Content curation is a topic actively discussed in B2B marketing circles. With so many online resources, publishers, blogs, and social media communities to choose from, the ability to find single points of expertise, sharing and synthesizing the best information on a given topic, has increasing value.
B2B search engine marketers realize new content creation is a critical tactic in an effective SEO strategy. But it is also realized, as illustrated in the Marketingsherpa chart below, the level of effort required to successfully develop new content may be significant, in comparison to other tactics.
Therefore, with limited resources and immediate lead generation goals, it is not surprising when we find that new content generation falls behind other SEO initiatives on the priority list. Enter content curation. While not a substitute for new development, content curation can help B2B organizations provide important information to their market.
This article is meant to introduce B2B search engine marketers to the concept of content curation, what it is (and should not be), and why it might be an important component of a B2B SEO strategy.
What Is Content Curation?
Rohit Bhargava defines content curation as “the act of finding, grouping, organizing or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue.“, Bhargava identified the concept as a top marketing and social media trend to watch in 2011.
In their content curation ebook, the team at Curata add one additional point, the need for adding value through commentary, conversation, and your own original content. The latter ultimately that helps synthesize the curated material presented for the desired audience.
Some interesting trends and points:
- Almost half (48%) of marketers now implement content curation as part of their marketing strategies. (source)
- According to Marketingsherpa latest B2B benchmark report, the most-effective tactics for B2B SEO, social media, and site optimization all involved content marketing initiatives.
- In addition to Bhargava, industry leaders including Pete Cashmore, Robert Scoble, and Lee Odden all point to the opportunity found in the future of content curation.
What Content Curation Is Not
Content creation is not only the aggregation of resources on a given topic, in dashboard format. As Curata points out in their eBook, this is where would be curation rockstars turn into the wannabe crowd. It is important to offer original perspective and insight expected from an “industry expert”.
More importantly, search engine marketers know the impact Google’s Panda Updates have on websites meant solely for distribution of low-value content, designed primarily for SEO keyword visibility.
Why Should The B2B Search Engine Marketer Care?
Simply put, a content curation strategy offers another tool for content development and link acquisition. Consider the following benefits of a content curation strategy done right.
- Ready-made keyword opportunities. Finding, sharing, and supporting the best content for your target market helps to associate your organization with quality content designed to rank well in organic search. The challenge is in synthesizing these collections with SEO keyword strategy and the expertise and experience from leaders in your organization.
- Social media-friendly delivery. In part because content curation is still a developing concept, it is being spread by those are already Internet savvy and link friendly. They will share your discoveries and information through social networking sites, blogs, and SEO-friendly link initiatives.
- Thought leadership. How many times has an industry publication appeared in organic search engine results for a keyword targets desired? Effective content curation offers B2B organizations a chance to become an additional hub of trust for particular keywords and overall marketing themes within an industry.
What B2b Search Engine Marketers Should Avoid
- Content Without Purpose. Aggregating and scraping content without providing enough unique perspective to allow the entire strategy to stand on its own.
- Self-Promotion. Relying on a single source of content, or overemphasis of only company-specific content initiatives. This is about industry perspective, not a single company’s perspective.
- Failing to Provide Attribution. Always cite the sources curated and shared.
You’ve Probably Already Started the Process…
It is worth pointing out for the skeptic, that if you are sharing content in social networking sites, streamlining an RSS reader, or organizing Twitter lists, you are already down the road of content curation.
What are some of the first steps for B2B search engine marketers?
- Curated blog posts: Write a weekly, biweekly or monthly blog post with a list of headlines and brief summaries of selected articles on a particular topic. Don’t forget to provide the links to the original full articles.
- Social media: Share your selected articles via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to give credit to the article’s author with an @ message or a link to their profile.
Lastly, B2B search engine marketers looking to invest in tools and applications designed to help automate and build content curation platforms have free options like Storify and Paper.li and commercial tools like the aforementioned Curata.
My recommendation would be to investigate a range of free and paid options in the effort to find a solution best matching your organizations’ style, preferences, and objectives. Here is a discussion via Quora regarding the best content curation tools.
What are your thoughts on content curation? Is content curation a viable option for your B2B SEO strategy? I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions via comments below.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.