Let’s be clear about the mission of content marketing: to use content to reach, engage, and build trust with your audience so that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll consider your company. But it’s not just about any content. Your prospects are overwhelmed by low quality information that neither enlightens nor delivers on its promise.
Today’s buyers are savvier and more demanding. They expect more. And, if you can’t provide content they can actually use, they will go elsewhere. The best marketers create great content on a consistent basis; however, they also complement their own original content with curated content. In fact, they use a mix of 65 percent created, 25 percent curated and 10 percent syndicated content.
Curating with a mission
As Ardath Albee, CEO and B2B marketing strategist recently observed: “If you share someone else’s ideas and expand upon them with your own, you gain credibility, share your knowledge, and make whatever you curated more valuable in the process.” This is content curation.
Content curation also enables you to fuel your content marketing engine on a reduced budget. You cannot possibly create all the information that your digitally charged yet attention-challenged customers and prospects need.
Yet you can guide, enlighten, and even delight them with perceptive insights, garnered from a range of sources through content curation. As a savvy content curator, you have a point of view. You also have an opportunity to mold the conversation.
5 factors for deciding what to curate
In today’s digital age, a content curator serves as the information gatekeeper. Much like publishers in previous eras, curators channel the inquiries and interests of a target audience by systematically deciding what to publish.
With this role as an information gatekeeper in mind, here are five basic criteria for determining when assets should be incorporated into a curated collection.
Consider whether a particular asset is relevant to your target audience. This is obviously a judgment call on your part. Determine whether it offers any additional insights that they do not already know.
Determine whether the content you are considering is from a source you can trust. Verify the authority by checking sources and references. Remember, your own credibility is on the line. You are the one determining the quality.
Not every asset in your collection needs to reflect your own perspective. In fact, make sure you are capturing a range of facts, opinions, and insights around a particular topic. Try to present a comprehensive collection that addresses the important aspects, organized in a way that makes sense to you. Consider your target audience and try to be as comprehensive as possible.
Step back and view the collection as a whole. Do the assets validate your current perspective? Does the ongoing stream offer additional insights? A curated collection can validate what you already know as well as lead to new learning about a particular topic.
Be sure to offer a unique perspective. Are you providing your audience with information and insights not found elsewhere? Do you have an engaging point of view? Can you present the assets and weave the assets into a compelling story? As the curator, this is your opportunity to highlight and contextualize the information, to reinforce the uniqueness of your contribution.
Curating a collection is an ongoing activity, not a one-time event. You are going to get better over time.
Curating for content marketing
Done right, curation is going to be an essential part of your content marketing program. As the demonstrated expert with insights and experience, you will build your audience of fans and followers, and along the way convert prospects into buyers.
To learn more about embedding content curation processes within a content marketing strategy, be sure to check out Curata’s eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Content Curation.
Use Hootsuite to curate content as part of your social media strategy. Sign up for free today!