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Internet Marketing and Web Development in Higher Education and other tidbits…

Why Content Curation Might be the Answer to Your Content Creation Problems

22 Feb 2013

written by Amanda DiSilvestro

Why Content Curation Might be the Answer to Your Content Creation Problems

curation Why Content Curation Might be the Answer to Your Content Creation ProblemsWe all know that one of the biggest things a marketing department can do is improve visibility, and this is no exception when it comes to higher education. Until now, most higher education marketing professionals have been putting a huge focus on content creation—and for good reason. Creating valuable content is the absolute best way to prove that your college is knowledgeable and high quality, it’s one of the most prominent ways to spread your message, and it can be shared and published in a way that really appeals to the latest generation.

Your content creation efforts should not diminish by any means and will certainly remain a KPI when it comes to your success, but there is a newer strategy that is gaining speed amongst many companies—content curation. This will not only work for higher education, but it will help cut down your workload and take some of the pressure off your content creation efforts.

The Basics of Content Curation and Why It Matters

Content curation simply means finding other content across the web that is related to whatever it is that you’re discussing (in your case, something about your college or University). Typically marketing departments will read and find content, put the links together in the form of a list, and then write their own, original little blurb about each piece of content (more about this later). This makes one new and original piece of content for you, yet it uses the information of others. As long as you include the links back to the content, you’re completely following the rules. A few reasons this will benefit your college or university includes:

  • Increase Quality Quantity. This might sound like a tongue twister, but all it means is that you will be able to produce more content of quality. Curating content is quality if done correctly, yet it doesn’t take much time. This way you can push out content faster and more often than you ever could before. A good rule of thumb is to produce one content curation piece for every five pieces of content you’ve created. In other words, don’t overdo it.
  • Improves Relationships. When you link back to another piece of content, that person, company, or school will surely be thrilled. This helps you build relationships, so if something ever comes up in the future, you’ll have like-minded schools there to help and offer advice. In some cases you could be promoting another school over your own school with this strategy, so you want to make sure you only choose pieces that compliment your school, not compete with it (more about this in the last section).
  • Gain Credibility and Knowledge. You can learn a lot from other sources, so you not only gain knowledge, but you prove that you’re learning from others. This looks good in the eyes of those looking to choose a school and helps to give you credibility.

So why use content curation when content creation is still best? The biggest reason that content curation is useful is because it takes less time. If you simply don’t have the time and/or the resources to create enough quality content, curation is the next best thing.

4 Steps to Get You Started with Content Curation for Higher Education

Step #1: Determine what you want to gain out of curating content.

What you want out of content curation will help you determine what types of content you will want to include. For example, if you want to earn more links, consider curating content from higher education websites (like Dote Du Guru). If you want to highlight the accomplishments of your college or University, check out local papers and any stories written about your institution.

Step #2: Find the content to curate.

Obviously, you then have to set out to find the content you want to curate. I find that the best content curation pieces are those that you find naturally. Whenever you’re searching around the Internet and see something interesting, make a note of it. Going out for 20 minutes to specifically find articles doesn’t always produce the best piece.

Step #3: Put the content links together and form your own angle and opinions.

As discussed in the last section, many content curators take all of the different links and then write their own personal blurb on each section. This lets your writers know what they can expect from the link as well as why you picked it as something future students, current students or staff at your school would enjoy. It gives you a voice, which is something you don’t get quite as often as when you’re creating your own content.

Step #4: Share the piece across your social channels or college or University website.

Once the article is written, be sure to share it! This content is the same as any other piece of content and should be shared amongst staff and students.

Has your college or University marketing department ever dabbled in content curation? How do you think this could benefit higher education specifically? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the author

Amanda DiSilvestro

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from algorithm updates. She writes for the professional SEO company HigherVisibility, a nationally recognized as one of the best local SEO companies.

This post was written by Amanda DiSilvestro

  • Ashli O’Connell

    We used to do this a lot at our website ( We had an “In the News” section and placed links with a small blurb to news sites that were covering stories related to our university or alumni. The problem we ran into was that many news sites only keep their content available for short periods of time and then move it into an archive that requires you to pay to access. It was a lot of trouble to go back and check those links and remove them when they were outdated. We used a disclaimer for a while, but I just hated to have a page littered with broken links. The page didn’t get much traffic either, so we discarded it when we redesigned. I’d like to look at new, better ways to do this.

  • JessieZubatkin

    Great post! This is true – content curation DOES work for higher ed, working for a content curation organization, I can honestly say we do have a few customers who are in higher ed and using curation (along with our software) to further engage and IMMERSE their students in topics. It’s kind of like doing research with have a lot of the supporting documentation at your finger tips. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda DiSilvestro

      I’m really glad to see that other have found it to work! I think you make a good point when you say “immerse.” It can be hard to ALWAYS create something that resonates with students, so why not let others help you? Thanks for reading!

  • Eric Moran

    This is a great post! The hardest part of learning is curating the most powerful content to learn from. That is the beauty of Content Curation. This also applies to 1st graders. My daughter recently applied the same concept to her “Famous Americans” project and curated topics that she liked. :)

  • Oliver Starr

    Hi Amanda. Thanks for the interesting post. As the evangelist for a company that specializes in providing a powerful free platform for curation, Pearltrees, I thought your readers would appreciate knowing that there are some great tools to accomplish exactly what you’ve described.

    Among there there are several that really stand out that I wanted to recommend. What’s critical for people to decide before they choose a tool (or several) is what type of curation they intend to do.

    Here’s my short list:

    For deep and lasting curation (in effect creating a vast, sharable and collaborative visual library) I’d recommend the product my company makes, Pearltrees. Our basic product is ad free and allows you to collect, organize, share and collaborate as well as find others that share your interests. Lots of educational institutions use Pearltrees for research, teaching and presentations.

    For curating news as it happens, I think Storify is amazing, powerful and beautiful. It allows users to follow a news story, collect different posts and reactions and lets you provide an editorial in line with the developing news.

    And finally, for folks that are interesting in creating a newspaper-like curation on a particular topic, is cool, well designed and useful.

    All these tools are free, and every one of them should be in the power-curators arsenal.

    below is an image of what Pearltrees looks like

  • David

    This is a great post! That is the beauty of Content Curation.

    check 21

  • amir

    Great post and specially four steps are amazing

  • Removals Perth

    This is a great post! The hardest part of learning is curating the most powerful content to learn from.

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    Content is always king for the website when we are talking about the website promotion over the internet. This is the great concept and I like this concept..

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