In online marketing, content curation often is biased as being a lazy and spammy way of coming up with enough content to share on the social channels and little better than stealing content. While content curation is often mistreated as the easy way out of the need for more content, content curation has some awesome everyday use cases. I am sure you are using one or the other of these – and probably at least enjoying some of them…
I first came across content curation when I started out with content marketing. Since then content curation kind of stuck with me throughout my social media and content marketing career and I never before thought of the examples as being content curation. But they are impressive!
Before we start, let us take a step back and make it absolutely clear what content curation really is. I found the following quote as an explanation of content curation, and I think it is an awesome way of saying what content curation means and it fits perfectly with the examples in this post.
Image source: CoSchedule
Content curation in real life is aiding someone in finding and choosing the best possible content from a huge amount of content. And there are a lot more use cases than limiting content curation to good old content and social media marketing.
The following list of examples of real-life content curation is meant to inspire thoughts and hopefully discussions about what content curation really is and how it can and should be used!
Ok, let’s start with something from the social media world. Are you using Facebook? I guess so!
A lot of marketers have had an opinion about the Facebook feed. Claiming Facebook reach is dead or complaining about the unfairness of the Facebook feed. But have you ever thought of the Facebook feed as being a content curation algorithm? You may be annoyed that Facebook chooses the content that you see for you, but in reality, Facebook does nothing else than trying to choose the best content for you from all the possible updates.
Facebook is curating content for you!
A friend of mine who is not so much into social media recently asked me what Pinterest is all about, And I described Pinterest as an endless magazine on topics I like.
Why is that so? Because based on my choice of topics and people to follow, on the images I like and pin Pinterest curates the best content for me into their smart feed. The result is: If I am into interior design, I get an endless stream of great content around furniture, colors, decoration, and houses. If I am into gardening and share a ton of pins about gardening my feed will look like an endless magazine about gardening.
In reality, Pinterest is curating content for me based on my interests and my behavior on the platform. And since I am doing social media mainly as a social marketer, my Pinterest stream looks like a blogging and social media information magazine.
3. Amazon Recommendations
Have you ever bought something on Amazon? A book? Or have you browsed through Amazon’s huge online catalog? Would you connect Amazon’s recommendations to content curation?
Amazon has an awesome algorithm that chooses from Amazon’s huge catalog of products what you might like. I love the recommendations I get for books: based on the books I bought and some books I marked as books I have read, Amazon gives me a curated list of books I may find interesting. And I admit that sometimes before going on a holiday when I am desperate for some reading material I do not know yet, I have found and bought great books that would otherwise totally have passed me unnoticed.
Netflix provides a library of films and videos that you can watch via the web. Membership gives you access to the vast selection of videos. To help you choose the most interesting to your taste and preferences Netflix curates content for you.
Netflix actually makes kind of a two-step content curation process:
- Netflix decides what content they will have on their platform based on the preferences of their overall audience – in itself that already is a form of content curation.
- For each customer, Netflix curates the best videos and films to show on their account site based on the films they watched or put on their personal list. Again Netflix curates content for me.
5. News aggregators like Upday
I have a new mobile phone. I haven’t figured out everything yet, and not all is running as I want it to. On the new phone, I get some news headlines from an app called Upday. They curate news for you and give you headlines from various news sources.
This content curation is not based o your personal preferences but rather on the interests and news consumption habits of thousands or maybe even millions of people.
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6. Book Stores
The above quote about the definition of content curation talks about content on the web. Personally, I think content curation is not limited to web content. Isn’t the book store around the corner also curating content for their customers? Based on the experience of the store owner with his customers they choose what books they should offer them in the store.
When I think about content curation, my first thoughts go to content marketing and curating content for social media marketing. In reality, there is a lot of content curation taking place in our everyday life. Content curation in many cases is simply a way of filtering out the uninteresting content and make the vast amount of accessible content usable and offer guidance to choose the best content for our interests and purposes.
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