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How savvy content curation can position your association as a thought leader

Heather Nolan
October 2, 2020
How savvy content curation can position your association as a thought leader

When Rotten Tomatoes launched in 1998, movie-goers finally had a chance to see critical and audience reviews all in one place. The film-centric website scanned the internet for movie reviews, then rolled them all into one giant aggregation that provided an instant snapshot of how movies figured into the cultural imagination.

Rotten Tomatoes’ genius wasn’t just in the way it gathered information about movies into one place. It was the way the site’s unique algorithm made sense of movies, adding unique context. It’s living proof that smart content curation can add real value to people’s lives. 

Your association doesn’t have to invent the next Rotten Tomatoes to take advantage of the benefits of content curation. But you can lean on tips from the site to learn how content curation can enhance your association’s reputation as a thought leader.

Readers are overloaded with information

Each day, social media provides a never-ending feed packed with information. The constant overstimulation can be exhausting, and it can leave readers too drained to absorb any information at all. 

Content curation can help your audience cut through all this noise. The key is to add context — the missing ingredient that makes social media so disorienting. 

Rather than presenting readers with a simple link roundup, position your association as a thought leader by adding smart commentary along the way. If the week brought any controversies, be sure to explain what happened and why it matters. And if major news breaks, take the opportunity to add unique analysis. 

With time, curated content can provide genuine value to busy and overwhelmed readers, while also positioning your association as a trusted leader.

Content curation adds variety to your editorial calendar

Associations often find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to content: Is it better to produce a high volume of short-form content, or in-depth content that’s published less frequently?

There is no clear right or wrong answer to this question; it will depend on your specific audience and goals. But if you’re struggling to keep up with a fast-paced content schedule, curation can help to round out your editorial calendar. 

When done well, curation can be just as smart and insightful as original content — but it’s much, much quicker to produce. Time-saving strategies include:

  • Setting Google alerts for industry-specific keywords
  • Subscribing to popular newsletters in your industry
  • Using tools like TweetDeck to easily follow industry-wide conversations on social media 
  • Crowdsourcing suggestions from all employees (not just the marketing team!)

Keep an eye out for anything surprising, clever, controversial, or newsy and you’ll be well on your way to producing relevant weekly roundups. 

Nurture relationships in your industry

When curating content, you’ll naturally gravitate toward major stories that are driving conversations within your industry. But it’s important to look beyond national media outlets and help readers discover new voices, too. 

You can use your content curation to forge relationships with exciting bloggers, emerging experts, and first-time authors in your space. If you stumble across someone fascinating online, don’t be afraid to send a cold introduction inviting them to submit future content — even if they haven’t published much previously.

By focusing on the quality of the ideas rather than the prestige of where they’re published, your association can truly emerge as a leading champion of cutting-edge thinking in your space.

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Heather Nolan

Heather Nolan is a marketing specialist at Sidecar. A former journalist and social media manager, Heather lives in New Orleans with her husband, son, and grumpy rescue dog.

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