Curate, don’t create – The benefits of content curation

  1. Would you like to get some instant traction and engagement on your social media channels?
  2. Are you finding it a challenge to create ideas for content for your blog?
  3. Is your online activity inconsistent and sporadic?

If so, this article about the benefits of content curation for social media marketing is for you.

What can I do right now…?

I met with a business owner in Fife recently and we were discussing content strategy for his business. Although he agreed with the approach and what needed to be done, he understood that it’s going to take time to generate unique content and get traction on social. He then asked me “what can I do right now to start generating some interest about my business online?”.

As a business owner I’m sure you’ll agree that you’d like to find the quickest or most efficient way to get started.

Disclaimer: This is an interim solution
It’s worth noting that content curation for social media is really an interim solution to help you with your online channels and platforms, although it’s not a waste of time and something that you can continue with when you start creating your own unique content.

There are a lot of benefits associated with content curation, and you can mix it in with your content strategy going forward. In short, content curation is a place to start if you want to get started quickly, but keep in mind that you will still have to work on and create your overall content strategy and create your own unique content.

What is content curation?

Let’s strip away the marketing ‘buzz words’ and keep it simple. The process of content curation is simply searching and sifting through content online (blogs, news, videos, podcasts, images, infographics, etc) to find information that is relevant to your audience and to your niche.

As a small business owner you know a lot about your industry, you know a lot about your customers and audience, but you may not have time to create as much content as you’d like to. Perhaps the content you share on your social media channels is sporadic and inconsistent. You can fill those gaps with great content that already exists online.

Think like a Museum Curator

What’s the main objective of a museum? You could argue that it’s to get people in the door, increase traffic and sell tickets. A museum is a business just like yours – they’ve got an audience to think about, something to sell and objectives to meet.

The Museum Curator is tasked with deciding what art to display, when to display it and what exhibitions to feature in the museum. They have to think hard about what their audience would like to see and what will bring people to the museum so they can increase traffic and sell tickets.

The art that’s on display has been created by an artist and the museum is simply displaying it in their building. They didn’t create any of it, they selected it to showcase it to their audience.

The same is true with your content curation for your business. You don’t have to create all the content you share with your audience. If you think just like a museum curator, you can cherry pick the best and most relevant content that already exists and display it on your platform for your audience to see.

Here are some examples of content curation:

  • Sharing links to blog articles, videos and images on your social media channels
  • Taking a YouTube video, embedding it in a blog article and writing your thoughts about the content
  • Sharing a video in a private forum and starting a conversation with your audience
  • Composing a weekly email to your audiences based on a recent event or news story

Steal With Integrity and Pride Everywhere

One question that came up was “should I give attribution and credit to the person or business that created the content?” Absolutely; you don’t need to appear to have created everything so you can look smart or intelligent. Give attribution where it’s due and make sure you credit the original creator of any content that you use.

It’s absolutely OK to S.W.I.P.E. content.

At the end of the day, that’s part of the strategy of creating content; to have shared with others across the Internet. When we publish blogs, podcasts and videos, etc, we would love to see people talking about it and sharing.

Request permission from the person who created the content if you are in doubt whether you can use content for something you are working on.

Quality content, not quantity

It’s important to bring ourselves back to the foundation of any marketing effort – you have to think like your audience.

Whatever you do you don’t want to be seen as a spammer, so make sure to select good quality content that is at the appropriate level and is relevant to your audience.

It’s also important to make sure that it’s relevant to your overall content strategy – what is it that you want to be known for? What are your main topics? Keep the curated content within the confines of your niche, and this will help to add to your reputation and expertise.

Content curation is as simple as clicking a share button on a blog article, but there is a lot more to it in order to do it well.

Examples of content curation

The biggest content curators are websites like Buzzfeed, The Poke and The Huffington Post and they continually use curated content (other publisher’s content) to share with their audience and drive traffic to their website. I’m not saying you should do exactly what they are doing, but you can certainly get some ideas from them.

You will also find that many of the blog articles right here on the Content Marketing Academy website will be based on curated content – click here for an example of content curation on our blog.

Related content

How you and your small business will benefit from content curation

There are a huge amount of benefits associated with content curation – here are six big benefits:

  1. You will save some time because you are not creating everything – it takes time, dedication, soul searching and a lot of effort to create great unique content.
  2. You will stay more consistent with your content distribution by curating content from other sources.
  3. You will get credit from your audience even though you didn’t create the content. You will be showcasing curated content on your platform and starting the conversation around that content with your audience in your space.
  4. You will establish, emphasise, and develop thought leadership and expertise through curated and 3rd party content (Click here to read an article from me on Thought Leadership).
  5. You will be seen to be contributing to your industry and supporting the content that other thought leaders are creating.
  6. You will begin to create your own ideas for your own unique content as you immerse yourself in your industry.


Content curation for social media is a great place to start, especially if you want to move quickly and if you don’t have your own established platform at the moment.

As you can see there are a huge amount of benefits associated with content curation and getting immersed in the content in your industry.

So if you want to get started now, curate, don’t create.

Your Turn

  1. What are you going to do today to find great content online that you can share with your audience?
  2. Are you clear on what content your audience are looking for?
  3. Have you got a burning question about content curation?

Ask your questions and get involved in the conversation below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!


Podcast – Curate, don’t create

I discussed content curation in episode 3 of the Marketing Academy Podcast – check it out below.

Did you enjoy this article?

If so, you'll probably enjoy these popular articles too...

How does ‘Big 5’ content marketing lead to sales?


Content Marketing ROI: How to measure the return of content marketing


15 things I'm fed up teaching you about how to improve your blog


About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.