Here are the three things that can turn a great best practice—content curation—into a great misstep.
If you haven’t started curating content as well as originating it (for blogs, websites, downloads, etc), you have an unusual and advantageous task to forward to.
Curation isn’t only for museums; in marketing thought leadership, it’s the act of collecting, organizing, and parsing existing content to inspire further thought.
Why curate content? A recent article by Paul Gillin sums up the need nicely:
“We have too much information. Our challenge has shifted from finding what we need to filtering out what we don’t. Today, curation is nearly as important as creation.”
In other words, as B2B demand generation marketers, we can be the filter (and ultimately the source) of highly relevant information for our prospects and customers.
Some marketers are wary of curation, thinking it sounds like plagiarism. Or that by giving credit to other marketers for their inspiration, they’ll seem uninspired themselves.
Both views have an anchor in truth if you attempt curation with an all-or-nothing approach.
And here’s where I find Paul’s post title and view, “Curation is the new Creation,” just a tiny bit glib. It’s a perspective that can easily allow marketers to commit the three big no-nos of content curation:
- Copying content. Quoting is good; copying long passages, even if you attribute them back to the author or source, is not. It’s your own expert perspective on an issue that makes it valuable to your audience and spins your threads of sourced information into gold. If you simply want to point out a great piece of content to your audience, tweet about it instead.
- Burying the “why.” Tell your audience upfront why you’re sharing this content, information or perspective with them: what the take-away is and why you believe it’s important to them.
- Omitting attribution. Even if you don’t quote the content, if you’re using the recognizable essence of someone else’s ideas, you need to note that and ideally include a permalink to their content in your post.
Now here’s something you can and should do, especially if you’re a blogger pressed for time:
Invite guest writers to contribute to your blog. You never know, they might return the favor, and you earn another chance to win over prospects and influence buyers. (Thanks, Dale Carnegie!)
See Paul Gillin’s article for some good evidence of how content curation can work in your favor. And please do share your experiences with (or concerns about) content curation in the comments.