Many companies are actively sharing content with their customers in an effort to better assert themselves as thought leaders in their industry. Sharing others' content is often referred to as content curation -- but Pawan Deshpande, CEO and founder of Curata, says that you won't hear companies describe it that way.
You Say Content Curation ...
Recently we spoke with Deshpande, whose company specializes in content curation software, to discuss the benefits and challenges of deploying a content curation strategy and to provide insight on the future of the expanding curation market.
Earlier this year, Matthew Ingram wrote, “It’s called curation if you like it, aggregation if you don’t.” But according to Curata's recent Curation Adoption Survey -- which included responses from more than 400 marketing professionals -- most people don't know what content curation is.
But many -- if not all -- of these marketers are engaging in content curation activities. According to the survey, of those marketers who identified themselves as non-content curators, all of them had, in fact, curated content in some way -- by finding and sharing "an article, blog post or other content with a prospect in the past six months."
Additionally, these self-identified non-content curators are sharing content for the right reasons: to position themselves as authoritative resources within their industry.
Benefits & Challenges of Content Curation
If the intent is to establish credible thought leadership, is it working? According to the survey, these unknowing content curators are not only recognizing the importance of sharing fresh, relevant content with their audience on a daily basis, they are seeing tangible outcomes as a result. According to Curata’s Curation Habits Report, people who curate content to a website on a daily basis enjoyed 18 percent higher click-thru activity than those who curated content on a weekly basis.
Still, the benefits of sharing content are directly related to the quality of the content you’re sharing. Where are these marketing professionals finding their content? Social media is the preferred channel for finding online content, but email newsletters are also gaining popularity.
- More than three quarters of marketers (79 percent) cited social media as a preferred service for finding third-party content to share.
- Almost two thirds (63 percent) indicated that they also used email newsletters to find third-party content, which represents a 29 percent increase over 2011.
Marketing professionals noted that while they enjoy the benefits of content curation, finding the time to discover the right content is among their biggest challenges. Many are still employing manual strategies to scan online sources to find content -- and it’s only getting harder.
The Future of Content Curation
As the number of marketing channels increase, the amount of content to be gleaned also increases. This makes it even harder to find better, more reliable content that's worth sharing.
Deshpande says he is confident that, by making it easier to discover, organize and share content around specific topics, content curation will continue to benefit companies -- and also help them work smarter. Curata is continually adding channels through which users can find and share content -- as well as supplementing content with rich resources like pictures and quotes -- in an effort to provide a more robust experience.
Overall, if companies are sharing content with the intent of promoting their thought leadership, who are we to complain about what they're calling it? But it stands to reason that, with a little more awareness about what content curation is, those who do it could have access to better tools and best practices -- which would help them become more efficient.