Content Curation Examples: 5 Companies Getting Curation Right
Content curation isn’t a new idea, but it is a concept that many marketers haven’t yet mastered. In a post on the HootSuite blog, Kristina Cisnero describes content marketing as follows, “Content curation doesn’t include creating new content; it’s the act of discovering, compiling, and sharing existing content with your online followers.” It’s this distinction that makes content curation different from content creation, and that’s precisely where many marketers get confused.
There are dozens of tools that help you curate and organize content effectively. We named 50 of them in this post from October 2015. But tools alone don’t make for highly effective content curation, though they can certainly streamline the process. You have to understand the types of content and the topics that your audience values (though there are tools to help you figure that out, too), then gather the right content, organize, and share it in meaningful, useful ways. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up a few fantastic examples of companies that are getting curation right.
1. Ahrefs: A Massive Expert Roundup Post
This is a tactic that we employ on the Docurated blog, as well (check out this post and this post for examples), but Ahrefs does a bang-up job of creating an expert roundup post. In this Monster Roundup example, Ahrefs gets insights from 90 SEO experts on white hat linkbuilding, outsourcing, and scaling, including experts such as Rand Fishkin of Moz, Neil Patel of Kissmetrics and QuickSprout, and others.
But Monster Roundups aren’t the only way Ahrefs gets curation right. In this post, they evaluate four case studies highlighting ways four savvy marketers built thousands of white hat backlinks with zero outreach, another fine example of curated content. And here’s another way to approach curation: In this post, Ahrefs analyzes data – not their own data, but data from Inbound.org’s top 200 submissions – provided their own commentary, and of course topped it all off with some “pretty charts.”
2. Buffer: Roundups, Expert Insights, and More
Buffer is a leader in social media management, and the company’s success can surely be attributed to their mastery of content curation. After all, a brand’s entire social media strategy can’t be based solely on its own content (well, it could, but not everyone has an in-house creative team capable of cranking out 10-15 brand new content assets on the daily).
Buffer’s strategy encompasses a variety of content curation tactics, such as tools roundups like this one and guides packed with actionable tips like this one, which includes Buffer’s own commentary along with tips and advice from other experts, strategies gleaned from a variety of sources, and more. Even simple (yet information-rich) checklists like this one are great examples of content curation. Walking readers through the essential steps for content distribution, this post highlights relevant examples from bloggers and publications.
3. The Drudge Report: When Curation Doesn’t Have to Be Pretty
The Drudge Report isn’t the most visually appealing site on the web, but it’s one of the most basic examples of how content curation can build a brand. The Drudge Report, which boasts more than 16 million unique visitors every month, consists entirely of curated content, curated using simple hyperlinks with the Drudge Report’s own headlines.
The sheer success the Drudge Report has achieved relying solely on curated content proves just how valuable content curation can be to an audience.
4. Everyone Social: Tapping into Content Curation for Resource Creation
Everyone Social certainly does a fine job at creating a good volume of content that’s both engaging and useful for their audience. From the company’s blog to its resource section, including white papers and infographics, Social Business Talks, and more, curation plays a big role in the content success of Everyone Social. This blog post, for instance, is a good example of a curated list, naming 10 social media marketing thought leaders to follow on Twitter.
Everyone Social’s Social Business Talks is a particularly compelling example that combines both content curation and influencer marketing (as do many content curation tactics we highlight in this post). This collection features video interviews with some of the world’s most recognized thought leaders in digital marketing, like Rand Fishkin, Chris Brogan, Joe Pulizzi, Ken Krogue, and more. Everyone Social’s many informational guides and other resources often feature insights and commentary from third-party experts and thought leaders, as well, building the possibility of reaching a broader audience while simultaneously capitalizing on the OPC (Other People’s Content) opportunity.
5. Udemy: Building a Business on Curated Content
Yes, it could be argued that Udemy’s model is a business model, not a content model, but it is a business model built on curated content. Udemy, if you’re unfamiliar, is a platform where instructors – including business leaders and experts from virtually all walks of life – can upload and lead courses on anything you can possibly imagine. Instructors can set prices for their courses, and Udemy takes a cut of the revenues.
The results have been pretty amazing: More than 9 million students have learned something new through one of Udemy’s 35,000 courses, with new content being added all the time. Udemy makes the site easy to navigate with helpful search functions and topics such as the Top Python Courses and the Top Java Tutorials, roundups complete with some helpful insights on the broad topic followed by the most popular courses in the category. Content curation even carries over to the Udemy blog, where you’ll find regular Friday news roundups like this one and this one, along with curated posts such as this one, which highlights 10 great examples of PowerPoint presentations, and this one, identifying the top 10 programming languages to learn in 2014.
Of course, there are thousands of examples of companies using content curation effectively, but these examples were chosen to illustrate some of the many different tactics that can be employed to take advantage of the power of content curation to build your brand and engage and nurture prospects. Content doesn’t have to be yours to offer value to your audience, and these five companies clearly demonstrate that in more ways than one.
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