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Content Strategy Trends to Watch in 2013: Curation

Posted by Najwa Smith on January 22nd, 2013 at 10:09 am

While people point to the tremendous uptick in social sites, they make little mention of curation, but in fact, one of the major activities in “social” channels is sharing content – i.e. curating.

A new tablet app takes that to new heights. ShowYou won the App Store Rewind 2011 award for best Social Networking on the iPad, and, once you try it, you’ll see why. The site aggregates videos your friends have posted to Facebook and other social sites, making ShowYou the smartest aggregator in the room.

On YouTube, typically users spend 7-8 minutes per session, dropping off quickly (which is why YouTube is now embarking on a channel strategy, hoping to up viewing). Users on ShowYou spend 35-40 minutes with content on average.

What this means for Content Strategists: How can a site become more like ShowYou, where content is aggregated by the people you think are the smartest people in the room? If your buyer has to engage in a research-fueled, content feeding frenzy in their buyer’s journey, perhaps you could help them by giving them an environment (and content) as addictive as ShowYou.

The Point: Content Strategy - More Than Matrix Making

At this point, from this series of posts, it should be easy to see just how Content Strategy - foundational in olden times – is absolutely imperative today as site owners embark in the choppy waves of the emergent, multiplatform sea.

Aside from renovating broken down sites or leaping into the adaptive-design-driven modular content paradigms, there’s also content targeting, new technology and more to consider. We live in interesting times.

In-house editorial teams are often not empowered to keep up with the pace of content innovation nor are they as empowered organizationally to recommend change.

They’re often not tech savvy enough to purchase taxonomy management tools or understand metrics-boosting content plays. They often don’t do A/B testing of content or modules. They don’t know that social data can quadruple sales (see former Amazon Chief Scientist Andreas Weigend’s presentation here [slides12-13]) or how much you can gain by carefully curating the most trafficked page on a site: Site Search.

Content Strategists – with our strategies checklists - can help clients notice, analyze and act on all of these things.

Who else can marry the flood of content and data inputs and devices into cohesive, persuasive and compelling user experiences? A good Content Strategist knows these waters and can guide a client through the fog. In addition, Content Strategy brings fresh ideas and technologies into the mix, too. Because, Toto, you’re not in Kansas any more.

So now you know…when a content strategist tells you about Content Audits, he or she is really saying, show me what you’ve got that’s sexy, dazzling, persuasive and/or essential to the buyer’s journey – and that they can see on their phone, tablet or desktop. And if you don’t have The Right Stuff, let’s call that a Content Gap. That’s the mystery behind this Matrix. Let’s see what you’ve got and where you’re going – and then let’s make it all it could be.

3 Responses to “Content Strategy Trends to Watch in 2013: Curation”

  1. Glad to see curation made the! This is definitely where the future is headed with the every growing flood of online content. I wanted to share an new asset that provides real-world examples of companies using content curation - check out the Content Curation Look Book http://www.curata.com/resources/ebooks/content-curation-look-book/ Thanks!

    • Najwa Smith says:

      Hi Jessie, thanks. The Look Book is a nice way to share inspiration and allow brands to get a sense of how others within and outside of their industry are integrating curation into their experience.

  2. Najwa, thanks for this - I had to read it twice. You end on a note that the majority can appreciate- let's reach for better content, improved understanding, and keep exploring new tools. But more interesting is the way you connect the dots and built your argument from far less obvious perspectives. (And thanks for the link to the Amazon deck- always nice to have authoritative materials feeding the value proposition.)

    I work with Community Elf, a social media management firm. We created purpose-built search technology for precisely this type of work. We actually call it a 'content discovery engine' that combines spidering, curation, and content temperature. While the tools is not for sale, the we work closely with agencies and clients to surface & manage content more effectively.

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