Curate Content as Part of Your Business Content Strategy

stampsLast week I gave a talk titled “Web Content Strategy for Your Business” at The Power Conference: Women Doing Business and was happy to learn that many session attendees were excited by the potential of curating content. It’s no small thing for those who aren’t writers—acting as a curator of other people’s content offers a clear and approachable path to legitimizing their expertise. Yes, audio and video are great if you don’t like to write—but no matter what the format, consistently producing fresh, timely content is a lot of work.

If you’ve been to an art show or museum, read an edited collection of stories or articles (including online and print newspapers), viewed the news or late-night comedy on TV, or rushed to sites like TMZ for the latest celebrity dish, you’ve consumed curated content.

A curator pulls together selected resources, stories, artifacts, and ideas to create something new and useful to the audience. The result may be a pure entertainment, soul-stirring art, or provocative commentary on the news of the day, the point is—people like it when someone else sorts through the available to create a focused product worthy of attention. You can work with that.

As a business owner or professional, when you decide to curate content rather than producing it yourself you step into a role that is part editor, part librarian, part commentator, and part quality assurance. Most of us are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content in our streams, feeds, email, etc. and appreciate finding people with shared interests whose opinion we trust to help cut through all the chatter.

To curate content effectively as part of your business web presence content strategy, you need to thoughtfully develop and carefully follow a strategy that is based on the needs, knowledge level, and interests of your target audience. Take the time to research and identify reputable sources in your field, keep track of your sources, and put it all together in a way that works for your audience. (pssssstt, strategically curating content over time results in a new collection of other people’s content created by you—how cool is that?)

One of our long-time favorite tools can be found at Delicious in the form of a free social bookmarking site. Delicious lets you collect, categorize, label, and sort links to useful content on the Web. We originally started using it as a way to avoid recreating lists of learning material for clients, later we created a regular blog feature based on links that often pulled  from our Chaos To Clarity bookmarks. It’s an organic experiment in content curation and discovery that makes it easy to share links and discover new content and Delicious is great for research too!  Happily Delicious is being revamped by a couple of YouTube founders who bought it from Yahoo so I can only imagine it will improve with age.

So get to strategizing and think about how you will consume, curate, and eventually create a collection of useful content that will promote your business effectively and bring valuable info to your audience!