My own thought leadership position is on the topic of tactics and tools for thought leadership. Occasionally, I come across great thoughts on the strategy or rationale behind curation for ‘thought leadership’ marketing and this perspective from Robin Good is one of the best I’ve read in a long time…
Today content curation is “sold“, promoted and marketed as the latest and trendiest approach to content production, SEO visibility, reputation and traffic building. But is it really so? Is it really true that by aggregating many content sources and picking and republishing those news and stories that you deem great is really going to benefit you and your readers in the long run? Is the road to easy and effortless publishing via curation tools a true value creation business strategy, or just a risky fad? How can one tell?
Let me clarify a few key points:
1. Curation can be effective only as much as it effectively provides a quality filtering mechanism that can replace my need to consult multiple sources. When such need is forgotten and a curation channel becomes another broad aggregation and republishing venue, the end result is more content to go through and little or no insight gained.
2. Shallow curation efforts, where the main goal is to republish selected content with the minimum effort and time, are going to be effective only for the very short term. As soon as quality, value-creation creators start to emerge and gain authority, the gap between them and the others will be very hard to fill.
3. Curation is an effective means to build a strong relationship with a niche audience of passionate people to engage, not a marketing strategy that caters to gain a broad audience of readers by virtue of quantity and breadth.
4. The key element that makes curation work is the competence and focus of the curator and of the topic he has selected. Repeated efforts to create curated channels that mix and match broad and highly competitive topics are bound to see a very short life.
For these reasons, I think that much of the apparent new curation work being done is bound to be soon disappointed by the results it will gain. Though the apparent new curation “leaders” are working around volume and breadth, I have a strong feeling that within a year this panorama will have already evolved significantly in its natural direction.
Highly specific news and content channels, curated by passionate and competent editors will gradually become the new reference and models for curation work.
This article is all about starting to identify some tentative reference points that can be used to anticipate these changes and position one’s own curation channel in a way that it will guarantee the greatest return on investment, over-time, possible.
My goal, is to help you understand how you can start to evaluate and distinguish value-creating content curation, from shallow aggregation, noise-making republication and pure content regurgitation before it is too late or someone else in your same niche will have done it before you.
Here’s is my official checklist, to identify value-creation curation, from everything else.
Go to the source and read the rest of Robin’s thoughts. There he lists the qualities of a pump and dump ‘hot dog’ [all filler] and a quality curator, which I share for you here…
A great curator:
- Optimizes titles so it is relevant for that audience
- Edits the content to add further relevance of the message
- Formats the material so it is easy for the audience to read and apply to their situation
- Adds good images and other visual material that complements and reinforces the content
- Excerpts selected text so the reader can quickly and easily grasp the most important elements
- Adds his or her own voice in an intro to the piece, adding context and relevance for the reader
- Tags all content with relevant words and phrases so it is easily found by that audience
- Supplies links to expand the scope of the piece and give access to added resources about the subject
- Personalizes each piece for the relevant audience when posting to social sites, when appropriate
- Ensures all curated content is correct and from a reliable source
- Always gives attribution and links to sources
- Filters content vigorously and does not publish anything and everything
- Has a network of experts and curators in their sphere that they can tap into for personal insights
- Suggests stories and items to other curators
- Searches for additional material that can add depth and value or context to an item
- Constantly scouts for interesting new sources
- Sets up searches, filters and feeds to get a constant flow of relevant information
- Makes the focus of the curated content perfectly clear and easy to see right upfront
- Recommends other newsmasters and curators with great content
- Crowd sources tips and suggestions from readers and always acknowledges their contributions
“The more of these activities you incorporate in your content curation workflow, the higher the quality and the value that you will be creating. It is not easy, nor fast, but it is something meaningful for me and it makes me feel I have truly contributed to “make sense” of the information and resources available out there.”
Leadership (even idea leadership) scares many people, because it requires you to own your words, to do work that matters. The alternative is to be a junk dealer.
The game theory pushes us into one of two directions: either be better at pump and dump than anyone else, get your numbers into the millions, outmass those that choose to use mass and always dance at the edge of spam (in which the number of those you offend or turn off forever keep increasing), or
Relentlessly focus. Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.
Only one of these strategies builds an asset of value.
The ‘e1evation workflow’ gives you powerful creation and curation tools for content marketing; how you use them is a reflection of you and your brand. Comment, call or ‘connect’ so we can talk about how this applies to you and your organization…
- Social Media Trends 2012 – Content Curation in PR (business2community.com)
- How To Recognize Great Content Curation: Curating Curators (bethkanter.org)
- A Marketer’s Guide to Content Curation (hubspot.com)
- Content Curation: Are You A Fire Hose or A Focusing Lens? (bethkanter.org)
- Is Content Curation Stealing or a Shrewd B2B Marketing Practice? (business2community.com)