Content curation
In the past few years, if the Web has taught us anything it’s that successful brands and marketers can no longer pump out messages and sound bites. Instead, they have to interact and engage.
At the heart of engagement lies content—blog posts, videos, status updates, tweets, white papers, e-newsletters, articles, customer stories, photos, websites and more. Content hasn’t just become king, it’s become the currency of a social Web.While the benefits of content marketing have been proven, so too has the investment in time. Many businesses and organizations want to harness the relationship-building, thought-leadership-provoking power of content marketing, but one question prevents them from moving forward: Who has the time to create all this content?

That’s where content creation becomes content curation, or the art of finding and sharing content that your audiences will find informative or interesting instead of creating it all on your own.

When you think about it, content curation has always been what the Web is all about—a means of sharing information. According to research conducted by AOL and Nielsen, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of all social media messages and one-half (47 percent) of industry-specific social messages contain links to content. This same research also found that:

  • 42 percent of all Twitter™ posts contain content-sharing links; 73 percent of Twitter posts related to a specific industry (auto, tech, finance and entertainment) contain sharing links.
  • 41 percent of all blog posts contain content-sharing links; 64 percent of industry-specific blog posts contain such links.
  • 12 percent of all Facebook posts contain content-sharing links; 22 percent of industry-specific Facebook posts contain such links.

Additionally, according to a survey by HiveFire, nearly one-half of marketing executives use content curation—the process of continually finding, organizing and sharing relevant online content that caters to a specific audience. Among these marketers, more than 75 percent cite thought leadership as their primary objective in curation, followed by elevating brand visibility and buzz as well as lead generation.

If your business or organization hasn’t yet considered a content strategy, now is the time. The line is blurring between the traditional Web and social sites through the ability to “Like,” “+1,” “RT” and “Share,” and if your brand isn’t contributing to the conversations online … well, you’re not part of the conversation.

Consider these top five tips to get started…

  • Get all hands on deck—Ask employees in all areas of your business or organization to share articles and videos that they find interesting and relevant to your industry or target market. Review this content and post it on your business’s blog or in an e-newsletter. Jumpstart things with an internal contest … those who submit articles that end up getting posted are entered into a drawing for fun prizes like a stadium blanket or a tote bag.
  • Brainstorm topics—Write down the problems your customers face. Start sourcing answers, solutions, templates and tools that you can share in blog posts, on your website or through social media channels.
  • Involve customers – Ask your customers for feedback on your products or services and share these insights by creating blog posts, testimonial videos, podcast interviews and FAQ sheets. Encourage customers to share this information through surveys or feedback forms that enter them to win a prize, like a Micro Clip MP3 Player or logo’d items such as travel mugs or T-shirts.
  • Read more—Read books in your area of expertise and do a review for your customers, set up Google® alerts for topics your target audiences might be interested in, industry thought leaders and other useful terms to help you stay on top of conversations that could be used in your own content.
  • Acknowledge the source—Give credit where credit is due and thank contributors. Ask authors for permission to repurpose or share their content, link to the original source and quote the writer whenever possible. A quick head’s up email or a nice handwritten thank-you note for the great content is also a nice touch, too.

For more ideas, examples, case studies and more, be sure to check out the Blue Paper®!

“Content – Content Fuels Social Media Interaction : MarketingProfs Article.” MarketingProfs: Marketing Resources for Marketing Professionals. 3 May 2011. Web. 18 July 2011.

“Content – Brands Using Content Curation to Build Thought Leadership: MarketingProfs Article.” MarketingProfs: Marketing Resources for Marketing Professionals. 30 Mar. 2011. Web. 18 July 2011.

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