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.

Marketingsherpa B2B SEO 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.

Marketingsherpa B2B 2011 Benchmark Survey

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?

Christy Barksdale of PR 20/20 puts out some great suggestions for getting started with content curation. My two favorites based on ease of adoption and correlation to SEO:

  • 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.

Related Topics: B2B Search Marketing Column | Channel: Search Marketing

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About The Author: is a Managing Partner of KoMarketing Associates, a B2B internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC, and social media strategy. You can reach Derek at derek@komarketingassociates.com and follow him on Twitter @DerekEdmond.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://www.directresponse.net Dave

    I enjoyed reading this article, Derek.

    Content curation is an idea very new to me. I was interested in reading up on it and did a little background research on my own as well.

    I seems to be a very efficient way of staying relevant. Many people don’t want to discuss repetitive or old news, so establishing a solid content curation base will drive interaction.

  • http://www.scoop.it Guillaume Decugis

    Great article Derek. Very neat articulation of the subject. Thanks!

    One of the things we’ve seen people or businesses struggle with when starting their content curation efforts is “how do I find great content to curate?”. As you said, one need to avoid “content without purpose” and not everyone has properly organized their content watch by ropic etc…

    To solve that, one of the unique feature we’ve built in Scoop.it (the publishing-by-curation platform that I run) is a crawling engine that makes suggestions of content relevant to the topic they’ve chosen. Of course they’re free to add any web page but thanks to this, they never lack inspiration which helps them get started and avoid losing time.

    We’re still in private beta but happy to hand out invites if you or some of your readers are interested in trying out. Email me at guillaume at scoop.it.

 

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