With the demand for content at an all-time high, many marketers are turning to curation to fill the gaps. When done thoughtfully, curation can be a useful strategy to ensure a steady flow of content for all stages of the sales funnel, particularly lead generation.
Content curation is a learning process that becomes easier and more consistent over time, observers noted.
“Content marketing can generate more leads, generate better leads, and keep customers sharing your message,” said Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “Content curation should be part of every content marketing strategy. There is no need to create all the content ourselves.”
However, one of the most common misconceptions amongB2B marketers is that curation will save time.
Curating content effectively and efficiently “takes a lot longer than people think,” said Corey Eridon, Senior Blog Editor at HubSpot. Eridon added that content curation is not a “quick fix,” and curators should prepare themselves to “put enough time into it” to be successful.
Eridon added: “I think curation is usually something people lean on when they are looking for something they can put together quickly. But if you’re doing curation right, you actually have to put a lot of time into researching things so you can serve the best content possible. Do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to curate content properly.”
Just as with original content, B2B marketers should be measuring the performance of their curated content. According to Marni Manko, Content Marketing Director at Monetate, marketers should look at metrics such as downloads and click-throughs to “see what type of curated content is getting the most traction” to help them make informed decisions.
“More importantly, look at return visitor rate,” Manko explained. “It indicates the level of engagement and gives you an idea of whether or not the content you’re curating is consistently compelling enough to get people to consider you a valuable resource.”
Curated content should focus on educating the target audience on a general topic of interest, not promoting the brand or a specific product. The moment brand promotion is recognized by the reader, itaffects the company’s credibility as a thought leader in the industry.
“Content marketing isn’t the place to pawn or promote your product,” Manko said. “It’s about offering brand-agnostic content that informs, educates and helps customers shoulder their burden. Once readers get a whiff of gratuitous self-promotion, you lose legitimacy.”
Rather than focusing on volume, content curators should select pieces where they can add their own personal knowledge on the subject. Curating as much content as possible “does not add value,” according to Pawan Deshpande, CEO of Curata. Using one or two sources in a piece of content is more than enough as long as you provide your own input.
“The ‘Golden Rule’ I came up with is give more than you take,” Deshpande said.“So if you’re curating a one paragraph excerpt, be sure to add two paragraphs of your own commentary around that.”
Consider Multiple Distribution Channels
When distributing content, many curatorsrely on one specific channel that they believe reaches their target audience with the most efficiency. However, using a single channel leaves the audience with only one access point, which in turn, limits the reach of curated content.
“No one channel is more effective than the other,” said Kyle Lacy, Senior Manager of Global Content and Research at ExactTarget. “It is wholly dependent on your strategy and testing.”
While a wider distribution network is critical to content curation success, B2B marketers need to focus on the channels their buyers and prospects frequent. Planning your strategy accordingly can save you a lot of time and effort. For example, Lacy explained that social media “was built for content curation” but email “helps define the best content.”
Lacy added: “In a world where millions of pieces of content are being shared, it’s crucial to use email to send the right content to the right people at the right time.”