Visual content is fantastic for building up your content marketing endeavors.
- The only problem is that visual content takes a lot of time and resources to produce.
Because of this, you might want to curate content from other sites and sources, linking to or providing analysis of visual content from a wide variety of creators in order to supplement your own content.
To do so well, remember these ten strategies to get the most out of curated visual content:
1. Run Competitions
The trick to successful content curation is having a lot of content to feature on your site.
For that reason, it’s useful to run competitions to encourage creators to get their creative juices flowing and to provide you with content to feature.
Content competitions can take many forms, but the best competitions will be the ones that encourage fans of your site to try something new and original.
- No matter how practiced you are at creating content, getting fresh blood involved will mean seeing a lot of new, unique ideas and concepts.
Competitions also serve as excellent publicity for your site:
- Those who know creative friends who might be interested will share your site with potential content creators
- Once content has been created, entrants will post about it widely online in an attempt to draw greater attention to their entry.
Consider Threadless: the company regularly runs competitions to design new t-shirt and merchandise for the site.
- Fans are encouraged to get as many votes as possible, which means actively publicizing Threadless.
- Regular competitions means there’s a reason for contributors to return to the site regularly.
Competitions can mean gaining a lot of content that can be curated on-site, and it also means drawing larger audiences to your website to view competition entries.
Just be sure to offer up a decent prize for the winning entry: after all, nobody likes doing lots of hard work without something to strive for.
2. Utilize Visual Social Media
If you’re looking for excellent visual content to incorporate into your site, there’s plenty of social media outlets filled to the brim with potential resources.
Several major social media platforms are dedicated to visual content, including:
You should be using all of these platforms to research useful content for curation.
- Each one features convenient search tools to help you find exactly what you need as easily as possible.
- The notes on each piece also give you an idea of which content is the most popular, helping to share only the most engaging visual content.
It’s possible to feature content from these social media platforms directly on your site, integrating them into your curation plan easily.
- You can potentially feature one gallery on your site every week to give visitors an incentive to regularly improve and edit their gallery of relevant images.
Through relying on social media for visual content, you’ll be able to dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend seeking out high quality materials for curation.
Creating a strong presence on these sites will help you to better integrate yourself into the community that’s creating content around your target audience.
3. Create Listicles
It’s fairly safe to say that Buzzfeed is a popular site.
- Pretty much every website online is finding ways to copy the Buzzfeed approach to content curation.
- Most notable are Buzzfeed’s listicles – relatable lists of experiences or comments tied together by a series of images, most often animated gifs.
Buzzfeed’s content curation is very smart.
- The site’s content is simple and accessible, giving visitors a reason to keep clicking through galleries of images that don’t take long to digest.
- At the same time, Buzzfeed lists are very simple to create – all an article needs is a list of ten or so sentences connected together by a series of images.
If you’re looking to use content curation to produce a large amount of visual content for your site as quickly as possible, taking the Buzzfeed approach may be useful.
Bear in mind, though, that this approach won’t work for all outlets.
The Buzzfeed style of listicle works for frivolous or fun sites, but won’t necessarily work as well for a website that’s looking to build a reputation for in-depth, helpful and authoritative content.
4. Invite Contributions from Experts
While content curation is often seen as an effort to get as much content onto your site as possible, there are also a lot to be said about the quality and legitimacy of what you bring to the table.
- If all you’re doing is reposting amateur content, you’re missing out on the potential benefits of star power.
It’s worth featuring content from professionals, talented artists, and other experts. This will bring a greater level of respectability and authority to your content curation.
There’s two ways to get experts involved:
- You can simply curate content directly from their own websites
- Or, far more usefully, you can reach out to experts and ask for guest content contributions.
Exclusive, unique content is an excellent tool for content marketing.
Not only does it bring even more legitimacy to your site, but it also brings new traffic.
- People who are familiar with the expert will want to visit your site to see what they have to say.
- The expert may share your article on social media, bringing more visitors directly to your site.
Often, getting experts involved can be more difficult or costly than some of the other ideas for content curation on this list.
Ultimately, though, you get what you pay for, and expert contributions will often lead to greater interest among your audience in submitting content to your site.
5. Create an Award
I can’t begin to stress how much notoriety an awards ceremony can bring to your website.
Awards are different from competitions: instead of asking for content submissions, you reach out to impressive content creators in your field and inform that you’ve nominated them for an Oscars-style award for their work.
- Creators who receive this recognition will feel flattered – they’ll want to actively draw attention to the award, which means pointing people towards your site.
- You can curate content from their site as you point your site visitors towards nominees.
It can help to allow your audience to nominate content creators for each of your categories, and to have a public vote for the winners.
This gives visual creators and artists a reason to point their entire audience towards your site, as they’ll be eager to get as many votes as possible.
This will ultimately lead to a more established place for your site within your online community – people will recognize your site as the authority on a subject matter because, after all, you know the subject so well that you give out awards to the best and brightest in the field.
6. Post ‘Best Ofs’ and Regular Roundups
Content curation is useful because it helps you to provide a lot more content for your site without too much additional effort.
- One thing that’s important, though, is that this content is trusted to be of a high quality, matching homegrown content on your site.
For this reason, it’s important to share only the very best of external content with your site visitors.
One way to make sure you’re giving audiences high quality curated content it to produce Best Of compilations of good content.
- The appeal of Best Ofs is that you’ve done the legwork in collecting all of the best content in one place, so audiences don’t need to go looking for it.
- A gallery of appealing visual content will help to draw visitors to your site as you’ve already found the best things for them to look at.
Posting these lists of the best new content regularly – either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis – will help further to establish your brand.
- Site visitors know that you’re a trusted source of excellent content and will integrate checking your site into their regular routine.
- Better involvement in your creative community means many sites will return the favour as they become aware of the traffic you provide them.
Regularly pointing visitors to the best content helps cement your position as a voice of authority within your field.
7. Make Use of Your Own Content
Of course, content curation shouldn’t stop with pointing visitors to external sources of excellent content.
- As your own library of content grows, you have an opportunity to include pieces of your own content as part of your curation efforts.
This can take many forms:
- Highlighting your content as part of Best Ofs and regular roundups.
- Commenting on curated content and linking to your own content that further explores the ideas expressed in external content.
- Reflecting back on older content or revisiting it when there’s something new to say on the subject.
Ultimately, no matter how involved your content curation becomes, your efforts should supplement your own content creation.
Using your existing back catalogue of content alongside curated material is the best way to take advantage of your archive of work, as well as keeping up a high rate of content publication.
It’s more useful the longer your content campaign goes as the amount of content you have access to grows.
8. Provide Commentary
Content curation is about more than just finding and reposting content from other sources.
- If your site visitors want that, there’s no end to places that they can go online to find content for themselves.
Instead, what you should be doing with your content curation is providing a unique insight or perspective on the content that you’re featuring on your site.
Visitors should be learning something unique from your content, rather than just seeing a copy of content that they could easily get elsewhere.
To give audiences something unique, you can provide your own interpretation of the matter that curated content is discussing.
You can also remix or rework visual content with your own ideas for improvement where copyright allows.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree with parts of the message, or provide a further analysis on something that’s not been fully explained in curated content.
- Your aim is to use curated content as a starting point, and then building something that visitors can only gain from your site.
As I said earlier, it can help to point to archived content of your own creation that further expands on themes in curated content.
Otherwise, feel free to point site visitors to other places where they can learn more about the subjects discussed, or where they can see similar content.
9. Monitor Traffic Trends
Curated content is more than just an opportunity to draw visitors to your site.
Through monitoring and analysing the flow of traffic away from your website, you’re able to get a good insight into what content is turning heads amongst your audience.
- You can then take this information and use it to make content that’s most likely to drive interest and encourage engagement among your target audience.
- This is particularly useful if your content marketing strategy is just beginning or doesn’t have a lot of content to provide analytics insight.
Instead of linking directly to websites with interesting content, use URL shortening tools that give you analytics data on what traffic is clicking on your links.
This will let you know who is using your site, and what content they’re most interested in.
You can use this information to inform both the content that you curate, and also the future of your own content creation.
10. Use Social Media to Encourage Submissions
Social media is a wonderful tool which allows the rapid, widespread sharing of ideas.
As such, you should definitely be using it to find the best content out there.
- I mentioned earlier that visual social media is helpful for finding great visual content to share.
- Beyond this, though, all social media is useful if you put out a call for followers to share interesting and appealing visual content with you.
Through making use of your online followers and asking for their submissions, you’re able to build a much larger archive of visual content than would otherwise be possible if you were searching alone.
It also helps your followers to feel involved and gives them a reason to keep checking in on your site to see how their tips are being used.
A Virtual Art Gallery
There is some fantastic visual content available online.
Through pointing people in the right direction and adding your own commentary, you’ll be able to grow your own content marketing efforts whilst establishing your brand as knowledgeable in the field.
What are your favorite ways to curate visual content? Share your thoughts in the comments below.