Content Curation is definitely a buzzword in today’s marketing world. However, content curation isn’t anything new to us…
- Your uncle or grandfather forwards you jokes (humor curation)
- You may have bus stop or playground gossip circles (local curation)
- Mom calls with the scoop on everything else (family curation)
- We have countless go-to sources online for news and ideas
Why Curation in the first place?
One word: Authority. If you frequently pass along articles and resources on a particular topic, you become a go-to resource, like your mother for family news, and your uncle for side-splitting jokes.
Search engines and social networks will recognize the concentration of your content around certain keywords, meaning your results will outrank people who post about a wide variety of topics.
If the allure of fame, notoriety and the Suggested Users List on social networks is your brand of vodka, then curation should definitely be a big part of your online marketing strategy.
How do I go about curating content?
Well, there are services like Paper.li and Scoop.it, but they’re third parties who may change the rules or be subject to service or API issues. Email newsletters are a fantastic source for curation; however, many people’s inboxes are filled daily with low quality junk mail, so unless you can blow their minds with every issue, you might be intruding on their day.
And personally, I feel that email newsletters are the most consistent way to curate. Email will never die, it’s portable, and is not subject to any restrictions or algorithms from third parties. For that reason, of course, it’s one of the hardest curation channels to do right. I’m not the only one to believe this, check out this insightful article on Copyblogger about email replacing RSS.
Using Google Plus for content curation
Another method for content curation, though, is on Google+. Yes, I realize I said to stay away from third parties and social networks, but if you’re going to go down this road, at least take the one with the “Google+” sign on the corner! Here are two methods to curate content, and why I feel that short of email newsletters, this approach is the way to go:
Dedicated Google+ Pages
A dedicated page on Google+ can work two ways for your content curation. As a curator, you can post and share about your topic of choice all day long. As a page, you can also join communities and share your expertise & resources there as well.
As a consumer, a dedicated “topic” page is a single source for you to read articles and posts about the topic in which you’re interested.
Quick example: I’ve created a page called A Better, Smarter Web Presence, where I only share content that is insightful
and practical about web design, online marketing, etc. That page has various brands and profiles circled who specifically write about, or curate, content about web design, online marketing, etc.
So, if I want to read up on the latest in web design, online marketing, etc. I simply log into that page and look at the home screen feed. This is far more effective than managing my home feed, or even a circle feed, within my personal profile.
Communities were built as topic-based centers for content. It stands to reason that if you want to build authority about a particular topic, having a targeted community that’s dedicated to a topic is a natural solution.
Quick example: My A Better, Smarter Web Presence Page created a targeted community called Google Plus for Small Business. We’re focusing the content therein specifically on business issues, not general Google+ usage or the latest platform news. The built-in support for notifying members about new topics is fantastic for curation, and the ability for members to share their own content helps take the burden off the curator (and broadens the reach of the community as members recruit their own network).
TIP: My page “owns” the community, which is linked to this website…which means all of the highly-targeted Google+ content that gets posted in it also passes along some ‘SEO juice’ to my site.
Why Google+ makes more sense for curation than other services
As you can see from the examples above, Google+ can be a very powerful tool for curators. Here’s a recap of reasons why you should consider a Page, Community, or both:
- Notifications tell your audience you’ve shared a new post (and if they’ve turned on email notifications for you that’s even better).
- Linking your Page to your website helps pass along some authority and SEO juice about your curation topics.
- You have the ability to write SEO-friendly posts in addition to the content you curate, which is indexed by Google and will help you build authority.
- Followers of your page (or members of your community) are highly-targeted individuals that could help you spread the word about your own content.
Sold yet? Great, now go set up some pages for yourself! Just go to the Pages tab in Google+ and click “Create a page”.