Brands nowadays are becoming one-stop media centres in this new marketing era. They create, publish and share their own content as a way to illustrate thought leadership, raise awareness and gain and keep new customers.
But even as these companies take up such content marketing strategies, there are others which opt to curate and repost content from other sources. Not only will this help foster and engage a brand’s community, it will take the stress off marketing teams from constantly churning large amounts of content.
Sites such as Reddit and Pinterest allow people to put together content from all over the Internet and in the process, gain followers who have similar interests or who are looking for information on a certain subject. Publishers, too, go through this natural curation process.
Quoted by the Guardian, Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi said: “Content curation has been around since the dawn of the publishing industry. The job of the editor was to take the best information from around (his) industry and present that information in a manner that makes sense to readers.”
With both brands and users today taking on the publisher role, curation of the content being published online can be employed in marketing efforts. More and more companies are curating and slipping in consumer content into their marketing, such as on websites, television ads, billboards, e-commerce sites and retail displays.
An example of big brands using this method is Pepsi, which started Pepsi Pulse. This campaign was an online “pop culture cheat sheet”, which was filled up with a combination of crowd-sourced fan tweets and pictures, unique content such as live streams of sponsored gigs, and complete articles from sites such as Hollywood.com, Complex and the Associated Press.
Priit Kallas, a writer for DreamGrow Social Media and Internet Marketing, says companies that incorporate consumer-produced content can get the most out of fans and brand advocates by linking their web properties to conversations.
Brands need to combine their own content with that produced by users, coupled with social experiences, on their websites. Doing this is vital for social proof and community, which is what consumers now expect from brands.
You can also establish your brand when you follow this strategy. Frank Strong, who wrote Why Content Marketing Is The New Branding, says the growth of brands is built by “third-party validation communicated through third-party content”. This means your brand does not gain recognition merely from logos, ads or tag lines, but also through reviews and opinions of others about your products and services.
These are some examples of brands curating and showcasing content on their websites:
- Nine West
The shoe retailer puts together a mixture of consumer and own content from several social media platforms and uploads it on its website.
The boots company picks fan content using a hashtag and shows the selection on a custom Facebook tab.
- Tommy Hilfiger
The fashion brand displays curated, themed content on its website, under a page named “The Prep Agenda”. The page bears similarities to a high-end digital magazine.
The manufacturer of packaging products collates content from the Web and puts the chosen content on a campaign microsite entitled Glass Is Life. This campaign received a nomination as a finalist for the American Marketing Association global award.