Curation-ism, Part I: The Case for Content Curation

March 28, 2012 by

By this point, content curation is a widely adopted term, but what exactly does it entail? How does it fit into a content marketing strategy, and how effective is it, really?

imagecredit: SimonBlog

 

In this 2-part series I’ll provide notations on curation — first laying out the case for why it’s a great opportunity for those prepared to do it well, and then providing examples on how to do just that (including our process at OpenView).

Though not really a new concept, with an unprecedented abundance of new content being made available every day, the role of curation is arguably more important than ever. Not only does it provide individuals with a welcome gateway and filtering service, it can also provide significant added value to those who offer that service, as well.

The Case for Curation

In my first post for OpenView, I discussed the importance of connecting directly with your customers in an age when there’s no lack of competitors vying for their attention. One of the best ways to do so is by engaging them with compelling original content geared toward their interests and needs. But for marketers with time and resource constraints, and for companies that perhaps don’t have an effective content marketing strategy in place, content curation can be an easy and efficient way for them to dip their toe into the content marketing pool, and get in the habit of interacting with their customers in ways that are meaningful and rewarding — for both parties involved.

Two Misconceptions: Those Who Can’t Create Curate and You’re the Only Person with Something Original to Say

At its best, content curation is a far cry from what we might refer to as content regurgitation. A simple list of links it’s not. The best curators bring value to their audience by combing through a plethora of content to provide them with the best of the best, providing summaries of that information in order to make it as easily discoverable and digestible as possible. On top of that, they add their own individual take and perspective, utilizing their familiarity with their audience’s interests and needs to establish why the content is relevant and applicable to them.

In that sense, another way to think about content curation is comparing it to networking. Not only can it help members of an audience engage in a larger conversation by connecting them with the latest ideas and innovative leaders in their field, it can also connect them — through comment fields, etc. — with each other.

That means by taking content curation seriously you can provide your target audience with immediate, accessible value. And since one good deed deserves another, in turn, you’ll quickly find that curation can generate internal value for your company, as well.

Curate It, and They Will Come

While pointing visitors to your website elsewhere might seem counterproductive at first, reliably directing them to quality content that both helps and informs them can in fact help to establish your company (and individual employees within your company) as a trusted resource and thought leader in your industry. In other words, it can help build your brand.

And since every curated post provides you with the opportunity to improve your SEO, over time, curation can actually drive more visitors to your company’s website. While they’re visiting, there’s also no reason not to promote and direct them to original content of your own, especially when it ties in to the topic of the article you’re curating. Establishing a template to include links to internally generated “further reading” or “related content” at the bottom of your posts is a good practice that can provide your audience with additional information while also driving traffic to other content on your site.

Curation As Education — It’s a Two-Way Street

Through my own involvement with OpenView’s content curation efforts, I’ve experienced another added benefit of curation, directly — I’ve learned more about the topics I’m connecting our audience to. Since taking over editorial oversight of our Daily Summary Articles, I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of information and strategies pertaining to expansion stage technology companies that I wasn’t familiar with — on topics like lead generation and qualification, recruiting, product design and launch, market aspirations and strategy, and corporate development.

For marketers, curation can be a great way to get up-to-speed on their company’s focus areas, no matter how technical or specialized. It’s also a way of quickly determining key influencers in the industry they should engage with.

Now that you’re sold on the case for curation, the next step is addressing how best to get started or improve on your existing content curation procedure. That’s what I’ll be addressing next week, providing a detailed run-down of our process at OpenView as well as a list of curation tools from around the web.

  • Tony Karrer

    Nice post Jonathan. Have you put up the second post yet?

    You may find some interesting thoughts around curation via my own curation:

    http://central.aggregage.com/curation/

    and particularly a recent post on how associations are looking at curation for member value:

    http://www.aggregage.com/blog/curation/association-curation

    • Jonathan Crowe

       Thanks very much, Tony. The second post is going up tomorrow morning and in the meantime I’ll look forward to checking out and responding to the links.

    • Jonathan Crowe

       Hi Tony,

      Pleased to report the second post in this series is up: http://blog.openviewpartners.com/4-steps-to-effective-content-curation/

      I’m interested in your thoughts on association curation (http://www.aggregage.com/blog/curation/association-curation), especially regarding personalization. Two questions for you:

      1) How important do you think personalizing content for individual users is?
      2) Do you have any tips or advice for how to accomplish stronger personalization?

      Thanks again!

      • Tony Karrer

        Enjoyed the second post as well.  I’m heading out of town, but hopefully will have time later this month to respond with a few thoughts.

        1. For some users, personalization is not important.  They just want the major pieces that come through.  For other people, they have very specific interests within a topic and want to make sure they don’t miss it.

        2. I’m not sure how you do personalization without an advanced system like the one we built.  If you manually curate, you are naturally aiming it at a broader audience.  You hit the people who want the major pieces.  You cannot provide someone who has a specific interest the same value. 

        • Anonymous

           I suppose it all comes down to determining who your target audience is and developing your system and approach from there.

          Glad you enjoyed Part II of this post, as well. Looking forward to keeping this conversation going. I’d love to hear more about your work at Aggregage.

  • http://iPhonage.com/ joshua logan

    i found curated content on many blogs, even big giants like engagdet.com, 9to5mac, iphonage.com and others do it regularly

  • Aviva

    Go to
    http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com
    Search
    Conceived: New Definition of Curation

    It is on curation in Medicine, healthCare, Life Sciences, BioMedicine and Pharmaceutical

  • Aviva