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Let me start by saying I know that there are various opinions on whether or not content curation is a good idea or not.  The purpose of this post is to help you along in figuring out if content curation should fit into your content marketing mix.

What’s Curated Content

Curated content, is just content gathered from various sources into one comprehensive resource.  The content could be ebooks, presentations, blog post, etc.  I think once you get a firm grip on the concept of content curation you’ll find it to be a valuable resource in content marketing arsenal.

Curating Content Is Not Easy

There’s a misconception that curating content is like hitting the Staples ‘Easy Button’.  The fact is that done right curating content can take as much time or content curationmore than producing it yourself.  It can take quite a bit of time to do careful evaluation to create quality curated content worth reading.  The end result of properly curated content can be a very valuable piece of content that helps your readers who are seeking information on a given topic to cut through the clutter on the web and save time.

The only thing better than one reliable resource of information is 15 reliable resources…all found in one place.  Have you ever wondered why an art gallery is so popular?

Below I’ve put together 10 awesome ideas for curating content.

10 Types of Curated Content

1. Expert Tips: Possibly my favorite type since I’m an information hog.  I love finding out what the top thinkers, movers, and shakers are saying.  The good thing about expert tips is that anyone with good online research skills has the ability to curate this way.  For example, I’m not an expert on computer displays.  But, through some purposeful research, I could likely create a valuable list of top tips for choosing a video display for small business looking to do in house graphics by simply aggregating a variety of tips from experts on the subject from around the web…hmm!.

Insider Tip: Consider aggregating tips from various experts in your industry on a given topic into a list for one great piece of curated content.

2. Presentations/Webinars: You may have noticed that webinars and sites like SlideShare are running over with information these days.  Try searching for the best presentations on an industry-related topic by searching with appropriate keywords and sorting by the most popular. Then aggregate the best picks into a blog post by embedding the slide presentations!

3. Quotations: Another one of my favorites.  Curating quotes gives you the opportunity to add value and unique insight to kick the content up a notch or two.

4. Case Studies: People love to learn by example, and they love social proof. Want to emphasize or disprove a simple point or idea? Pull together some case study examples of others that support or refute that point.

5. Industry Blogs/Sites: You likely read other blogs that your readers might find useful as well.  Share them by aggregating a list and offering brief descriptions of the top blogs in your industry or on certain topics.

6. Infographics: These are great for visual learners.  Keep an eye out for infographics popping up in your industry, add them to a blog post, don’t forget to add additional value by including your insights.

7. Statistics, Data, Charts, and Graphs: Data will forever and always be a hot commodity.  Marketers of all sorts need information to backup the points their making.  Why shouldn’t they get the information from your site?  Put together a list of the most interesting charts/graphs on a topic.

8. Videos: Video is the fastest growing medium on the internet.  Try collecting the best videos on a hot industry topic and post them to your blog.  A word of caution here: Sometimes video content is remove or relocated, periodically check the links to ensure they still work.

9. Books/Ebooks: Try creating a list of must-read books for your audience.

10. Industry Examples: Taking screen shots offers an endless loop of possibilities for curated content.  For example, are a web design company can take screenshots of favorite web designs and explain what’s great about each.  A landscaper can find images of landscaping work and why each job is great, or not.

Important: Don’t forget to document the sources of your material.

Importance of Quality & Relevance in Curation

Final thought:  regardless of the type of content you decide to curate keep in mind the quality and the relevance need to both be high.  That’s to say that no one is interested in a list of the To 20 Oh..Hum (you fill in the blank), they want a list of the most awesome stuff out there.  And don’t forget to make sure that the information is relevant to your audience.  A curated list of sweet cat pictures might be cute, but if you’re not in the pet business it likely should not be on your site.