2913165421 846b4317b4 m There is an elephant in the online marketing “room,” and the elephant’s name is Curation. Curation is the most important part of online marketing that no one is talking about. With the rise of inbound marketing, content has become front and center in the minds of marketers. This focus on content as an important marketing tactic creates two extremely important problems.

First, content creation is difficult. Having the time and skill to create relevant and interesting content is difficult for marketers who are already overloaded with daily tasks. The second major problem with the rise of content marketing is noise. Because content marketing has been proven to be a key ingredient in successful online marketing, more and more businesses are creating content. With this increase in the volume of content, it is becoming harder and harder for marketers’ content to reach new prospects.

Applying Curation to Our Problems

As marketers, how do we solve these two problems? Curation. Curation is the process of selecting and aggregating information into one place that creates more value for information consumers, because they don’t have to spend time researching and visiting all of the original sources.

Curation has become a fixture for many successful news blogs on the web today. Sites like The Huffington Post , Mashable , Gizmodo , etc., while breaking news and providing commentary for their given areas of focus, also use curation to provide value to readers and increase new visitors to their site. Stop and look at your email, Facebook, Twitter, or any other source you use for news. You will see that many of the stories that you are reading aren’t sharply written prose. Instead, they are groupings of valuable information, made even more valuable by their assembly as a collection.

Examples of Curation

Some of the most popular posts on this blog have been from curated content. Here are a few examples:

3 Rules for Great Curation

1. Find the Best Content - Curation only works for a business if the person who creates the content also understands the industry extremely well. Industry knowledge enables content marketers to become reliable filters for the best content and information. The more content you discard, the more relevant the final curated content will be.

2. Add Value - It is often not enough to simply curate content for use on a business blog or for sharing through a social media channel. Be sure to add commentary and insights that help to add more value to the curated content. This added insight will make the content even more interesting and relevant to the reader.

3. Attribute - Just like writing a blog post or creating other forms of online content, it is critical that you properly attribute the original source of the curated content. This attribution is typically done by providing clear links to the original content on the creator's website.

Integrating Curation Into the Content Mix

Curation has many applications. It can be used to help build better blog posts, spice up the content you share in social media, and diversify your email newsletter or most other types of content in between. Curation is a great tool, especially when, as a content marketer, you hit a dry spell and need a way to create content while experiencing writer's block.

How do you use curation for your inbound marketing efforts?

Photo Credit: joyosity

Originally published Oct 14, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013


Inbound Marketing