Content Curation: To What End?
This is a question we began asking ourselves at Content Marketing Institute (CMI) five years ago as content marketing started to get traction as a process within businesses. To this day, and even among the companies we highlight in this report, the term content curation” promotes debate.
Is it simply aggregating third-party content on a particular topic or theme and providing a centralized way of accessing it? Some might argue for this because the sheer act of
choosing which content to aggregate and promote does inherently offer an editorial point of view. This idea even fits into the more traditional idea of “curation.” The art curator, for example, offers a point of view not by writing an opinion of the art, but rather by displaying what’s in the collection he or she offers. The inclusion or omission of a piece is the statement the curator makes.
An example of this approach for content marketing would be a nonprofit organization focused on climate change. As part of a content marketing strategy designed to engage its audience, the nonprofit might create a portal focused on environmental changes and how they are negatively affecting the planet. The nonprofit might purposely omit content from others who dispute or offer contrarian opinions on climate change because to do so would present a conflict.
Or, does content curation provide a brand the opportunity to leverage timely content on multiple topics as a way to more frequently fuel a distinct point of view on a particular theme?
From this perspective, the content marketing curator doesn’t necessarily want to provide exhaustive resources on a particular topic, but rather uses the general themes to promote his or her point of view. An example of this would be a software technology firm that uses general consumer or business news about hacking and other Internet security issues to present its point of view—despite the point of view of the original source. This is part of what David Meerman Scott calls “newsjacking.”
Finally, a case could be made that content curation is about providing a source of community/conversation around a general topic or theme. From this perspective, the content marketing curator provides a platform for the community to rally around
a theme and/or gathers conversations from other platforms to provide a centralized “water cooler.”
With all of this in mind, for this report, we covered the following technology solutions: