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June 21, 2010

5 Steps for Curating B2B Content

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curation The following is a guest post written by Pawan Deshpande, CEO of HiveFire , you can read additional articles from him on his blog and follow him on Twitter .

Much of the focus of B2B content marketing has been on creating original content.  Creating content is vital to B2B content marketing.  However, many marketers overlook another important aspect of B2B content marketing: Content Curation.  

What is content curation ?  It's picking the best content from around the web and sharing it with your prospects and customers for the same reasons that you create content: to educate them, to engage them and attract more customers.  If you can curate content regularly, they will come to you for all content on a specific issue or topic of interest, regardless whether or not the content was created by you or curated by you.  

Moreover, Content curation can improve your lead quality.  By becoming the central resource on a specific topic, visitors who visit your content will tend to be repeat visitors who hold a deep interest in that subject area.  As a result, when these visitors convert to leads, they are likely to be much more qualified than otherwise.

5 Easy Steps for Curating B2B Content

1.  Identify -  First identify what content you want to curate.  Curate content on a topic that matters to your customers, is specific to your customers, and for which people will come to you.  If you're a B2B wireless equipment provider selling to telecom executives, then don't focus on the latest iPhone apps.  Instead focus a specific topic that really matters to your customers that they worry about every day.   
2. Follow - Once you have a topic, you will now need to follow the most important sources and influencers for content on this topic.  Examples of these sources include key bloggers, industry analysts and trade publications.  You then need to follow these sources through Twitter, email or RSS feeds.
3. Share - Now that you're following these influencers and their content, you should now share only the most relevant content from these sources with your audience.  Many sources will talk about a wide range of topics, but your job as a curator is to selectively share only the most relevant, most comprehensive insights to your customers.  You can share this content on any online channel be it your blog, social media channels, or even email.
4. Organize -  Once you've shared your curated content, don't lose it.  Give it a home so that your customers can turn to a curated archive of content in the future.  One easy way to archive this content is to create a weekly blog post listing all the content that you have curated for the week.  HubSpot does a great job with this every Monday with their weekly “ Top 5 Inbound Marketing Articles to Start the Week ".  Another great way of storing a history of curated content is to warehouse them on a public del.icio.us page .
5. Create - The final step of curation is to create your own content as well.  Your customers will want to hear your perspective too.  There's no substitute for this.  By curating content from other sources, your content becomes more compelling because it is placed in the context of a larger issue.

On a closing note, Content curation is a win-win for both your customers and you.    For your customers, it provides them with a single destination for the best content on a topic saving them time and effort for finding that content.  For you, it provides you with an easy, reliable means of providing fresh content and attracting quality leads.

Photo Credit: mckaysavage

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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