In recent years there has been a lot of buzz about content curation, given its power to help fuel content marketing and better engage an audience. In fact in 2014, CNBC listed at as the #1 most overused word of the year. By now most marketers have heard of curation conceptually, but may not be familiar with how their peers use it in the real-world.
Here are four examples of how organizations, profit and non-profit, small and large alike, are effectively curating third party content to achieve business results.
Becoming a Green IT Leader
Verne Global, a wholesale supplier of data center space based in Keflavik, Iceland, and Washington, D.C., wanted to be recognized for its low energy footprint. The firm needed to educate prospective customers about the viability of green IT and the business value of the Icelandic data centers, powered by 100% renewable resources without a price premium. Facing a familiar problem for a startup, Verne Global had limited resources to invest in marketing, build awareness for green IT, and establish its expertise for operating energy-efficient data centers.
Verne Global data center
Verne Global began by taking advantage of free buzz generated through social media. Rather than relying on the company’s website, Verne Global launched a news and opinion site: Green Data Center News. This site has become the hub for IT-related energy efficiency information from sources around the world, recognized as a gold winner in Network Products Guide’s 8th Annual 2013 Hot Companies and Best Products.
The firm is building its global presence by becoming the go-to destination for high value content, developed both internally and curated from third party sources. More than 50% of Verne Global’s inbound requests for media and PR now come from Green Data Center News, and it usually only takes an hour a day to update — often from a mobile phone. Curation is an investment multiplier, a way for any firm to enhance brand awareness. As Verne Global builds its audience, customers who want and need green IT services will follow.
Establishing Thought Leadership in Communications Technology
As a leading innovator in communications technology, products, and services, Alcatel-Lucent delivers intelligent networks that administer communication tools and secure IP infrastructures. In the continually changing communications market, Alcatel-Lucent’s Enterprise group needed to display thought leadership and provide fresh, innovative ideas for customers and prospects. Their key to success was not only consistent, relevant messaging, but also unique, diverse opinions on a variety of relevant topics.
Alcatel-Lucent launched a curated microsite, the IT Strategist, to find, organize, and publish topic-specific content. This curated site emphasizes CIO/executive level strategies, designed to help organizations improve their businesses with up-and-coming communications technology.
The site now organizes content from top sources, producing between 5 to 30 curated articles per week that provide target audiences with relevant content from across the Web, along with the company’s own research reports and news articles. IT and business leaders can turn to one thought leadership hub for multiple perspectives on IT strategies and communications technologies.
Curated content has not only increased web traffic on the Alcatel-Lucent corporate website, it’s allowed them to better monitor industry chatter, provide ideas for new original stories, and provide “great Twitter fodder,” according to Ed Youngblood, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s Director of Content Strategy.
Reinforcing Customer Loyalty with Self-service Content
Lenovo Corporation, a $39 billion global Fortune 500 company and leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technologies had a problem supporting Windows 8 systems. It needed to deliver all support information within a single app, preloaded on Lenovo PCs and tablets. The app enabled users to manage their system health, access Lenovo Support forums, find customized accessories, and check the status of their warranties.
The content support team turned to a curated content hub to reinforce its support capabilities and build customer loyalty. The team supplemented original, Lenovo-created content with third-party sources produced by popular local technology publishers and bloggers around the world, delivered in any one of eight natural languages — Brazilian, Portuguese, English, German, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.
As a result, millions of Lenovo users have one place where they can check what’s new with their system and with Lenovo. They can access support when needed, and keep up to date with tech developments and opinions from a stable of Lenovo experts, partners, publishers, and bloggers.
Promoting Economic Development
The Economic Development Council (EDC) of Western Massachusetts has a basic mission: helping stimulate a vigorous regional economy by encouraging and sustaining capital investment and job growth. As the premier go-to resource for business development, the EDC needs to stay top of mind for local companies and those interested in entering the region. Digital information is naturally part of the mix. The organization began publishing a blog but quickly found that staff members did not have the ability to continually produce high quality content.
Content curation became a resource multiplier. With a curation system in place, staff-members could collect, organize, review, and select both news and opinion articles from multiple online sources. What was heretofore a ninety-minute daily task was reduced to fifteen minutes.
The curation program increased the exposure of blog posts while also reducing demands for producing in-house content. Whereas it previously took Graney’s staff 90 minutes to gather and curate articles, it now takes 15 minutes per day. For EDC and its stakeholders, the increased traffic on its website has not only drawn display advertising, creating additional revenue, it demonstrates how the EDC helps promote the economic benefits of doing business in western Massachusetts.
The Results of Content Curation
Content curation is integral to an overall content marketing initiative. There are multiple benefits for content development, including capturing insights from outside sources, building thought leadership and trust by sourcing the best content in your subject area, increasing the quantity and consistency of your content pipeline, lowering the resources required to fill a content pipeline, and increasing Web traffic. Content curation is an investment multiplier.
With the recent rise of content curation, it is important to know the direction that content marketing is likely to go. Download The Future of Content Marketing and stay ahead of your competition.