It seems there are two important aspects that do not gain the attention they deserve when we talk content marketing. One is content curation and the other is the emerging importance of “filters”.
Content Curation: In the rush to become “brands as publishers” and the desire to showcase company and brand messages, businesses often end up delivering advertorial content that is all about “me, look at me, me, me”. At the same time, ask any brand and they often say they want to be that “trusted resource.” Offering value to customers can be less about you and more about using your business resources to find and surface “the best” content on the Web. Delivering that content and meaningful third-party insights can go a long way to enhancing the value you deliver to customers.
To become the aggregator and one stop, or first stop Web site, for THE best content your customers need – irrespective of where it comes from — could go a long way to making your website sticky and increase the value to deliver everyday to customers.
While that may seem like an antithetical thought to the creatives in your marketing or advertising functions – it is a thought that deserves serious consideration. We don’t need more, more, more. We often need easier to find, more useful and better quality. We need relevance. Whether it is the best recipes on the Web, the best technology applications, the best solution to fix my PC/Mac, the best Grilling technique, etc. Solving problems, offering high quality info, how-tos and other useful and relevant content could be one way to solve issues you have with content marketing.
Search the Web for tips on curation, there are lots. But in a nutshell subject groupings, tagging and a sentence or two overview are critical aspects to being a leader in the space.
Information Overload: Another increasingly important and often overlooked consideration impacting all business marketing and communications efforts are “filters.” People have debated the impact or not of information overload on human capacity to digest and be informed. One of the often cited responses to addressing information overload on the Web is that the filters need to get better. In the meantime, we swim through the stream and try to make sense of it all.
Smart Filters: The fact is though that some filters exist and are becoming increasingly useful. For business an often overlooked consideration is whether your content is getting into and out of the filters in a way that increases exposure, accessibility and content is not lost in the general avalanche of information and noise of the Web.
In Neiman Labs, 2015 predictions for news and media, Craig Saila notes that a personalized news mix will be offered up to customers. “Today, companies like Facebook are struggling to learn what newsrooms have long known: presenting readers with personally relevant news is both science and art. In 2015, affordable tools analyzing a wealth of reader data will finally enable newsrooms built in the industrial era to compete with the Silicon Valley (and Alley) upstarts. Personal reading recommendations will become an important tool for these publishers in the months ahead.”
Also in the 2015 Neiman Lab predictions, Millie Tran notes: “This is about trusted filters identifying the “right” new information, surfacing significance, and making relevant connections to existing knowledge based on the specific audience— it’s identifying your audience and knowing how information relates to their world and their life. Newsletters, explainers, and niche networks all do this: They filter the infinite web through a lens we choose and trust.”
Personalized Filters: But it won’t be just the traditional or online media publishers offering a personalized and filtered “news mix.” People may increasingly turn to the filters and aggregators to find what is most relevant to them on their own. Sometimes that information will come in specialized topics feeds that are curated (see above) by others like themselves or with interests similar to theirs.
Try this experiment: Here is a fun little experiment to try on your business content. Go to GetPrismatic.com. Set up an account and select your business interest by topic. Now go into the search and search publishers for your company. How much of what you as publisher generate is showing up in the topic?
These personalized filters can take various forms. Here are some of the other filters where you might want to try a similar experiment but the format is a little different. Over at Flipboard, they offer topics and their users create magazines around topics that can be followed. How often is your content in a users magazine that relates to your business topic? Troves offer you the best news of the day and you can choose to follow Troves curated by thought leaders around specific topics; a daily email from digg.com/news.me shows you the most shared stories in your Twitter feed; Newsle offers up stories featuring your friends (or business influencers you are connected with).
Seems to me looking at your content from this sort of third-party filter often raises questions to think about in terms of maturing your content strategy. In a thoughtful way, you can now think about curation, curators/influencers, and filters and how you too might evolve your content strategy.
There are lots of ways to surface your content and be relevant. Many depend on more than pumping it out there, tweeting it and seeing what happens.