What is your content curation strategy? Don’t have one? You are not alone…at least that is the somewhat shocking conclusion of an informal survey into small business practices. As a social media consulting firm, the majority of clients come to us with little to no experience with content curation but as nearly every study in the field suggests…content is still king. Making sure you have a sustainable content curation strategy isn’t just a matter of keeping up…in the near future it will be a question of survival especially for small business owners. Keep reading to learn why content curation is critical to the long term success of a solid social media strategy.
What is Content Curation?
If you aren’t familiar with content curation don’t worry; it’s actually a fairly simple concept. Content curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance and archiving of content. The concept of curation is derived from that of a museum, library or other collections which require extensive knowledge and understanding throughout the entire process of buying, evaluating, displaying and collecting artifacts or other works. The same idea forms the foundation for online content.
What Types of Content are Curated?
Nearly all types of online or digital content can be curated but that doesn’t make them equally valuable. Let’s go back to the museum as an example; perhaps there is a collection of old oil paintings with some being much more valuable than others. There are literally millions upon millions of oil painting available in the world so how does a museum curator decide which ones should make it to the collection and which are of the most value? That is the job of the curator (among others). Today, social media management firms are increasingly asked/required to act as digital content curators to acquire, organize and maintain digital works including articles, photographs, video’s, blogs, newsletters, scripts, tips, FAQ’s and other types of content.
Why Does Content Curation Matter?
Large corporations and online business entities have long recognized the fact that all forms of digital content have value although some certainly have more value than others. In fact, content is a major asset if not downright investment. Don’t take our word for it! Just selecting the right domain name can provide a business almost immediate recognition. Fill a site with highly desired and useful content and it’s possible to attract viewers in the millions…along with advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Obtain a level of critical mass and it’s now possible to license, distribute and create your very own revenue streams simply from the content itself. At that point, content is no longer a cost but a pure asset that keeps giving and giving and giving!
The Curation Controversy: Aggregation versus Human Compilation
When it comes to content curation there is a somewhat huge controversy…although admittedly, it’s unlikely to make national headlines. However, among social media consulting firms and marketing agencies the content curation controversy can spark heated debate! What is this controversy? The question of which works best…aggregation or human compilation. As a social media management firm that works with business entities of all sizes, our answer is “neither is right”. There is not a single solution but rather a customized approach contingent upon the need, ability and resources of each individual business. Aggregation often relies upon algorithm, keywords or another automated process to find content. It can locate a lot of content quickly but may not be the most useful, relevant or even interesting. Essentially, it casts a wide net and hopes for the best. On the other hand, human compilation relies upon actual people to acquire content…it tends to be much more selective and pertinent but time consuming and costly.
Enter Social Media
So, what is the answer to content curation needs? A small business with very limited content needs may be fine using human content curators to select a few highly pertinent articles but what about middle to larger sized entities which large content needs? Clearly it’s out of the question to hire a small army of content curators to fill the needed void. Is automated curation their only option? No! Thanks to the emergence of social media filters, it is increasingly possible to ascertain what real-living people find interesting as well as what is trending in real time or over an extended period. By “harvesting” social media insight, it’s now possible to create both “evergreen” (long lasting content of indefinite appeal) as well as “trendy” content (temporary content of very high interest).
Does Content Curation Save Money?
Actually, when properly performed, not only does content curation save money but it actually MAKES money over the long run! Yes, you read that right! Let’s go back to our museum curator; the value of the art collection will depend upon the skill, talent and knowledge of the curator to create a cohesive, highly desirable whole. Like Gestault theory; the sum is greater than the value of each individual part. The same applies in digital content curation. By properly planning, purchasing and positioning the right content a social media management firm is able to transform an “expense” into a true “asset” for the company.
Does Your Content Make Money?
The bottom line is this…Does your content make money or cost money? While nearly all content curation will have an associated cost early in the cycle, once critical mass is met, content should begin to act like the asset it is and actually make money! Content curation requires two elements to transform it from an expense into an asset: 1) it must add value. Even if you are exclusively using automation to obtain content, you must add value to each and every element. 2) It must save time and money over the long run.
Don’t have a content curation strategy? It’s time to speak with your social media manager!