How to share online content that you didn’t write

Photos courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock.

Photos courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock.

Content, content, content — if you’re a marketing person in the equipment industry, it’s likely all you hear about these days. As a public relations professional who spends a good chunk of my time writing content, it puts a smile on my face. I love to help create useful content to help support our clients’ sales and customer service efforts. 

And, while it’s my job to help position our clients as the industry’s experts, sometimes it just makes sense to source another company or an industry media outlet who has done a great job of covering a topic related to the needs of a client’s customer. That’s where content curation comes in.  

What is Content Curation? 
It’s marketing speak for discovering existing, relevant content and sharing it with your audience. Sounds pretty easy, right?  

But isn’t that plagiarism?
Just like your old high school research projects, it’s not plagiarism if you don’t copy the whole story word-for-word, and you give credit to your source. For example, when I run across a compact equipment related article for MWE, I will review the article, draft a summary of key takeaways from the content, maybe add a quote or two from the piece and give proper attribution to the source and link back to the original article. The process helps MWE share quality content with their customers and encourages readers to check out additional content from the original author.  

Everyone wins.  

What happens if I want to share more than a summary? 
There have been times I’ve liked an article so much that I wanted to share it on our website, so I asked the author for permission. There’s no harm in asking. I’ve yet to run into anyone who said no. However, if that does happen to you, accept it and move on. 

What if I share something and then someone asks me to take it down? 
If you’ve shared someone else’s content and you get asked to take it down, apologize and remove the content immediately. Afterward, you need to get to the bottom of why they asked you to remove it. Start by asking yourself, did I plagiarize it? There’s a 99% chance that’s the reason. 

If you didn’t plagiarize the content, then perhaps the author isn’t a fan of people reading their content. You aren’t going to be the person who changes his/her mind, so just move on with your day.  

Where do I find content? 
Amber and I have a great system of apps and tools set up to discover great content for our client along with any client-related news. However, rather writing out all those steps, I’m going to curate a great article on the subject from Buffer. The article is called "How to Curate Content: The Secret Sauce to Getting Noticed, Becoming an Influencer, and Having Fun Online,” and it outlines a detailed process for discovering, reading and sharing curated content. We use many of the tools listed in the article, including Feedly and Buffer in our day-to-day content marketing activities. 

And of course, you can always let us know if you have any questions about this subject. We’re always happy to chat with you!