So, you’ve realized that implementing a content strategy is smart business – a new marketing approach that will create a tighter bond with your audience and has the promise of greater ROI than traditional marketing approaches.

But now it’s time to start creating content, and you’re stuck. Content creation is hard work, and it never stops, and everyone in your organization seems busy with their primary duties. Of course there are resources you can deploy to help with the day-in, day-out rinse and repeat of content creation.

However, just because you haven’t quite solved the content creation puzzle doesn’t mean you need to sit on the sidelines. In fact, content strategy is often best served by starting with content curation – serving as a clearinghouse for content produced by others in order to help the audience sift through the endless volume of information on the Internet. We’re all overwhelmed by the information at our disposal – figuring out what’s really important to know and what information you can safely put off for another day has become a critical business skill.

If your organization serves as content curator for your industry, it can be an important service that your customers and prospects quickly appreciate. Most importantly, it begins to build trust with your audience, trust that is critical in today’s era of preference marketing.

Of course, you have to do it the right way. Content curation gets a bit of a bad name because it can be perceived as claiming you’re taller becasue you’re standing on the shoulders of others. There are plenty of examples of organizations appropriating content produced by others and passing it off as their own; some even build a business out of it, but it’s still plagiarism, and it diminishes trust. That’s not good, so make sure you bring an ethical approach to content curation – simply put, credit the original author. Easy.

The goal of content marketing is to participate and shape your industry conversation; if you aren’t creating your own content, your ability to shape the conversation is likely minimal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t participate and have a voice. By curating and promoting the ideas of others, you’re stirring that conversation and bringing value; I can tell you that I’m indebted to the many people and organizations I follow on Twitter and LinkedIn because they’re curating information for me – much of the information I consume on a daily basis arrives in front of my eyeballs because someone tweeted a link to it. That’s curation. It adds depth to relationships with some of the folks I follow. Over time, it elevates those who consistently steer great content my way.

And besides, it’s very much an accepted way of doing business – Curata reports that 95 percent of marketers share content created by others. According to the study, one-third of marketers share 3rd party content on a daily basis.

Finding the right content and discerning for yourself what is quality and what is … less than quality… takes some work. There are tools (such as Curata) that can help you navigate the world out there. Of course, the human element makes a difference, and going with a fully automated solution will likely do more harm than good – nobody likes a robot on social media.

Yes, it’s work, but it’s worthwhile. You’ll be building credibility, building connections and beginning to move prospects along the sales funnel.

Content curation is NOT a fully realized content strategy, but it’s a good start.

Are you currently curating content as part of your content marketing strategy? How often do you share third party content? Let us know in the comments below.