The debate about content creation vs. content curation is all the rage right now. Of course, brands want to know which is best for them. Let’s delve right in.
What is Content Marketing?
Gone are the heydays of traditional marketing — it has become less and less appealing, not to mention ineffective over the years. There has to be a better, more impactful way, which happens to be content marketing. In principle, it’s a strategic marketing technique that has to do with creating and sharing relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience.
Content marketing often involves creating and distributing quality online media such as blogs, videos, images, and social media posts. More specifically, brands leverage content marketing to drive sales, bring down marketing spend, and improve customer loyalty.
What’s Content Curation?
Content marketing involves both the creation of content, often from scratch, as well as curating and sharing trending industry news about, or featuring, your brand, plus user generated content – including posting their videos, comments, photos, and so on.
The brand can also personalise the content by adding some commentary. By doing so, they are building their brand awareness, establishing authority, and creating an emotional connection with the audience.
Both content creation and content curation are excellent ways of attracting customers who are genuinely interested in your brand. Ultimately, they are meant to drive not only growth but also revenues and brand visibility. So, what’s the difference between the two?
Brands use content marketing because of a number of reasons, including:
The content is brand’s own — it belongs to you
It builds SEO and drives traffic
It helps brands generate quality leads
It helps a brand become a thought leader
The content is on brand
On the other hand, brands also curate content because:
It saves time and effort
It’s inexpensive and more effective
It helps brands present their broader knowledge
It helps brands build relationships with an audience
Which is Better – Should you Curate or Create?
When it comes to content marketing vs. content curation debate, it all boils down to what you’re looking to achieve. However, you should strive to blend the two. Oftentimes that means having several different channels in which you are the creator and others in which you are acting as a content curator. If you’re a bistro, for instance, you can launch a video or blog series that consistently offers value by sharing menu options. Simultaneously, you can also have a weekly or monthly newsletter sharing industry insights and healthy eating tips.
A guest post by our super 2017 intern, Axel…(10 minute read)
Content scraping is the process of searching the Internet for content which matches a set of conditions such as keywords, recency and sources. What you get is a compilation of all the content about a certain topic that exists.
This does not only facilitate one’s job of being source critical, but it also presents articles written by people occupying different positions on the ideological spectrum, allowing for the identification of political bias.
Moreover, it is only those who have mastered the art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that are visible on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Most people rarely look below the top three links, and the vast majority certainly never look at the second page of links. The widespread fear of whatever may lure in the supposedly dark realms of search engines limits the distribution of impactful content to a few major actors. This easily imposes various biases, and many important views of news and events are lost.
So why is this a relevant issue?
Certainly it is one’s responsibility as a member of a democratic society to remain critical of mainstream political narratives, this in order to prevent the spreading of propaganda – fake news, as such.
We must be aware of the issue – a public that is easily swayed by tinted reports by major political actors. Thus, in order to better our political system, the undermining of the spreading of political bias is something to be preferred.
Although this carries major importance, there are fields in which its implication can have a quicker and more palpable effect. One of those areas, which is going to be the main focus of this post, is the educational system.
Critical thinking has become the title of intellectual development in today’s educational system. However, it is hard to build a house without tools – likewise it is hard to think critically when you lack a framework for it.
As a high-school student who is about two years away from applying to university, I know the hassle of writing essays and researching topics. Subjects range from the natural and societal implications of the dropping of the atomic bombs during World War 2, to recent developments within domestic politics.
One of the pains of writing an essay about a specific topic is finding sources that back your factual claims.
And it is very important to be certain that what you claim is in fact true. Because in order for something to attain a level of academic significance, it has to be in agreement with the fundamental pillar upon which academia stands: the presupposition that reasonings have to be based on facts in order to carry importance.
It does not matter that you can express yourself in an eloquent manner or that you have a wonderful plan on how to save the media industry; if it does not contain anything that is applicable to our society and its institutions, it is practically worthless!
This is something one may escape even in high school- deep philosophical reasonings may be enough. But if one is not only after good grades but also academic significance and credibility, this is something that one has to get accustomed to.
So now that the importance of sources, and backing up your ideas with facts, has been established, how do I find a potential in content scraping in connection to all this? There are two major things which I think would be much appreciated among students at 14-18 years of age:
Primarily, a better view of what content is out there. The page you are presented with once you do a Google search is a rather unintuitive landscape filled with myriad links. There is a lot of text, and the UI is not very user-friendly.
What a tool such as Zenia would do better than Google regarding an issue like this is to present a good holistic overview of what content there is, that exists. A larger number of stories would be compiled in a more condensed format, with pictures that are characteristic for each article. This would be a more intuitive format, leading to people being more comfortable with spending time researching specific topics. This would also encourage students to research topics in the sense that it would be less of a pain to do so.
Take a quick tea break and watch this short intro video that used AI to generate speech…
Secondly, it would eliminate SEO. Since the tool is only finding information based on keywords, SEO is taken out of the equation. This would allow for a diversity of perspectives which is important when writing something based on facts. Preferably what you are writing should be unanimously agreed upon by diverse sources; otherwise you can find anything to be true. Therefore it is good to find several sources that confirm your perception of a certain topic. This also decreases political bias to a large extent which is good for one’s academic credibility. Academia should be free from political influence, unless political science in fact is what one seeks to explore.
One might argue that there already exists well-functioning applications for finding sources and content such as ResearchGate and Google Scholar. That is certainly true, but there exists a problem with the type of content that these actors provide.
Scholarly articles are too complicated for most people between the ages of 14-18, and it is not until you start at university that you really become familiar with how to use them. What I am thinking of is a light version of a scholarly research tools, allowing for an eventual transition to more loaded content and sources. For this to gain traction, especially in today’s society where people’s attention spans tend to be shorter than ever, you need to create something intuitive and easily understood. That is where the potential of this tool lies when it comes to education.
If this structure is at some point ratified, what we are going to end up with is a better educational system. Students are provided with tools that facilitate their learning and undermines potential biases. As it is today, it is a very large step to move from high school with no background in source criticism and research to a university environment where you are expected to be critical of what you read and hear. What I propose in this post is a mechanism that would mitigate the mental and intellectual strain of such a step. In the end, less time will have to be spent in high school and at university familiarising yourself with what research and source criticism entails. Instead that will be a fundament which you start building early on in your education and upon which you can stand further into your career when it really matters.
Conclusively, there exists a major vacuum in today’s educational system insofar that students aren’t introduced to the concepts of source criticism and research until far into their educational journeys. And since these concepts are so fundamental to any useful academic work that is being done, people have to spend many tedious hours getting familiar with them at university, when they should be something very basic. Therefore we have to adopt the proposed mechanism to better our educational standards. One way of doing this could be using Zenia’s content scraping tool and its UI.
If you want a free test of Zenia and try it for yourself, click here
Content curation is a hot topic, with a portion of nay-sayers touting it as something harmful to the industry.
If content is the king, then content curation is his sceptre. It’s a low-cost, turnkey solution for today’s digital marketers who are looking to boost their brand image, build authority and rapport, and create a killer content marketing campaign.
Content curation is a hot topic, with a portion of nay-sayers touting it as something harmful to the industry.
For any content marketer, knowing the ‘Golden Ratio’ of content marketing, will not only make life easier, it will impress your boss 😁. Make a note of this strategy on what to share:
60% curated content that has been created by others
30% of your own content that is informative
10% salesy info that generates leads and conversions
Let’s take a look at these common misconceptions about content curation.
#1. That Content Curation takes the place of engagement and interaction
Some marketers think content curation is a replacement for these two important aspects of digital marketing. While it takes effort and time to find, collect, and gather interesting and quality content, it doesn’t have to end there. You need to go above and beyond to ensure that audience is engaged. In fact, curated content should act as conversation starters on social media.
#2. That it’s a One-Size-Fits-All solution
Content curation sure presents a ton of benefits over traditional marketing. It’s cost-effective, efficient, and get the results in a short period. Of course, every curation technique is unique, but it doesn’t offer the same results to different organizations. The trick is to use a method that works best for your brand, not what works for another company.
#3. That it won’t have much impact on your brand
When you selectively share only the most valuable and relevant insights with your audience, you can improve your brand visibility. All you have to do is make sure that the content and insights align with your brand and objectives.
#4. That Content Curation takes too much time
Yes, it calls for a bit of work. But, content curation is far easier, more effective, and less daunting than creating content from scratch, every day. With the right tools (insert: shameless plug for Zenia.ai), you can do it in a breeze.
#5. That Curation is just lazy
There is a huge difference between just posting third-party content and curating content. It takes research, hard work, and the right tools to deliver great curated content to your audiences. There’s nothing lazy about the whole process.
#6. That Content Curation is fully automated
Sometimes content sharing is automated. By using technologies like ours, you can do it much faster and more effectively. However, there’s no genuinely impactful curated content that doesn’t involve the human touch.
#7. That it kills SEO
This is a massive misconception about content curation. It’s far-fetched because the curated content isn’t plagiarised or duplicated content. By adding commentary and offering a new context, curated content can be recognised by search engines like Google as fresh new content. In fact, curation is a great SEO tool.
Curation Content is a Content Marketing tactic that SEOs should learn and use. This guide will tell them all they need to know about Content Curation: what it is, how to do it, and why to do it for the highest benefit of their campaigns.
Everyone should know by now that it is important to have good quality, interesting, and stimulating content on your website. How else do you expect people to stick around – even if they find you in the first place?
Content marketing can be vital for the success of organizations.
Unfortunately, a lot of consultancies seem to miss, even the basic elements of website content including professional photographs of the team, as well as professionally proofed/checked text, that explains and sells their services in a clear way, without spelling mistakes.
If you are responsible for marketing your consultancy – some other things to think about:
Content should always be customer centered. You need to define the content after analyzing the targeted audience.
Content should be used to share the information that fulfils the predefined business marketing goals.
Creative content must be used to serve the business and the customer’s needs.
Marketing goals of content marketing – know your audience.
The marketing goals of content marketing often depend upon geographic region, targeted audience, and type of services you offer.
It is not always about the marketing quality, it’s also about the information accessibility.
Content marketing allows people to get access to information continuously, but ask yourself this – how do your site visitors consume information. Is your content optimised for mobile search or desktop? Do you know?
Content marketing strategies
If you are the owner of a small consultancy, then your content marketing can answer the questions of the customers. A big, complex, company might have more content creation opportunities such as a focus on the complex sales cycle, publicity, multiple locations of services, different languages and numerous goals.
Your content marketing strategy must focus on creating content that is about… The customer’s organization and their basic needs. For IT consultancies, focus on advanced technology and services. Technologies which can help customers to use information technology in the best way possible.
Benefits of content marketing
There are three major benefits of using content marketing for your organization.
Increase sales: Creative content writing can help you to increase the sales of the organization’s services. Moreover, more and more promotion of the content can lead to a higher brand value – and reputation growth. With the high brand value more customers will approach the organization. These things naturally encourage customers to connect with the organization.
Better SEO: Using the right keywords can be very important when having a high range services. Search engines like google have upgraded algorithms which can access the content efficiently. When you have quality content, then you are basically giving a chance for google to put your content at the top of the results page. By improving your SEO through content marketing, you can benefit your organization’s inbound lead generation.
Increase website traffic: With continuous content marketing you can increase the traffic on your website. The more relevant and valuable the content is, more people will visit your website. With high repeat visitors on your website, overall traffic will grow with the time.
Enhanced brand image: Simply through the quality of the good content, organizations can gain the trust of customers. In this modern world, brand value has a significant role. With great content marketing, you can control the business value and brand reputation.
Increase brand loyalty: Brand loyalty is something that is very important for any organization. Content marketing can help to increase this by converting the first time reader into a customer. You know that there are so many competitors available in market, but many are not putting in the same effort as you. It is important to put yourself in front of them. This can only be done through impressive and quality content marketing.
Strong social media following: When people start sharing your content on social media, it can solve many of your problems. This only happens when the reader likes your content and finds it important. So it is important to share the quality content on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, so the reader can share your information further, on other platforms. Social proof will help you stand out. Do you even have an active business page on LinkedIn and Facebook?
Customer relationship: A strong customer relationship is important for the growth of your business. When people purchase a service from you, via another customer’s recommendation, this represents that your customers are fully satisfied with your services. Content marketing is a great method to represent the customer’s satisfaction, using testimonials and the FAQ pages can help potential customers to find out the problem that you can solve for them, and how you have done it for others.
More brand credibility: Reviews of the product and services can impact the decision of the customers. Customers always like to check all perspectives before making a deal. People want to know how you helped other customers who have already used your product and services.
All of this information will definitely help you to understand the power of content.
If you are operating an information technology business, content marketing is something you can not ignore. If applied properly your business can reach greater heights.
Before making the strategies for the content marketing, make sure that you research your customers’ needs and necessities. This can help you to build the strong content marketing strategies that will bring new sales.
Zenia Technology offers a great content solution for websites – an industry news portal tailored to your needs. Check out an example here, with our own Marketing Industry News site. Imagine all of the latest IT news appearing on your website, to attract and entertain new visitors. Contact us for more info.
2017 was certainly a busy year for content curators.
The role of content curation itself began shifting around 2015, taking center-stage in the content marketing scene as the demand for more content grew, and the pressure on marketers to be seen to be creating and engaging, also grew.
By 2017, content curation had become a key strategic pillar of brand’s social selling, digital marketing, and cross-marketing.
As we look ahead to the next 12 months, disruptive technologies like AI, the blockchain, Big Data, and the shared economy aren’t going to be the only headline-makers — content curation will become a huge deal, too. How so?
Here are trends that’ll feature prominently in the world of content curation in 2018.
Expect Wide Use of Content Curation Automation
We already have a slew of robust news aggregators and content discovery tools available to content curators. So, expect curators to leverage these automation tools to make the whole process effortlessly easy.
More specifically, automated systems will find greater use in areas where they can outperform the manual “human touch.” However, the need for automation will shift away from speed towards the impact. That is, automated systems will be utilized to find, gather, and share more relevant and highly focused content.
The implications of content curation automation are far-reaching. With tailored curated content, brands can expect to get more reach, engagement, and social media followers, even with the changes to algorithms on some social media.
Brands will Embrace Marketing Tools that Place Higher Value in their Niches
Whilst the volume of original content is naturally increasing, brands will still leverage marketing technologies that are tailored for their niches.
Talking of content creation automated systems, brands will certainly shy away from tools that offer duplicate solutions and go for marketing technologies that allow for no-hassle completion of customer workflow, more collaboration, and offer tailored solutions.
As such, they are looking for something that’ll enable them to highlight the key differentiators of their unique solutions – in our case, the ability for webshops to upload their products and then promote them via paid or organic means, across social networks, to increase traffic to their online stores.
Together, the above predictions will certainly get rid of all the barriers to discovery, collection, and sharing of curated content. In the end, brands can allocate more resources towards making sure that curated content conveys a valuable perspective to their audience.
I am not going to get all pitchy here, but so many people still say they don’t ‘get it!’ – To be honest, sometimes we even say that ourselves.
Let’s talk about social media scheduling and growing your business.
Don’t get me wrong – we do know what Zenia does, but it can help sooo many people, sometimes we just don’t know where to start.
The nice problem we have when looking at the market is, if you are a person responsible for sales and marketing in any sector, you can use our tool to improve your social media activities.
In a simple form, Zenia is a lot like some other social media scheduling tools that have been around for over five to ten years – think Hootsuite, Buffer, CoSchedule and lots more (I mapped over 80 before throwing in the towel and giving up…).
We do the basics very well – we help you to schedule and share articles across the main social medias and give you some analytics of how they perform.
But what we realised a couple of years ago, was that the trend for building organic reach for your brand with a few clicks, were pretty much over on Facebook and LinkedIn.
To help solve that issue, we decided to start off by building in a Facebook (and Instagram soon!) advertising function as well – so you can spend say, 1 dollar a day (other currencies are available!) to expand your reach far and wide.
Building your brand and presenting yourself as a thought leader in your market?
Hands up, if you hate trying to find interesting articles to share with your followers? Yep, time consuming isn’t it, and those Google alerts are pretty crap, aren’t they! The alerts are even a bit biased, some would say…
Yes there are Chrome plugins to capture articles and IFTTT, hook ups to Zapier or Tray, but you don’t have time for that, do you?
We all want to achieve things with the least effort. It’s human nature! So we developed a pretty efficient content recommender that gives you the latest articles from across the web – hot trending stuff, new releases and all from trusted sources.
I won’t get too into the technical stuff of how it works here, but a few clicks can have your calendar up and running with interesting articles, you can then add your own stuff to the library, for posting whenever it fits in. Fairly simple, right?
I’ll expand on some other social media scheduling features later – but for now, please give it a try and reach out to us on social media or via our chat feature on the site.