Content curated from the web adds value to your learners and helps them continuously upskill and stay up to date on the topics that matter. But only if they can easily get to it, of course. It’s one of the first questions we ask when we’re consulting with our clients and partners: What are the channels for curated content that will gain the most traction? Below we set out some primary channels to consider, and some tips from our experience.
Share, but where? Ask your audience
We’re big fans at Anders Pink of the Seek > Sense > Share approach to curation. Sharing curated content in the right channels, so it’s easy for your teams to access is a vital step in the process. To borrow from marketing professionals: Go where the eyeballs are. Curated content should be in the flow of work, and closely connected to where your teams already go to get up to date information and collaborate. And of course, that may be more than one tool, channel or platform. Ask these questions of your target audiences:
- Where would you like to receive this content?
- How often? Daily updates on trending topics, weekly digests of highlights, or some other frequency?
- What’s working? After an initial period of sharing in particular channels, monitor engagement, see what’s working, and refine. We like to think of curators as content concierges – bringing that perfect package of relevant content right to the learner’s door.
Three Key Channels for Curated Content
Here we’ll look at places in which curated content can be shared. They all work – the question is what will work best for you and your teams, and some pro tips from us.
For many organisations, it’s still the most active channel for sharing information. , and it can easily be viewed on any device. Email is low friction, but can be overused. People may already be swamped by their inboxes. It can be hard to search for items and less regular newsletters may be better than numerous individual emails.
Pro tip: Control the frequency, Make it specific
Our experience with email as a channel for curated content is to use it as a round-up. While it’s possible to send an email every day, with trending information about your clients, competitors, and topics you’re tracking, it can get lost below the fold. Consider sending a weekly email, and personalising it. Anders Pink worked with the curation teams to enable their learners to specify the topics they wanted to track and frequency of updates.
2. Learning platforms
Curated content can be run alongside courses, for example, to keep learners engaged. An LMS is easily searchable and can also serve as an archive.
Whether it’s a LMS, LXP or some hybrid, nearly all organisations run a learning platform. Historically these were repositories of courses and formal learning. Progressive platforms have moved well beyond that. They’ve become more outward looking, and incorporate externally curated content, and more personalisation with social feeds and recommendations. Rather than being separate islands (of often outdated content), they’re part of a wider learning ecosystem, using connectors to specialist tools to bring in content, data and feeds from multiple sources. Our curation tool does exactly this, integrated into a wide range of learning platforms.
Pro tips: Get the use case for curation clear:
Are you looking to drive trending content to a hub or academy area within your platform? Or enhance a set of learning programmes with relevant content that updates automatically? Or focus on a particular upskilling need in an organisation or team. All of these are use cases where we’ve seen curated content add value. Establishing a clear use case upfront (often as a pilot) will focus effort.
Focus on quality:
Audiences value timely, relevant, high quality content. But quality is in the eye of the beholder. It’s not about quantity – nobody will thank you for adding more curated content that’s not helpful to them.
A lot of the work we do with clients is clarifying exactly what quality means for them: which specific skills, sources, languages, keywords are going to deliver the best of the web for their learners. We use machine learning to train our feeds, and learn from preferences, and keep refining over time.
Get the balance between automation and human curation right:
Automatically updating feeds of content can add a huge amount of value. Some audiences may prefer a more mediated approach. For example, in our experience a sales or consulting team will want daily updates on clients, competitors and market trends. A technical or leadership team may prefer a weekly update, where curators hand-pick the most relevant content. You can accommodate both. Again it’s about consulting with your audience and understanding what quality, timely and relevant curated content means specifically for them.
The age of copy / paste is over. Learning professionals who are responsible for curation do not have the time to manually select content from the millions of articles published daily. That can be automated, by creating feeds that do it for you, based on your skills, topics and preferred sources (that’s what we do for curators). They also don’t have time to manually copy them over to their learning platform. APIs and connectors automate this, and keep your curated feeds up to date. Ask your learning platform provider what integrations or connectors they’re using. We’re working with many of them already to power curation in the learning platform.
[curated content powering skills development based on user preferences]
3. Collaboration platforms
Microsoft Teams and Slack dominate, chances are you’re already using one or both. They make it easy for teams to create channels, share information and collaborate. For many organisations, they are the flow of work. Many learning platforms now push content recommendations into these channels. They can be an ideal channel for curated content. Get in touch to find out more on how we integrate with them.
Frequency: As with email, pushing daily updates into collaboration channels may create a lot of noise. Consult with your audiences to determine what they want, how much, and how often. Consider dedicated channels for trending content – these are simple to set up in most collaboration tools.
There’s more – but start here:
There are multiple other channels for curated content, including your intranet, CRM, your skills and talent platforms, and of course on external networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s possible to bring the best of the web into these, and more. We work with many organisations who curate content into multiple channels for different audiences, topics and needs.
We recommend starting simple: Identify your primary need for curation, and the key audience for it. Involve stakeholders in determining the channels that will get the most traction for those audiences. Focus on getting quality, frequency and relevance right in the primary places to share.
Let us help:
We work with leading platforms and organisations to bring high quality, curated content from the web into the workflow.
We know from experience that everyone’s curation needs are different, and we always start by understanding those first.
We’d love to start a conversation with you, and help you bring curated content into the right channels for you, so you can ensure your teams stay up-to date, informed and relevant.