Content marketing is not something that you just do. It requires a well thought out strategy. Within that strategy, it is increasingly common to find curated content. Curation is all about finding, choosing and using content that is good and relevant to a certain topic or theme. You cannot only use your own content all the time, because there simply isn’t enough time and because nobody has that much to tell. By using curated content, however, an audience learns that your brand is trustworthy, because it is well researched and supported by external evidence. This, in turn, will make your brand better known.
In simplest terms, content curation is a form of content marketing where a publisher (in this case, a small business) editorially collects the best content related to a specific niche and targeted to a specific audience then enhances that content by adding personal opinions and expertise. That enhanced content delivers added value – Susan Gunelius contributor to Forbes magazine
Curated content is becoming increasingly mainstream. This is also because there are now so many sites that are orientated very strongly towards regular consumers, including Pinterest for instance. By curating your content, the online world becomes slightly smaller and more manageable. It allows people to read just the parts they want to read, rather than having to go through piece upon piece of text. However, the benefits go well beyond that of the consumers.
The Curarta Survey
we surveyed over 400 marketing professionals from a variety of industries to determine how content curation has grown over the past year. The overall findings made one thing very clear – content curation is now central to a marketers’ strategy that it is no longer considered a standalone tactic.
95% of those surveyed stated that they had used some form of curated content in the past half year. Very often, many of these actually did this without realizing they were curating, since they were not aware that it is a recognized strategy. But why is this curation business suddenly so exciting? Why is everybody doing it? The survey explained a number of issues that demonstrated the important of curation.
There Was too Much Quantity and Not Enough Quality
The survey demonstrated that 56% of respondents though that creating content that was of high quality was one of the biggest difficulties they faced presently. The amount of information that is present on the web has made it very difficult to identify which pieces of information are the most relevant. By curating, a consumer is able to find all the relevant information in one go. The most successful sites do seem to be the ones that offer good content again and again. Content marketing is one of the main parts of any marketing strategy nowadays, hence curation is a way to make sure that consumers don’t have to deal with clutter. Instead, they are given the information they actually want and need.
It’s All About Trust
The survey also demonstrated that 85% of people felt that they wanted to be leaders in their field, providing thought-provoking information. They felt they would be able to achieve this by providing curated content. This type of content would allow consumers to become far more engaged, meaning that they trust a brand before they even get to the point of sale. The content they read is from both the company itself as well as from its competition. This shows a consumer that the site is confident in its own product as well. Experience has demonstrated that this kind of trust is invaluable in terms of creating customers that actually make a purchase.
The World Is a Social Place
The world is becoming increasingly social, which is demonstrated by the popularity of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They are the place to go for news, particularly now that people have a lack of faith in mainstream media. In fact, the first place where people were able to find out who the U.S. Presidential candidates were was on Twitter. Similarly, it was through a Tweet that the world was first informed that Osama Bin Laden was dead. More and more, people are seeing social media as a way to find out real news in real time. Marketers are using social media to find relevant content and to identify good sources. In fact, in the survey, it was found that 79% prefer social media when it comes to curating content.
What happens is that marketers grab a piece of content from someone else’s site or social media profile and write their own perspective around that piece. Social media is particularly beneficial for this because it is such an easy and quick way to share content to thousands of people. Indeed, it has now been demonstrated that social media is one of the most effective methods in terms of getting content out there to prospective clients. By curating from social media, marketers are able to get their content out to a far greater audience than they ever were before.
Content Is Incredibly Powerful
Today, not a single business can get by without being online. Their websites are not just places to do your shopping online, but also places to get information, an opportunity for customers to receive service and a range of offerings on eCommerce levels. For marketers, it means that a site has to be searchable and sticky. In order to do this, in order to attract customers looking for a very specific service or a specific product, is by using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). What content writers do is fight a battle that gets them on the very first page of Google search results. The only way to do this is by making sure that content is relevant, fresh and presented in a very organized way. Most of those who were surveyed stated that using curated content was a way for them to boost their SEO. In fact, for many, this was one of the main reasons.
There are a number of companies that are at the forefront of providing good, honest, curated content. Some examples of this include Whole Foods and American Express. These are known across the world as being companies whose content is unbiased and honest, even if it’s not in their favor. They are also companies that have been online from the word go. Some 95% of those surveyed felt that a brand could not survive if it wasn’t online. They felt that a good business should be able to provide customer service, news and tips, best practices and social media through their website. The online world is still growing and still getting more chaotic. Hence, being one of the ones making it more organized will always push you ahead.