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Why Content Curation Is Not The Answer

Eric Wittlake Avatar Eric Wittlake

There are no silver bullets in marketingThe biggest problem in B2B content marketing is that it requires content. Somehow, this most obvious of truths has become the thorn in the side of B2B marketing (and the inspiration for 1,000s of pieces of content).

So what if you could be a content marketer without actually creating content? Hallelujah! All your problems are solved!

Enter curation, the glittering solution for today’s content marketers.

On the surface curation sounds perfect. Publish or share carefully selected content created by others with your clients and prospects. By consistently and carefully curating over time, become the source your audience looks to for the news and information that matters to them.

But before you jump on the curation bandwagon, ask yourself “do I want to be the curator, or the curated?”

Your choice should be easy: be the curated!

For purposes of this article, this is the distinction between content curation and creation:

Content curation is carefully selecting and using content from other companies and individuals. The primary value is in your selection of the content, not in the additional perspective you add.

Content creation may build on content from others or be completely new. Regardless, your additions are what makes the content valuable.

4 Pitfalls of a Curation-Based Strategy

It sounds good on the surface, but becoming a go-to source and building your reputation through content curation simply doesn’t work for marketers. Here’s why:

1. We Have Hundreds of Sources Today

We turn to more sources than ever before. Twitter, Facebook, even LinkedIn are now steady streams of content from hundreds or even thousands of individual sources.

Becoming one of those sources only earns you a small slice of attention. And a small slice of attention doesn’t give you the market advantage you need today.

2. It Makes You A Filter, Not An Authority

The value of a content curator is their ability to filter through the volumes of content and select the best, the most original, the most valuable, pieces.

Yes, effective curators must understand the topic. They must be able to differentiate between mediocre, good and great. Do you want to just recognize great, or be great?

3. You Build The Authority Of Others

What happens when you continue to share content from certain companies or individuals? You build their authority!

I’m sure I’ve shared more content from Michael Brenner and Mark Schaefer in the last 4 years than I have shared from my own blog. Why? Because they offer new thinking and perspectives the market, I believe, needs.

Thousands more people like me, by curating their content, have made Michael and Mark recognized authorities in their markets. It is the curated, not the curator, that became recognized.

4. Your Perspective Gets Lost

Yes, your point of view comes through in what you choose to share. By allowing yourself (or your company) to become a mouthpiece for the views of others, you provide insight into your beliefs.

But it simply aligns you with the masses that ascribe to the view of someone else, it doesn’t provide any insight into the nuances of your own perspective.

Consider someone who regularly shares content from Rush Limbaugh. They are likely conservative and Republican. But do they fully agree with Rush Limbaugh, even on a given topic? And does his view reflect everything they believe about it? No. Likewise, your own view can only come from you.

No, curation is not enough. Instead, you need to begin creating content worth curating.

Still not convinced? Which is better for this blog: my sharing posts from Jay Baer, Mark Schaefer, or Michael Brenner? Or the three of them sharing posts of mine? Exactly.

Can curation play a role? If it helps you develop your own audience and, ultimately, share your own perspective, then yes. And sharing your perspective comes back to the need to create your own content worth curating.

Your Turn

Do you have something to add? Then skip the comments and use this article as the spark for your own content. But if you still believe curation is the key, make your case in the comments below or on Twitter (@wittlake).

Image credit: ponsulak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This article is by Eric Wittlake from b2bdigital.net.

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