What Is Curated Content? | Benefits and Tools

Writer:
Julia Dupuis
Editor:
Casey Horgan
Published: Mar 04, 2020
Last Updated:
January 23, 2024
Table of Contents
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If you’re interested in digital marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase: “Content is king.” Blog content, social media content, sponsored content, organic content — it’s the foundation of modern advertising that makes up your distinctive brand identity. 

But keeping up with today’s fast-paced content marketplace isn’t easy. Thanks to the success of content marketing and the rise of social media, content marketing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. Now, thousands of companies are flooding the internet with daily posts, overwhelming readers with choices. Sixty percent of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. 

So how do you create innovative, engaging content that cuts through the clutter? With curated content, you can provide meaningful and engaging content without having to create anything at all. More than just re-sharing the work of others, content curation is a way to deliver value while also keeping up with the pressing demand for content from customers. If it’s done the right way, it can also position your brand as a leader in the industry. 

So what is curated content, exactly? Let’s break down everything you need to know about curated content, including how you use it to step up your content marketing strategy. 

Curated Content Explained 

What does curated content mean? To start, we first need to define curation. 

Think about the role of curators in a museum. They select relevant and noteworthy artworks for an exhibit. But more than that, it’s the curator’s role to create an experience for customers, telling the right story at the right time. 

For marketers, the basics of content curation aren’t much different. Curated content is a strategy that involves finding and sharing high-quality, relevant, and authoritative content with your audience. The practice involves finding and recirculating meaningful work in your industry, whether it’s a “how to” listicle or a report breaking down new research findings. 

When it’s used alongside original content, curated content can create a more well-rounded content strategy. In the oversaturated world of online content, it’s important to do more than just talk. You can also listen and share the work of others. 

With that being said, content curation isn't as easy as just regurgitating content you’ve found online. Curation involves selecting the right content at the right time for your specific audience. But the best content curation can go even further, adding expertise to the content that positions your brand as an authoritative source on the topic. In this way, great content by other brands can become a strength for your brand too, as long as you add value to the story rather than just repeat what’s already been said. 

What Are the Benefits of Content Curation? 

Whether you’re a small business or have an overflowing marketing budget, you can benefit from the advantages of curation. Let’s explore all the things content curation can do for you. 

Establishes Your Brand as a Thought Leader

There’s something new on the internet to look at every day, no matter the niche. When you stay on top of relevant news in your industry and share it through curated expertise, you can position yourself as a voice worth listening to. 

Even though you didn’t write the content yourself, the act of sharing it alone demonstrates that you’re educated and informed on the most important issues in your industry. And if you can add your own insight, then it lets you demonstrate expertise without creating a separate, repetitive article. 

For creating high-quality original content, consider hiring a writer from Compose.ly.

Feeds Your Content Pipeline in a Cost-Effective Way

Most businesses can’t keep up with the breakneck pace of daily content creation across multiple platforms. Content curation is a cost-effective solution, letting you feed the non-stop content pipeline without letting the quality of your content suffer. Instead of churning out more and more content to fit a quota, you can focus on recirculating other meaningful content in your industry. 

Provides Exceptional Value to Your Target Audience

As the internet continues to grow, so does the amount of content. There are a staggering 3.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day. No matter your target audience, you’ll be facing stiff competition to get them to see your content. 

What’s the best way to cut through the noise? It’s simple. Provide exceptional value to your customers. Content curation saves your audience time, helping them find the information they need to answer their most pressing questions — all in one place. Whether you created it or not, your audience will appreciate the fact that you took the time to curate resources and bring them the most important insights. 

This kind of content also gives customers a break from self-promotion. For customers, just existing online can mean being bombarded by advertisements and CTAs asking to “Learn more” and “Buy now.” When you take the time to share purposeful information from other industry leaders — without a heavy sales pitch — it tells customers that you’re committed to helping them, not just selling to them. 

Helps Build a Community With Other Brands

Content curation isn’t about “stealing” content from other brands. In fact, it can be powerful PR for both brands. You get a new piece of engaging and relevant content that showcases your expertise, and they get exposure to your audience and authority-building links. 

Content curation should be part of your relationship-building with other brands. Use it as a networking opportunity. You can tag them, DM the brand, or even reach out to let them know you’ve shared their article and build the groundwork for a future relationship. 

Boosts Your SEO Efforts

Curated content is what creates a buzz online, collecting the most relevant and timely information in one simple place. Just one curated article gaining attention can bring hundreds (if not thousands) of new eyes to your brand, all thanks to the SEO benefits. 

When done correctly, content curation can fuel your online presence, capturing new traffic, shares, links, and ultimately, better rankings. 

Content curation doesn’t involve writing new, original content, which might seem like it’s not appealing to search engine algorithms. But the opposite may be true. Knowing how to curate content the right way can make your work even more appealing to search engines and social media algorithms. 

Google’s purpose is to show users the best and most relevant content. So if you’re sharing content that the algorithm has already deemed informative and high-quality, there’s a good chance your website will rank higher. The content you’re sharing probably already hits many of Google’s most important metrics, like authoritative links and relevant SEO keywords or key phrases that can also boost your ranking. 

The benefits of curated content aren’t just dependent on one article or social media post. It’s a long-term strategy that can have long-term results. The more you invest in sharing authoritative sources, the more search engines will recognize you as an engaged creator and begin to prioritize your content. It also tells other brands that you’re open for collaboration, encouraging them to share links to your work or even shout you out organically, which can improve your SEO over time. 

What Challenges Does Content Curation Present to Marketers?

While content curation offers a whole world of marketing opportunities, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. It’s not easy to strike a balance between original and repurposed, especially in a way that excites audiences in an overcrowded digital market. 

Here are some of the main challenges to overcome with curated content marketing. 

Difficulty in Finding High-Quality Content

A decade ago, most brands were still using traditional marketing methods. Today, it’s all about digital marketing. Just about every brand in your industry already has a content marketing strategy in place. Some might even have well-established blogs that claim the top of all the relevant searches in your field. 

All of that means one thing: There’s a lot of content out there. And not all of it is quality content. Search engines are cluttered with articles that are poorly written, hard to read, or just don’t go deep enough to provide the information readers need.

It might take less time and resources to curate content, but you still need to invest time to perfect the curation itself. Finding all of the best content from across the internet that fits a specific trending topic isn’t easy. 

Copyright Issues for Lack of Reference to the Original Source

Content curation is completely legal under the fair use doctrine, but it can still be tricky to navigate the legal complexities of the practice. 

There’s still a clear line between copying and curating. If you reproduce content without proper attribution, it can get you in trouble with copyright law. 

For example, just republishing someone else’s original article onto your blog isn’t content curation. It also isn’t just placing links on your website — that’s considered content aggregation. Make sure you add your own original context to frame the piece, and link back to the primary source with additional written credit. 

The Balance Between Sharing and Creating Original Content

Content curation offers a chance for marketing teams to break out of the cycle of endless, repetitive content. But if you’re not careful, you could end up contributing to the same crowded marketplace by regurgitating the same words in the same way. 

That’s why it’s so important to bring an original take to everything you do. When you share someone else’s work, write your own story to set the piece in its relevant context, even if it’s just a line or two. The goal is to elevate the original piece. Don’t just highlight its most important concepts, but also how those points contribute to your content’s story. 

Even if you aren’t adding original insight, a curator can make pieces original just through creative and innovative curation. There are already thousands of articles that curate and aggregate content — in every industry. What stories haven’t been told yet? Which patterns have content creators not explored or highlighted? 

Content Relevancy to the Target Audience’s Profile

Don’t curate content just to get in on a new marketing trend. Each curated post should be targeted and purposeful, with a clear story to tell to your audience. If a piece doesn't align with your brand or doesn't match your audience profiling, it might not be a good fit for your readers. 

Be selective in what you choose. If it doesn’t answer questions or solve problems for your target audience, it doesn’t need to be included. 

How Do You Curate a Piece of Content?

Content curation has the potential to revitalize your marketing channels, as long as it's used correctly. 

The basics of the process are pretty simple: 

  1. Browse for trending topics and content.
  2. Brainstorm curated content ideas based on themes.
  3. Collect and organize content by relevance.
  4. Incorporate your curated content into a completed work.
  5. Schedule using your content calendar.

When you get into the details, however, it gets far more complicated. It takes careful research, optimization, and tailoring to create a high-quality piece of curated content. For a full breakdown of content curation, including examples, check out our content curation guide

Just remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Explore the internet for inspiration to see what people, technology, and ideas are at the forefront of your industry. Keep a close eye on trends and breaking news, as well as what key influencers in your niche are saying. 

What Tools Do Content Marketers Use for Content Curation?

Content curation can save you time and money, but only if you’re using the right tools to maximize efficiency. To curate the best possible works, you need to do more than 10 minutes of googling. It takes careful research and in-depth exploration to come up with trending topics, let alone curate the content you need to explore those topics. 

The good news is that you don’t have to curate everything manually. Many content marketers turn to digital tools to enhance the process. 

Here are some of the best tools to make content creation easier. 

  • Google News Alerts — provides email notifications for topics or names 
  • BuzzSumo — follows the trends of key influencers in different niches 
  • Hootsuite — tracks keywords, topics, or accounts across platforms
  • Curate by UpContent — helps you find and customize high-quality content
  • TrendSpottr — uses predictive intelligence to find content before it goes viral

Streamline Your Content Marketing Efforts With the Best Resources 

More and more marketing teams feel under pressure to put out content every day, or otherwise risk falling behind. It's time to take a new approach to content production — one that doesn't overlook the power of curated content. 

While original content plays an important role in bringing fresh ideas to the digital world, curated content is just as important. It’s curated content that brings the concepts to life, putting some of the most inspiring and informative ideas across your industry in one place. It shows that your brand is about more than just sales. You’re committed to being a reliable voice and an industry leader. 

Ready to put out your own curated content? Before you start, you need to have the best marketing tools in your arsenal. Check out the Compose.ly Resource Center to explore more writing tips and content marketing hacks. And if you need expert help, hire a writer from Compose.ly to boost your content strategy.

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