Marketing has known for a long time that content is king. With the advent of new content curation technologies in L&D, lots of organizations want to jump on the bandwagon and offer their learners the best possible experience through the newest gadgets. What is often forgotten, however, is that good content is the foundation of all effective learning, especially when thinking about curation tools.

The Basics of a Content Strategy

A content strategy allows you to treat your content as a business asset and includes not just written content but also images and multimedia. Ultimately, having a content strategy in place helps you create meaningful, engaging and sustainable content and to identify the right content at the right time for the right audience. It is easy to determine what content already exists, what content should be created and, more importantly, why it should be created. Putting measurements in place, in addition, not only allows you to see which content is in high demand, and which content has barely been touched, but also sheds light on how content is being accessed.

Create a Content Strategy That Sticks

The best place to start is with what you already have in place. Most organizations have an abundance of content with no central repository or one person responsible for maintaining it. Gather all stakeholders, including instructional designers, facilitators, copywriters and someone from marketing, and summarize what content already exists. Then, create a content strategy template, which can be a simple Google sheet outlining, for example, content titles, descriptions, delivery channels, measurements, responsibilities, tags and maintenance cycle. List existing content and content that is being used on a regular basis, and start repurposing it. This process will help you identify current gaps and determine what additional content you need to drive performance.

Next Step: Curate Content

In the traditional marketing context, content curation is the process of sorting through large amount of contents on the web and presenting the best pieces in a meaningful way. It is not the creation of new content but rather the act of discovering, compiling and sharing existing content. That’s why it is so crucial to have good content available in the first place.

L&D departments don’t necessarily use the entire web for their content curation purposes but mainly focus on their in-house content. The key to successful content curation lies in the compilation and tagging of content, because if a learner searches for a specific topic, he or she will only find the content if it was properly tagged and organized in the first place. Sifting through existing content, group content together by category, such as onboarding or product training, and tag it accordingly. Lastly, share the content through online portals and platforms that learners can access as needed.

Content Curation Tools to Engage Your Learners Just In Time

In 2016, Degreed, a content curation platform, found that 47 percent of learners search the internet for answers to their questions, compared to only 28 percent who use their company’s LMS. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the content isn’t on the LMS; it’s simply not searchable. These data support the importance of having a proper content strategy in place before you even think about content curation.

The advantage of content curation tools is the just-in-time delivery of content and the relevance it has to the learner. More and more, we see a need to move away from the traditional LMS toward a more robust platform that aligns with modern learners and their need to access relevant content when and how they need it. Before moving into that direction, though, put the basics in place to ensure a successful content curation strategy that will make a difference to your learners.