Last updated on May 18th, 2016 at 02:44 pm
As a content curator with six years of experience, marketers and business owners interested in the practice often contact me. Nine times out of ten, the conversation starts with this question: What are the benefits?
The short answer is that there are many. I decided to ask curation experts I know to share their favorites with me. Here is what they had to say.
1) Standing out from competition
B2B firms use curation to build trust, leadership, and solid communities of advocates. According to Kelly Hungerford, they are most successful when they leverage their sales teams.
“Companies that are training and empowering sales team to social sell (the use of third-party content to build relationships and support lead generation, aka curating content) are winning hearts and pocket books,” says Hungerford, the owner of CommunityWorks. She is also a member of our 2016 B2BNN Top Influencers in Social Intelligence list.
“In a 2015 B2B Accenture survey of more than 500 procurement officers, 94 percent of business buyers do some form of online research, 55 per cent of which do so for half their purchases. Guess what? 54 percent of the research comes from social media and third party blogs.”
Kelly adds that companies that bring answers to and make the research process easier for potential and current customers have everything to win:
“The bottom line is that B2B customers are educating themselves before they ever contact a company. A company that employs content curation in their marketing strategy will be a step ahead of the competition.”
2) Amplifying your expertise
Even though content curation has become a buzzword, a majority of companies are still on the fence about it. Lack of time and resources seem to be the main culprits.
However, when they decide to dabble, brands tend to choose aggregation. This very basic form of curation consists in sharing a bunch of links without providing any insight.
For Karen Dietz, it’s not enough. You need to go further: “Curating is picking a good article and then quickly reviewing it. In your review you share with people what you like, perhaps what you don’t like, and maybe what the author missed.”
“Writing short reviews like this provides value to your customers and prospects – value that they can use. Doing so positions you as an expert, and demonstrates your willingness to share with others. People will love you for this because you are helping them along in short, snackable bites.”
Karen, an author, speaker, trainer, and coach, states that good content curation works like a megaphone. It amplifies the impact of a business.
“Amplification happens because once you post your review on social media, others will share it, extending your reach far beyond your initial efforts. I’ve experienced it with my Just Story It curation on business storytelling. I train, coach, speak and consult on the topic. I’m the author of the bestselling book Business Storytelling For Dummies with Lori Silverman. In the four years I’ve been curating, my curation has generated 16k followers from around the globe, brought me my book deal, a TEDx talk, referrals, and clients. I’ve reviewed 2.1k articles, have gained 183k views, and 52.2k reactions.”
3) Making your B2B brand more human
For a long time, the idea of two-way conversations between B2B customers and businesses was quite foreign. But since the beginning of the 2010s, a shift has occurred thanks to social media.
Social media has changed the way people access information and conduct research. In this context, Mandy Edwards, a social media consultant and strategist, sees the use of content curation has a perfect tactic to deliver answers and humanize transactions.
“When you curate content, you are showing your followers and peers that you care about their interests and are taking an interest in them. If you push out only your content it may seem like you are simply broadcasting and selling just you and/or your business.”
“By curating content from others, you not only are giving them perspectives they may not have thought of before, but may give them new insights into tips and tricks that could be beneficial to their business. When you curate content, you are educating your followers, providing value to them to demonstrate your expertise and to position yourself and your business as the go-to / authority in your specific niche/industry.”
4) Understanding your prospects better
Companies are not just static entities. They are full of people who have to make decisions, just like their prospects. From partnerships to research, to purchases, they behave much in the same way as anybody else.
“They evaluate the reputation, credibility, and authority of such possible partners with care, by looking first at what these potential partners offer in the way of sharing valuable info and resources that tangibly demonstrate their competence and experience in a specific sector,” says Robin Good, one of the top content curators in the world.
Brands that actively curate help their audiences make better-informed decisions. In the process, they also get valuable insights on the specific needs of their customer bases.
“They can go beyond their role of simple product sellers and become outstanding information resources that inform, educate and help customers and prospective clients to learn more about the things and issues they are interested in and to get to know and discover people who have their same interests.”
5) Complementing your branded content
When done well, content creation generates leads and sales. Unfortunately, marketers often struggle to produce enough quality and credible content on their own. So much so that fewer than half of them “have clarity on their content marketing success”, says Guillaume Decugis. “Smart marketers leverage curated content to not only supplement their own original content and publish more consistently but also add third-party credibility to their content.”
The CEO and co-founder of Scoop.it stresses the importance of including curated content on blogs: “Quoting short excerpts from third-party content, linking and attributing to it while adding your own commentary as an insight is 4-8x faster than creating original posts. Yet, these type of posts do well from an SEO standpoint. Across the Scoop.it platform, we see 40-45% of traffic coming from search.”
Guillaume also advises using curation in newsletters. When you provide your subscribers with useful and educational content, they will enjoy receiving your emails and won’t mind more frequent communications from your firm.
“Companies can stay top of mind with their leads and nurture them more efficiently by adding third-party validation to their message.”
6) Staying in the know about your industry
Like most small business owners, Brian Yanish struggled to find the time to write original content. So, the founder of MarketingHits.com, a digital marketing and web development agency, decided to start curating content.
As a result, he was quickly able to fill his website and social media accounts with great third-party content, and hence bring valuable answers to his clients and visitors. Most importantly, he mentions a benefit that is overlooked by a majority of people: “Because I read so many articles it has also helped me to stay current on marketing trends.”
And this knowledge usually creates great partnership opportunities. It is something to which Karen Dietz can attest: “I discovered teachers at Universities and business storytelling workshops requiring students to follow my curation. Imagine my delight when I pick up the phone or receive an email from someone I don’t know, who shares with me how much he or she enjoys my curation and they now need to hire me.”
“My curation is definitely a go-to marketing and lead generating machine for my B2B business.”
Great content curation puts an audience’s needs before a company’s. It is also about cutting through the world’s noise and building a sustainable online community.
“I think of B2B content curation like Lego or playing games when we were kids,” says Curagami Founder Martin W Smith. “Everything connects to everything else and we keep ‘score’ but find ways to make sure everyone wins, even if only because we, marketers and manufacturers of products and ideas that customers love, LISTEN and collaborate.”