Content Curation Needs The Human Touch For Lead Generation

Published: November 23, 2010

Any time an idea goes digital, voices rise up on all sides of the argument. With curation, some think there’s too much content now for people to manage, and so it must be done automatically. I have problems with that, starting with robots replacing people (think aggregators, link farms, The Terminator, etc). In these scenarios, lead gen potential is minimal. Curation is a human act. Done thoughtfully with a human eye on relevance, curation turns trusted web sources into valued web destinations, and that’s what brings the lead gen mojo. It takes more than bots armed with keywords to generate demand.

I’m not alone in this. As far back as July 2009, digitization consultant and educator Jill Hurst-Wahl said, “…digital curation is the active management of assets over their life-cycle.” More recently, new media thought-leader Brian Solis remarked, “There is a value in curation and a value in creation. But when you start to think of things in terms of automation, I think that we’re just feeding the system for the sake of feeding the system.”

If you’ve started down the content marketing path — as all businesses should have by now — you can try curation yourself, or you can hire an expert to at least get you started. Digital publishers are a great resource, because they were doing this long before anyone thought to call it content curation. They’ve been cataloging tons of precious content like museum curators for many years. But for a few quick rules of thumb, consider these:

  • Remember that original content still beats all other kinds every time;
  • Never commit the sin of being irrelevant to prospects and readers. This means remaining thoughtfully selective across all media and topics. Like humans do;
  • Observe strict archiving and tagging for optimal searchability.


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Again, the lead generation angle on all of this isn’t hard to grasp. Trusted information sources whose websites become reliable destinations build loyal followings. Loyalty converts nicely at vendor selection time. Good curators often reach “the short list” first.


Owen McDonald is Vice President of Client Strategy for Demand Creation Specialists (DCS), the content marketing division of G3 Communications, which also publishes The DemandGen Report. Owen is the primary contributor to (and curator of) the Content Connection blog found at

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