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What Matters More Than What You Curate [audio]

Today I want to share a quick thought on one of the most important aspects in having success with content curation; I’d even suggest it’s more important than the content you curate.

Wait, what could be more important than the content?

It’s essential that your audience feels and receives the value you provide.

This is important regardless of how you monetize your curation efforts. It doesn’t matter what market, niche, or audience you’re after.

Now this advice might run contrary to what you would expect from a team that creates a content curation tool, but understanding this idea is critical if you’re going to use curation in your content marketing.

Before we dive too far in, let’s talk about what curation is, and more importantly, what curation can be.

There are two distinct positions in which content curation really shines:

  • The top your funnel
  • Ongoing engagement with your current audience/customers

For most content marketers, the top of the funnel relates to curation being a great strategy to gain awareness in any market or niche.

This is where curation truly shines.

Proper content curation allows you to be part of the ongoing narratives, conversations, and news cycles within your market.

Customer Engagement and Retention

Curation also works well as a tool for engagement and retention for your existing audience or customers.

Look at it this way: Everybody has an audience or is looking to garner an audience. This is something I mention quite often with Quick Start clients or with people getting started with the Listening Engine.

Once the top of the funnel is in place, your next role is to feed your audience.

This is why your local news channels often lead with the same story;  it’s feeding its existing audience. You are either tuning in to get its unique perspective, unique take, or just out of habit.

I won’t dive into this too far because this will take us off the main point, and I have a much longer post planned that dives into creating habits with your audience.

Here’s the big take-away: If you’re looking at content curation as a strategy, start with the top of the funnel and engagement with your current audience.

But keep this one idea in mind…

Oftentimes, it doesn’t matter what you curate.

Yes, you can read that again, but stick with me!

What you curate is not as important as most people think it is.

Here’s What is Important

It’s important that your audience, even if it’s on a subtle level, feels the value that you provide. This could be the value that you provide it as the audience or the value that you provide to the market or the value that your product or service provides overall.

I know this might sound odd coming from someone who has created one of the best content curation platforms you can find on the market. And I know that we really focus people to specifically define their Listening Engines around a single market or niche. But our tool and the power that it contains are not as powerful as the person that uses them.

Here’s an example I often use to dive this point home. Let’s say you curate a story about dolphins, but your niche is completely unrelated, something in the manufacturing field.

If you could curate this article about dolphins and relate it to something that your audience would care about, and more importantly can reinforce the value that you provide to your market, well then you’ve taken curation to the next level.

If you take this to heart you are well on your way to making curation a highly effective strategy.

Sure you can curate the top stories, the top news, and the top trends in the manufacturing industry. Our tool allows you to do so easily. But taking curation to the next level is where you will see tremendous results.

Think about this for a moment, especially in regards to the two buckets of opportunity I talked about: the top of the funnel and feeding your audience.

When you curate along these lines, it sets you apart from everybody else in your market. Of course this helps you at the top of the funnel because it allows you to garner attention in ways that your competitors are not.

Here are a few headlines you could potentially use with a story like this.

  • How This Dolphin Behavior Can Help Your Manufacturing Plant Effectiveness
  • This Dolphin Behavior Nails What’s Wrong With Your Manufacturing Supply Chain

While those are probably not the best written headlines for what a story might be about you, can see that most likely others in your market are not going to correlate these two issues. Instantly you set yourself apart, and if done properly you’ve created a little bit of wonderment with the person who might see this headline.

Let’s talk about how this feeds your current audience. In much the same way that it flows into the top of the funnel, it serves your audience,members with a unique perspective that they are most likely not getting anywhere else. Once again, this is building your authority, setting you apart, and reinforcing your value.

Here’s How You Can Make This Happen

The first thing that you need to be is open to other topics and ideas that might relate to your market, especially if it’s not obvious on first glance.

In addition, concentrate on having a deep understanding of the interests and challenges of people in your market or niche. You should be doing this regardless if you are using curation or not.

You’ll want to be on a constant hunt in regards to the content/stories/topics/narratives you come across and how they can help or entertain people in your market or niche.

When we work with people who are setting up their Listening Engines, we like to suggest at least one unrelated topic to include.

For instance, the Listening Engine we use to curate content for this site has topics covering marketing, branding, and social media.

But we also have what we call horizontal topics; one of which is psychology.

While many of the stories that we find on a daily basis in this topic are unrelated, there are at least 2-3 a day that we can directly relate to marketing, content marketing, conversion, or building authority — all topics we talk about quite a bit on our site.

It’s then up to us, makers of  the most powerful curation tool on the planet, to relate these 2-3 stories to our audience and create the connection to how it will help them market better, create content, or persuade people.

Here’s One More Thing to Keep in Mind

Because curation is a top-of-the-funnel or an audience engagement tool, it’s important that you properly frame all of the content that you curate in this manner. This becomes increasingly more important if you’re properly tracking your KPIs or using a strategy like re-targeting.

This is an advanced point but an important one.

Let’s go back to the manufacturing example where we were curating something on dolphins.

You’ll notice both the headlines that we created are very specific in mentioning the manufacturing industry or manufacturing related terms. That’s important because if you skimp on the headline and you just mentioned dolphins or ‘this thing about dolphins will really blow your mind’, while you’ll probably generate some clicks and traffic, it is quite unlikely to be highly focused nor the type of audience you’re looking for.

So in curating in this manner, it’s important that you not only properly identify the audience that you’re looking to attract, but that you are also very mindful of the headlines and the commentary that you place around the  content that you’re curating.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this.

Yes, we create an amazing content curation tool that helps you quickly curate and easily discover content to curate any market or niche.

But keep this in mind.

What you curate is not as important as the context or the ideas that you have attached to that curation.

As long as your ideas strike an emotional connection with your audience and hold value for that audience, you are executing curation at a masterful level.