Part II: Content—Curious About Curation?

Part II: Content—Curious About Curation?

Apr 23, 2012

As content on the Web grows exponentially, our ability to make sense of it is inversely proportional.  We at Girardbrewer.com see this as a critical dilemma that any effective inbound Internet marketing program needs to resolve.

We are fast being overwhelmed by the staggering amount of content constantly pouring onto the Web—according to Facebook, 30 billion pieces of content (Web links, news blogs, etc.) are shared each month on the social network.

As a result, all of us who regularly go online have ourselves become, of necessity, de facto “curators” of content.

Think not?  If you ever passed around some interesting content via email or shared a Facebook post, then you’re doing content curation.  Ever retweet?  That’s curation.

Simple enough, but things can always get a bit more complicated: millions upon millions of people now purposefully curate Web content.

Curating content basically means that – out of all the content you find on the social Web – you pass on what you consider to be the most valuable stuff to your network.  Curation involves finding, storing, enhancing, publishing and otherwise making it easier to share valuable news assets.

A slightly more focused definition of someone who curates content comes from marketing expert Rohit Bhargava:

“A Content Curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares online the best and most relevant content about a specific issue.”

If you want to go all in on this increasingly important subject, read “Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators,” by author Steve Rosenbaum.  Distilled nugget:

“Attention is the new economy.”

Curating Now Key to Social Media Marketing

All this activity means that the term “content curation” has permanently entered the social marketer’s lexicon and, if you’re planning a social media campaign anytime soon, don’t leave home without it.

According to a recent study, nearly half of U.S. marketing professionals surveyed are now curating content as part of their strategy, and another 42 percent — though not participating — are familiar with the practice.  Even among the latter group, 85 percent had done at least some content curation for their clients.

Professional curators of Web content like Orange County social media marketing leader Digital EYE Media have available to them a variety of tools to help with this inbound marketing process.

One provider Digital EYE works with is Infinigraph, which provides brands with an “intelligent” way to source relevant content curation while harnessing consumer social behavior to create “smart” interest graphs for Facebook ad buys, content optimization and intelligent media planning.

“The main objectives of content curation are establishing thought leadership and improving brand buzz,” explains Chase McMichael, who heads up the Northern California firm. “The major challenges are how to sort and filter through all this content to make sense of it.  We’re also challenged with how to make the content actionable to drive consumers to calls to action while creating authentic engagement.”

Meaningful content is the social Web’s “currency” – what people search for but all too often fail to find.  So they look to curators to deliver what’s desired.  The benefit for a network regularly supplied with relevant curated content is that friends, connections and followers don’t have to plow through masses of Tweets, blog posts, news feeds and search results to find quality content.  You – or your professional marketing surrogates – have already done that for them.

Understanding and utilizing content curation is important for brands because as users streamline their reading, eliminate the chaff and pull out only what’s most interesting to them, brand messages can get missed or lost.  So how do you improve a company’s chances of getting seen and of engaging with fans?

Curate.

Bring the best of the Web in your niche or vertical directly to your followers and fans.  A steady stream of good stuff coming at your fans and followers can catch a lot of eyes. Smart content curation can build a great resource that can attract customers and potential customers alike.

Here are some more tools that might make the job easier:

  • Reduxwww.redux.com – a mix between BuzzFeed and Delicious.
  • Scoop.it www.scoop.it – create topic-centric information.
  • Curated.Byhttp://curated.by – Twitter integration.
  • Keepstreamhttp://keepstream.com – organize Tweets and updates as “collections.”
  • Qraithttp://qrait.com – curate your content into “molecules.”
  • PearlTreeswww.pearltrees.com – individual URLs are “Pearls,” bringing together websites under a particular topic area.
  • Equentiahttp://eqentia.com – indexes hundreds of thousands of articles a day, analyzes them for semantic patterns (to categorize them) and then performs social analytics on the articles.

Watch for this comer in 2012 – Cadence9http://cadence9.com

Part I: Content – Is it Really King?

Contact Digital Eye Media for information on how to Create and Manage your Social Media Marketing Campaigns: P: 657.229.8394; sales@digitaleyemedia.com.