Is Content Curation Stealing or a Shrewd B2B Marketing Practice?
Many companies are starting to realize that content marketing is the future of B2B marketing. Content marketing is changing the way B2B marketers work. In fact, content marketing is now the most used marketing strategy for B2B companies. However, what about the practice of content curation (the gathering and organizing of other companies/peoples content in ways that are meaningful to specific target audience)? Is it stealing or is it a great way to drive your marketing efforts?
Companies from various industries and sizes are using e-books, blogs, webinars, white papers, newsletters, case studies, videos, infographics, and more to increase brand awareness, lead generation and lead nurturing. When done effectively no other marketing practice can compare to it.
Even as the value of content marketing has become widely accepted by many companies, many B2B marketers see the practice of content curation as theft. From sales to marketing to the CEO, many companies are not sure if content curation would work for their organization.
To help answer this question we decided to take it to the experts:
The following are excerpts from our interview with each of these gentlemen.
Why would companies want to curate their content?
Brain Rice: This can help a company establish credibility and trust by bringing in the best content that highlights not only their brand but thought leadership in their industry.
Tony Karrer: You can create value for a given audience by finding relevant content for them. You do this in order to become a “go to” source for content on a particular topic. The genesis of Aggregage was that I knew there were 100+ bloggers and several trade publications all creating great content around eLearning, but there wasn't a place that people in the industry could easily find those bloggers.
What advice would you give to companies looking to syndicate their content?
Brain Rice: First ensure that your blog focuses on valuable content that is not self-promotional. Second, get to know the owner of the blog that you are considering syndicating with so that you can understand their audience and goals.
Tony Karrer: I would be very careful about allowing syndication of your content on sites that take it and provide a full copy of your text and then compete with you for search. Outside of that, you should look for all sorts of ways to get your content out there. Certainly topic hubs like ours help a lot. So does working Twitter, LinkedIn (B2B) and Facebook (B2C).
How is content curation different from stealing?
Brian Rice: In the case of Business 2 Community we only share articles that we have been given expressed approval from the content owners. Throughout the process we ensure quality and proper author attribution and look to highlight our contributors – our focus is building a community. It all comes down to the ethics of the site owner that is republishing the content as there are tons of sites that just scrap content without permission.
Tony Karrer: Great question! Part of the genesis of Aggregage was my experience with "curators" who would take my content, put it on a page with no link or a link that had an anchor tag that said "link" or something similar. They would change the title and URL for my post on their site. The goal of that person was to get SEO value from my content. They also allowed commenting on their sites. The reason I would write the post is for people to find me and my content and to engage with me in conversation. These types of curators were definitely taking away from that. Aggregage takes a very different approach. Our goal is to be THE launching point out to all the great content getting created on particular topics. We specifically do not have pages that compete with the original source. We only show snippets. We provide full links with the original title. We don't have commenting on our site. Basically, we are doing everything we can to get readers to go to the original source and engage with the content. Many of the participating bloggers find that we become the second biggest referral source behind Google search.
Content curation is an effective practice marketers can use to drive brand awareness or demand generation programs. Whether you are syndicating your content to expand your reach or overcoming the challenges of producing enough engaging content on a limited budget, content curation is certainly gaining a lot of traction for many B2B companies. Content curation is an important and valuable content marketing strategy that delivers big opportunities and real benefits. When done ethically content curation is not theft, but is a shrewd B2B marketing practice. I would like to thank both Brian and Tony for taking the time to answer our questions and share their great insight into this controversial subject.