Guest post by Pawan Deshpande, CEO HiveFire, Inc. Pawan is a presenter at the 2nd Annual Content Marketing Retreat.
Last month, HiveFire unveiled the findings of its 2011 B2B Marketing Trends Survey. Marketers, media and influencers alike immediately took notice of one of the key findings: 82 percent of B2B marketers now use content marketing, outpacing traditional tactics like search marketing, events, public relations and even print, TV or radio ads. Content marketing, the survey showed, is here to stay.
But, is that really news? Smart marketers have long understood that audiences no longer want to be contacted with pushy sales messages that deliver no real value and have adjusted their strategies accordingly—often with compelling content in whitepapers, e-books and more recently, video.
For me, the interesting statistic that stood out from the data we pulled points to how marketers are making content marketing work in their organizations: content curation, the process of finding, organizing and sharing online content. Fifty six percent of B2B marketers said they use content curation in their marketing strategies, up a whopping 17 percent from just six months ago, when HiveFire conducted its Content Curation Adoption Survey 2011.
Revenue Cycle Priorities from HiveFire client Connance and Adobe’s CMO.com are among the two best examples of content curation at work. To emulate the success these curators have realized, consider the following best practices:
- Focus on what you know –It is critical to focus on a precise topic within your industry that you know well. With this subject area expertise, you will be more likely to select the most compelling content and also have the ability to intelligently add your company’s perspective on it.
- Be timely – In today’s 24/7 news cycle, yesterday’s news may as well be last week’s. By curating content every day, you can provide your audiences with regular, timely content in order to keep them engaged. Curation also helps keep stale social media profiles fresh by providing the content necessary to regularly post tweets, update Facebook walls or populate LinkedIn profile pages.
- Mix in original and curated content –The curated sites with original content often get the best results in terms of traffic, engagement and brand awareness. This could come in the form of a weekly blog post from a company executive, annotations on curated content or regularly engaging audiences in the comments section of your site. Often, it is the easiest and most effective way to insert your company’s messaging and support thought leadership efforts, all while maintaining the authority provided by third-party sources.
- Include competitors – Yes, you read that correctly: include competitors. If you want to be the go-to source in a particular market, you need to tell the complete story. This is often the biggest hesitation among our customers, but one of the most important critical success factors.
- Keep it simple with technology – Curation can be done manually, but it can be a major resource drain on your team—from scouring the internet for content, to formatting in a logical way, to presenting it in a compelling way across a plethora of channels. Today, there are many free and affordable tools—including Curata—that streamline the process dramatically and allow your team to focus their efforts on other projects.
If you want to learn more about content curation and its not-so-overlooked benefits, download our latest e-book, The Open and Shut Case for Content Curation.
Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of HiveFire, provider of content curation and content marketing product, Curata. Pawan is responsible for the company’s vision, management and product strategy, and leads the firm’s advanced development initiatives. Pawan has held software engineering positions at Microsoft and Google and was awarded patents in social networking and natural language processing areas. He is a presenter at the Langley Center for New Media’s 2nd Annual Content Marketing Retreat.