There’s tremendous pressure to be part of “The Conversation” today. Marketers have a fear of missing out, and the stakes are high—if you’re not present in the social and digital conversation, you’re missing out on the chance to engage potential customers and grow your business.
The challenge is that there are rules for participating. As a brand, you need to be authentic, put your customer first and avoid the kind of sales speak that drives your audience directly to the “unfollow” button. These are the rules that have inspired the explosive growth of content marketing and, at the same time, forced marketers around the globe to become content strategists and producers overnight.
But as the effort and cost of original content production takes its toll on marketers’ budgets and bandwidth, it becomes clear that not every company can afford to produce and share original content at the rate it takes to effectively engage audiences online. As a result, content curation— the process of finding and sharing relevant third-party content—has emerged as not just a viable alternative, but also a scalable one.
Here are 5 reasons you need to start curating today:
- Curated content is a great way to engage customers.
Let’s face it. Your original content is great, but it’s still your content. And as much as we may hate to admit it, our customers know that your great, insightful and forcibly objective report on [Topic X] is ultimately designed to influence their purchase. Curated content comes without original content’s baggage. By sharing third-party content in addition to your own content, you’re providing your customers with objective information that they’ll be more inclined to favorite, comment upon and share.
- Cadence is critical.
When was the last time you tweeted? How many blog posts have you posted this week? And what about that newsletter…? The fact is, marketers are juggling too many digital channels these days and, like so many Tamagotchi, they die when you don’t feed them consistently.
Curated content helps relieve this stress by providing a steady stream of relevant content that you frame and use to feed your channels. And, a “well-fed” channel helps keep you top of mind with your customers.
- You aren’t actually a media company.
Despite the fact that marketers are under pressure to engage like a media company, the simple fact is that most organizations aren’t built to support the development of content at scale. It’s easy enough to create an occasional blog post, but that’s not enough to put a dent into “The Conversation.” Sure, you can grow your team and/or enlist external support (assuming you have the budget), but that leads up to the next reason:
- It will save you money.
It’s simple. Content curation is cost effective because you’re tapping into content that’s already available—and waiting to be shared—online. Remember, content creators are sharing their articles, videos and infographics because they want them to be seen. And you can support that mission by furthering their reach. (Just always remember to follow basic guidelines that include citing the source and linking to the original piece.) Curated content gives you the opportunity to exponentially increase your output and engagement opportunities without driving up your budget.
- Your competitors are curating.
If you look closely at your competitors’ newsletters, social feeds and blog, you’ll see that a lot of that seemingly original content is actually commentary on third-party content. They know that finding the right content and sharing it with additional insight is a move right out of Sun Tzu’s The Art of Thought Leadership—if that existed, of course. So while you may be struggling to think of new angles for sales-free sales content, your target customers are learning to rely on your competitors for the bigger picture.
While some marketers are struggling to be a part of “The Conversation,” others are curating their way to ownership of “The Conversation.” That’s ultimately where you win with curation. It ensures your business becomes so inextricably linked to your space that when your customers are in the need real, related information, their first instinct is to turn to you and your digital channels. Like any marketing initiative, it doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen.