7 Billion People, One Story: The Power of Content Curation
Marketers are under more pressure than ever to create content that engages their brand's audience. Contributor Jordan Kretchmer suggests you stop relying solely on original creations and instead embrace the content your audience is making and sharing.
Skrillex, Diplo and Calvin Harris are some of the world’s most popular DJs. They dominate the music scene, publishing record-smashing hits and selling out massive venues with their cult of loyal followers. But unlike the Bruce Springsteens of the music world, these artists aren’t typically known for creating original music.
DJs have a unique ability to capture lyrics, sound bites and melodies from other artists and pull them together into something new entirely. Believe it or not, marketers have far more in common with DJs than one might think. In a real-time world where marketers don’t have a minute to spare, creating fresh content is a headache, and creating a lot of it is a pipe dream. So I’m going to let you in on a little secret: sometimes the best content isn’t original.
While DJs pull creativity from other artists’ music, marketers have more than seven billion people in the world to draw inspiration from. The solution is the same. In the marketing world, the tactic is known as content curation. But before I go into the value, let’s take a look at the current reality for marketers:
- 62 percent of their time each month is allocated to content production (according to a Kapost survey of B2B companies with more than 250 employees).
- 71 percent say they’re under pressure to create 10 times more content to support all of the different channels (according to an IDC study conducted in May of 2015 and sponsored by Adobe).
- 85 percent are under pressure to create assets and deliver campaigns more quickly, the same IDC study found.
My assumption? The pressure around content is going to keep piling on. That’s why marketers should echo the DJ technique and start pulling together content that already exists. Here’s why.
Establish Credibility and Trust
At any given moment, consumers can turn to location-tagged Instagram images, unbiased online reviews or opinionated Facebook posts to provide objective information leading to an informed decision. The facts say it all. Ninety-two percent of consumers trust earned media more than owned media — so why not curate all of those Instagram images, online reviews and Facebook posts in one place?
Hallmark (Disclosure: client) wanted to create a space for its community to come and share their itty bittys® moments. (For the uninitiated, itty bittys are small stuffed animals.) So the company built the itty bittys love gallery, an interactive site featuring curated photos from collectors and fans alike, all showing off their favorite itty bittys characters.
Complete with its own branded hashtag, interactive poll and cascading media wall, Hallmark provides customers with inspiration, ideas and endless reasons to get excited about their favorite itty bittys characters.
Hallmark’s community is marketing for them. Without any brand-created content, the itty bittys love site is a trustworthy place for consumers to make purchasing decisions. Because when you curate, you can’t fake true expertise. It shows through. In a world of transparency, your consumers will thank you.
Curation Scales When You Can’t
What makes you, me and all the other social junkies refresh Instagram, Facebook and Twitter whenever we get the chance? The guarantee of new content. The human brain can process one trillion bits of information per second, so it’s not surprising that people don’t want to stare at a static feed of stale information.
On top of the desire for constant fresh content, the expectations for quality content are higher than ever. With so much demand, marketers just can’t keep up. It’s almost impossible to produce enough content (from scratch) to meet the needs of an entire audience. Let them do it for you.
Back in 2010, Google’s Eric Schmidt said people were creating as much information every two days as was created from the dawn of civilization until 2003 (approximately five exabytes of data). You’d be surprised by how much of that content actually contains brand relevant images, text and even videos. Stop relying solely on your brand to tell your narrative, and bring complementary social content into the mix.
Bringing your audience’s voice into the equation opens up a bottomless source of authentic content that can be spread across all of your marketing assets. The best part? It all happens in real time, meaning you’ll never be at a loss for fresh content.
Become The Go-to Destination
Hate to break it to you, but not every important insight on an issue (or your product) will come from you and your team. Curation lets you harness the wisdom of the market for your own marketing efforts.
As you leverage content curation and consistently pull in interesting, informative content, consumers are going to start viewing your brand as the definitive source for topics and trends relevant to their specific needs.
Content curation can position your brand as a facilitator of industry conversations in your market — and that’s a great thing to be. For the launch of Just Dance 2016, Ubisoft (Disclosure: client) created a destination featuring curated photos and videos of gamers dancing to their favorite tracks.
The dynamic portal pulls in social content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Vine tagged with Ubisoft’s branded hashtags, #JustDanceMovement and #Contest. This campaign encourages new and old gamers alike to join their movement by uploading their personal experiences with the game. The incentive is simple: share and you just might end up featured on their website, and you might even end up winning some weekly prizes.
Through simple curation rules and tags, Ubisoft is the go-to destination for all things Just Dance 2016. A win-win for all — psyching consumers up for the game release, while saving their marketing team time and effort.
The Secret Weapons To Success
Your consumers, the people living and breathing your brand, are your secret weapons to success. They’ve been there all along. Now, it’s time to really put them to work.
Make your brand ground zero for what’s truly important and useful to your customers. Bring in their voices, showcase their experiences and share their stories. Do this, and you can stand out even in the most crowded markets while earning a significant audience.