Content Curation 101: The Basics + Storify Tutorial

By Andrea Sharaf
Blogging Bistro Staff Writer

What is Content Curation?

We’re living in an age of information overload. Between emails, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, world news, industry news, family news—there’s a lot to keep up with!

Photo Credit: © Banana Republic - Fotolia.comEnter content curation, the process of collecting, organizing, and presenting information in a meaningful way.

Content curation might be a new term to you, but the concept is already part of our everyday lives: museum curators choose art pieces for an exhibition revolving around a unified theme and provide notes explaining the pieces, and DJs carefully select which songs to play for their particular audience.

On the web, content curators sift through the vast pool of articles, blog posts, and media to share the most relevant pieces with their audiences.

Content curation saves readers the time and trouble of finding worthy content, and if the curator is a subject matter expert, end users can trust the content to be reliable.

Click this image to download your free checklist that includes EVERYTHING you need to do prior to publishing a blog post! Or simply text PREPUB to 44222!

Click this image to download your free checklist that includes EVERYTHING you need to do prior to publishing a blog post! Or simply text PREPUB to 44222!

How to Curate Content

When you’re creating your content marketing strategy for your business, it’s good to include a mix of content that you create yourself and content that you curate.

Curata recommends creating 65% of your content, curating 25%, and syndicating 10%.

If you post on your blog three times a week, you might write original posts twice a week and a curated post once a week.

One example of a curated post is Blogging Bistro’s Friday roundup posts. We post a brief article that shares links to other content around the web that could be relevant to our readers. If you read other blogs, you might discover that roundup posts (or “Link Love” posts) are popular Friday posts.

How does the process of Content Curation work?

  1. Choose a theme. We build our themes into our editorial calendar. Our themes might be based on articles relating to specific tools (Google+, Facebook, etc.) or concepts (content marketing, mobile marketing, etc.).
  2. Gather content. This is where your value as subject matter expert shines. Choose relevant, high-quality pieces of content to share with your readers. By consistently delivering top-notch curated content to your readers, you build your reputation as a go-to expert; if you curate useless articles, you risk losing your readers. A tool like Feedly (which is a content curation tool in itself!) can be helpful for organizing your content on a regular basis. As you sift through your content, you’ll probably notice your theme becoming more refined, e.g., shifting from “Twitter” to “5 Tools for Scheduling Tweets.”
  3. Organize and Annotate. No one will bother to click on a lone link, so be sure to annotate with a brief description of why your reader should click the link and read the article. Remember, you’re a subject matter expert and readers will trust what you say.
  4. Attribute! Proper attribution is incredibly important in content curation. Don’t unwittingly give your readers the impression that you created a piece when you didn’t. You will obviously want to include the link, but go a step further and attribute the author or creator’s name and blog or website.

A roundup post is just one example of how you can integrate content curation into your content strategy. Countless tools are popping up to help users sift through, analyze, organize, and share content. (This list from Curata demonstrates just how broad the world the content curation is.)

You probably already use a few content curation tools without realizing they’re curation tools; tools like Pinterest, Feedly, and Flipboard all help us organize and make sense of information. And every time you retweet an article or share a link to a blog post on Facebook, you are curating content.

Content Curation Tool in the Spotlight: Storify

One content curation tool that you’ll find on any “Best Content Curation Tools” list is the free tool Storify. To quote the up-and-coming company:

“Storify helps make sense of what people post on social media. Our users curate the most important voices and turn them into stories.”

Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, Storify users can pull together tweets, Facebook posts, images, GIFs, blog posts, and any other type of media from the web. Write captions in the text boxes, publish your story, and then share it on social media or embed it on your blog or website.

Storify is well suited for recapping events, including conferences, book signings, and charity races. Storify needn’t be limited to events, though: What about telling the story of a happy customer whose problem was solved when they discovered your product or service? When you think outside the box, the potential stories are countless.

Create with Storify

Let’s take a look at how to create a story using Storify. I decided to create an event-based story about the 2014 Christian Writers Seminar, where Blogging Bistro’s own Laura Christianson presented a workshop on Pinterest Marketing.

First, navigate to www.storify.com. Then click “Log in” in the upper righthand corner.

Next, create a free account. You can also sign in with Facebook or Twitter.

Storify 2 Log In

Once you are logged in, create a project by clicking on the green image pictured below. It will be in the upper righthand corner of your screen.

Storify 3 Create Story

Let’s take a look at the Storify interface. The story editor is on the lefthand side. This is where you create your story. Enter a title and introduction at the top, and drag and drop elements from the social media channels on the righthand side.

Here’s an example of what I did. I typed in the title and intro for my story:

Now let’s add some content! Look to the right and you’ll see the many social media channels from which to gather the content you wish to curate. Note that you’ll need to connect your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts to access social media posts from those channels.

I’m going to start with a simple Google search for the event I’m creating a story about: “Christian Writers Seminar.”

Storify 6 Add from Google Search

I like the first link—the website for the seminar—so I’m going to drag and drop it into my story. I also toggled from “Web” to “Images” above the search bar and was able to drag and drop the seminar’s logo into my story.

Clicking the white space between the elements brings up a blank text box where I can annotate the information in the story. And just as I could easily drag and drop the elements into the story, I can rearrange them within the story with a simple drag and drop.

I also searched for Facebook posts, tweets, and blog articles to add to my story. Instead of showing you screenshots, take a look at the finished story.

Let’s Talk

What story about your business could you tell using Storify?

Share This

Curious about content curation? Learn how to integrate it into your business’ marketing strategy. (Click to Tweet)

Ready to dip your toes into content curation? Try writing a roundup post. (Click to Tweet)

Learn how to use Storify to tell your business’ story. (Click to Tweet)