Content marketing – the consistent creation and distribution of valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable behaviour – is now being used by 89% of B2B marketers.
Much of the content being distributed is original – branded whitepapers and newsletters and blog posts, like this one – but it’s also content that’s been created by others.
Why would a B2B marketer invest time and effort curating other people’s content? Here are seven reasons why curated content should be a core component of your content marketing plan.
1. Curated content can add variety to your branded content
Many B2B marketing departments operate on lean budgets. Even those that have substantial resources face unrelenting pressure to do more with less. Let’s say you have strong writers on your team but don’t have access to videographers or graphic designers. That may constrain you from producing videos or infographics, but it doesn’t mean those formats can’t be a part of your content mix.
Curation allows you to incorporate formats and varieties of content that you don’t have the budget, skill or capacity to produce.
2. Curating content builds trust
Content marketing is not something you’re engaging in for altruistic reasons. The ultimate goal is to drive profitable behavior – to attract and retain clients.
When you create original content, you have a clear commercial objective in mind and it’s obvious – through the branding, the call to action, the way your marketing automation system captures and nurtures leads, and so on.
But when you curate content, you demonstrably put your audience’s needs first. You do this by investing time and effort to identify relevant, high-quality content which your audience will want to read, watch or listen to.
Do that consistently and you’ll earn a reputation for being an expert in your field as well as a reliable source of information.
3. Curated content provides validation
Have you ever been in a situation where it feels like you’re just not being heard? And then someone else says the same thing and everyone nods in agreement?
Sometimes it helps to have a third party validate what you’re saying. That’s where content curation can help.
Perhaps you’ve been advocating for months for better management and protection of digital assets. Your message is not cutting through; digital asset management just doesn’t seem to be a priority for your audience. Rather than publish yet another article on the topic, you curate content that’s been produced by like-minded businesses and brands. Such as this one by the highly respected management consulting firm, McKinsey. Suddenly, people start to take notice.
As noted by SalesFusion, “…having another person or brand back up the same message you’re promoting can go a long way toward building trust with your target audience. The more well-known and trustworthy the source of the content you curate, the more this point rings true.”
See what I did then? I used the SalesFusion quote to validate the point I was making.
4. Curating content builds relationships
Just as with social shares, when you curate content the right and polite thing to do is to give credit via a mention. Mentions are a way of paying respect. Not only with the author, influencer, brand or publication appreciate the gesture, they’ll also be more inclined to notice and even to reciprocate. That opens the door for you to establish a relationship with an important stakeholder – a relationship which in time could lead to collaborations, joint pursuits or business partnerships.
5. Curated content is efficient
Content production is one of the biggest challenges faced by B2B marketers – and has been for some years now.
- Producing the necessary volume of content
- Creating consistently high-quality content
- Identifying topics and ideas that will be useful and interesting to your audience
- Developing content that is original and fresh
- Packaging content in ways that are engaging.
All of this is time-consuming, as well as expensive.
Already, B2B marketers in North America allocate an average of 28 percent of their marketing budget to content marketing. The most effective marketers invest as much as 42 percent, according to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
Curated content is highly efficient. As a supplement to your branded content, it relieves the pressure on you to produce, reserves your budget for other projects and priorities and allows you to communicate more frequently with your target audience.
6. Curated content can position you as an expert
In March 2017, Harvard Business Review published “The New Sales Imperative“. Contrary to what you might think, while buyers of complex solutions are better informed than ever, they’re also “deeply uncertain and stressed” – they’re “more paralyzed than empowered”.
“the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today, and these stakeholders come from a lengthening roster of roles, functions, and geographies. The resulting divergence in personal and organizational priorities makes it difficult for buying groups to agree to anything more than “move cautiously,” “avoid risk,” and “save money.”
The opportunity for B2B marketers is to make buying easier.
By diluting the deluge of information into a condensed list of the most relevant, highest-quality, most reliable content, buyers and influencers will be better and faster able to understand the issues they face, their actual needs, and the available options. And they’ll be grateful to you in the process.
According to Robin Good editor of Content Curation World, “…while technology does play an important role in helping a curator find, aggregate, filter, curate and re-publish existing content, it is in the expertise and skills of the curator the opportunity to create meaning, to make sense of disparate info and add to tangible value to any newly curated story.”
7. Curating content is an investment in your professional development
In October 2017, the Observer published a widely circulated article which explained why many of the world’s smartest and busiest people – the likes of Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates – find one hour per day for deliberate learning.
These leaders recognise that learning is the single best investment of their time they can make.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
In addition to all the other benefits outlined above, the process of curating content will keep you up-to-date with industry best practice, competitor activity, technological advancements, and current trends.
Now you should understand why content curation should be a component of your B2B content marketing plan. Your next challenge is finding the right balance between content creation and content curation.
How do you determine what content to curate?
How much original content should you produce? What’s the ideal create/curate ratio?
We will discuss these issues in our next content marketing-themed post.
We’re experts in content marketing and specialists in B2B services marketing. Contact us on +61 414 287 206 or firstname.lastname@example.org for help with your content marketing strategy, planning and execution.