Content curation, or becoming a trusted source.

The vital role of content curators Dizzying volumes of content are published on the internet every second of the day. Without content curation we would be lost in this media mass. Search engines are, of course, content curators, their constantly developing algorithms assign relevancy and importance to everything that is published on the web. Google has risen to pre-eminence in this sector. They are the authority; their results the most trusted, the most seen and therefore the most relevant for those doing business over the internet.

For a new brand seeking to develop authority in a particular niche, the spectre of established leaders can seem overwhelming, their stranglehold on the top search engine page results unshakeable. Establishing authority requires a multi-pronged approach. Clearly, a great product is the starting point. Next comes content which sells, establishes the identity of your brand and fosters a sense of community. Producing and sharing your own content whether through blog posts, press releases or infographics is a vital part of an effective internet marketing strategy; it demonstrates your authority, distinguishes your brand and communicates passion.

But sharing the content of influential figures in your niche or market can also be a way of establishing yourself as a trusted source. This can be as simple as a retweet or posting a youtube video to your business's facebook page. The mass of information available on the internet compels us to seek out content curators; adopting this role across your social media hubs is a great way of increasing  engagement with your brand.

Sourcing content

Some legwork is required to find the best sources. Alltop and technorati are directories which rank blogs based on authority. You can view the top blogs within a particular niche – education or books, for example.

There are aggregation sites in many markets –, for example, aggregates content in the marketing and technology field.

Then there are the various social media hubs – sites like reddit, twitter and youtube which can be searched according to subject area and popularity/view count: a great way of finding content which is performing very well in your niche.

The right tools make all the difference

Without the right tools searching through these sources would be an unprofitable time-sink. Google reader was the favoured tool of many – it’s free and easy to use – but it’s demise has been dated by google for the 1st of July. If this is your favoured RSS feed aggregator, you are probably already hunting around for an adequate replacement. Feedly, netvibes and newsblur are all candidates worth a look.

These tools will gather the headlines from your top sources, allowing you to better and quicker assess what is of interest and what might make a worthwhile share.

Share with personality

Add the personality of your brand to your shares, i.e. introduce it with a short summary – explain why it is relevant, funny, interesting etc. You always want your own voice to be in the mix.

And share a diverse range of material from serious, intellectual stuff to more light-hearted fare .

An inclusive content marketing strategy

Clearly, your first priority should be generating your own content. But sharing the content of influential leaders in your niche, or just stuff that will be relevant or entertaining to your target audience is a great way to establish your business as a trusted source of information, which entices customers or clients to engage with your brand again and again.