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Five Content Curation Mistakes B2B Marketers Are Making

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Content. If you're a B2B marketer today, the odds are good that you've been using it for lead generation and brand awareness. Research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs finds that 95% of enterprise B2Bs are practicing content marketing, which means there's a lot of content out there. And yet the demand for content has never been greater.

It's impossible for marketers to create enough original, quality material for each channel every day, which is why many rely on content curation to help build brand awareness and generate leads via social media and email marketing.

Yet the ease of sharing links and stories has caused a flood of content across every channel, which means marketers are spending a lot of time curating, but for little reward. The wrong content—or content that's already old news—can fall on deaf ears.

In their haste to create and share content with their audiences, marketers are making mistakes. And those mistakes mean content marketing campaigns don't bring the results that they could.

Here are five of the top content curation mistakes that B2B marketers need to avoid if they want to offer their audiences value, rather than noise.

1. Skimming the Headline and Sharing Immediately

In the rush to stay active across various social media networks, marketers can sometimes share things a little too quickly. A good headline doesn't mean a good article. Sometimes, it doesn't even mean a relevant article. That's why it's important to take the time to read the entire article before sharing it with an audience.

Content curation is about showing thought leadership, too; so, if you don't engage with the article yourself, then you can't show your expertise about the topic. Likewise, you can't be sure whether there are competitors quoted or featured in it.

Worse, you may not know whether the source is reputable. You could inadvertently send followers to a dodgy website full of ads and irrelevant content.

2. Checking Only the Most Popular Stories and Sources for Content

On social media, people follow brands and publishers that are known for offering high-quality content and unique insights. However, with so many companies employing content marketing tactics, that's become much harder.

If you're only grabbing a story from Google News or finding something that's popular on Twitter, you're severely limiting your search for relevant content. Moreover, there's no telling how many competitors or peers have already shared the same story.

If your content curation is supposed to attract people to the brand for originality and thought leadership, depending on the most-visited sources and most-read articles is merely going to backfire. Your social media accounts won't stand out, and prospects and customers won't see the value in following them.

3. Not Personalizing for Your Audience

In a world of almost infinite content, your audience is going to be interested only in the stories that are most relevant to their needs.

You should carefully consider the target audience for each piece of curated content. What will the audience find engaging? What will encourage them to look to you as the authority on the subject?

That process can be a constant juggling act if you have multiple buyer personas and just one corporate social media account, because you have to curate with the needs of different audiences in mind. But it's a challenge that has to be overcome. The competition for customer attention is fiercer than ever, and the way to win it is to offer highly relevant content that's shared in realtime.

Personalizing the content you curate for audiences can be a big competitive advantage. According to the CMI/MarketingProfs research, just 19% of enterprises are customizing content based on audience preferences.

4. Promoting the Same Content Across Every Channel

One tactic that's employed by time-starved marketers is to share one link across a few different channels, all at once.

Ultimately, doing so undermines the purpose of content curation. If someone sees that a business is sharing the same thing on Twitter and Facebook, there's no added value to following the business on both channels.

Consequently, the business loses a potential touchpoint with the customer. And, in the noisy digital realm, every touchpoint is vital.

5. Spending Too Much Time Curating Content

It can take hours to create a blog post, and just a few minutes to curate content. So marketers may write blog posts a few days a week and fill the gaps in output with curated content very quickly.

But curating good content that effectively engages the audience—and making sure each piece is promoted and distributed in the context of each social environment—can take hours.

Marketers can't afford to spend all day curating content, but that's almost inevitable when companies are expected to be on at least three (if not more) social media networks, maintain an active blog, interact with fans and followers, and send strategic email campaigns.

However, content curation platforms can automate the curation and distribution of content across social media networks and email newsletters. With the advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, these solutions can become powerful tools for marketers who are feeling overwhelmed by the demand for content, but know that the power of content marketing makes it worth it.

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Patricia Hume is president of Trapit, an advanced content curation platform.

LinkedIn: Patricia Hume

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  • by Megan Wed Feb 26, 2014 via web

    Great article! Especially the tip about reading an article before you share it. I can't tell you how many times I've clicked on a tweeted article and it had very little to do with the industry of the company. You can't always trust other people and companies to be sticking to best practices. You have to do your own research. I will be sharing this one later!

  • by Nancy Wed Feb 26, 2014 via web

    Yes, good article. Like Megan, I am making a habit of reading the entire article before posting or sharing. You're spot on about a catchy headline and no real 'meat' in the article. I will also keep in mind different messages and content over different social platforms.
    Thank you!

  • by Michael Gerard Wed Feb 26, 2014 via web

    Nice post Patricia. You're right on regarding the fact that many marketers are curating today, and they are making many mistakes along the way which impact the resulting ROI of content marketing. This problem will only get worse as curation increases to be 25% of the marketing mix. ( . . .That is, unless these mistakes are addressed.

    I really like your focus on finding the "right" content for your audience as one of the ways to address these mistakes. Choosing a topic is one of the first key steps to becoming a content curation rockstar, yet all too often marketers rush through this crucial step without giving it much thought. Best-in-class content marketers find the right intersection between what your audience is interested in, what your current content landscape looks like and what your competitors are doing. Here's some additional insight for your audience regarding choosing a content curation topic:

  • by Davina K. Brewer Wed Feb 26, 2014 via web

    Great list Patricia, I think they all go together which is why - to do it right - it takes time. You want to share what others don't see, so when you find that great under-read blog you need to get out to the right people, on the right social network. Or even multiple networks, split-test to see what gets best response, earns the results you seek. That said, while automation tools can help with rote processes like scheduling and distribution, quality curation takes a thinking mind and IME, the tools aren't there yet. Businesses communicators need to keep a watchful eye on what they curate, what they trust to 'set and forget.' FWIW.

  • by Patricia Hume Wed Feb 26, 2014 via web

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. There is certainly a lot of learning on the best way to maximize the value of curated content. We, at Trapit, are certainly excited to be part of this journey.

  • by Tatiana Fri Feb 28, 2014 via web

    You make some great points. So many marketers are pushing information out without thinking and searching what their customers want. As companies are creating more content, there is so much to sort through to get good, solid content. This is something I am working very hard to do with the company I work for, GreenRope.

  • by Anthony Mon Mar 3, 2014 via iphone

    Thank you, this is as great article

  • by Benny Tue Mar 18, 2014 via web

    Thanks for sharing this tips.
    In fact I was doing all these mistakes frequently. :-) Customizing it for our own audience is something everyone should do.

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