If you've heard the phrase "Content is King," you've probably thought to yourself, "enough with the content is king mantra." Unfortunately, content remains a huge part of marketing online. Producing it is time-consuming and you may not be keen on developing your own content, but what if you could do the next best thing?
cu•ra•tor/ˈkyo͝orātər/ A keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection.
If you think about it, the Internet is a collection; perhaps THE collection to beat all collections. Would you accept a job as curator managing that collection? The ever growing minutia of thoughts, dialogs, event happening and graphics definitely is not a one man or woman job. We do have the self-appointed curators (ie. comment trolls), but they have their own agenda and not necessarily for the good of the average Internet user.
Let's face it. We live in a time-challenged society. People are pressed for time and won't search through listing after listing. It's a major reason why everyone wants to be at the top of page number one on Google? Research shows a huge percentage drop off of click-thrus from first result (42%) to second (11%). Why do you think Twitter still exists? Headlines at 140 characters give us news we can digest on the go. And Facebook? A visual compilation of the days events in chronological order. Yet, we still have to wander from site to site to retrieve this information and wonder whether the information is authoritative or not.
Authority is key as the Internet grows and integrates into more devices than just the desktop computer. Recent incidents involving plagiarism and fabrication of content highlight a real dilemma for Internet users. Given the time we lack, how do we determine whether information is truth or fiction?
The Authority Song With keywords and backlinks giving way to social signals and content sharing in importance for SEO, it makes sense for marketers to concentrate on boosting their authority on the web. Google has embraced this growing social aspect and together with Google+ begun incorporating AuthorRank into their search ranking algorithms.
As an amazing wealth of content exists among the billions of web pages in play, you can begin to see why authoritative sources are needed.
The Distributor of Content Here's where you, the business owner, marketer, entrepreneur comes in. In essence, you become a distributor of other people's content. You do the research, assemble your authoritative sources and report back the findings to your customers. How you present it is up to you, but a blog format offers flexibility for integration of social elements.
The social networks make it easy to integrate their programming. You've probably seen the "like, +1 and share" buttons, as well as other display widgets on a website. Minor programming is required, but once integrated, your site becomes a destination portal for content you've selected to present. If you want to test the waters as a curator of content, I recommend checking out Storify.
The Story Told Storify represents one possible future of content production/curation. With Storify, you become the storyteller, gathering tibits of links, posts, tweets, comments, images and assembling them into a cohesive story, even allowing you to embellish stories with your viewpoint, if you so choose.
The concept has been around for awhile. Sites like Huffington Post and Mashable perform a similar function with a paid staff, but Storify allows the individual to work solo. Expect the concept to gain further ground, either through acquisition or investments.
Is content curation right for your marketing strategy? If you're like me and you've amassed a large number of trustworthy bookmarks, newsfeed and websites from which to pull information, then content curation definitely would be a worthwhile addition to your bag of marketing tricks.
Nonetheless, fresh and original content still surpasses recycled content. People search for it and the search engines want to provide it. Begin as a curator and learn from others, but work on originality and develop a voice. Your voice should be the only one that your customer hears.
About the author Brian Mell is the award winning Assistant Marketing Manager at BannerView.com. You can find him on Google+, managing BannerView's Twitter profile, and producing videos for the company's YouTube channel.