On Monday, we explored the ROADmap of content curation, taking a look at an all-encompassing definition of the word, as opposed to some of the narrow definitions utilized up until this point. Today I’ll introduce a follow-up perspective, and elaborate on why I believe so strongly in the future of content curation marketing.
Again, if we define the term “curation” as nothing more than “republishing other people’s content as is,” it’s hard to see much of a future ahead. However, if we expand or clarify that definition to include research, organization, adding context, and distribution, it seems to be only a matter of time until every company (ok, most companies) are likely to be utilizing it. If you don’t concur, then I would contend you don’t believe very strongly in the future of content marketing. Why do I say that? The best illustration comes from taking a look at the blogs of inbound marketing companies themselves.
While folks may differ on the particulars when it comes to execution, I believe it’s fair to say inbound marketers as a whole believe in educating prospects and answering common questions as way to produce top-of-the-funnel content. It makes sense. And it’s not hard to comprehend why it has been so effective, especially for the companies that have become the early adopters in their respective industries. In addition to moving consumers much farther down the sales process before they come in touch with a sales rep, these large number of blog posts – often on a daily basis – have greatly increased SEO results.
Here’s the emerging issue, however. Regardless of how creative these agencies and their writers may be, there’s only so many different questions that a prospect may ask about inbound marketing. And there’s only so many different angles a company make take with regards to educating the consumer. Worse yet, the more companies that work within that industry, the smaller the number of original topics. Is this going to stop the publishing of content? Of course not. I wrote about this a few weeks ago in How Content Curation Done Poorly Makes The Business Case For Content Curation. What it will do, however, is move companies away from 100% “original content” all the time, to a mix of original and curated content with thought leadership. In actuality, the lines between what constitutes original and curated will continue to blur.
Let me further the illustration by relaying a conversation I had the other week with an inbound marketing agency – a very successful one, at that. I’ll paraphrase: “We try to publish five times a week, as that’s worked very well for us. Were also a tight-knit group with other agencies and regularly share each other’s content. It occurred to me, however, as opposed to trying to write five brand new articles a week, would it not be just as effective – and cheaper, and faster — to take a snippet of what another agency wrote and add our two cents on it.” I admit it probably sounds like I fabricated that to some degree. But I didn’t. I’ve also had recent similar conversations with other very bright inbound guys/gals who have been at this for a few years and more or less stated “we just don’t know what else to write about at this point.”
As content and inbound marketing grows, this is happening more and more. Which again, makes a strong case for the future of curation in the business world.