Content curation – not just another night at the museum
It has been said by some that 2014 will be the year of the ‘content curator’. But what is this mystery activity?
Content curation refers to the practise of sorting through the seemingly endless pages of content circling around the web and organising them into meaningful themes.
Aggregation sites have been doing a similar thing for years. But what makes content curation more attractive to marketers is that it is a move away from the thoughtless, automated bundle of links so often offered up by sites, and a move towards a considered presentation designed to be relevant to a like-minded community.
Personalised for your needs
Content curators provide a personalised, vetted selection of the most relevant content on a topic or theme. The aim is to offer up content that is useful to specific sections of web-users – content that will be consumed and passed on among the group.
And it seems content marketers are now looking to push this trend so that it stands with equal footing alongside content creation.
Almost two-thirds of US marketing professionals said they want to increase their spending on content curation, while 39% said investment in curated marketing is also set to rise, according to content curation software firm Curata.
But the road is proving long and winding, as many firms fail to appreciate the effort needed for such an enterprise. A strategy is crucial to produce effective content curation, along with a calendar and some truly considered annotations that lead people in the right direction.
Organisations are finding, to their cost, that it is not simply a case of hunting down and sharing content.
Sean Carton puts it well in his article ‘Become a Content Curation King’ when he says:
“It’s the “community” part that’s at the heart of the whole curation movement and the most powerful element when it comes to curating content as a way of drawing traffic and attention in your marketing efforts.
“Just as a carefully-curated museum exhibit is sure to draw like-minded people together, carefully-curated content on the web has the potential to attract (and/or build) an online community of people who are into the same stuff.”
Whatever the difficulties, marketers are leaning to curation of content creation, according to eMarketer.
It looks to the effectiveness of curation as an explanation of its current popularity. More than half of the companies involved in the survey said curation boosted their web traffic, brand visibility, search engine optimisation and customer and buyer engagement.
Sean Carton gives some handy tips to help with effective curating:
- People matter. Your goal should be to build a community, and communities are made up of people.
- It’s a commitment. Bailing out unexpectedly is damaging to your brand and your reputation.
- What you leave out is as important as what you leave in. The content you include (and exclude) speaks to your point of view about a particular topic.
- Focus on becoming a “resource”, not just an “event”. If you want to keep drawing visitors, you need to establish your collection as the go-to place for what they’re looking for.
We expect this trend to continue and predict that content curation and translation will be key components of international marketing campaigns in the future.