Feeding the Beast: 5 Ways to Drive Leads Using Content Curation

Published: August 17, 2010

Many marketers employ a handful of tools like blogs, Twitter and search engine optimization to drive traffic, but these are just tools. What marketers really need is a strategy for driving quality, relevant online sales leads and inquiries.

One emerging strategy making a significant difference in lead generation for forward-thinking companies is content curation.

Driving Leads Using Content Curation

Content curation is the process of identifying, organizing and sharing the most relevant content on a specific issue online.  By following this process, companies quickly establish their brand as leaders on that specific issue.  Becoming a unique and irreplaceable online resource for prospects interested in that issue is a way for you to continuously generate highly targeted leads. It can be done in several easy steps:

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  1. Identify the hot topic: Before embarking on a content curation strategy, you first have to ascertain what the key topic or issue is that your desired prospects want to hear from you about every day.
  2. Follow the leaders: Unlike traditional content marketing approaches, content curation leverages third-party content that is not produced solely by the marketer.   Therefore, you need to identify the key online influencers who cover this topic such as bloggers, analysts, trade publications or journals.
  3. Share relevant content: Then, follow these influencers and, as a curator, selectively share the key articles that are the most relevant to your prospects online.  Most blogs tend to cover a variety of topics, so it is imperative to carefully select only the posts that will interest your prospects.  You should share this content via online channels such as a dedicated micro-site on your selected topic, social media channels and email.
  4. Organize the library: Soon you will build a vast and rich repository of relevant content on a specific topic.  It’s important that archive this content so prospects can return to it as a trusted resource.  You will also need to organize this content by tagging it and grouping it.
  5. Create your own content: A true content curator also must create their own content.  Similar to how a museum curator annotates exhibits and builds a narrative, it is also important for you to provide your company’s perspective on this topic or issue.


Because you are leveraging third party content, rather than solely relying on your own content, it’s far less taxing to publish and distribute content to your prospects on a regular basis.  Over time, you will be a crucial resource on a specific topic, driving highly qualified leads.

Content Curation in Action

The process is relatively simple — and it works. Take, for example, Verne Global, an Iceland-based wholesale supplier of data center space.  Challenged with positioning the company as a leader in green data centers and generating qualified leads while on a shoe-string budget, the marketing department adopted a content curation strategy.

Prospects interested in green data centers can go to IT publications, or “green” publications for information on this topic.  But the experience is very noisy, with publications on both sides covering hundreds of other topics aside for green data centers.  As a result, Verne Global established Green Data Center News — the only publicly-available destination for the latest content on green data centers and best practices that takes less than an hour a day to curate.   Since then, the site become a key resource for prospects and the industry as a whole and has saved more than $100,000 in “traditional” outbound lead generation campaign expenses.

Lead generation methods may have changed with the advent and influx of the Internet, but that does not mean it has gotten more difficult. Producing relevant content and distributing it over all the relevant channels is effective, but having to do that over and over again is time-consuming and expensive.  Content curation makes lead generation more efficient, with minimal exertion.

Pawan Deshpande is CEO of HiveFire, which has created the elegantly engineered content curation solution, Curata, leveraging knowledge gained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Google and Microsoft.





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