What is Curated Content? & How to Use It in Your Content Strategy

March 4, 2020
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You may have heard the term "curated content" in reference to digital media and been a little confused. Maybe you know that curators traditionally collect items and manage museum exhibits, but this just leaves you with more questions.

What is content curation marketing? What does curation have to do with digital content? What is content curation in social media? What is content curation in SEO? And if museum curators showcase exhibits, how does a digital content curator display their “collection?”

Here, we’ll answer your questions and help you go from confusion to confidence.

Defining Curated Content

In digital marketing, curated content refers to the strategic sharing of other people’s work. Just as museum curators select, arrange, and display artifacts, digital content creators synthesize a handpicked collection of content for their target audiences and disseminate it via their online platforms.

Content curation is discriminating. You don’t want to share every article or meme that catches your fancy; only share content that will fit your brand and appeal to your target audience. Make sure that whatever content you use comes from reliable, authoritative sources in your industry.

When curating content, you don’t need to purchase anything: you just need to share pieces in accordance with copyright laws and SEO best practices.

Why Should I Use Curated Content?

Content curation increases your marketing power in several ways. Done appropriately, such sharing will:

  • Keep you on the cutting edge of your industry
  • Increase your recognition, credibility, and authority as an expert
  • Expand your following
  • Grow your professional network
  • Help build your business
  • Save you time and energy

How can curated content provide such incredible value? Consistently collecting new content will keep you up to date with latest developments in your industry; sharing others’ content decreases the amount of time you need to spend creating new, original material; and using timely, relevant pieces of content will motivate followers to keep up with your posts and spread the word about you.

Furthermore, showing support for your colleagues builds relationships and trust. Your colleagues will understand that you’re not just out for yourself, and your followers will view you as a trustworthy expert who cares about more than just money. Followers who trust you are more likely to become customers, so when you balance curated content with your unique, original contributions, your conversion rates will increase.

How Does Content Curation Affect SEO?

Well-curated content makes your online presence more attractive to search engines via posting frequency, keyword use, and links.

Social media algorithms and Google spiders prefer frequent and recent updates. By promoting others’ content, you can post as often as is ideal without decreasing content quality, repeating yourself, or seeming self-absorbed to audiences. Moreover, curation ensures that your content will always be relevant and timely.

Appropriate keywords in your content raise your page rankings. When you use curated content, keywords and key phrases are bound to naturally appear in your pieces — in commentary, captions, and synthesized reference material.

When you share links to great content, search engines recognize that you’re an engaged creator and begin to prioritize your content over others. Even better, as you build relationships, other creators will share links to your work — either through link-sharing arrangements or organic shout-outs. These backlinks show that you’re an authority in your field and that audiences wish to see your content — search engines will boost your page rankings accordingly.

What Does Successful Content Curation Look Like?

While sharing someone else’s content can be a win-win situation, you need to make sure that you share in a way that other creators will appreciate. For example, you don’t want to copy and paste an entire blog post onto your site, even with attribution, because the Google spiders will likely flag one or both sites for duplicate content.

Instead, provide links to others’ content along with your own commentary. To appropriately reference others’ works in your content:

  • Share experts’ social media posts and tag the original content creators
  • Include links to others’ works in your newsletters or announcements
  • Provide links to relevant sources in your blog posts
  • Periodically post reviews of another content creator’s works
  • Dedicate a page on your own site for links to other content creators’ platforms


Content curation is an effective way to create and share reliable, authoritative, and meaningful content in your industry. However you choose to curate content, make sure you share in ways that benefit the original creators. Show your appreciation for others, and you might find that they return the favor with your content, too!

This article was written by Compose.ly writer McKenna Johnson.

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