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Content Marketing Isn’t One Strategy, It’s Two!

By Sander Biehn | Jan 9, 2016

Content Marketing isn’t one strategy, it’s two! Content Curation and Content Creation are similar but different strategies that can (and should!) be employed by your B2B marketing team.

Just a few weeks ago, we were reviewing content strategy with a highly-experienced and well regarded product manager. He was helping us refine our messaging and giving us insight into the problems that his target customers face. It was great stuff.

However, we walked away from the conversation with the stark realization that this product manager didn’t exactly understand how curated and original content differ from one another when using them in social posts.

If this seasoned marketing expert didn’t get it, you can bet there are a lot of other marketers who don’t.  Don’t be one of them.

Strategy 1: Content Curation

Content Curation is sharing blogs, articles, videos, white papers, etc…  that are NOT produced by your brand. The internet is bulging with the content of others, and some of it is worth sharing with your audience on social.

Curated content is best used at the top of your funnel to generate awareness for your brand. If you want to be seen on social media, you have to post with reasonable frequency. Using curated content for some of your posts is an awesome way to stay top-of-mind with your customers without having to fill all of that social media space with in-house content.

As a bonus, curated content adds credibility to your brand by reinforcing your messages with other reputable sources: news agencies, industry publications and industry expert blogs.

If others (non-competitors, of course) are saying the same things you’re saying, is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to put that in front of your target audience?

Strategy 2: Content Creation

In the case of Thought Horizon, we’re talking about creating long-form (blog) content. You can’t have curated content without some original content of your own. Original content is that blank canvas where you craft your message to address your target market in a way that aligns your solution with a specific industry problem.

Original blog content is more versatile than curated in that it can be used surgically to address very specific problems at any level and in any industry vertical. It can be used at every step of the buyer’s journey; from generating brand awareness to helping a customer make the final decision between your product or your competitor’s. Our clients increase their sales rep productivity by 10% or more when marketing arms the sales team with the right content.

Creating original blogs is also very important for establishing your brand’s thought leadership. Without internally produced thoughts and opinions to offset the curated content, your own voice is noticeably missing from the conversation.

Final Caveats

Before you run off to implement these strategies …

  1. Don’t let a robot curate your content for you. We see a lot of brands using curation automation that makes them look foolish. For example, if your company produces anti-virus software, don’t inadvertently find yourself posting locations to get a flu shot.
  1. Don’t let your sales team run wild with your blog. Without the proper training, sales teams can produce content that misrepresents your brand. Content written by sales can be very effective and inexpensive, but please make sure they have a proper understanding of what they can and can’t say.
  1. Once you have curated and original content posted on social media, don’t forget you still have to drive engagement. Letting your sales teams know that this content is there for use is a frequently missed step.