The proliferation of the Internet has transformed the way we create, publish and distribute content. Think about the pre-Internet era when companies were at the mercy of content publishers for distribution of content, and where consumers had very few options and meager resources for information gathering. Today, the situation is exactly the opposite. The Internet has made a publisher of each one of us. We now have a problem of plenty – there is too much information available for consumers but it is scattered across the web in different forms, across social networks, and in different languages. And now the new challenge for marketers is to make themselves visible to their consumers in this information deluge.
So how does one handle this information overload and how do B2B marketers compete to stay on the top of search results, in this continuous flood of content that will only increase by the day? One new tactic that is gaining popularity in recent years is that of Content Curation.
So what exactly is content curation? There are a lot of definitions available online, but one that covers it pretty well is the one from Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs who defines it as:
“Content curation is the act of continually identifying, selecting and sharing the best and most relevant online content and other online resources (and by that I mean articles, blog posts, videos, photos, tools, tweets, or whatever) on a specific subject to match the needs of a specific audience.”
If you think about it, all of us do our bit of content curation when we share articles, videos and blog posts
that appeal to us with friends on our social networks like facebook, twitter and the like. We share what we like, because we think our friends might like it too. It’s pretty similar in the B2B setup as well. Enterprises share information that they think their target audiences might find value in.
Going back to the definition, I strongly believe that each part of the definition is extremely important when it comes to content curation:
continually: content curation is not a once in a blue moon process. It has to be part of the ongoing content marketing strategy of your organization
identifying, selecting and sharing the best and most relevant online content and other online resources : following every twitter account out there or retweeting anything and everything is not content curation. Curate, don’t spam. Your audience must find value in what you share.
on a specific subject:it is important to identify the subject that is most relevant to your industry and share content specific to that subject. Keep your focus narrow; don’t be all over the place.
needs of a specific audience: You must share information that will benefit a certain set of consumers/ audience. Being too generic will not establish you as an expert. If your company is into multiple services, domains, industries, then make sure the content is also curated accordingly. A banking prospect might not find value in a Retail whitepaper, and vice versa.
Some of the advantages of content curation include:
Establishes you as an expert in your space: Once your prospects know they are receiving valuable content from you consistently in a specific area, they will tend to look at you as an expert in that area.
You can curate, even if you didn’t create: One of the reasons why curation is so popular is because you don’t have to be the original creator. You are more of a facilitator for sharing of useful information.
Provides a single reliable source for all relevant content: Providing relevant content in one place, reduces the search, research and education time for your prospect. The more neutral content you share, your audience will start trusting that you are not out there just to push your products and/or services but are out to add value.
Content curation is now slowly but surely becoming an integral part of the B2B content marketing strategy. Of course, there is no denying the advantages of creating original content, and its resultant value, but using the content available out there and streamlining it to provide just the best to your prospects is also a great marketing tactic.