Every day sees the publication of more than 2.5 million blog posts and half a billion Tweets. And do you know that Google has indexed 200 terabytes of data since its launch?
Companies and marketers that only focus on content creation add to that noise. So, unless they already have a large community of followers and customers, the chances of their work being found is minimal.
The solution? Content curation, also known as the process of sorting through online content, hand-picking the best and most relevant, and organizing it around a specific theme.
Unlike aggregation, which is an automated collection of items, curation requires context. It is a human process.
Writing articles, making videos, and designing infographics require a huge investment in time and money. And inspiration is not always around the corner. Unfortunately, audiences and consumers need answers even in that situation.
That is the reason why curation offers a very valuable alternative.
The benefits of content curation for B2B businesses and marketers
“A content curator offers high value to anyone looking for quality content because finding that information (and making sense of it) requires more and more time, attention, and focus.” – Beth Kanter
There are many benefits to including curation in an online B2B strategy.
- By suggesting useful resources that may not always be yours, you put the needs of your audience and customers first.
- By sharing the latest developments in your industry, you become a go-to resource for people looking for a stream of fresh information.
- By only selecting what you feel is the best content for your audience, you extend the impact of customer care and establish trust and credibility.
- By adding your perspective to that content, you demonstrate thought leadership and amplify the value of your brand.
In a nutshell, curation is a way to serve the needs of your customers while promoting your products and services in a subtle manner. It is a way to stand out from competition.
Content curation: Some best practices
While B2B brands and marketers have been recommending content for a long time, they are new to curation as described above.
Before jumping on the bandwagon with your company, you should answer some important questions first.
- Who will curate on behalf of your company? Do these people know the difference between sharing, aggregation, and actual curation?
- What are your goals? How can curation help you reach them?
- How much time should your employees dedicate to curation every week?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the best sources to follow?
- How does competition use content curation?
- What tools and channels will you use to find and share content?
Good and ethical content curation will allow you to stand out from the crowd. Here is how:
- Find and mention authors – People and companies are on social networks. Look for them and give credit where credit is due — prominently. You will attract more attention, starting with those you acknowledge.
- Craft introductions – Do not just copy and paste short extracts. Add your own insights and provide context. Your main goal is to entice people to click.
- Rewrite titles – It will inform search engines that you are not competing with the original articles. It will also help authors.
- Display thumbnails if re-using original images – Also, change the images’ alt text and names. Most importantly, display credits.
- Curate with a platform-specific approach – Every social network serves a specific purpose. Consequently, you can expect your audience on each to have different expectations.
- Offer a variety of curated sources – You want search engines to notice you for providing credible and quality information.
- Offer a variety of curated content – Ideas for B2B marketers and brands: conferences, stats, presentations, news and developments in your industry…
- Leverage your blog – Recommending useful and relevant content is great. However, your goal should always be to build brand awareness. You want to attract prospects and leads to your digital property too!
- Curate content on Google+ – As mentioned in our primer on Google+, public posts are indexed in Google Search. Increasing your visibility there is integral too.
- Educate yourself – Encourage your curators to observe successful peers. Two great examples for B2B brands and marketers are Martin W. Smith and CMO.com. Adobe’s blog curates and provides digital marketing insights and inspiration for senior marketing executives around the world.
Some tools to find useful content to curate
Swayy analyzes your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), posts, social engagement, and followers’ interests to bring tailored and highly relevant content to share from one easy place.
When you find an article you like, you can share it directly from your dashboard to Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn. You can also add your two cents and schedule posts. When sharing on Twitter, Swayy will even suggest hashtags and usernames to mention.
Another perk of Swayy is the ability to receive a daily digest of recommended content directly in your Inbox. The Dashboard also has an Analytics section with a variety of data. You will know how well you and your Swayy shares are doing (clicks, retweets, favorites and replies) on Twitter.
Swayy is free for one dashboard. If you want to add team members and more dashboards, prices start at $9 per month.
Scoop.It is a powerful platform where you can find and curate content into topic-centric magazines or boards.
There are many pros to using Scoop.it. Here is a shortlist:
- Member profiles with bios and links to social networks
- Customizable, search engine optimized magazines
- Ability to follow and recommend fellow Scoop.it curators
- Email notifications to avoid missing what your favorite curators post
- Ability to format insights, mention other members, and comment on curated content
- Ability to connect your Scoop.it profile to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ pages, etc. for easy sharing
- Integration with Buffer for optimized scheduling
- Integration with Google Analytics, HootSuite, MailChimp, AddThis, and SlideShare
- Powerful Suggestion Engine for easy discovery of content
- Ability to embed your scoops and magazines on your website, including WordPress
- Team curation
In need of some topic ideas for your B2B boards? You could go for: technology news, IT news, infogaphics, innovation, mobile marketing, public relations, lead generation, Big Data, outsourcing, logistics, etc.
Scoop.it is free for one topic and 10 curations per day. For more options, prices start at $11 monthly.