My thinking was that there is more smart content online than anybody could ever read. I’d rather, I thought, point to that content than contribute to the ongoing content inflation by adding my own 2 cents. In short, I was hoping that content curation, through filtering and re-organizing existing online content around topics would contribute to the discovery of smart content.
I researched content curation using mainly two curation tools: one more business-oriented tool, Scoop.it, to monitor four topics (including Content Curation and Mobile Payments included in the Curated Content section of this blog) and one consumer-oriented social curation tool, Pinterest, to curate half a dozen varied topics of personal interest (books, art, shoes, designer handbags… yes, I love those).
Here is what I concluded from this research:
- Content curation does help content discovery. Curation helped me discover and share content on my favorite topics. Numerous reports show that social content curation à la Pinterest brings traffic to brand sites. Curated content embeds brand content into a rich inbound context of external content.
- Social content curation fosters customer engagement. Consumers who curate a brand’s content not only send it traffic, they also bring to the brand and its product a much needed validation. Brands like Whole Foods that participate in social curation on Pinterest increase their customers’ engagement.
- Corporate curation tools help create a competitive advantage. In addition to public social curation platforms, brands should use scoop.it or corporate collaborative content curation tools like Curata, CurationSoft or Zemanta to listen to their market, optimize their content and collaborate on their content strategy.
- But content curation is no panacea for failing content creation. Curated content supplements original brand content, it cannot replace it. If a brand has no story to tell, no original content, no topics to share with its audience and no Social Media strategy, content curation will only increase the overall online noise level.
Brands struggle to meet the Content Marketing imperative
Most of us do “curate” content in that we collect, filter, edit, and re-dispatch online information related to the topics that are relevant to our friends and followers. We want to become the go-to person for our target audience on the topic we curate.