“Content curation” is a content marketing strategy that involves gathering content that you think your audience will find interesting from outside sources and then sharing it with them. Curating content is useful in social media marketing, for example, because you can simultaneously engage your audience while building a relationship with other content creators. By building those relationships and shining a spotlight on the great work of other content creators, the size of your audience can increase when your content is shared through those relationships and is seen by more people in more places.

Content curation has many uses, but it can be time-consuming, especially when you’re first starting out. Finding trustworthy sources, identifying good articles, reading them, and ultimately promoting them to your following can take a lot of effort, especially if you’re busy creating your own content at the same time. Here are three easy strategies you can use to curate outstanding content and save some time in the process:

Take the Time to Come Up with a List of Sources

You may already have a few industry blogs and publications that you read regularly or even have bookmarked, and that’s a great start. From there, you just want to take some time to make sure you haven’t missed any other publications that would also be a strong match for your audience. A good place to look for sources is Alltop, which features the best blogs and publications on a wide variety of categories and topics. You can easily find outlets that are not only relevant to your industry, but also blogs and publications on topics that your audience may be interested in. Looking at your social media followers, especially on Twitter, is another good place to find sources you haven’t yet discovered. Putting together a master list of potential sources takes a lot of initial effort, but it saves you time in the long run since you won’t get stuck aimlessly searching Google or scouring your inbox for something worthwhile to share — you’ll have all the resources you need waiting for you in your master list.

Use an RSS Feed Tool to Keep All Sources in One Place

Using a tool that manages the RSS feeds of your favorite sources allows you to have all of the posts from your master list in one place without missing any new articles. These tools allow you to see the latest updates without having to subscribe via email and have them clog up, or get lost, in your inbox.

Google Reader used to be the most popular RSS feed tool, until Google shut it down in the summer of 2013. Many Google Reader users have migrated to Feedly in the wake of the shutdown, which works very similarly to Google Reader. However, a convenient difference between the two is that in Feedly you don’t have to find the exact RSS feed URL to add it to the system. Instead, you can just enter the regular web address, and Feedly will find the RSS feed for you, which is great since they can be hard to find and many sites have multiple blogs, so they have multiple feeds.

The only downside to an RSS feed aggregator like Feedly is that some sources can’t be included, such as LinkedIn sources (people you follow, articles published on the social network) since those sources don’t have an RSS feed – so you’ll have to keep track of those sources on your own.

Curate Around a Theme

If you curate and share articles sparingly, such as on your Facebook page once a week or in a monthly email, then you may not necessarily need a theme alongside the topics of your industry or service. However, if you’re curating content for a news roundup blog post, or to automate a few tweets throughout the week, then using a theme isn’t a bad idea.

Themes make it easier for you to pick out articles to share, which can help you make faster decisions, while also creating a structure that your audience will probably appreciate. For example, if you’re in the marketing industry, then you can have a social media marketing theme or a reputation management theme.

Themes also make it easier to position your company as a trusted resource in your field and make your website and social media platforms a go-to place for the latest information, since you are regularly publishing the best content from around the web related to your topic. First of all, a themed blog post for curated content can target a specific keyword and help your SEO efforts. Second, curated content surrounding a theme makes it easier for your audience to get all the best information at once without needing to check multiple sources. If your company is the one curating the best blog posts on social media marketing, then prospects interested in your services and potential business partners will know that your company is a trusted source for the best information on social media marketing in your field.

Once you have a system in place, curating content takes a lot less time than trying to pull everything together from scratch. Of course, you still should create original content for your brand, but every piece of content you share and promote doesn’t need to be created by your company. Curating content allows you to post more information and build trust for your brand by appearing like an industry expert, without forcing you to create all of the content yourself!

Does your company curate content? What strategies to you use to find the best material for your audience? Share your tips in the comments!