content & Partnerships at Mention, explains, “Some businesses will see better results when sharing their own content 70% of the time. Others will find themselves sharing curated content 70% of the time. You can’t know what’s right for you before you measure the performance of both types of content and find your sweet spot. What matters is that you include both in your content strategy.”
Where to Focus Your Energy for Ethical and Effective Curation in 2023
While it’s important to include both original and curated content, there are a few ethical rules to consider when curating content.
Since there is a fine line between curation and copyright infringement, it’s important to follow this guide to ensure your curating content ethically.
1. Limit single-source publishing
First off, don’t curate all your content from a single source.
By doing this, you’re stealing potential impressions, clients, and possible profits from that original author.
Not only that, but taking from a single source limits your opportunity to demonstrate a wide knowledge of the industry in which you operate.
By curating content from multiple sources, you show your breadth of knowledge to customers, amplifying your credibility as an authority in the field.
As Daniela Cavalletti, Founder of Cavalletti Communications, explains, “Sharing content by other businesses or thought leaders is not only useful in keeping your readers engaged and your digital marketing pipeline full. It demonstrates to your potential customers that you know your stuff, and understand your industry well.”
2. Link back to the original source
Just like citing a source in an academic article, you should always link back to the original source when including curated content.
By doing this, you avoid copyright issues where the original creator accuses you of using their content without their permission.
It’s also polite.
By linking back to the original source, you honor the creator for their work. Not only that, but you create a backlink to their original content, which helps boost their search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
You’ll also amplify your own SEO, as outgoing links will have a positive impact on your SERP rankings.
What’s more, linking back to original sources of information can help provide credibility for the points you’re making. Links act as supporting evidence.
Check out Medical Alert Buyers Guide, for example.
The medical alert comparison site is explaining how false alarms can be triggered.
To support its arguments, it links back to studies and research that demonstrate the different ways this could happen.
3. Create value around content
Don’t simply copy content from another site. Curate sections of content and create value for customers around it.
For example, you may add a quote from a blog article to help support a point you’re making, or you may curate an image to illustrate what you’re saying.
It’s perfectly acceptable to use other people’s content as long as you’re bringing new value. Otherwise, you’re simply stealing value from other content creators.
Take this article by Newsweek.
This review helps readers find the best memory foam mattress. While the online magazine has used original written text in the review, the writer has curated the image from the Zoma website.
To honor the original creator, they’ve linked to the Zoma website in the first line of the text.
4. Be savvy about publishing full content pieces
While copying an entire content piece to your website’s blog would be a serious copyright infringement, sharing full content pieces on social channels is considered a good practice.
In fact, when building your social media strategy, a good chunk of your content should be curated from thought leaders, influencers, and industry-relevant sources.
According to Neil Schaffer, the founder of digital marketing agency PDCA Social. you should use the 5-3-2 rule for social media curation.
As Neil explains, “The 5-3-2 principle means that in every 10 posts in your social media, five should be valuable content that is written by another person (preferably someone who is a social media thought leader in your chosen niche), three are informative content that you wrote on your own, and two of these posts should be about yourself.”
However, it’s important that you add your own commentary to these posts to show their relevance to your brand. This helps your audience to see why these posts add value to your company and to them as a customer.
Try to add extra value by tacking your own insights onto the post.
Check out how analytics tool Oribi achieves this by reposting an article about the company.
By sharing content about themselves that’s been created by someone else, Oribi shows its brand’s significance within its field. Not only that, but it gives the analytics tools a chance to announce information about its brand.
5. Don’t compete for SEO
It’s poor taste to use someone’s content and then beat them out of the SERP rankings using SEO tactics.
Likewise, if a content creator has already made it to the top of SERP rankings for a particular keyword, it’s counterintuitive to compete against the original content with your own new article.
Instead, make sure you choose a different target keyword to focus on. The title of your article should reflect this and so should the angle of your content.
For example, take this sales blog by Sales Hacker.
Sales Hacker is attempting to offer the best sales blog, targeting the keyword ‘sales statistics’.
While there are plenty of statistics curated from third-party sources, this keyword doesn’t compete for SEO with other sources.
For example, take the first statistic. This links to a HubSpot report.
6. Tag content creators on social media
Just like linking to original sources in a blog, it’s important to credit the original poster on your social channels.
When you share a post, it will automatically link back to the original source. But what about when you directly post someone else’s graphic or video, rather than sharing it?
To credit the original creator, simply tag them in the post.
To honor the original customer, they tag the content creator. This also makes customers feel like they’re getting recognition from the brand.
In some cases, you may not need to tag the original creator if they have included a logo or relevant hashtag on the image.
Take this blog post by Preply about chat acronyms or internet abbreviations, for example.
The blog uses an image from social media to exemplify the use of the abbreviation ‘JSYK’.
This image already has a logo crediting the Marine Corps Marathon as the original creator, so Preply hasn’t credited it separately.
7. Create curatable content
Content curation goes both ways. While your content strategy should include a good percentage of content created by others, make sure your original content is curation-worthy, too.
This is especially important if you’re creating content on a complex subject, as it will help to show you as an authority in your field.
It also creates backlinks to your site, which boosts your SEO.
The number one result on Google has around 320% more backlinks than results two through 10. By creating curation-worthy content, you boost the chances of increasing your backlinks.
Take this diagram by Nlyte Software, for example.
This complex article aims to answer the question, “What is a data center?”.
The graphics within the article, as seen above, are especially good examples of content that could be curated by third-parties to help support their own explanations. That’s because the image we’ve shared here is full of useful information and statistics that can be curated into a new piece of content on another site.
Ethical content creation revolves around crediting the original creator for their work.
It’s important to add curated content to your content strategy, but you’ll run into copyright issues if you don’t cite original sources or tag the real creator.
If you’re still unsure about the ethics of content curation or how to build an effective content strategy, get in touch with the experts at The Kickass Entrepreneur today.