Cendrine Marrouat
February 18, 2015

Content Curation: A Case Study in Doing It Right

Curation museum

Photo credit: Ted and Jen via Flickr CC

Like content creation, curation is not a one-size-fits-all tactic. There are many ways to do it right. As many, in fact, as there are curators.

With that said, curation is an art form. It goes beyond the simple acts of copying and pasting a paragraph or two from an article, adding a link, and sharing the whole thing with an audience. Great curation “adds meaning to isolated beautiful things” — to quote Rohit Bhargava.

In his excellent article for MarketingProfs, the author and marketer explains that curators have five things in common: They are inquisitive, observant, thoughtful, ‘fickle’, and concise. Fickle because they have learnt to “save ideas for later digestion.”

In my years in the field, I have learnt a lot from peers like Robin Good, Martin W. Smith, and Karen Dietz. The latter, in particular, does a stellar job at presenting her posts. And this is what I would like to show you today.

A Great Example of Curated Content

I came across Karen’s work on Scoop.it a couple of years ago. She is a business consultant who specializes in storytelling.

Here is one of the best curations I have read from her. Click the screenshot to zoom in.

Karen Dietz case study

Here is why I love the post:

1. Karen mentions the author and source of the article. Giving credit where credit is due is a way to show how much you value someone’s work. Your curation also looks a lot more thoughtful and solid as a result.

If you share content on Google+ and Twitter, for example, don’t forget to tag the authors! Here is how to do it very easily on the Plus.

2. The introduction is enticing. Karen does not just sum up the main points of the post in plain English. Note her insights and formatting — short and bolded words and phrases. This helps direct attention to key concepts.

3. The title is optimized. How Does Content Marketing Actually Get You More Sales? became Storytelling In Content Marketing: How To Actually Get You More Sales. Why? There are two reasons:

  • Karen is telling search engines that she is not trying to compete with the original post;
  • By making the title relevant to her specific audience, she is also helping the author get more exposure in the process.

4. There are calls to action. Here, Karen prompts the reader to click the link, experiment, and continue the conversation (“Tell me your story”). What a great way to build conversations!

Additional Tips to Deliver Great Curated Pieces

There are a few more things you can do to make your posts shine:

  • Read everything you curate.
  • Quote short passages from sources to provide more context when warranted
  • Curate on social networks and your blog. You want to attract prospects and leads where it truly matters to your bottom line.
  • Adapt your curations to the platforms you use. Every social network serves a specific purpose. Your audience there expects you to know that.
  • Do not always share the same sources. Focus on quality and credible information instead.

Most importantly, remember that it’s not about you but about your audience. Your role is to uncover gems. And sometimes, those gems feature contrarian views. Curating them will add another dimension to your work.

What is your favorite example of curated content? Share with us in the comment section below.

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Cendrine Marrouat

Social media blogger, coach, curator, and author at Social Media Slant
Cendrine Marrouat is a content writer & curator, social media trainer, author, and photographer. She is also the founder of Social Media Slant, a blog helping small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs to figure out the basics of social media. "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", her latest social media ebook, was awarded a 2015 Small Business Book Award in the Social Media Category. Website: cendrinemarrouat.com