Content curation is a new name for something that has been going on forever on the Internet. In fact, content curation might be considered the Web’s raison d’etre.
You have to sort through the vast amounts of content and present it in a meaningful manner. The basic architecture of the Web depends on the simple process of each page linking to another relevant page, which is largely what content curation is all about.
People share content on Social Media for various reasons:
- To improve their reputation,
- To demonstrate their knowledge and engagement in a niche,
- To attract followers,
- To publicize themselves.
For Businesses and others with a presence on the Web, sharing content is a great complement to content creation. It is a refined version of the content sharing that everyone engages in.
Curation originally referred to the selection and display of items in museums and other exhibitions. Those curators relied on their taste and expertise in a particular area to choose exhibits that best exemplified the subject and informed the intended audience.
Online content curators do much the same thing, scouring the web and the world for the very best content, adding value in the form of comment and opinion, and then sharing it with their followers.
Sites like Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings and The Cool Hunter are dedicated to content curation and have become hugely popular because of the unique personalities filtering and presenting the content.
That’s Great, But Why Should I Care?
Content curation has many of the same benefits that content creation does. It’s not a substitute for blogging and other content marketing practices, but it is a great complement to them.
Propagation of Awareness
Sharing encourages sharing. There is an economy of content sharing on the Net. People want to have their content made visible to as many people as possible. It’s a sign of validation, a form of social proof, and a means of increasing their brand awareness. They will often reciprocate by retweeting or otherwise making their followers aware. If content curation is carefully targeted, awareness will be propagated to a relevant market segment.
Sharing the content of vendors, potential partners and clients, and content publishers serving the relevant vertical, can help establish relationships that are beneficial to business.
Attracting High-Value Followers
A follower is only valuable in so far as they contribute towards a business goal. Ten thousand followers who never buy or contribute anything are a wasted investment. Conversions, in the long-term, are always the aim. Curating relevant content is a great way to encourage engagement and awareness from a desirable market segment
For example, a web hosting business that shares the best content that is relevant to their niche will be able to open a channel of communication, through social media, with the community that is most likely to need web hosting services.
Demonstrating Expertise and Engagement
Sharing relevant content indicates that a business is constantly aware of what’s happening in its industry. They are taking an active and continuing interest in issues of concern to their clients. Combined with the production of content that contributes to the industry’s discourse, sharing the content of others helps establish both expertise and continuing engagement.
Creating content is expensive. It’s still the best way to meet the goals mentioned here, but many smaller companies have neither the time or the money to produce large amounts of original content.
What do you think. Is content marketing a passing fad, or is a worthwhile investment? Let us know in the comments.