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Three Reasons Content Curation is Overrated

Eric Wittlake Avatar Eric Wittlake

B2B marketers are looking for a shortcut to thought leadership, but the shortcut many are taking lead somewhere else completely.

According to a recent report on eMarketer, 85% of marketers curate content in order to establish thought leadership!

Does sharing someone else’s content make you a thought leader? No.

Marketers, in their race to the shortcut, are confusing respect and attention with thought leadership.

Content curation can be a valuable activity. Done well, it can make you a recognized resources for news and information and keep you in front of your audience.

Similarly, a research librarian is valuable. You respect their opinion of sources and value the skill they have at discovering and delivering the right information.

However, the content curator and librarian are not the thought leaders. They are valued for what they discover and deliver, not for their own perspectives on the subject matter.

Here are the key tenants of thought leadership I use (originally published in Thought Leadership Marketing is an Oxymoron).

  • Thought leadership is recognized
  • Thought leadership is expansive
  • Thought leadership is pushing boundaries

Here are three reasons why curating content is not a viable marketing shortcut.

1. Prospects want to know what you think

In enterprise B2B sales and marketing, prospects want to understand how you view their marketplace, challenges and opportunities. They want to know your vision positions you to continue solving their challenges in the years ahead.

When you just curate other people’s content, your audience doesn’t learn anything about your thinking.

2. Everyone else is already curating

Look at Twitter, LinkedIn industry groups or Facebook pages. In B2B marketing, everywhere you look you find links to or thin repackaging of other people’s content.

Curation, by itself, is not enough to differentiate you. It just makes you one more source of links and similar perspectives.

3. You are reinforcing someone else’s thought leadership

With positive vendor profiles increasingly available for a fee and an increasing number of smaller firms that even provide product reviews, analyst content has lost much of its lustre. However, by continuing to license or link to analyst (or other third party) content, marketers reinforce someone else’s position as a thought leader or opinion maker and do little to advance their own perspectives.

In Summary

Is curation valuable? Sure. But if you believe content curation is your ticket to thought leadership and differentiation, you will be sorely disappointed.

Curation is not enough. It is time to start creating! Tweet

Your Turn

What are the other downsides of content curation? Are you a proponent of content curation for thought leadership? Share your perspective below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

If you want to provide a counterpoint, ping me on Twitter or send me an email. If there is interest, I will curate counterpoint perspectives for a future post.

This article is by Eric Wittlake from b2bdigital.net.

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