Taking Curated Content to the Next Level
I get the whole time issue: Constantly writing content is a chore, takes time and with everything else you’ve got to do original thought is hard. It’s a common problem; hence the introduction of curated content. But if you’re curating content which simply gets spun for your next blog, you’re digging yourself a brand hole. I personally subscribe to several sources of curated content. Month after month I've seen the same topics come out as trending topics…but rarely have I seen original thought in any post past the first issue. Do I therefore remember the writer or company that jumps on the bandwagon, collects curated content and publishes their own, newly spun blog? Never…and therein lies the problem.
So in my experience I’ve had to come up with ways to take research and curated content, and make it original and fresh. Here are a few tips or practices I use for planting original thoughts.
Turn Thought into Practical Reality Don’t stick with high level thought - turn theory into practical reality. This is by far the biggest advantage I can use to stick it to your competitors, because rarely will they take their curated content to this level of helpfulness. Don’t just state opinions or ideas…show readers how to take this information and apply it to their own businesses.
Connect the Dots One of the commonly used topics for many businesses is “trends”. Writers want to be the first to spot trends…but soon they’re all writing about the same trends, which is hardly original. It’s ok to report on trends so long as you connect the dots for people, something you rarely see.
Dig a little deeper. With curated content this isn't difficult if you ask yourself a few questions and answer them for your readers:
Why did this trend come about;
What outside influences within the industry are driving the trend;
What are the bigger ramifications this trend has for your industry.
How can you react because of this trend so you can be prepared, preserve business or be in compliance, etc.
Point-Counterpoint You don’t always have to agree with curated content. In fact, sometimes you’ll do yourself a favor and get your brand a lot of kudos if you give a rebuttal to current thought found in curated content, especially when a new trend's ROI looks doubtful. Don’t be afraid to go against the flow.
If it’s in your best interest within your industry, consider expressing opposing views to curated content. I have even co-authored a blog with people in organizations and offered opposing viewpoints within a Point-Counterpoint type of article.
If All Else Fails, At Least Be Creative in Your Presentation Within every industry curated content will be in the form of blogs - and almost all of it will sound the same. If it is all true and it’s hard to come up with original direction or additional proof (use), I often turn the curated content into an infographic. I gather numerous stats, sources and facts. I then show the logical flow in a process or display anticipated outcomes within in the infographic; I add graphical embellishments, then write copy and cite sources around the visual piece.
Above All Else, to Thine Own Self Be True Blogs and content marketing have one job and one job only: To present your brand in a memorable way that displays thought leadership and endears your brand to buyers. Otherwise no one will remember us.