Organic Posting

Your Complete Guide to Curating Content like a Pro (With Examples)

Content curation is a very valuable part of your marketing strategy. It's a way to provide value to your followers while highlighting your industry expertise. Learn how to harness the power of content curation with this comprehensive guide.

By 

Esther Van den Eynde

November 8, 2021

4 min read

Being consistent on social media is really important for you and your business. If you don't post regularly, people will forget about you and your brand. We understand coming up with content ideas takes time. Time you may not have.

Luckily, there's a proven solution that gets you results and doesn't require social media to become a full-time job.

The solution is called "Content curation".

Content curation is a very valuable part of your marketing strategy. More than simply re-sharing content, curation is a way to provide value to your followers while highlighting your industry expertise.

Learn how to harness the power of content curation to take your social media to the next level. In this comprehensive guide, we discuss the definition, importance, best practices and step-by-step guide.

Let's dive into it.

What is curated content for social media?

Content curation for social media is finding all the interesting content on the web and posting the best articles, videos, and infographics to engage your followers. Rather than creating original content, you share valuable content from others in your field and add your personal take on it.

In short, curating content involves 4 steps:

  1. Find content from external sources that could be interesting to your audience,
  2. Identify the most relevant content,
  3. Add value, and
  4. Share this on your socials.
content curation finding content identify relevant content share social media

What are the benefits of curated content for your business?

1️⃣ Content inspiration and creation gets a whole lot easier.

Growing on social media requires you to post consistently on multiple channels, multiple times a week. As a busy entrepreneur, you don't have time to spend endless hours trying to think of new and unique ways to fill your content calendar. The best thing is that you don't have to.

Curated content is excellent to fill gaps in your content calendar. And if that isn't amazing enough, it even cuts the actual content creation time in half.

2️⃣ Build your reputation as a thought leader.

To build credibility, you need to create engaging, high-quality, relevant content that adds value for your audience. Content curation is a way to do just that. There's no better way to show off that you're up to date on the latest trends in your industry.

Establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field by selecting relevant content from only the most trusted sources. Add your unique insights and you've got yourself some killer content.

3️⃣ Build a network within your industry.

Is there a better way to get on someone's radar than by sharing their content? We think not.

Curating the most relevant content puts you in a key position in your industry. This is your gateway to connect with other thought leaders and influencers.

4️⃣ Incorporate outside voices.

We're sorry to break this to you, but not even your most loyal customer wants to hear about your business all the time. If you only talk about how great your product or service is, you're guaranteed to annoy your audience. (Where's that unfollow button?)

Curating content is a great way to stay relevant, provide a good content mix and add value so your audience wants to stay.  (Where's that follow button?)

How to curate content?

By now, you're probably wondering why you haven't given content curation a genuine chance. Sometimes you need a push to make a change... So this is yours.

Let's break down the process of content curation step by step.

1️⃣ Find relevant content

Start by defining what topics you want to cover.

Look for that "Sweet Spot" of a) What your business's expertise is and b) what your audience needs.

Venn diagram Sweet Spot Content Marketing audience's needs business's expertise

To help you discover your brand's sweet spot, ask yourself these questions:

  • What issue is my audience facing? How can I / my business help?
  • What does my audience want to achieve? How can I / my business help them achieve this?
  • What are people searching about my industry or topic of expertise?

Understanding what people are searching about your industry is essential to determine the topics to write about. As an example, use these tools to find out what your audience wants to know about your field of expertise:

  • Answer The Public to discover all 'how',' what', 'when', 'who,' 'why'-questions people search about a topic.
  • Quora is a forum-style platform where people go to ask questions and share insights. Browse through the questions about your industry to discover possible topics.
  • The 'People also ask" section on the Google result page is an easy and often overlooked strategy. Click questions you find interesting and discover related questions as you go.
'People also ask" section on Google result page Employer Branding

Now you have a variety of topics to choose from. Let's pick one topic to start with. Discover as much information about this topic as possible on the Internet. After that, you're ready to move on to the next step.

2️⃣ Identify the most relevant content

Let's evaluate the content you have gathered. Leave any content that is questionable, untrustworthy or invaluable.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I trust this information and the source?
  • Will my audience find this information helpful?
  • Does this content strengthen my brand and image?
  • Do I have a unique, personal take or opinion on this content?


Answering "YES!" to these questions means you have chosen the most valuable and relevant content. Congratulations!

On to the next step.

3️⃣ Add value

This part is often where you make or break your post's engagement.

Don't just share the content without adding your take on it. Then you might as well just share the link and call it a day. Reminder: Your audience follows you for a reason. They want to know your opinion.

Depending on the amount of effort you wish to expend, there are 3 ways to share curated content. Spoiler alert: The more value you provide, the more time-consuming the creation process will be.

But you have to trust the process. 🙏

Option 1: Share using an automated caption

The fastest way to share a news article is to let Willow suggest an automated caption.

Important side note: Fast doesn't always mean better. It's likely that your audience won't be engaged by this content. If you post this type of content often, you may lose some followers.

Take a look at this example by Forbes. Is it engaging? Are you eager to read more? Is it catching your attention as you scroll?

Our bet is you probably answered "No" to these questions.

Sorry, Forbes.

Forbes article
Option 2: Write your own caption

Way better is to write an original caption. Your audience will immediately be able to tell that the caption came from you, and as a result, will be more likely to engage with the content. People still prefer humans over robots 🤖.

Have trouble coming up with a caption? Here are a few suggestions:

  • What caught your attention in the article? A good summary or introduction? Maybe a quote? Use this as a starting point for your caption.
  • Is there no suitable copy-paste opportunity?  Freestyle and write your own summary. Give away some of the content of the article.
  • What really stood out for you? List the key points you took away from the article.

For more information on how to write captions, read this blog post.

Look at this example where Ludwig not only wrote an original summary but also included a quote. 💯

Social media post sales team
Option 3: Make the post your own

You gathered all the interesting content on the internet on your topic of choice and have a pretty solid idea of what to post. Use this knowledge and inspiration to create your own LinkedIn article, slideshow or infographic. Check out Canva to find some great ready-to-use templates for carousels or infographics.

This method is more time-consuming but it pays off in terms of engagement and interested followers.

Let's look at this example in detail of how Willow turned a social media report into a highly engaging carousel and blogpost.

20 actionable tips to maximize reach on linkedin

Case Study: Example of an engaging curated social media post

Here are some questions we know our audience has:

  • How to get organic reach on LinkedIn?
  • What types of content perform best on LinkedIn?
  • What is the best time and frequency to post on LinkedIn?
  • Can I include external links in my captions on LinkedIn?

We reviewed a 40+ page report about the latest LinkedIn Algorithm research and outlined the key takeaways that would help our customers maximize their reach on LinkedIn. The research covers all topics mentioned above: Best performing content, best posting time and frequency and how to use external links.

Not only did we create a social media post with carousel but we also wrote a blog post. Algorithm tips tend to be too high-level for our audience, so we focused on making the tips as actionable as possible to add as much value for our audience as possible.

example blogpost linkedin

Results?

It may seem like a lot of work (and in truth, it was). Yet look what we got in return on this post alone:

  • 58% engagement rate (Keep in mind an engagement rate of 2% is considered "good".)
  • 5,043 impressions
  • 197% increase in followers compared to the previous week.
  • These effects lingered on for several weeks!

3 tools you can use to start curating content today

Tools help accelerate and even partly automate the process of content curation. There's really no excuse not to make content curation a solid part of your marketing strategy 😉.

Willow

We might be a bit biased towards this one but... How nice would it be to let relevant content come to you instead of searching the web for it?

Very nice, because you can.

Follow your favorite influencers, topics and RSS feeds. Willow delivers great news articles from trusted sources. Willow even recommends content based on the articles you posted earlier. The more you share, the better your recommended content will be and the more time you will save.

Save articles as you go so you have an entire list of articles to choose from when you need a post. Create and schedule the post immediately on the platform.

Pocket

Save articles, videos, blog posts, or other content to your pocket account as you surf the web. Consult the list of your curated topics whenever you need a post.

Google Alerts

Create Google Alerts for keywords relevant to our industry. You'll be notified by email whenever Google finds new content with those keywords. Whenever you need to, you have access to up-to-date content.

In short: Best practices of curating content for social media

  • Be selective in the content and sources you curate from.
  • Always credit the source.
  • Add value and context.
  • Create the content with your audience's interest in mind.
  • Trigger your audience's interest and engagement with a captivating headline and a scroll-stopping visual.
  • Experiment with different formats: infographic, listicle, carousel, blog post, newsletter.
  • Provide a good content mix of original and curated content.

Good luck and happy curating! 🔍

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