When putting together your content marketing mix, one of the main pillars of support should always come in the form of content curation.
Content curation is by definition the process of finding, modifying and repurposing available content – in any form – and subsequently presenting them in a form that benefits your target audience. In other words, content curation is one of the methods of output that represents your brand’s attempt at engaging the wider world.
Why Curate? Why Not Just Create?
Ideally, your content marketing mix should have a combination of both original and curated works. Of course originally created content is an ideal we should all aspire to; yet it may not be suited to our goals for a number of reasons, not least because of the tremendous strain that original content creation – good ones at any rate – may place on our limited resources. There’s a very good reason behind why the media – world class purveyors and movers of original content – is an entire multi-billion dollar industry onto itself.
Launching consistent and original content is to commit to an undertaking both expensive and ambitious, one which might not make economic sense from a marketing perspective.
To invest in original content is to invest from the very start in the critical process of ideation; in analysis and research, and subsequently in creating and editing your finished work for grammar, relevance and flow.
Your finished article has to then be framed in proper context for the various distribution channels and audiences it is to be published for. This is then followed by processes of approval and reviews and the commissioning suitable artworks. And seeing as digital content is a feast not just for the mind but also for the eye – it is finally finished by laying out our article with the garnishes of appropriate typography, and layouts.
All of this is necessary to produce new content, and the result, this brave new recipe when it is pushed out onto the world, must blend seamlessly into the flow of courses set before and after. Faced with such undertaking, most marketers agree that unless your industry happens to focus on content creation – it might well be better to leave it to the experts.
Repurposing for Clarity and Engagement
Content curation in reverse, examines what is already out there, and brings to its own audience the choicest bits. It enables marketers to tap into a stable and reliable stream of published content, at a fraction of the time cost and expenses of producing original content. This is desirable, for after all, both types of content serve similar purposes.
Content is created by companies to promote thought leadership, to assist in helping to refine their brand voice and values to an audience, and perhaps most importantly, to generate site traffic and keep one’s company steadily in the public eye. Of growing importance is the need to serve growing SEO trends towards content generation well. Given these properties, it makes sense to companies to apply themselves heartily to the business of repurposing. And they have, if the steady rise of content curation platforms is any indication.
That is not to say that the act of curation does not demand its own set of skills; if anything, a good content curator holds to a precise and demanding set of standards.
An experienced curator will know how to use subtlety in reframing a topic – adding to the conversation by introducing an old idea with a new twist. He or she must know the audience, know how they think, what words to pick to facilitate that aha or hmmm moment. And should seek always to convey the ultimate value – of brand conversation, whilst seeking to titillate, to inform, educate and delight.
To do this amidst a sea of data requires its own know-how. After all, the internet is an ocean of facts and opinions, an exodus of never ending engagement patiently waiting for an audience. ‘Every two days, we now create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003. That’s something like five exabytes of data,’ said Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google as early as 2010. It’s a figure that can only climb as time goes by.
Thanks to Facebook, content curating has become a socially acceptable way to engage your audience – be it for personal or business purposes, and organizations are clearly taking advantage of this trend.
Coupled with a worldwide rise in the use of hand-held devices, audiences are now more receptive to quality conversations with their brands than ever, with have more opportunities to be digitally engaged. No surprises then, that content marketing budgets are set to rise in 2015, even as repurposing content remains one of the most viable strategies available to digital marketers seeking to maximize their on their returns.