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3 keys to the future of content curation

Posted by Chad O'Connor  January 17, 2014 06:00 AM

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[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

The marketing world is anything but certain. Budgets are growing into new areas as marketers try to keep pace with changing consumer habits and technologies. Mobile, video, analytics and marketing automation software are just some of the things that businesses are implementing. And, without a doubt, one of the most important areas for many B2B companies has become content: production, distribution, promotion and curation. Over the past few years, content marketing has solidified as a top strategy for brand awareness and lead generation.

Yet the demand for content often overwhelms the marketers trying to create it. Research shows that, on average, marketers believe they need to be creating 10 or more pieces of content a day to keep customers engaged, from tweets to blog posts to white papers. That’s why content curation has become so popular, too. The same survey showed that just about three-quarters (74 percent) of marketers consider curation an important part of their content strategy.

Content curation today presents marketers with challenges. It can take a lot of time to manually search for quality stories that both engage target audiences and aren’t already being shared by competitors. Not only that, some companies worry about diluting the brand by sharing stories from other sources. That’s a big risk when marketers are already scrambling to manage the content output for multiple social media channels.

These challenges all stem from manual content curation, which has become a laborious but necessary activity to manage content marketing efforts. But this year, things will change. New content curation solutions will allow for intelligent, automated curation that will be able to pull from high-quality, multimedia sources, provide social news to audiences in real-time and, most importantly, make use of content curation to create a branded curation experience for customers and prospects.

Social Curation Liberation
Curating content across social media channels is a process. Take Twitter, for example. Three or four times a day, the brand needs to share a story that’s going to be valuable to the audience. Finding that story can take some time. If you’re trying to find a piece that’s both timely and unique, that’s even harder.

The increased adoption of automated content curation solutions will address these obstacles. Marketers will benefit from a process that automatically shares content that has been personalized to the brand’s specifications. This won’t mean scheduling four tweets ahead of time; it’ll mean setting parameters for what content works best for the channel, then letting the solution do the rest of the work.

A content curation solution that draws from vetted, original sources and intelligently learns from a user’s choices will be able to create a new kind of social content curation, one that greatly simplifies the process and frees marketers from the pressure of finding more stories every day, for every channel.

A Multimedia Library
On the more visual side of the spectrum, multimedia curation will finally become possible, too. Pictures and videos have already become a staple for content marketing, but anyone who has searched for something on YouTube knows that the video sharing site’s search engine can be less than helpful. Marketers who are looking for visual content to share have other problems, too. You don’t want to share a competitor’s video with your audience, or wander blindly through the thorny maze of fair use and copyright violations.

Currently, there’s no effective way to curate multimedia content without meticulously vetting each piece. Since companies need to be so careful when sharing visual content, searching for the right video or infographic – and making sure you can actually share it – can be time-consuming. Fortunately new technology will allow marketers to easily find and curate multimedia content, just as easily as they would curate a news story for a tweet.

Creating a Branded Experience
Content marketing is only going to keep growing, but that doesn’t mean it will continue to be as effective for companies without the right strategic and technological changes. The fact is that, across many industries, consumers are becoming saturated with content that doesn’t meet their needs or just parrots what’s already been written.

The brands that stand out will be the ones that are able to provide prospects and customers with original, real-time content that has been curated from a rich variety of sources. Companies that are relying on content curation will no longer worry about whether third-party content “dilutes” the brand, because being known as the best curator in the industry will come with its own accolades. The personalized customer experience of highly relevant industry content will become one of the defining experiences that a great brand provides.

Patricia Hume is the Boston based President of Trapit.

[We are thankful for Global Business Hub’s support of the Creative Industries. Please note: This article does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development or its Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth, nor is it an endorsement of any views, products, or opinions contained therein. The author is solely responsible for the content.]

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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