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Posted by Darika Ahrens on January 31, 2012
“Publishing is a lot harder than it looks” -- so says Josh Sternberg over on Digiday. It’s true, so apparently brands are turning toward content curation in a bid to feed their ever-growing need for information to push to Facebook and Twitter streams.
The problem, as always, is that you get what you put in.
Unique content takes more out of the business because it gives more back to the business. (Well, it should.) If I wanted to be a content purist, I’d say that content curation is the equivalent of me turning up to a bake-off with a store-bought cake and saying “Look! I baked a cake.” Nobody’s impressed (or fooled) by me pretending I’m a cake expert having never broken an egg.
Even looking at it in more sympathetic terms for the time-poor Digital Marketer, in the age of customization most people are quite capable of curating their own information -- just the way they like it. There’s very little a brand can do to add value to the original content once curated. If I want to find healthy recipes online I can do that for myself, I don’t need to turn to a toaster brand -- as one of the article’s interviewees suggest-- for their perspective on healthy recipes (no doubt all with a strong toast bias).
Publishing and editorial-type functions can feel uncomfortable to a brand previously unused to creating media but it’s now an essential part of interactive marketing -- in the same way building and maintaining a website can be a challenge but it’s just too important not to tackle.
Content’s value is diminished when brands forget to use content across their whole interactive brand ecosystem. Yes, it can take a long time to create a blog post, but if the post is part of your natural search, email marketing, and social media strategies then all of a sudden that content is working harder and cost-per-use gives greater ROI.
Content curation can be part of your content strategy but your own content creation should come first.
[Image credit: Bob Doran]