Posted to Leigh Carver's blog on February 6th, 2013

What is Content Curation, Why Should I Care, and How Does it Work?

Curating content isn’t just reposting old newspaper clippings.
If you follow Volacci on social media or talk to us more than once in a blue moon, you've probably heard us mention content curation. Effective digital marketing strategies include content curation as a key component-- so if you aren't curating, or if you don't know what content curation is, we’re publishing a three-part guide to the what, why, and how of curated content. 
You can’t curate content if you don’t know what it means to do so. So, as someone who curates content all day, the absolute simplest definition I can provide you with is this:
Content curation means writing articles about articles.
You come into contact with curated content dozens of times a day. If you've ever read something on the Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Mashable, or even glanced at twitter, you've come into contact with curated content. If you've ever come across an article and sent it to your coworkers with a quick synopsis, congratulations! You've curated content.
But that definition is, in some senses, a little oversimplified. Curated content isn't just rehashing the same information over and over again. If you can, provide a unique spin: the point is to share and provide valuable news and perspectives on that news to your industry colleagues and to your clients. Curated content brings value back to your company by positioning your employees as thought leaders. We can now redefine the act of content curation as finding relevant industry articles and writing about them in a way that adds your own perspective.
News in every industry has an ebb and flow: one day, only one blog may post one piece of relevant content, and the next day, twenty news sources may mention something your readers would be interested in. One of the key components of curating, therefore, is distilling the sometimes-erratic release of news  into a steady flow of easily-digestible information for your readers. So, our definition of curated content can be expanded again, to regularly finding relevant industry articles and writing about them in a way that adds your own perspective on a reliable basis.
Finding relevant content doesn't mean just using listening tools like Google Alerts, but actively looking for news that may have passed under both my radar and my readers' radars. But just finding content isn't enough-- you have to distribute it. Share the content on your website and always, always include the accreditation link to original content. You don't want to plagiarize, and besides, linking back to the source is good manners and good SEO.
In light of all this information, I'm going to amend my original definition of what content curation is into a nice little four part statement:
Content curation is:
1. regularly finding relevant articles, news features, or blog posts;
2. writing your own content that offers your own perspective those articles, news features, or blog posts; and
3. sharing that content, with a link to the source article, on your website;
4. and doing so consistently.
Next week, we'll discuss why content curation is so important for your website, not only for nurturing your customers, but for increasing your visibility on the search engines.