Many companies that are implementing content marketing are struggling with producing sufficient content, and simultaneously producing relevant and engaging content. According to CMI’s 2013 B2B Content Marketing report, 64 percent of content marketers say that creating sufficient content is their greatest challenge.
As a result, many marketers are turning toward content curation, the practice of finding, organizing, and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic, rather than solely creating all their content themselves. In the past few years, there has been a lot of chatter about content curation, and its applications in content marketing. Yet, despite all the buzz, it’s hard to visualize and understand the best practices for brands that are looking to implement the technique.
Successful examples of content curation
Earlier this month, my company, Curata, released a Content Curation Look Book full of visually compelling, real-world examples of content curation at work. Here’s a quick overview of some of the more interesting applications we’ve found, along with some takeaways that you can use to begin curating content for your brands.
Tip: Curation can add credibility to your corporation’s perspective on an issue by demonstrating that others who have no vested interest in your company still share your views. With curation, you are not republishing the content; rather, you’re providing additional sources and commentary on why these other publishers are in agreement with your position.
A few years ago, FedEx established a site called Brown Bailout to advocate against the granting of bailout funds through the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that was making its way through Congress. During the economic downturn, FedEx competitor UPS was lobbying to get this bill passed.
Rather than creating all its own original content espousing its objections to the bailout, FedEx systematically curated news content from prestigious media publications like The Washington Times and The National Review that agreed with its perspective, which ultimately added more credibility to its position. The website includes editorial content that provides perspective and clarity around some of the concerns regarding the policy. Along with the original content located in the blog, the website captures the flow of information across publications around the topic at hand to provide additional support and perspective to the issue. This type of curation not only provides additional credibility to the political position but also creates a destination for news associated with the topic.
Tip: Curation responsibilities do not have to solely fall on your content or marketing teams. In fact, crowdsourcing curation can make content marketing more inclusive, participatory, and yield better, more interesting products.
As a branding initiative, earlier this year, Intel launched a digital magazine called iQ (formerly featured here on CMI). Intel employs an intelligent algorithm that is used in a process that collectively crowdsourced (meaning the content was created by a crowd of employees, tagged with a hashtag, and then picked up by the algorithm created by Intel) the curated content — with the help of Intel employees.
Intel’s process scours myriad social channels, delivering the content it discovers to the attention of the site’s editorial staff, which collectively decides what should be featured on the site. The whole process surfaces up content through several layers of filtering — based on freshness, relevancy, shares, clicks, employee interaction, and uniqueness — in order to present content that is grabbing attention across the social web. Lastly, it’s presented in a colorful, mesmerizing touch-optimized interface that allows readers to quickly browse content by category, or view a river of upcoming content.
The Color Association of the United States
Tip: You don’t have to limit curation to just text content. If your audience responds to other forms of media such as images, videos or audio, consider curating that as well.
The Color Association of the United States caters to anyone interested in color, such as colorists, designers, marketers, and product developers who are interfacing with color, as well as other individuals who want to stay current on technology, news, and their competition as it relates to color. CAUSnow’s mission is to discuss current color trends and be known as the destination for color resources. The content curated on this site can be a broad range, but has to include an image with a prominent color theme or use. With a broad audience, The Color Association’s site, CAUSnow, focuses on cutting through the online color clutter, providing a one-stop shop of color-related content — particularly compelling visual images, which can “support making color-conscious decisions.” Through the use of curated content, the Color Association can stay on top of the latest trends.
The Oregon Wine Board
Tip: There is an opportunity for curation for every imaginable topic — even a somewhat obscure interest like enthusiasts of wine made in Oregon. If there’s no single, authoritative destination for your market, it may be a topic that’s ripe for curation (pun intended).
Some sites just need to be savored. The Oregon Wine Board was looking for a way to regularly engage with local wineries and industry professionals through content. By curating content focused on the local wine scene, the Oregon Wine Board was able to build a robust daily newsletter for its members that features articles on everything from tasting events to the region’s wine growing history. The Oregon Wine Board’s mission is to provide their reading audience with industry news related to the burgeoning wine scene in Oregon — they are and will continue to be the premier destination for all things Oregon-wine related. The daily dose keeps readers coming back to drink in more every day, according to Oregon Wine Board Director of Communications, Charles Humble: “Since launching our Oregon Wine Newsroom, we are regularly syndicated by Google as a trusted news source. We have a small staff, and this is something we could never have accomplished without curation. Our members are thrilled with the results.”
These four case studies are some of the many successful examples of content curation. By having content curation involved in your company’s overall marketing plan, your company can save time, money and resources. Without it, your company’s content marketers will be suffering from burnout. Content curation is the only way to go.