Content marketing or curation of content is everywhere. CMI this past year reported
that 99 percent of software marketers use content marketing. This stat alone suggests almost everyone is using content marketing to engage with current and prospective clients. What fuels the obsession with content? Depending on your organization’s goals it could be thought leadership, lead generation, or customer acquisition.
So is content strictly marketing’s problem?
I believe that content curation and creation is not isolated to marketing, everyone contributes: product, public relations, sales, executives, and the list goes on. While the content is important, I think the process of curating is even more important.
I started to think about curation process after reading March’s release of Gartner’s 2013 Social Marketing Survey Finding: Content Creation Fuels Social Marketing. The report discussed how digital marketers achieving effective social marketing create and curate content that speaks with an authentic voice. Social marketing depends on having something to say — something relevant and compelling.
But, how can your company curate relevant, and compelling content?
Rohit Bhargava described curation as the act of finding, grouping, organizing or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue. He goes on further to describe five models of curation
and how each type contributes to different activities.
What is happening in today’s content teams isn’t an issue of not creating enough content, but rather too much content. Whether your social media strategist or communications super team is managing your content creation, it all doesn’t matter unless you have a strategy.
So, here are my thoughts on content curation and creation and the right ingredients for success:
- You need someone to lead it. Like cooking, too many chefs in the kitchen ruin the meal. Caution though, just because you led it doesn’t mean you can’t find co-contributors to collect ideas from everyone in your company. It just means you need someone to think about the content on the macro level. Great article from Marketing Profs on this.
- You need executive buy-in. Without someone buying into the purpose, not everyone in your group or division will support collectively creating content with a similar goal in mind.
- Get Organized. Create a company-wide editorial calendar that shows what you will produce, who is producing, what it is about, when to expect it. This is key to actually creating and curating the content rather than talking about it. Especially for curating, what themes or topics do you plan to share?
- Assign responsibility. Not everyone has the same roles in curating or creating content. I think of this in terms of a RACI chart. Assign roles in terms of responsibility: Responsibility, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
- Pull on the Same Rope. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Make sure you create a company-wide strategy. Otherwise everyone creates “content” and spams not only your clients, but also your prospective clients. Disorganization is a content killer.
- Before You Create, You Participate. Before you start creating, really understand how your audience interacts and shares content in specific channels.
- Think about your Buying Cycle. Develop content for each stage of the buying cycle: awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, repurchase (loyalty).
- Curating doesn’t have use just One Platform. Your audience could want to consume in different ways short (Twitter) or long (blog).
- Think Buyer Personas when you are creating. When you are writing your articles or posts whom are you writing for?
- Solve for the Customer (S.F. T. C.). You should create content that satisfies the clients’ needs not your ego.
- Get Creative. Think beyond the traditional white papers or infographics. How does your audience like to consume content? Twitter, Blog, Facebook? Test different types and see what works best.
- Measure your Impact. Don’t go through the process of creating content and not measure its impact. Where was it shared? How often? Did folks go back to your website?
- Don’t forget to Share. Sharing is caring. Most companies create content and never consider how to promote it. Plan for promotion early in the process.
- It’s okay to say No. Not all content needs to see the light of day. If it doesn’t support your strategy don’t produce it. Ever.
- Have Something to Say. In order to create authenticate, relevant content you should be sharing something different that folks want to read. In the words of a former executive I worked with, “you need actual thoughts to successful create thought leadership.”
- Get Tough Skin. Managing your content process will be tough and folks love to say why something won’t work. Get tough skin and stick to your guns. I am a big proponent of using the data to help those detractors be your biggest advocates.
At the end of the day, the lack of planning is why most folks fail. Failing to plan is planning for failure. Start small. Whether you implement one idea or all sixteen, create small goals (S.M.A.R.T goals
) and build a case so you can get better at not only the creating, but also curating.