The difference is, it can be done through readymade social media – whether that’s something as simple as a Twitter account or as textured as a narrative thread on Storify.
In fact, what’s interesting about the newer social platforms like Storify and Pinterest is that the ability to shape content through nuanced interpretation is really valued by users. People don’t trust keywords – they trust someone with a credible voice who can help them pick a path through all that content out there.
This is what makes content curation particularly useful for building, maintaining and developing shared communities of taste.
As web guru Clay Shirky says, “Curation comes up when search stops working. It comes up when people realise that content isn’t just about information seeking, it’s about synchronising a community.”
There are obvious opportunities here for marketers. They can use content curation to establish a reputation for their brand as a trusted authority or resource in a particular area, whether that’s interior design or personal finance. It can build a community of potentially loyal brand advocates, and foster interactions which generate new ideas.
The opportunities are particularly valuable for online retail brands. As shoppers turn to online communities to help them filter product information into a manageable set of recommendations, then browsing curated collections becomes the most interesting way to buy new products. What starts as curated content becomes a form of curated commerce.
So what are the steps to take in order to start curating content for your brand? The first thing to do is identify what’s already going on out there. By discovering which other brands surround your own in curated collections, you can fine-tune your marketing strategy.
By identifying content curators that already share the same tastes as your audience, you can encourage them to review your products or invite them onto your site as a guest curator.
Once you’ve done your research, you can begin to insert your own curated content into this shared-taste online landscape.
Just follow these simple rules:
- Pick your theme and stick to it – content curation works cumulatively over time. So establish a reputation for yourself on a niche theme and don’t be tempted to wander off.
- Share only the best – it’s about quality, not quantity. Seek out the brilliant and the obscure, not the commonplace.
- Keep on doing it every month – show that you’re on top of the changes in your world. Keep people regularly informed and up-to-date.
- Respond to your followers – show that you’re interested in the tweets and comments your curations generate. That’s what building a community is all about.