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content curation king

Is Content Curation King?

 

In this episode we’ll talk about, is content curation king? We’ve heard this – I’ve heard this phrase quite a bit, specifically around content marketing. I see it a lot, is content marketing king, but we’ll talk about is curation king? Or is it the queen, or is it the prince, or is it the peasant. So let’s jump right in.

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What is a King in the Content Marketing Game?

When we think about this, something being king, right? That means it’s the top of the heap. It’s the ultimate ruler. It’s the thing you should really focus on. And a lot of, I guess, when I hear this phrase, especially around content marketing, I always wonder, why do we have to place this strategy above all else? Because increasingly today – and this is something probably that will go beyond curation. 

Be it social, your blog, other content platforms, any other platform that’s is coming up. Mobile, tablets, you know however people want to interact with you, your brand, your company, you have to be to interact with them in those platforms, right?

Content vs Curation

So when we talk about content versus curation and whether one or the other is the king, I think we have to really dial it back a little bit and say that all forms of marketing is in the kingdom so to say. Is in the castle. And is content, the act of creating content to connect with your target market, be it if you are a B2B – business to business marketer, or a B2C – business to consumer marketer, does content play a role? Yes. Because if you are engaging in social media, you can always curate stuff and curate stuff from other sources, but ultimately that’s someone else’s idea, that’s someone else’s product, it’s always better to be able to find ways to connect your product and to curate, to create stuff around your product I should say.

Is Curation on a Higher Level?

So, I don’t think curation is on a higher level. In some forms, curation is kind of like the prince. Not the queen. Cause I don’t know what the queen does. It depends on each dynasty obviously, some queens are more powerful than others. But I think that curation is more like a prince. And what I mean by that is you’ve got content marketing, which is creating content, creating unique content, is really a lot of times the driving source and what really creates authority and creates persuasion with your marketing.

Is Content Curation King?

But when you add curation onto that and let’s say the prince, the prince if you think about it, typically if you’ve got a very strong king that has accomplished a lot, the prince is always trying to find ways that he can live up to the name of the king. Live up to the accomplishments of the king. And that’s really where curation is placed, because curation, in it’s essence is a great strategy if you’re just getting started. It’s a great strategy to capture traffic. It’s a great strategy if you’re a content marketer to add on top of. Especially if you own the platform.

But, it will never, unless you – and I will add a caveat to this – curation will dominate the king, will essentially assassinate the king and become king if you do a really good job of it and you become a platform that is known to curate the best in your market. Then, a lot of times it will become king. You look at the way The Huffington Post got to it’s rise. Now they are obviously focusing a lot on unique content, but a lot of it was curated content, aggregated content.

Curation Platform Examples

Techmeme is another good example, that’s a straight curation platform. They don’t do any unique content. BuzzFeed is another good example. BuzzFeed started just curating stuff and even now they do a lot of curation but they are starting with unique content.

So you can do it but you have to do it in a very focused fashion and so the prince, in some ways, can outshine the king, but that prince better be good and better be ruthless, and eventually that prince will have to adopt the strategies of a king. And I believe if you do look at this – if we want to use this kind of analogy – content creation, when done right with a voice, with authority, with heart, with a why, always will win out above curation, because it’s your own ideas. It’s something people can connect with. It’s an emotional aspect done right.

Ultimately You’re Citing External Sources

Curation, ultimately you’re always pulling from someone else’s source. I still feel, even if you’ve mastered content marketing, you’ve master creation, you’ll notice everybody who has, they still curate. And they still curate on their own platform because it’s more traffic. It’s more eyeballs on their stuff. And in some aspects, when you get known as a content marketer, as a person who can create content I should say, and you put the strategy of curation on top if that, you’ve built authority, ultimately you’re looking for more eyeballs. You’re looking for more traffic. And that’s what curation delivers to you.

So that’s another interesting aspect to this.

So is content curation king? No, I don’t even think its queen. Possibly it’s a prince. I definitely don’t think it’s a peasant. But it’s somewhere in the upper echelons of the court – the king and queen’s court. So it’s somewhere in there.

And I’ll say one other thing, if you’re new to the show, if you’re new to curation, number one if you’re new to content, start with curation. Because it teaches you how to be a good content marketer. So I would suggest start with curation. We have a tool called Curation Traffic that allows you to really easily do that.

Aren’t You Already Doing Curation?

If you are a content marketer, I would suggest add curation to what you are doing if you are not already doing it. You probably already are in social media, but add it on a platform that you own, that you control, that you can monetize right away. That to me takes your audience, your authority and in some ways can double or triple the existing engagement you get right now. So that’s something that I would suggest.

That’s all for this episode. Look you can subscribe to this show in iTunes. You can definitely subscribe on YouTube if you are watching this on YouTube. Or if you are on our website CurationTraffic you can go to the blog section and see all the podcast episodes. You can follow me on Twitter at Scott Scanlon, and you can follow us on – you’ll see all the other social accounts, so that’s all for this episode. I look forward to seeing you on the next show.

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.

What is the Role of Content Curation?

Today we’ll talk about what is the role of content curation? Specifically, where does content curation fit within the digital marketing mix or where can it fit within the digital marketing mix?

One of the initial questions we get often when we reach out to people or when people actually reach out to us, they ask “I like content curation. I think it’s a strategy that I can employ. I’m just not quite sure where does it fit in or where can it fit in?”

So that’s what we’ll talk about. We’ll talk about specifically where content curation fits in and we’ll talk about it in two distinct ways. If you’re someone that is just getting started with content marketing and you believe that content marketing can help you capture leads, help you build authority or help you actually monetize your efforts or make money online, then we’ll talk about that. If you’re someone that’s a seasoned content marketer we’ll talk about where content curation fits in as well.

Just Getting Started with Content Marketing

So let’s first talk about with someone that’s just getting started. If you’re just getting started maybe you’ve tried content marketing in the past. And I say content marketing because that’s what content curation is. I consider it a form of digital marketing but ultimately it’s a form of content marketing; and maybe you’ve tried to blog in the past. You’ve tried to create content in the past but for whatever reason it didn’t work. Or you think right now where you say you think well geez I can’t imagine myself blogging daily or weekly or whatever it may be. I would suggest where content creation, where the role of content creation fits, is that’s the first strategy you do.

 

Before you try to blog, before you try to go out there and create content and jump right in, I would suggest you start with curation. And the reason for that and why curation fits a good role for this is because when you curate you learn the skills to go out there and become a good content marketer. And one of the secrets in any content marketing but what I’ve learned in digital marketing is it’s about consistency.

Curation is a Great Way to Test Content Marketing

 

And if you can’t pick up a lightweight strategy like content curation and stick to it on a consistent basis, then you’re probably not going to be able to pick up the strategy of blogging, of creating content and stick to it on a consistent basis. There’s one big difference though. The one big difference is that with content curation you’re pulling from other sources; you’re highlighting other content and those aren’t maybe your ideas. I mean obviously they’re not your ideas. They might be your interests but ultimately they’re not created from your hand or your typing. So there’s not that heart element or that passion element. Usually it’s a topic that you’re interested in but I found, too, that if you’re passionate about something sometimes then the writing becomes that much easier.

But if you’re not, I would suggest that if you’re not already creating content around that then you probably do have to start with content curation. And if you’ve tried in the past I would still start with content curation because it teaches you that skillset and it also helps you find other great content out there; because once you start noticing great content it ups your content game as well. So for someone just getting started I would say the role of content curation is to be that initial strategy.

Great for the Seasoned Content Marketer

And then as you get good at it you graduate into more what we’re going to talk about now which is the seasoned content marketer. Someone that has been blogging, has no problem or has limited problems creating content curation. Because even now I’ve been doing content marketing for a long time there are still days and weeks when it becomes a slog a little bit with doing content. But if you’re a seasoned content marketer there are two ways I would employ content curation and I mean really the two roles that I see content curation playing.

 

The first one is the way that we do at You-Branding or the way that we see a lot of people that buy curation traffic employ. Which is they have a blog. They have an existing blog. They’re posting one time a day, maybe multiple times a day or one time a week, whatever their posting schedule is. And then what they do is they add a platform on top of that. At YouBranding we have YouBranding.com which is our main blog and then we have a sub directory called Marketing News and that is a curation platform.

Typically we curate anywhere from two to ten times a day; and we can curate there more than we can create unique content because our curations take anywhere from two to seven to eight minutes to curate if we’re adding commentary. Sometimes we’re just highlighting something, adding a quick sentence of commentary, then moving on our way. So we can curate there usually four to five times our unique pieces of content that we create. It also allows us to capture additional traffic. It also allows us to monetize that platform.

So it’s a – I would argue if you don’t have that additional platform and you’ve got content marketing figured out you’re missing out on traffic. I can unequivocally say that. I say that probably quite a bit on this show. I say it quite a bit but it’s been proven time and time again every time that we’ve approached someone that is doing content and they’re doing a pretty good job at it and we share this strategy of an additional content curation platform, it always ups their traffic.

 Content Curation Gives You a Better View of Your Market

The other role that I would say content curation plays and you’re already doing this probably if you’re doing content is you’re referencing other sources because you’re getting inspiration and ideas from other sources but I would take one day a week. Make it a Friday and you curate stuff on your main website; so maybe instead of doing a unique piece of content, if you’re blogging daily, then this could just be an additional piece of content that you’re doing maybe in the afternoon. Maybe you release your post in the morning and then you do a curation in the afternoon.

This allows you to kind of benefit from curation but also receive more traffic, especially if you’re adding great commentary to that and you’re highlighting something that your audience would care about. We do that with our curation traffic plug-in. We just typically take one day a week and we curate. You’ll see this on the curation traffic blog as well.

We do a mix of releasing the show, releasing some content, releasing white papers. But when we find something highly worthy of talking about content curation we’ll curate that and we’ll typically add anywhere from two to three paragraphs of commentary. So that would be the other role that I would say content curation plays.

 What About Curation as a Front Facing Strategy?

And both of the scenarios, the role that content curation plays and actually I will talk about one more thing which is a front-facing content creation strategy. Meaning this is a kind of a let’s say you just want to employ the content. You just want to employ content curation as a strategy as a kind of a main strategy; meaning that I don’t want to mess around with blogging or content creation. I want to be known as the best curator around basket weaving, whatever it may be. You can do that. The key that you have to really do with that is that you have to add personality to your curation. I mean we’ve talked about on the show before whether or not commentary is necessary and everything else.

If you really want content curation to be a front-facing strategy meaning a strategy that is your only strategy out there, you’ve got to be really good at creating a connection with your audience and making the commentary you do – I mean you should be doing this anyway with your commentary but if it’s just your front-facing strategy, you’ve got to be really good at creating a connection with your audience and in a way entertaining them with the way that you do your content. So and this works and this rule.

B2B and B2C Content Curation

I guess I would call it a rule is something you should approach in both a B to C, business to consumer, but also the B to B environment, the business to business environment as well. Because ultimately we’re trying to connect with people. Even if you’re selling the business, there’s still someone that has to sign the check or sign the credit card at the end of the day that is in that business. So we’re still marketing to people. So that’s the other role I would suggest as a content curation strategy, a front-facing role. You’ve kind of got to up it, take it up a notch.

And I’m not saying that someone that and to say the way that we curate or the way that I explained it where you have a blog then you have an additional platform that you shouldn’t up your curation game there but what I found and what I found from years of curating but also seeing other people curate and helping other people have success with curation is that a lot of times that additional platform, you don’t have to have as much of what I would consider this kind of higher calling of curation as if that was your main platform. So a good example of that is Techmeme. They’ve got a role to play in the way that they – they’re really an aggregator but they got a role to play to highlight what is the most important stuff in tech. Otherwise people do not pay attention to them anymore. So if your strategy is completely front-facing content curation then you’ve got to definitely step up your game.

Curation is one of the Most Effective Forms of Content Marketing

So hopefully that explains a little bit more at least the role and hopefully I didn’t go off too much of a tangent there at the end because I think that that maybe might muddy the water a little bit if you’re just getting started. So I’ll reiterate just before we’ll end this show here. If you’re just getting started, start with content curation. Even before if you’re thinking about blogging, you’re thinking about doing content, start with curation because it’s, and I’ve said this before, it allows you to test the waters. You don’t have to like really I guess I would say struggle to go out there and try to create content when you could simply add commentary to existing content and test the waters to see if you can even keep a schedule that’s going to be highly effective for content marketing.

If you’re a seasoned content marketer I think we covered that in pretty much detail. So if you have any feedback, if you have any questions, if you have any — maybe I’m completely off-base here I’d love to hear your arguments. If you’re on YouTube you can leave a comment down below. If you’re listening to this in ITunes definitely send us an e-mail at YouBranding.com and you can get in touch with us at YouBranding.com or CurationTraffic.com. I’ll see you in the next show.