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Why Your Business Should Curate Content

Curation vs. Aggregation

Why Your Business Should Curate Content
By Joe Issid
Monster Contributing Writer

In today's digital marketplace, producing regular content is critical to any company's success. The prevalence of social media and the content-driven platforms upon which they rest can reap incalculable benefits for your business. However, creating original content can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. As virtually every business – big or small – has turned to the web to promote itself, the necessity for high volumes of high-velocity content has never been greater.
Big companies have the luxury of being able to afford to produce original content as a means of expanding their brand appeal to a wide audience. Naturally, companies like Coca Cola and Nike can afford to produce enormous amounts of digital and video content to further their respective corporate missions. Conversely, small businesses will struggle to compete as they simply don't have the means of keeping up. So, how can a small business seek to leverage digital platforms as a means of leveling the playing field?
Curation vs aggregation
There is often confusion surrounding the difference between curating and aggregating original content. Content aggregators simply pool links to content sources and display them with limited context and oversight. Often, aggregation processes are automated and require very little editorial intervention. On the other hand, curating content involves a more intimate and involved relationship with third-party content. Good content curators review relevant content and provide additional commentary that provides added value. While it may seem counter-intuitive to link to external (often competitor) content sources, the added benefit is measurable. But how?
Topic authority
Internet marketers have long been consulting small businesses to get involved in discussions surrounding their brand and industry. By getting involved in matters that are relevant to your corporate mission you stand to increase your authority within your industry or domain. As such, linking to and discussing content sources can be an extremely good method of engaging with your consumer base. If you are not able to regularly produce high quality content, the next best alternative is to seek out such content and editorialize it. Take the example of a local sporting goods store. If the business owner cannot afford to produce a glamorous sports video featuring high-paid athletes, he may choose to curate some of Nike's latest advertisements and disseminate them to his consumer base. Collecting some of the best sports content from across the web and providing some relevant local insight can not only help drive consumer interest but can also inform the content producer (in this case Nike) that you support their content. This can certainly help a small business owner develop a relationship with Nike while promoting his personal business.
Social gains
Anyone who follows former Star Trek actor George Takei on Facebook will attest to the fact that he is an expert content curator. He has been able to gain millions of digital followers simply by linking to and providing humorous commentary to popular internet memes. While he does not actually produce any of his own original content, he has become a force in the internet comedic community simply because he is able to editorialize and disseminate large volumes of popular content. Takei has been able to create his own personal brand simply by investing time and effort into sharing other people's quality content. Popularity by association is an extremely powerful strategy.
A small business often has the luxury of being more agile than its larger competitors. However, it can often be a tall order to produce spontaneous content in reaction to current events if you simply don't have the resources. The great benefit of curating content is that allows smaller businesses to remain topical and relevant by responding to and sharing content in a timely manner. Our sports store owner may not have the resources to report about the Olympic Games, but he is certainly in a position to communicate salient stories to his followers quickly and affordably.
Over the years, content curation has become big business. In fact, many web organisations do nothing but scour the internet for quality content and re-package it; popular web sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed have built their entire businesses around such practices. They have simply taken the idea of content curation and have turned it into a stand-alone brand. If you want your business to be involved in a particular conversation online, you can build your authority simply by curating relevant content.