Your digital marketing strategy is built around getting noticed online.

And, just like you wouldn’t try to get everyone’s attention in a crowded stadium by yelling without a microphone, you won’t draw attention to your digital platforms with just one type of content.

That’s where curated content comes in.

Curated content goes beyond reposting and sharing from other social feeds. It involves strategy and finesse. To get the most out of content curation, it’s not enough to know how to curate content.

You need to know the best practices for curating content and how you can use content curation to boost your credibility and enhance your social media presence. 

What is curated content? 

You’re probably sharing content from other brands and people you follow on social media to offer your followers a richer experience. Curated content takes this idea a step further.

Instead of sharing engaging posts you’ve stumbled upon in the wild, curated content involves developing and executing a strategy for the type of content you share. 

While you can share attention-grabbing social media posts and engage readers with blog posts, videos, and other content, when you’re curating content, you’re considering your audience and what they want to see.

Rather than sharing what you find interesting, you’re narrowing it down to the pieces that add the best value for your followers. 

Why should you include content curation in your social strategy? 

Content marketing is an important part of your business, with 72% of marketers reporting that it improves engagement with customers. But creating insanely good content is tough, especially when you’re running your business and leading other marketing activities. 

Curated content takes some of the pressure off, letting you create an interesting feed your followers want to follow without having to do it all alone. But the benefits don’t stop there. It also helps you build your reputation as a leader in your field. You can connect your followers with interesting information shaping the trends of your industry. 

Curated content helps you build an audience. When you credit your original source by backlinking it and using hashtags, you can attract people from their audience. You also drive people to your source’s website to engage in dialogue.

Best of all, curated content offers a breath of fresh air to your feed. Social media isn’t about trying to sell your followers by consistently posting about your products and services. The best curated content builds customer relationships and guides interaction.

By posting curated content, you can step away from anything that seems too branded and offer posts that will interest your followers. 

Best practices for curating content

Content curation can be tricky. You need to have a sense of your audience and their preferences so that you can choose stories, videos, and other posts that appeal to them.

Use your own social media analytics to see which posts tend to get the most traction on your page. This will give you a sense of what they care about and what gets them engaged. 

Once you’ve got an idea of topics that interest your audience, it’s time to start curating. You can take the guesswork out of it by following these best practices. 

Save time by creating a list of content sources and resources

Having a go-to list of resources will make it easier for you to curate content on your own social media feeds. You can check your sources daily to see what they are posting and choose content that your readers find engaging. Some potential sources include the following:

Experts or industry leaders

Sharing content from industry leaders shows your followers that you have a pulse on your field. It also helps you build potential relationships with these thought leaders since you’re helping them expand their influence. 

Follow respected leaders and influencers in your field and repost content that would resonate with your audience. 

Industry-related associations

Industry associations are in the business of knowing what topics will impact your field.

If you’re a member, follow their blog or their trade publication to get a sense of what they’re talking about. Share what’s interesting. 

The local chamber of commerce

If you’re operating a brick-and-mortar business, the local chamber of commerce is a prime resource for events and issues coming up in the neighborhood. Show your followers and fellow business owners that you care about your community by posting about issues that are pertinent to locals. 

Industry-related websites

Go beyond the typical trade publications as you source industry news.

Look through other industry-adjacent websites for content that appeals to your followers. For example, if you own a restaurant, follow the Open Table blog for its local guides and industry news. 

This recent post shares James Beard award winners. Even if none of the winners are in your city, your followers may be interested in checking out the best of the business. 

Post content your followers would find interesting like this Open Table blog post about James Beard award winners.

Industry-related newsletters

You’re passionate about your industry, so you like to learn all about it, which likely includes subscriptions to different newsletters. These newsletters often contain valuable content your followers would enjoy. Find the posts and share them on your social platforms. 

Customers

Since you’re already interacting with your customers online, you may have an idea of whose feeds are the most interesting. Follow customers who engage with you most often and see what kinds of content they’re sharing. 

Partners

Follow your vendors or other businesses in your area and see what they’re sharing on their social media platforms. Share these profiles with your customers. Maybe one of your suppliers has a fun TikTok with tips and tricks about their products. Your customers could be intrigued. 

Employees

Your employees are another excellent source of curated content. Even if they aren’t interacting with customers or serving as the face of your brand, they’re closely connected with your company.

If your employees are posting content that adds value to your industry, highlight them by reposting and giving them credit. 

What to keep in your content database

Once you’ve created your content database, here are some items you can track. This will make it easier for you to curate multiple posts and add all the necessary backlinks: 

  • List of resources
  • Website addresses
  • Links to social media accounts of each resource
  • Notes on what type of information they provide

Stay focused by choosing content that is in line with your brand and interesting to your audience

One of the best practices for curating content is to make sure that anything you post looks like it belongs on your feed. 

While you may own a restaurant and be interested in adventure sports, your customers probably don’t care about your latest mountain bike purchase. So don’t alienate them.

Unless it directly affects your business, save personal information and posts on your hobbies for your personal feed and keep your curated content focused on what your business audience wants to see.

Provide value to your audience by choosing quality over quantity

You might be tempted to share every post that catches your eye, but that might not help you build your following. Tech manufacturer SanDisk has built an Instagram following of nearly 96,000 with a wealth of curated content.

The company regularly posts videos from its fans and brand ambassadors. But SanDisk doesn’t overdo it. The company sticks with similarly-themed posts that are well-composed and thrilling. And the Instagram account is only updated every few days. Users don’t have to see a flurry of new posts every day. 

Post content that aligns with your branding, so it seems more organic. Image Credit: Sandisk Instagram Feed

Simplify by curating content that can be shared on multiple platforms

You don’t have to get into every new social media fad that pops up. You likely already know which channels are most effective for your audience. And, if you’ve been sticking to one platform because you didn’t have time to create content for more than that, now’s your chance to branch out a little.

If you’re curating content for multiple profiles, make it simple by making it sharable.

For instance, create a photo with a headline that links back to your curated blog posts so that you can share it through Instagram and Facebook along with your LinkedIn page or your email campaigns. 

And try to find videos and other content that’s easy to post in multiple places. 

Get attention by writing great headlines

Social media offers multiple tools for helping users stumble on your content. But without a great headline, your followers may be more likely to scroll right past the most interesting post. Best practices for curating content include learning the art of writing a great headline. 

A well-crafted headline inspires users to click on the post, so you need to draw them in by creating impact. Here are some guidelines for writing memorable headlines that inspire clicks. 

Throw out the rules

People respond to numbers. Many writing style guides state to write out numbers between one and ten in your content. But this rule doesn’t apply to headlines. People are more likely to click if you use a number instead of a word. 

When you can, include real data to entice a click. Think about these two headlines for an article about retail customer service: 

  • The best customer service tricks for your business
  • 15 customer service hacks that reduce wait times by up to 20%

People are more likely to click on the second headline because they know what they’re getting out of the post. The first one is vague and uninteresting. 

Offer advice

The second headline above is also more effective because it offers the reader concrete advice.

Include tips or something similar in your headlines to generate interest. If your post doesn’t offer tips or tricks, make it seem interesting by telling the reader what it does offer such as facts you never knew or ideas you can use. 

Ask a question

When you ask a question in your headlines, your readers will already answer it in their heads. If it’s a good question, they may be more interested in knowing the answer. Think of how you can pose an interesting question about your curated content.

Be specific

This is not the time to beat around the bush. Say what you mean and be direct. Tell your followers why they should care about your content. They’ll be more interested, and your headline is more likely to show up in internet searches for that specific topic. 

Be original

Before you hit “post,” search for your headline on the internet and see what comes up. If your headline is drowning in a sea of similar content, change it. 

Stay professional by always crediting the original source

This is one of the primary best practices for curating content. Posting people’s content without crediting them is like plagiarizing in school — don’t do it.

If you’re just reposting or sharing on social media, you’re already giving credit to the source. Platforms including Twitter and Instagram display shared content as it was originally created. If you want to take it a step further, quote the tweet and tag the original poster in your headline.

When you’re sharing someone else’s blog post in your newsletter, on LinkedIn, or on your own blog, acknowledge the source upfront and include backlinks to the original post. 

Build relationships by prioritizing content from your partners and prospects

You can cast a wider net by partnering with your vendors, other business owners in your area, or other partner companies in your industry. Celebrate these partnerships by sharing their content frequently.

When your prospects post interesting videos, blogs, and other social media feeds, share them. 

Not only does it help build your relationships, because your prospects will know you’re interested in their content, it can also potentially broaden both of your audiences.

Weave curated content into your social media marketing by scheduling posts around various themes.

Stay interesting by spreading curated content out

When you’re creating your content calendar, be strategic about when you’re sharing other people’s content.

Curated content should supplement your original content. Not replace it. Find a balance between your own branded content and curating content from your followers. And, keep a content calendar to help you mix in other people’s content with your own.

If you’re using social media to promote a new product launch or event, find supplemental content from your resource list to round out your social media, making your feed interesting and engaging for your followers. 

Experimenting with curated content

Determine your overall goals for content. If you’re interested in building a deeper connection with your prospects and customers, then connect with them where they are. Find your most popular social media platforms and use curated content to help grow them. 

When you’re starting out on social media, experiment with multiple platforms. Pinterest was built on curated content, so make a business profile and start practicing by creating different boards. If you’re posting on Instagram, use curated content with eye-catching photos or appealing videos. 

If you’re more interested in growing social media platforms that aren’t getting as much traction, post your curated content on these platforms. Then track your social media metrics. If you notice that your followers are engaging with curated posts, try to figure out why guest posts are more successful. It may be the topic or the tone.

Look through comments and other interactions and use the feedback to improve your organic content.

Curated content should feel organic to your social media profile. It should align with your brand and blend in with your original posts. So, if you’re not already posting regularly on TikTok, for example, you shouldn’t use it to share curated content. 

Build a deeper connection with your own followers

Content curation makes your social media feed richer and more valuable for your audience.

  • It helps you build your credibility by showcasing your commitment to your field
  • Establishes you as a thought
  • Adds more value to your social media feed or your blog by displacing the sales-oriented nature of your posts
  • Gives your followers a needed break from branded posts
  • It can help you create a better connection with your audience 

Best practices for curating content include:

  • Creating a list of resources and tracking web links and social media links.
  • Focusing on content that aligns with your brand and tone so it feels like it would naturally appear on your page. 
  • Writing great headlines and captions for your social media posts to entice readers to click through. 
  • Always crediting your sources and posting links back to the original content. 
  • Never posting your curated content all at once.

Following these guidelines will help you keep your social media feeds fresh, making your brand a must-visit destination for your followers. 

Start curating content by browsing content from someone in your industry that you follow and find an article or post that you feel your audience would be interested in. Then, schedule it into your marketing calendar and prepare to start building your reputation, building your audience, and building better customer relationships.

Want to learn more about content curation? Check out this article on how to curate content.