Content curation. If you’re in marketing, you’re probably all over it. But what about learning professionals?
If you’ve got anything to do with helping people stay smart, we think you’ve got to be a content curator.
What does that even mean? Good place to start..
What does a content curator do?
A content curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online. The most important component of this job is the word “continually.”
Just like the curator of a museum, content curators responsible for sifting, sorting, and sharing what they consider to be the best content for their audience. They’re responsible for keeping it relevant, fresh and engaging, so people keep coming back.
Content Marketing teams already get it. Content curation as part of an overall marketing strategy is a great way to build an audience for your brand. You help to keep your audience informed, and add value without being overtly self-promoting.
Great for marketing. But the value of content curation is much wider.
What’s it got to do with learning?
Having spent the last 20 years variously in learning and marketing, I think we’ve seen marketing teach learning two important lessons so far:
- Communication needs to be short and focused – 60 minute courses won’t cut it
- Behaviour change isn’t a one-time thing – you have to build campaigns and be relentless
Now it’s time we took a third lesson:
- Content curators will win the internet.
The last two decades of online learning have been dominated by courses. You take them, pass them, you’re done. And if you want to get the basics and reach a certain level, courses are a great way of doing that.
But the problem is what’s next? Courses get outdated fast. New content is published in our niches and topics every day. If you don’t keep up with the latest content in your specialist field, as Charles Jennings says, “you will become irrelevant.” Everyone knows how important it is to stay smart and keep learning, otherwise our skills deteriorate.
We all know we need to stay on top of our game. But there’s too much content and too little time. It’s not efficient or productive for each of us to check multiple sites, sources and social media every day hoping we find the good stuff. If only there was someone who could sift through all of the noise and bring the relevant, valuable content to the attention of the internal teams who need it the most…
Welcome, content curator. You can be the hero for the time-pressed, information overloaded knowledge workers of your organisation.
Content curators that help teams stay up to date can add tremendous value.
10 Reasons Learning Professionals Should Become Content Curation Heroes
- You’re giving them what they really want. Formal courses only account for about 10% of how we learn. The rest of our insight comes through informal and social learning from each other. So curated content fits right in with our preferences, into what Jane Hart calls everyday learning.
- You’re saving people time. Towards Maturity found that two thirds of leaders say that they struggle with finding the time to learn, and 44% can’t find what they need, despite having the desire to do this. IDC estimates that the average knowledge worker spends 9.5 hours a week searching for information. If you could reduce that by just 10%, what would that mean for efficiency and productivity in your organisation?
- You’re adding value. You’re not just aggregating content from multiple sources. That’s what machines do. You’re acting as an intelligent human filter, drawing attention to what really matters – because you understand your audience, their needs and their context. It’s a very personalised service – and it scales really well if you use the right tools. As Beth Kanter put it, you’re spotting the awesome. Which is, of course, awesome.
- You’re super responsive. If a sales team wants a briefing on the latest trends in Nanotechnology, or an overview of a new prospect, or a regular set of insights on pricing, effective curators with the right tools can respond rapidly. By the time you’ve built a course to answer those questions, the question will have changed.
- You’re helping teams stay smart. Rather than producing courses that decline in relevance over time, effective curators are continuously keeping teams briefed on what matters to them. You become a go-to resource. You’re reducing FOMO. And it doesn’t have to be a massive drain on your time – more on that in future posts.
- You’re building your own expertise. A great side-benefit of being a content curator is that you consume a huge amount of information in order to filter and select what’s relevant. For your own personal development, it’s a great way to stay sharp and develop your own skills. It’s also very rewarding to deliver really relevant content through curation.
- You’re creating a lasting resource. Curated content, if well managed, remains relevant over time. There’s long term value in hand-picking the very best articles on sales leadership, SaaS pricing, or Negotiation skills from authoritative sources. They become the new reference sites and knowledge bases.
- You’re helping people be self-directed. 88% of learners want to take charge of their own learning experience. Curated content is self-service. It’s not an enforced linear experience like a course, you’re serving up relevant content for people to tap into.
- You’re encouraging sharing and working out loud. The number one way we learn is through knowledge sharing in small focused groups. Great curators do not present themselves as experts who have the final say on a topic. They start the conversation by saying why an article is relevant and invite people to comment. Curation is the engine behind helping teams to share insights and work out loud. See Jane Bozarth’s great insights on working out loud
- You’re innovating. Learning teams need new approaches to help their customers deal with information overload and increased competitive pressure. If you could say to your internal customer that you can help their teams stay up to date on any topic, in less than 10 minutes a day, with no need for a course, would they keep listening?
Want to be that L&D content curation hero for your clients?
We’re here to help you. Check out our posts on
Ready to get your curation cape on? Check out our beta app, which automatically serves you relevant and recent content on any topic, so you can curate faster and with less effort.