IABC - International Association of Business CommunicatorsBe Heard HomeJoin IABCSite MapContact Us


CW Bulletin

CW Bulletin is the e-newsletter supplement to CW magazine. Sent each month to all members, every issue of CW Bulletin presents articles, case studies and additional resources on timely topics in communication.

CW Online

Build Your Brand with Content Curation

by Christy Barksdale

Content curation, the process of regularly finding, grouping, organizing and sharing the best content online, has been an increasingly talked about trend in the past year.

With the rise of content marketing, an influx of online content farms and advances in technology, anyone can now be a publisher. The result? An overwhelming amount of content is now available online, making it difficult for professionals to efficiently manage their daily reading, as well as separate useful and accurate content from poor content.

By including content curation as part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy, an organization can provide a valuable service to its customers, prospects, and industry as a whole by addressing its audiences’ need for quality content and their lack of time to find it.

Further, companies can establish themselves as industry authorities; stand out in the marketplace; and influence buyer behavior by sharing the most relevant, thought-provoking online content.

Building authority
You might wonder how linking to others’ content can impact your business, particularly linking to competitors. The reality is that truly helpful content can be difficult to find, and audiences appreciate it when someone else does the work for them.

Instead of spending time searching the Web for news and information, your customers and prospects will turn to you for the best of information about a particular topic or industry. They trust that you have applied your industry expertise to identify the most pertinent information, and by making that information readily available in one location, you become the hub of the most relevant industry resources, encouraging your audience to return again and again.

Content curation allows you to nurture customer and prospect relationships, establish industry authority and extend your reach. Further, by linking to others’ content, you are creating goodwill in the industry and can build mutually beneficial relationships online.

The human touch
Content curation is often confused with aggregation. Aggregation is more of a filtering process, where information is identified by using broader keyword searches that return all potentially relevant resources available. In fact, you might already be aggregating content using an RSS reader.

Curation takes aggregation a step further, by applying high-level analysis to select and share the very best resources from the aggregated content. In many ways, a content curator acts as an editor who is responsible for publishing the most relevant and useful content for a particular audience. It is this extra step that truly makes curation valuable.

A number of tools have been created (such as Storify, Curated.by and Curata) that have helped to automate the otherwise manual, and often time-consuming, process of content curation.

Curated content distribution
There are several methods you can use to share your curated content with your audience. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Curated blog post: Write a weekly, biweekly or monthly blog post with a list of headlines and brief summaries of selected articles on a particular topic. Don’t forget to provide the links to the original full articles.
  • Online news portal: Create a resource center or media room on your website where you can curate and link to daily industry news.
  • Weekly video newscast: Produce a video recap of the week’s or month’s top news, and share on your web site and via social media.
  • E-newsletter: Curate industry articles and distribute via a weekly, biweekly or monthly e-newsletter to have regular contact with customers and prospects.
  • Social media: Share your selected articles via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to give credit to the article’s author with an @ message or a link to their profile.

The importance of content strategy
In order for content curation to be successful, it is important to consider its role in your larger content strategy, and to understand that creating original content is still a vital element in the content marketing mix.

While curation helps to combat information overload, it is with original content that your company will truly establish thought leadership. The challenge is to consistently provide value to your audience by offering informative, compelling resources that can help people do their jobs better. Curation is the icing on the cake that brings the industry’s best information to one central location—your business.


Christy Barksdale is a consultant and content services manager for Cleveland, Ohio-based PR 20/20, a marketing agency and public relations firm. She can be reached at christy@pr2020.com or on Twitter: @ChristyBarks. Visit the PR 20/20 Blog for information and resources on content marketing, search marketing, social media, PR and more.