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Forget Content Curation, Focus on Original Content in 2012

Brands and media companies have been “curating” content for centuries, but 2011 saw the phrase content curation rise near the top of the content marketing stack.

I can’t tell you how many marketers have approached me regarding their “content curation strategy” for 2012.

Let’s right the ship folks.

Content Curation is NOT a Strategy

I still use Rohit Bhargava’s 2009 definition of a content curator:

Someone whose job it is not to create more content, but to make sense of all the content that others are creating. To find the best and most relevant content and bring it forward.

In some way or another, all brands should be curating content in their industry…both to position themselves as expert resources and to help move prospects and customers through the buying cycle.  But content curation is a tactic you deploy, just like doing a webinar series or developing a custom magazine.  Smart content always employs a touch of curation (just like the best magazines have been doing for decades).

A content marketing strategy involves a number of goals (see below), of which content curation can play a part (full content marketing research here).

Content Marketing Organizational Goals

So, If Everyone is Curating…

There is no doubt, especially with the rise of Twitter, Flipboard and other tools, that more brands are employing curation techniques.  Great…but at the end of the day, we need something to curate.  Compared to the creation of valuable, relevant, long-form content, curation is simple…and that’s the differentiator for you.

The real opportunity in 2012 is for YOU to be the source material. You become the media company. With so many curators out there looking for great content to spread, the opportunities for quality, “must-have” industry content has NEVER been more in demand.

Your 2012 Checklist

  1. Yes, you can and should use content curation techniques, but this should be secondary.
  2. Focus on the true pain points of your customers and start planning content series around answering those pain points.
  3. Find the content curators in your industry and form relationships with them.  They’ll help you spread the word about your great content.
  4. Define your content marketing team and workflow now.
  5. Hire more journalists!