Business to Business (B2B) Content Curation Q&A Alright, in this show, we’ll talk about b2b content curation, that’s business to business content curation. We’ll cover some guidelines, some tips that we can take away when we want to employ business to business content curation in your content strategy. Here’s a few of the main topics we dive into: Is curation effective in a B2B enviroment? How does curation fit in B2B Content Marketing Mix? Why can B2B curation effective? When might B2B not be effective? The different verticals and audiences you can reach Creating a B2B content curation strategy Our Unique Perspective on B2B Content Curation So b2b content curation, we kind of have a unique perspective on this and there’s two reasons for this. First up, we created Curation Traffic and I’d say about 50% of the people that purchase that employ it in a b2b manner meaning they’re in a b2b spac or the business to business space and they’re using content curation. So we get to see how curation is employed from both the outside and inside so to say. The other aspect is we have our own consulting service here at You Brand, Inc., we’re a business development virtual CMO and a lot of the marketing we put into place is content marketing, digital marketing. One of those strategies typically is curation so we get to put that into practice to cross b2b and b2c clients (business to consumer). So we kind of get to see it in different verticals as well and actually go through the full process. It gives us a unique perspective on both how it is implemented from a tool perspective but how is it implemented in different verticals. Is Curation Effective in a B2B Environment? The first question people often ask is, ‘Is curation effective in a b2b environment?’ And I will say it is effective, it’s highly effective in a b2b environment with — not a disclaimer but one way to look at it and the way to look at this is content marketing in general too. Typically in content marketing curation, you kind of have two audiences. You have the audience that is your target market, the audience that is part of the purchase cycle, that is part of that pathway to purchase, right? You have that audience that you want to reach and that you want to influence and that you want aware of your product, your service, your brand. So you have that audience that you can capture with curation and then you have the other audience that in no rhyme or reason for whatever reason, they follow the topic matter that you cover but they would never play a role in that sales funnel. They’re still important because they’re interested in your topic and in a lot of ways, they’re just as important as this other audience because what they do is they build the authority triggers, the authority indicators that build trust for this other audience. What I mean by that, a lot of times, and we see this firsthand in a lot of the stuff we roll out, is that those two audiences, you need both of them because this audience that just spreads the message, that builds your trusted authority, that gives you the numbers, that gives you the — and it could be as simple as the sharing numbers that when someone from this funnel that is really your target market visits, they’re like oh okay, people pay attention to this. I can trust these people, I want to dive in deeper because they know what they’re talking about. Without this other audience here, a lot of times it’s even tough to reach this audience so that’s something to keep in mind. And that’s kind of where it fits in, where we typically see it fit in. How Does Curation Fit In the Content Marketing MIx? The other aspect — and that’s kind of where I’ll lead to is where does it fit in? How does curation fit in, is it a front-facing strategy? Is it a strategy that you can lead with or is it just an add-on strategy? And this will depend on your commitment level, this will depend on how your team or you have organized your business.Generally, it can be both. Meaning that you could — let’s say you don’t have time for content marketing but you like the low end aspect of content curation meaning you have 15 to 20 minutes a day or you can task it to someone for 15 to 20 minutes a day to curate great stuff. That’s a great strategy, it allows you to participate in digital marketing, it allows you to participate out in the social web, it’s a great strategy. So that’s a great way to do it and it’s going to stand alone itself and it’s just enough to get you by or sometimes it is a driver of leads. Another way that we see a lot is you kind of have a digital strategy and it’s an add-on strategy. Meaning that, and we employ this a lot, is that we have a main site where we release blog posts, we release content and then we have an add-on site we curate daily and it goes to the same funnel. But the content we can do on the curated site is usually five to six times more than we can do on a unique site, just given time. So that’s how it sometimes fits in, is it’s an add-on strategy to your existing strategies, that’s a great way to do it. So that’s kind of how it fits in. Why Can it Be Effective? Why can it be effective? Another — and this is a question we get often, is okay, why is curation an effective strategy we should look at in the b2b environment? A lot of it comes down to, you want to be the solution for your market. You want to provide the answers for your market in an ongoing basis, it’s one of the best ways to get trust. A way I like to explain this is imagine someone is considering your service and they’re bouncing around your website, that’s what typically, they do, right? They’ve been to your about page, they’re going around seeing what are these people about? What are they — can I trust them? What type of things can I learn about them? And then they see a living, breathing, curated site of great commentary, great content that they wouldn’t have thought of. That just adds more authority to what you do. And it’s such a low impact thing comparatively to like a blog post or a piece of content or a whitepaper. That does take quite a bit of effort where, and I’ll say this again, content curation can be done in as little as 15 to 20 minutes a day really good and it adds so much to the authority and the branding aspect of what you do. When Might it Not Be Effective? The next thing is when might it not be effective? And this is kind of more of a general thing but a lot of times there has to be a pull back of understanding how you can reach your target market. A good example I can give is there’s some markets where the decision makers, where the people that can sign the check, the people that you need to influence, there is no way you’re going to reach them through digital means highly effective. It might be a direct sales relationship, it might be conferences are most effective. Where content curation can play a role there but its role is really limited and its role is really the gut check and what I mean by that, a lot of markets, what you’ll find is you’ll go out there and to reach the target market you need to reach, they’re going to go Google you, they’re going to visit your website, does this say okay, can I trust this company? And that’s about as far as it’s going to go. Or, they’re going to task someone to do it, right? And they’re just looking for are they a real business, what are they about? Having a curated site plays into that but it’s such a small amount of activity that you should be focused on but it shouldn’t be the main driver of what you’re doing. Hopefully that makes sense and a lot of times, this is what we find in our consulting, is that — I call it the kind of shiny object syndrome, is that people come to us with the shiny object of maybe social media or a new website or something and they think that’s kind of what we do. Which, we do some of that stuff but when we get to talking and we talk about their business and reaching their target market and decision makers, what it comes down to is you need to develop a process to reach them and then build your digital assets on authority. Meaning, when you’ve reached them out in the real world in the phone, on conferences, through sales calls, through whatever medium, direct mail, when they loop back around and use the digital space to verify who you are, all that looks good and it reduces friction in the sales process. So that’s a lot of times what you want to do and curation helps with that because it creates this living, breathing aspect of what you do. It’s fresh and it really does and it’s low impact comparatively to spending a lot of time and effort doing content when really, that’s not going to be a main driver of you actually going out there and capturing more business. So hopefully that makes sense. Other things to watch out for and to think about is that a lot of the topics we cover on this show transfer over to the b2b space. Actually most of them probably are more on the b2b space than b2c because they’re good marketing practices. So, following good marketing practices meaning tracking your results, tracking the time it takes you, tracking the traffic you generate and everything else helps you make the business decision on whether or not curation is highly effective. But I will preface that with kind of what we talked about before because a lot of times, in a lot of markets you have two audiences. You have the audience that spreads your message that would never have — I won’t say a prayer, but in some ways would never buy your product or service but they spread your message. And then you have the other audience that you really want to reach that is really small, typically a subset, but they have to see these indicators in order to — or they don’t have to. It helps to see these indicators to trust you. So if you can build both of that, you really have a good lead funnel or you’ve built up a really good trust belt, a belt of trust that when people see, they’re like okay, it’s like the belts you see in wrestling. You know the guy won the title, or in boxing, you know the guy won the title when he has the belt across his chest, you know who won the title, right? It’s the same kind of way with content marketing. When you see these indicators, you know that hey, that’s someone I should watch out for. It gives you a good visual so that’s another aspect too. Create a Strategy that Fits You and Your Market So in closing, I unequivocally say any space can employ curation in a b2b environment. It’s understanding exactly the amount that you have to actually employ to make it happen, how often you should do it, where it fits into your sales funnel, where it fits into your trust funnel. So it’s kind of those nuanced aspects of it to say how much time and effort should I spend? And that’s market specific, that’s niche specific. A lot of times it’s organizational-specific too, it’s like, what’s the makeup of your team? How much time do you have? Do you have someone that’s really passionate about it? If you have someone really passionate about it and you’re in a b2b space where you sell screws to this market but you’ve got someone that’s the best person at finding the tensile strength of screws and curating stuff around this stuff and they love it and they’re doing it anyway and you just need to build a process to get that out there because it spreads that brand and your message that much better, take advantage of that. So a lot of times, it’s the makeup of your organization or your team and how you built your systems that really make a difference in how it fits in. So hopefully that provides some guidance and a lot of what we do is we help design that system for an organization, is, hey, we’ve got someone really good that really understands this, we just need to kind of show them the system to kind of capture the stuff and then let’s build the system to put it out to the world so we can capture that traffic so that we can capture those leads and so that we can build those two different buckets of audiences. So that’s kind of at a high level how it works. If you don’t know how to get in touch with us, if you’re on our website, definitely you can contact us there, you can subscribe to us in iTunes or subscribe to the show in iTunes. Or if you’re on YouTube, definitely subscribe on YouTube as well. I’ll see you in the next show.