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How to Know if You Should be Curating Content

    In the words of one of the greatest content marketers of all time, Kylie Jenner, “I just like to be original.” Jenner, who has dominated social media consistently and with her 100 million Instagram followers and similar volumes of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube followers (but not SnapChat, which makes her “sad” – a tweet that coincided with a 6 percent drop in stock value for the company), clearly values her ability to stand out. This makes her much like other content marketers in any industry sector. When it comes to content marketing, conventional wisdom insists the original, the unique, and the previously unseen is best.

    This insistence on originality is a great thing. It keeps blogs and other educational websites from all spouting identical information. It rewards true expertise – as long as you can also effectively convey that expertise. However, it may be that a sole focus on originality could be hurting your business.

    Certain types of brands actually may benefit from being a source of curated content instead of just publishing their own, unique content. For example, if your business would benefit from your personal ability to become a “thought leader” in your sector, then curating content in addition to providing original content is a great way to make that shift in audience perception. Providing additional content, especially from other recognized experts, is also a way to build trust with your audience since they know your focus is on giving them the bestinformation, not just your information.

    Consider, as an example, the conservative news website, The Drudge Report. Matt Drudge, the owner, seldom writes anything original for the website. In fact, he does not often offer original commentary in person either. Instead, he simply posts dozens of news stories from other websites that he believes are relevant to his readers and to the events of the day. Despite creating next to no original content in any media venue, Drudge is commonly considered the instigator behind a “cultural revolution” in the media and among the media’s audience.

    Today, Drudge is a trusted and often sole source of news for millions. In fact, in November 2018 alone, his website had 2.5 million unique visitors and 292 million page views thanks to frequent returns. Love or hate his politics, Drudge’s ability to identify news that will outrage, inform, and educate his audience has made him what one Republican strategist dubbed “a wellspring for the conservative media ecosystem.”

    So What About Me?

    Of course, Matt Drudge is not for everyone, nor is content curation. Here are a few indicators that you might consider curating some content on your website:

    • Your brand involves you, personally
    • You often speak publicly, in person or via remote outlets or social media, for your brand
    • You want to be a “thought leader” or “influencer”
    • Your credibility has not been established
    • Your business could benefit from association with other industry leaders and professionals
    • Your content strategy is failing because you do not have time to create original content

    Of course, not everyone wants to or should curate content outside of their own original content. In fact, in most cases, content curation is not for amateurs because, when done incorrectly, it opens you up to “invasion” of your website by competitors, potential topical blindness if you provide too much external information, and even accusations of plagiarism or theft of intellectual content.

    However, if you meet the descriptions above or if you find that you are unable to create enough original content to sustain your current content marketing strategy, curatingsomewebsite content could be the answer. Work with a professional in content strategy to identify if this technique might improve your website performance or enhance your brand and to make sure you are providing curated content in a manner that is both ethical and meets all journalistic and legal requisites. Curated content, in the right environment, could  dramatically change how you interact with your clients and customers for the better.