A Guide to Content Curation, Aggregation and Publication for Lawyers
When done right, every piece of content your law firm delivers has a clear purpose, adds value, and is strategic. It’s created for a specific audience, delivered and promoted through the appropriate channels, and analyzed to ensure it succeeds. But there are two components of content marketing that are often missed or done poorly: content curation and content aggregation.
A solid law firm content marketing plan identifies and leverages content from other sources. It focuses on core topic areas that are relevant to the firm’s practice areas and attorney expertise. This is where curated and aggregated content comes in.
Curation involves creating content in response to something another source publishes by adding your firm’s voice, opinion, or additional information. With content aggregation, you’re simply gathering relevant content from others in one place without creating your own. In both cases, crediting the original author or source is a must.
Curated and Aggregated Content Improves Content Marketing
Let’s face it: There are credible businesses and individuals in every industry that distribute great content. Whether it’s worth writing about or adding your expertise to or is best compiled and shared with your audience, how you distribute it needs to have a purpose, be planned, and target an audience.
Everything you create and share should fit within and enhance your content marketing strategy, and finding the balance of original, curated, and aggregated content takes time and skill. You need to be aware of trends, news, current events, and other factors related to the work of your attorneys. When you know who to follow and what sources to leverage, the process will run smoothly alongside other content distribution efforts.
The main considerations for identifying content to curate or aggregate should answer these questions:
- What’s the value of the content?
- Who would benefit from it (what audience) and why?
- Is it newsworthy, timely, interesting, and/or relevant?
- Is the source credible?
- Where should it be distributed for maximum impact?
The most influential curated content fits with your law firm brand and practice areas. Combined with content aggregation, the momentum and results of these efforts will keep you busy. Whether in-house or hired consultants, having a dedicated marketing team can ensure it benefits your content marketing plan and overall goals.
Benefits of Content Curation and Aggregation
Content curation and aggregation helps build authority and credibility because of the high-value information shared with your target audience. It strengthens editorial calendars, leads to content ideas, and provides opportunities to connect with industry leaders.
Many tools, such as Buzzsumo, SproutSocial, and Feedly, can streamline content curation and aggregation. They offer various features, including information on industry trends, data on the most engaging social media posts, and even identify content worth sharing. Content marketers use these types of tools to ensure the best results.
Successfully curated and aggregated content can increase traffic, audience reach and engagement, leads, and brand recognition. Simply put, a strong content marketing plan that includes content curation and aggregation is worth the effort, but you need to know what you’re doing.
What is Content Curation?
Content curation is the process of adding your own voice, additional information and details, and/or your opinion to content published by others. Those sources must be credible and relevant, and the content you curate should add value and be of interest to your audience(s).
Curated content complements and enhances your evergreen content and direct pillar pages and content clusters. It leads to blog post ideas and series and strengthens social media posts and newsletters.
The first steps in developing a content marketing plan include goal setting and identifying and understanding target audiences. Knowing who you want to share curated content with and why they would benefit from it should follow the same path as everything else in your law firm content marketing plan.
The online landscape is fiercely competitive, but search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor and benefit of effective content curation. Showing up on the first page of Google when someone searches using the keywords and terms your law firm should rank for is crucial. However, an effective content marketing plan includes proper SEO strategies to show up on search engines and stay there. This is where content curation can contribute to these efforts.
Curating content related to current events and popular news topics can improve law firm SEO because quality content that’s timely and newsworthy matters to search engines. Trending topics that your law firm can add their voice to that are related to or impacted by, or additional information from an attorney’s expertise can work together to improve search engine rankings.
What is Content Aggregation?
Content aggregation is different than curation but can be extremely effective in content marketing because it contributes to your efforts and can boost results. Instead of adding your firm’s opinion to content from others, aggregating is sharing and leveraging content from other sources in one place.
It’s important to recognize there are many organizations and individuals who develop credible, timely, and interesting content. Having a dedicated spot to organize aggregated content is important.
The benefits of content aggregation are extensive. First, your law firm doesn’t need to create the content. It can also break up an editorial calendar, all while strengthening your own credibility and authority. And if you’re staying informed and up to date on what affects your areas of expertise, aggregating valuable sources will complement your content marketing plan.
Content aggregators can sift through news sites and blogs to find the best content on specific topics. As long as you know how to set the right parameters, they can be highly effective and efficient. They can gather content from news sources, legal and government organizations, and advocacy groups. Many law firms take aggregated content and put it in one place on their website, typically a resource page.
While there’s less manual work with content aggregation, the strategy and commitment are just as important as content curation. Using an aggregator without considering how it fits within your content marketing plan – why it’s of value to your audience and how it enhances your efforts – can be detrimental.
Content Curation and Aggregation Strategies
You know why content curation and content aggregation are important, but where do you start? Selecting content worth talking about or sharing should be a strategic process and properly integrated into your editorial calendar.
There are many ways to curate and aggregate content. Here we outline popular communication channels that can make this part of content marketing easier.
- Blog Posts: If your law firm doesn’t have a blogging platform, you’re missing out on an essential channel that can boost a content marketing plan. Blogs offer a platform to write about important legal topics related to your law firm, including curated content. When something relevant is shared by another source and your firm can provide additional information or has a strong opinion about it, creating a blog post is a great place for curation efforts.
While content aggregation is about sharing valuable information from other sources, it might not be obvious how to integrate it in a blog post – but it can be done. Add links to the end of a blog post that leads readers to information from credible sources that strengthen your messages and goals. Doing so can contribute to and reinforce authority on a topic. When what’s shared is relevant, your firm is positioned to entice its target audience to come back, pay attention to what you say, share your content, and view your firm as credible.
- Pillar Pages & Content Clusters: Over the years, the type of content a business creates has changed based on user and search trends, search engine algorithms, and the billions of pages that litter the web. To stand out and build topic authority, pillar pages and content clusters are something your law firm should be producing. Leveraging curation and aggregation through this type of content can lead to great results.
When a legal topic that your firm specializes in is timely and trending, there are ample opportunities to build content. Creating a pillar page covering the broad topic, followed by subpages/ topic clusters that focus on specific aspects, is a fantastic way to curate content. It may also set the stage to aggregate content, depending on the situation and the type of aggregation your firm has already done.
- Email Newsletters: Legal newsletters targeted to audiences who need or could need your services or refer your law firm are an effective way to curate and aggregate content. You can link to curated content on a popular or newsworthy topic within the newsletter. To aggregate content, simply write a short paragraph about the resource page you’re linking to.
- Social Media: Social media channels are an important part of any content marketing plan and a great place to leverage your content curation and aggregation efforts. A lot of what people see and read is through social media pages and profiles, so following credible sources that produce content relevant to or that impacts your law firm’s work is where to start.
With the popularity and ease with which content can be shared and talked about through social media, curation can be as simple as a short paragraph with the share or retweet. But it can also prompt blog posts and webpages curated on a topic that your attorneys have an opinion on, can offer additional information to, or connect to your legal services. Just be sure to credit the original source.
Social media aggregators like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are highly valuable and easy to use. They collect and organize specific topics and industry information and should be used in your social media efforts.
An opportunity for curated content that law firms should take advantage of is visually engaging content. Legal topics are complicated and often dull for the average person who needs or will need an attorney. The use of visuals to communicate key facts, stats, legislation changes, and opportunities to seek financial compensation for legal situations can go a long way in reaching and engaging your audience. They can act as a gateway to more content.
When to Curate and Aggregate Content
Like most marketing strategies, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for when or how often a business should curate or aggregate content. Distribution strategies depend on a variety of factors, from the type of business and type of content to current events that affect the target audience and the legal services provided. The resources you can expend, including staff time, skill development, consultant fees, and advertising budget, are all things to consider. It sounds complicated, and it is to an extent.
A benefit of content aggregation is that it can fill gaps in your editorial calendar and offers reprieves from the continuous content creation process. There’s a balance, though. Sharing content by others with authority can help position your firm as credible and prove to your audience that the content you deliver and share has value, even when it’s published by someone else. You just need to make sure your audience isn’t bombarded with too much information, which frequently happens on social media.
Like every other social media user, you’ve no doubt seen businesses, friends, and colleagues post too much, too frequently. It often leads the audience to disengage, unfollow business pages and groups, or hide posts. But if your law firm content marketing plan is strategic and executed properly, you’ll regularly measure the impact of what you publish and monitor social media analytics.
Analyzing the results, from reach and traffic to post engagement and leads, will keep your efforts streamlined and maximize their impact. Proper analysis and understanding of this data will show what’s working and what isn’t and direct and reshape future content creation and distribution.
There are many curation and content aggregation tools available that help organize and plan your content. In addition, editorial calendars, optimization tools, and idea generators can be of great help during the content marketing process.
Invest in Content Curation and Aggregation
A strong content curation and aggregation plan will leverage opportunities to improve your brand and brand awareness. It will reach, connect with, and have value for the right audience and work towards achieving business goals.
Whether curating or aggregating content, the source must be trustworthy. Including and executing both types in your law firm content marketing plan can lead to greater success and uncover valuable opportunities to bolster the impact of your messages.
It’s important to remember that content curation and aggregation take time, commitment, and skill. Your law firm needs to monitor news media, city and statewide businesses related to or that impact your work, legal organizations, advocacy groups, and even competitors. Doing so will ensure the proper direction of content curation and aggregation by keeping you focused on what impacts your firm’s practice areas and expertise and providing considerable value to your target audience.