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Time to get curious about content curation

Triana Jarman

Before we look at whether content curation is something you should consider (spoiler: it probably is!), let’s be clear about our definition. First and foremost it is not an aggregation of existing content nor does it simply link to supporting information – that, as you will appreciate, is ‘content aggregation’.

As the Content Marketing Institute puts it, “Content curation assembles, selects, categorizes, comments on, and presents the most relevant, highest quality information to meet your audience’s needs on a specific subject.” It is a way of leaning on existing content from owned, social and third party media to create your own content which has a personal perspective and commentary that is presented in a way which aligns to your brand and is entirely relevant to your particular audience.

If you think this sounds good, you’ll want to download "A Curated Content Marketing Masterclass". In the meantime let’s look at why you should be curious about this approach and reflect on the strategy behind it.

Curated vs Original Content

The benefits of using curated content are huge. Generally speaking, most marketers these days feel that they are being squeezed in terms of resources when it comes to both funding and head count. Content curation provides the opportunity to produce highly valuable features which may be built upon, or inspired from, existing information, but that can present a unique opinion or insight –  without the cost of your own exclusive studies and analysis. On the other hand, well produced original content with exclusive research can hold tremendous value and may provide great PR opportunities for your brand that would not otherwise come your way. The downside of this kind of original content is that it comes at a price.

Getting the right balance

The idea of ceasing your programme of original content due to cost may present somewhat of a false economy – the benefit of producing your own thought leadership content is simply too great to miss out on. Instead, the more effective approach for most B2B brands will be a mix of curated and original content. Naturally the next question to ask is what is the right mix?

In regards to social media, some marketing leaders suggest that comments about your brand or that link to your own content should be limited to fewer than 25% of your posts, with the remaining 75% to feature external content. I would suggest aiming for a similar percentage when it comes to producing original and curated content, although the very best recommendation would be to test different ratios over a period of time and look at the analytics to see what works for you.

The content curation challenge

Despite the efficiency of content curation over the creation of original content, it still requires some investment to get right, mostly in terms of time and resources. A concerted effort is needed to organise and prioritise information, adapt insights and apply as part of of a programme of relevant content for the reader.

Don’t start thinking that by simply re-posting already existing content you are succeeding in content curation. There’s definitely a good and bad way to do content curation, and those with a curated content marketing strategy will be more likely to avoid the challenges of efficiency and investment..

What does a curated content marketing strategy look like?

Those looking to implement a content curation strategy would do well to start by reflecting on three key questions:

1) What sources of content do you have at your disposal?

2) What kind of content will you curate?

3) Where might you publish curated content?

Our report picks these questions apart and provides examples, hints and tips designed specifically to help answer each area.

The balance would appear to be in favour of adopting the content curation approach for most B2B brands. After all, if informative content arrives to prospects and audiences at the right time on the right channel, it is unlikely to matter whether it is curated or original. Bearing in mind the efficiency of this approach as a content generator in relation to the benefits on offer it would seem that most would have little to lose.

We have barely scratched the surface of the content curation approach in this post, but hopefully we have drawn attention to the opportunities on offer and provided plenty of food for thought.

Ready for more?

Download the “Curated Content Marketing Masterclass” chapter for further insights and advice on this particular topic, or take a look at the Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing (also available for download), which contains this chapter and several others on:

  • The 5 elements of a killer content marketing strategic plan

  • 3 quick wins for improving your content marketing right now

  • How to measure ROI

  • The growth of video content marketing

  • How to keep blogging relevant, driving both brand awareness and leads