Why Content Curation is Vital for Building Thought Leadership Online

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Why Content Curation is Vital for Building Thought Leadership Online

We’ve often heard the importance of creating thought-leadership content for our brands and doing content curation as two separate marketing tasks

But what happens when you merge these tasks together, and what impact do you believe they can make? 

Dive in to find out why content curation is vital for building thought leadership online and some of the best practices when it comes to curating content for thought-leadership posts. 

Content curation vs. content creation 

The primary difference between content curation and content creation is the difference between old and new. 

Content creation refers to creating new and original content from scratch. Content curation, on the other hand, refers to compiling existing content (either from your own brand or an alternate source). 

For example, content creation can involve creating a social media post by capitalizing on moment marketing. Content curation could involve a brand combining several of these moments marketing posts from several brands. 

For reference, it could look something like this: 

Example of curated content

(Image Source)

While both content creation and content curation are beneficial approaches, the former might bring you a lot of engagement and allow control over customizations, whereas the latter would help you build a connection with your audiences even on a limited budget. 

What is a thought leader? 

Simply put, any expert in an industry who brings unique and new ideas (or data) to the table can be recognized as a thought leader in that space. 

The only caveat is that the person should be well-versed, educated, and experienced enough on the topics they’re talking about. They should be the go-to person in their field of expertise who inspires others with innovative ideas. 

When you speak of thought leaders, names like Robin Chase, Amanda Nguyen, and Ron Finley spark up, but you can further categorize thought leaders based on their niche/industry. 

For example, in the marketing industry, names like Ann Handley, Rand Fishkin, and Seth Godin are often attributed as thought leaders. 

Example of a post from Rand Fishkin

(Image Source)

Benefits of content curation 

Here’s why you should invest your marketing dollars in content curation as opposed to any other marketing or content activity. 

Expand your reach 

With the help of content curation (aka by sharing insightful, high-quality content from authoritative sources), brands can build a strategic narrative and introduce their expertise to readers beyond their existing followers. 

For example, the men’s clothing brand StudioSuits, known for its collection of stylish green suits, curates and shares articles on men’s fashion trends, suit styling tips, and workplace attire. 

This cross-pollination of links exposes StudioSuits’ content to new potential customers, helping to grow their influence and attract a wider customer base by positioning themselves as a thought leader in the industry.

Diversify your content 

Let’s be honest: There’s only so much you can do with your internal team’s ideas and content. 

Even if you end up hiring a contractor, they’ll add their experience and expertise to the topics you want to focus on, but when you include external sources for content, your content calendar inevitably becomes fuller.

You gain the perspectives of different brands who might have a more local or authentic touch with your audiences. 

For example, if you cater to a diverse crowd and curate posts from all over the world in regional languages, you end up conversing with your target audience in a more personal way. 

Build authority as a thought leader

Another benefit of content curation is that it helps you position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. For example, any thought leader can’t make predictions by only looking at their own insights and perspectives. 

They also have to consume content from other sources, see what other folks are doing globally, and figure out which of those changes are expected to become big—-all of this can only be done once you research your audience and peers, gain insights from them (aka curate content from them), and then make an informed opinion. 

The value of thought leadership

Now that we’re done with the what and the why, let’s get to the more important part: What’s the actual value of this brand-building exercise? 

SEMRUSH on thought leadership

(Image Source)

Brand credibility

One can’t deny that almost every brand needs credibility and trust to make it big in the industry. (One can also argue that is why companies are heavily investing in building the personal brands of their employees.) 

Thought-leadership content, especially if it comes from a company or a company employee who has often been ahead of the curve and given insights no one else was ready to give, such as industry-leading NPS benchmarks, allows you to build audience trust and gain credibility among your customers. 

This is exactly why SEOs are more likely to read information if it comes from Ahrefs and Semrush as opposed to lesser-known SEO blog posts. 

Increase organic traffic

Once you start sharing information online that’s not only curated for SEO or written by AI, you automatically set yourself apart from the crowd as your content becomes more authentic and human. 

In addition to that, if you share something that’s ‌ interesting to read, you can’t help but get engagement on those posts, which further results in organic traffic. 

For example, very recently, Noah Lekas (a writer with 1200 followers on LinkedIn) got viral engagement on a thought-leadership LinkedIn post because he addressed a very relatable issue that almost everyone in his industry was discussing. 

Noah Lekas viral post

(Image Source)

Attract and retain top talent 

Last but not least, because of the domino effect thought-leadership posts can have on brands, they can help a brand grow with great momentum and, thus, attract and retain top talent from the industry. 

These posts can also boost creativity among your internal teams, allowing them to explore ideas that were once left unexplored. They can also boost productivity levels, cultivate a more innovative culture, etc.

Best practices

Convinced about curating content for thought-leadership posts? Here are a few best practices you’ll need to keep in mind. 

Know your audience 

By tracking key metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversion rates, you can gain insights into what resonates most with your audience and refine your approach accordingly. 

In reality, this translates to monitoring campaign analytics, which will allow you to make data-driven decisions, optimize your content strategy, and maximize your impact as a thought leader.

Always cite your sources

Citing your sources is always a best practice in content because it helps you not only build relationships with other brands but it also allows you to give artists and creatives their proper due. 

Oh, and being transparent about your sources also helps you avoid any negative conversations surrounding plagiarism and compliance regulations. 

Find the right content balance

If you’re running content for a brand, you can’t wholly and solely rely on curated content. You need to mix and match it with original content to help the odd pieces of curated content make the maximum impact. 

But when we talk about striking the right content balance, we don’t only mean striking a balance between curated and original content — we also mean discovering what ratio of image, graphics, written text, elements, visuals, and infographics works best for you. 

Avoid spammy, low-quality content

The most important thing of all — don’t curate any posts that AI could do by itself. Try to add a touch of your humanity to make it authentic, and let it be as far away from the attributes of spammy and low-quality. 

What do we mean by spammy and low-quality content? Spammy content basically means any kind of content engineered from top to bottom purely to satisfy the algorithm. Low-quality content, on the other hand, means content that lacks narrative or originality. 

On the flip side, this means high-quality content is what’s been perfectly optimized to fit a narrative and to garner audience attention. 

Create and schedule content in advance

The last best practice we’d like to leave you with is always to plan and create (even curated) content in advance, especially if you follow a regular communications cadence with your audience. 

For this instance, you can use tools like Scoop.it, and it’ll publish and distribute content on your behalf.

Build your content curation strategy for thought leadership

We’ll cut to the chase: Curating thought-leadership content that essentially builds or shifts a narrative is no easy task. It’s a much more difficult task if you have limited resources in your marketing team. 

This is why you need a tool that can help you with all content curation activities at a very minimal cost. Our tool, Scoop.it, can come to the rescue by allowing you to curate content, schedule it, and ship it to targeted audiences. 

To get a sneak peek of our product offering, book a free demo or sign up for a free trial today!

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About the Author

Kelly Moser
Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era. She's also an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and ecommerce startups.