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Content Curation: Engage Your Customers in Three Simple Steps

by Pawan Deshpande  |  
July 13, 2010

Recently, the AP Stylebook updated its guidelines to reflect the evolution of social media: For example, "fan," "friend," and "follow" can all be used both as nouns and as verbs. A decade ago, those words might have sounded completely foreign if used as they are today.

The widespread adoption of the Internet has forever changed the way we communicate as brands, companies, and people. In the age of social media, it's no longer just about communicating; it's also about interacting.

Most marketers are eager to achieve a level of engagement with current and prospective customers, but the majority stop dead in their tracks when they consider this question: Where am I going to find the time to develop all the content necessary to do it?

I am going to let you in on a little secret: Engaging customers online does not have to be difficult. In fact, sharing information with the appropriate group does not need to be daunting or time consuming—if the way information is selected and shared is effective.
Then and Now: From Content Creation to Content Curation

Consider the next step in the evolution of content: curation. At one time it was sufficient to produce and distribute content exclusively to a company's own customers. Marketers would create their own blogs, podcasts, case studies, news stories, whitepapers, and so on.

But a few things have changed:

  1. Everyone is publishing volumes of content, which makes it hard for marketers to rise above the noise while continually producing fresh content.
  2. Customers are not looking at information from just one source—and especially not from just one company.
  3. Customers are increasingly consuming expert and community content as a part of the buy cycle.

In such an environment, content curation has emerged as a new and powerful way for marketers to sift through the flood of content available to customers.

Like the owners of high-end art galleries, marketers must sift through the information from across the Web and "curate" it to ensure that it is relevant to their customer. By doing so, marketers can cost-effectively advance online thought leadership and drive business through new and innovative customer interactions.

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Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of Curata, a leading provider of content marketing software. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, marketer, and technologist.

LinkedIn: Pawan Deshpande

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  • by Elaine Fogel Tue Jul 13, 2010 via web

    Thanks, Pawan! I've been doing this in my newsletters for years but never even knew it had a name. Now, I can add another title: content curator! :)

  • by Jeff Prellwitz Tue Jul 13, 2010 via web

    Great article Pawan. Thanks for the framework and best practices. I think the most important step is to, as you put it, "...selectively pick the best content for your curation strategy." Many times curators rely on simple keyword filters. This may be a good start, but we need to ensure the context of the article is relevant to our audiences.

    Jeff Prellwitz
    VP Publisher Relations

  • by Tabitha Martin Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    Great ideas, and this is exactly what I'm looking to do, but my question is, Where/ How do you find content initially??

  • by Jeff Prellwitz Fri Jul 16, 2010 via web

    @Tabitha - start with keyword searching and you'll find the thought leaders. Find articles that resonate with you and seek out the author. See how many followers they have and who they are retweeting (on Twitter) and and you'll see. Also can give you "similar" sites so you can broaden your search and/or confirm you results.

    Jeff Prellwitz
    VP Publisher Relations

  • by SÚrgio Santos Tue Oct 12, 2010 via web

    Good article. I liked the 3 phases: Identify, Organize and Share. What tools do you use to help you in this process? I'm trying to create a service to help professionals curate content and wanted to understand what tools are currently used.

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