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Content Curation and Topical Authority

The Concept of Content Curation

A museum or gallery curator guides visitors to items that they’re interested in. The curator acts as a knowledgeable expert and trusted resource…

…and one who has the visitor’s interests at heart.

All successful content curators understand why the latter part is so important.

Curation is central to content marketing strategies because:

  1. It shows users what they’re looking for. It’s not just an unstaffed showroom – it’s a guided tour to the most relevant information or service, with a full explanation.
  2. It guarantees quality. The curator is an expert. They understand what the user wants. They’ve developed trust. This has to be followed through with high-quality content that matches the user’s interests.
  3. It establishes a relationship. Consistent engagement is the foundation of topical authority. People visit curated exhibitions because they know they’re working with experts. Deliver consistently, and you’re on the road to long-term high engagement.

The Relationship Between Content Curation and Topical Authority

Topical authority is digital status. It’s the reputation as a subject expert you earn by consistently providing valuable, in-depth, and accurate content.

This is partly established by search engines, and partly by users.

Both are indispensable.

Content curation is your opportunity to showcase your subject knowledge. It lets you tap into trends and give your audience insights they won’t find elsewhere.

Of course, you’re not a chancer trying to capitalize on fleeting trends.

When your users discover your content, they’ll find it backed up with an impressive network of organized, fully-researched, well-written information.

You don’t get this kind of topical depth with your standard high-profile blogger or podcaster.

This is what separates topical authority from digital leafleting.

The Importance of Content Curation in SEO and Digital Marketing

Content curation enhances your brand’s online presence and visibility.

By sharing relevant and engaging content, you stand a far better chance of being discovered by new users. What does this lead to?

Greater engagement. Brand loyalty. Topical authority.

Content curation also helps establish credibility and trust with your existing followers as an authoritative guide.

From an SEO perspective, curated content contributes to your website’s topical authority and can improve your search engine rankings. Search engines prioritize high-quality, informative content.

Establishing yourself as a trusted curator of high-quality content from other established sources puts you in the conversation as an analyst. It builds your reputation.

Reputation is a key metric of authority.

Understanding the Basics of Content Curation

What is Content Curation?

Content curation is a strategic approach to finding, collecting, organizing, and sharing relevant and valuable content from various sources.

What should you include with curated content? The main two types of sources are:

  1. Reputable and informative, worth sharing on their own merits.
  2. Popular but needing critical interrogation from an expert – that’s you.

As long as the source is prolific, you can help your users understand relevant issues by interrogating and analyzing the content.

The goal is to engage, inform, and entertain your target audience. It’s labor-intensive – you’ll need to sift through a vast amount of information, selecting the most useful pieces, and presenting them in a coherent, accessible way.

The ultimate goal is to build engagement with an audience while establishing yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable source within your industry.

Your brand could use this kind of exposure – here’s why.

The Benefits of Content Curation for Your Brand

  1. Establishes credibility and authority: By sharing and analyzing well-researched, relevant content from reputable sources, you demonstrate your expertise and establish your brand as an authority in your niche.
  2. Saves time and resources: Curating content is an affordable, evergreen, and sustainable marketing strategy. You can devote more time and resources to other priorities.
  3. Enhances audience engagement: People love sharing content on hot topics. People really love sharing responses to content on hot topics. Identify content that readers are resonating with and share your take on it.
  4. Supports SEO: Consistently curating and sharing high-quality content can improve your website’s topical authority – it helps search engines identify your niche.

Different Types of Content Curation

Which type of content curation should you use? It depends on your niche, but the following strategies are appropriate for all curators.

  1. Social media curation: Social channels are the best way to publicize your take on a trending subject or article. A brief summary of your opinion with “read my full take here” and a link to a longer post is a tried-and-tested engagement technique.
  2. Blog post curation: Compile and summarize valuable content from various sources on a specific topic – produce the systematic review of blog posts in your niche. This provides a comprehensive resource for your audience and demonstrates that you’re serious about the subject.
  3. Newsletter curation: Send curated newsletters to your subscribers, featuring handpicked content from around the web that is relevant and valuable to your audience.
  4. Video and podcast curation: Sharing curated video and audio content from experts in your industry is highly recommended. Video content performs well but is expensive to produce, so sharing lets you tap into that power on a limited budget. It also provides your audience with diverse perspectives and insights.

Once you’ve chosen your medium, you’ll need to start curating. This means sifting through reams of content and establishing which will perform best with your audience.

Selecting High-Quality, Relevant Content to Share

These are the guidelines for understand how curated content will perform.

  1. Relevance: Choose content that aligns with your audience’s interests, needs, and preferences. Ensure the information is up-to-date and adds value to your followers.
  2. Credibility: Share content from reputable sources with a proven track record of providing accurate and reliable information. This helps build trust and credibility with your audience.
  3. Diversity: Curate content from a variety of sources to provide your audience with diverse perspectives and insights. This can include articles, videos, podcasts, and infographics from industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders.

Demonstrating Expertise by Providing Context and Insights

An uncritical curator is like a showroom without any staff. Your readers came here to learn, and they expect you to provide insight.

Stating your opinion guarantees that you won’t be 100% popular. More importantly, it guarantees that you will see higher engagement – because you’re engaging.

Here’s how to present curated content.

  1. Add your commentary: Include your thoughts, instinctive reaction, and expert analysis. Develop a “short take” suitable for social posts, and where necessary, a “long form” take in blog form that can be posted on your website.
  2. Highlight key takeaways: Summarize the main points or findings of whatever you’re sharing. Your audience isn’t guaranteed to view what you’re sharing – help them understand in brief.
  3. Connect the dots: Whatever you curate needs to be relevant to your niche. Make it personal. Show the relationship between the curated content and your brand’s overall message, mission, or goals. This reinforces your topical authority and strengthens your brand identity.

Collaborating with Industry Influencers and Thought Leaders

How do you reach the creators at the top of your field?

These are the people who, ultimately, you want to get backlinks from. Their recommendation could skyrocket your website’s traffic.

Let’s start with the basics: it’s not about trying to get someone to like you. It’s about speaking on equal terms, using your subject knowledge to demonstrate your expertise and earning their respect.

But you have to do the speaking part – and you have to speak directly to them. Here’s how to build collaboration with thought leaders and influencers in your field.

  1. Share their content: This is a given. It provides valuable information to your audience, gives you a chance to react and share your unique opinions, and establishes a basis of respect.
  2. Engage in discussions: Discussion is a public forum – but some are more public than others. Don’t limit your contributions to social media. Find forums and channels that your field’s thought leaders contribute to or frequent. This is often a great chance to showcase your topical depth, as forums accept more in-depth analysis than social channels.
  3. Co-create content: Where possible, collaborate with influencers and thought leaders to create original content, such as interviews, guest blog posts, or joint webinars. Connecting your audiences is mutually beneficial, and other creators are much more likely to give you organic backlinks when you’ve worked together previously.

Best Practices for Content Curation

What are the steps in curation? You’ve already got the industry expertise you need for analysis. Now you just need to select the best content.

Here’s how.

Using Content Curation Tools and Platforms

  1. Content discovery tools: Feedly, Pocket, Scoop.it and other tools can suggest relevant content from numerous sources. This gives you a starter pack for discovering the best curation opportunities.
  2. Social media management platforms: Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social allow you to schedule and share curated content across multiple social media channels. This helps with consistency – you can’t drive engagement by reviewing a random article or video every 6 months.
  3. Content curation plugins: Plugins like Curated or WP RSS Aggregator can be added to your website to help you organize and display curated content in a visually appealing way.

Balancing Original Content and Curated Content

You won’t become a topical authority strictly through content curation and reviews. It’s part of a holistic approach that also includes original content that showcases your topical depth.

Here’s how to strike that balance.

  1. Maintain a healthy mix: Curated content provides a diverse range of resources and insights. Original content provides the low-down – those things you consider worth saying even when they’re not trending. Both are essential for topical authority.
  2. Tailor your approach: Adapt your content curation strategy based on your audience’s preferences, engagement levels, and feedback. If your curated content performs especially strongly, it’s worth leaning into more. Likewise, if content curation leads to high engagement with your original articles, that’s what your readers want more of.
  3. Align content with your brand goals: Ensure that both your original and curated content align with your brand’s mission, vision, and values. Never share content until you’re 100% clear what your stance is. People asking questions is good – that’s engagement. If you can’t answer them, you’re no longer curating.

Maintaining Consistency in Content Curation

A curator has topical authority because they talk frequently about a niche topic.

Otherwise… it’s just someone who occasionally thinks about something.

Consistency is always central to establishing topical authority. You need to be consistent.

Here’s how to ensure you’re always in the right place at the right time.

  1. Create a content calendar: Develop a calendar that outlines the topics, sources, and frequency of your curated content. Your releases will be regular, meaning readers will check your socials and website for the next update.
  2. Stay up-to-date with industry news: Monitor industry news, trends, and developments to ensure you’re always sharing the latest and most relevant information with your audience. Sharing outdated or debunked content is always slightly embarrassing.
  3. Adapt and evolve: This is a marketing strategy. It needs success metrics. User engagement, feedback, and industry changes must be monitored at all times. This keeps your content fresh, relevant, and engaging.

Tips for Effective Content Curation

Stay Up-to-Date with Industry News and Trends

Reactive content will always depend on industry trends. Here’s how to keep an eye out for bombshells and everything your readers will want to know about.

  1. Subscribe to relevant newsletters: Sign up for newsletters from industry-leading publications, blogs, and influencers to stay informed about the latest news, trends, and insights.
  2. Set up Google Alerts: Create Google Alerts for specific keywords or topics related to your industry to receive regular updates on new content that matches your criteria.
  3. Follow industry influencers on social media: Keep an eye on the content shared by thought leaders and experts in your niche. You never know when someone will publish a game-changing hot take – social media is a goldmine for skilled content curators.

Organize and Categorize Curated Content

You’ll want to keep an eye on what you’re reviewing – and whose content you’re curating.

There’s not much more embarrassing than publishing a glowing review of someone’s thoughts one week…

…only to decry them as a fraud for a completely different post the next week because you didn’t check who was speaking.

Here’s how to keep tabs on your curated content.

  1. Use content curation tools: Organizational tools like Feedly, Pocket, or Evernote help collect, organize, and categorize the content you want to share with your audience.
  2. Create topic-specific folders or boards: Sort your curated content into folders or boards based on specific themes, topics, or categories.
  3. Develop a tagging system: Tagging helps identify and locate relevant content when needed, making it easier to share with your audience – especially if you’re reviewing a new topic on short notice.

Give Proper Credit and Attribution

Showing your sources is mandatory for content curators. You can run into a world of trouble if you don’t give proper credit.

At best, content creators who might have been open to future collaborations may not want to work with you because you didn’t credit them properly.

At worst, you could face legal repercussions for using content without the author’s permissions.

Giving proper credit is also just a great way to establish yourself as a friendly, reasonable source within your industry. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Link to original sources: Always link back to the original source of the content you’re sharing, acknowledging the creator’s work and providing your audience with access to the full piece.
  2. Cite authors and publications: Give credit to the author and publication by mentioning them in your commentary or summary, highlighting their expertise and contributions to the topic.
  3. Share content responsibly: Ensure that you’re sharing curated content in a way that respects the creator’s intellectual property rights and adheres to any applicable guidelines or restrictions.

Measuring the Success of Your Content Curation Strategy

A marketing strategy that doesn’t work is a waste of money.

This is why content curation is such a great tool for building topical authority.

It’s affordable for anyone – the key resource is time.

Of course, time is money, and we still need success metrics.

So here they are.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  1. Engagement metrics: Monitor likes, shares, comments, and click-through rates on your curated content to gauge how well it resonates with your audience.
  2. Website traffic: Track the number of visitors, page views, and bounce rates on your website to assess the impact of your content curation efforts on overall site performance.
  3. Social media growth: Track follower counts, impressions, and reach across your social media channels.This helps you measure how your strategy is attracting new followers and expanding your reach.
  4. Conversion rates: Analyze the number of leads, subscribers, or customers generated through your curated content to determine its role in driving business growth and revenue.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Content Curation Strategy

  1. Regularly review your KPIs: If your KPIs aren’t delivering, it might be time for a change. Adjust according to audience engagement.
  2. Gather audience feedback: Solicit (and listen to) feedback from your audience to better understand their preferences, needs, and interests. Refine your content curation efforts accordingly.
  3. Approach should follow goals: The purpose of this topical authority strategy is to drive engagement. If an outlier succeeds where your initial curation strategy failed, learn from its success and adjust your approach accordingly.

All successful content creators are consistent, flexible, and responsive.

Be consistent in your delivery.

Be flexible as you learn what your audience wants.

Be responsive to current trends – show that you have your finger on the pulse.

That’s what your readers want you to interpret. That’s how you build topical authority.

Conclusion

The Power of Content Curation

Content curation is an essential component of any successful content marketing strategy. By consistently sharing valuable, relevant, and engaging content from various sources, you can establish your brand as a trusted authority in your niche, foster audience engagement, and enhance your digital marketing performance.

Why should your marketing strategy include content curation?

Because it’s a tried-and-tested technique that even small businesses can leverage successfully.

Key Takeaways

And what have we learned about this technique?

  1. Content curation helps you demonstrate expertise, stay updated with industry trends, and share valuable insights with your audience.
  2. High-quality content curation contributes to your website’s topical authority and can improve your search engine rankings.
  3. Effective content curation involves selecting credible, diverse sources, providing context and insights, and collaborating with industry influencers and thought leaders.
  4. Establishing topical authority through content curation requires a balance of original and curated content, consistency in your efforts, and adherence to best practices.
  5. Measuring the success of your content curation strategy is crucial for making data-driven adjustments and refining your approach.

So here’s your approach…

There are empty vessels that make a lot of noise when something hits the headlines. Closer examination reveals a lack of credentials and their prominence fades rapidly.

There are quiet experts who shun social channels. This is foolish – the experienced curator understands that the best place to showcase the best content is where the people are.

You’re ready to give your audience the best of both worlds. An expert content curator with accessible credentials who has something to say on every development in your niche.

A true topical authority.

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