Curation is a strong trend on the Internet right now. Rather than producing original content, individuals are curating and sharing content from a variety of sources. Evidence of this trend can be found within the explosive referral stats of social networks like Facebook and Twitter and new sites designed with curation in mind like Tumblr, Storify and, of course, Pinterest.
Here’s a quick video on curation, developed by a Percolate, a new curation-focused start up:
Ultimately, individuals are gathering information from a variety of sources and using a particular tool or platform to create a full portrait of the subject matter at hand, whether that is photos, places, events, particular subjects, hobbies or issues.
If your campaign is looking to find ways to take advantage of this trend in user behaviour, there are a few techniques you may want to consider to ensure your content is optimized for curation:
Provide The Necessary Tools
If anything you publish is going to be collected and shared, it is important to first make it easy for your visitors to do so. That means that all relevant pages, articles, posts, infographics, video and images include a host of sharing options and tools. From the Facebook share button to Pinterest’s “Pin It” add-on, it is important that users can easily post and share your content.
Some applications such as Add This are excellent one-stop sharing shops, but make sure any tool you use is reflective of your audience and what they use to curate content.
Develop Content To Be Curated
While an emphasis on impactful visual imagery is not a new best practice, current curation practices certainly place more importance on formatting your content with less reliance on text. Many of the most popular curation platforms present and highlight visual elements, so it makes sense to give them something to work with.
That also means you may want to divide up your content to give your visitors more options to share. Rather than place an infographic and introductory video in the same post, you may want to present the data in a compartmentalized format, so each element can be shared individually if so desired.
Curate Relevant Content Yourself
The curation trend provides the opportunity for your organization or campaign to provide supporting material in an interesting and consumer-friendly manner by displaying all relevant material in one place. This approach offers a number of advantages to anyone trying to sway opinion: rather than talking only about yourself, curating content gives you an excellent chance to communicate what others are saying.
At the same time, you can become a valuable resource for those who are naturally interested in the subject matter at hand, which builds your credibility and trust level with your target audience. If people know your site or social profile is a consistent source of credible, shareable content, then the value to them will increase.
Taking advantage of the trend towards curation requires a pivot in approach; not necessarily a complete change in how you produce and publish content. It is simply a matter of recognizing that the way in which your audience consumes information has evolved.
The way of presenting you own information should reflect that fact.