The key to success in a myriad of web content that may drown us in 2015 is to curate content. The whys and hows are explained in-depth inside this article.
It’s interesting to see that content curation is evolving from an opportunity to a necessity as Julia McCoy from ExpressWriters recently noted in the Search Engine Journal explaining how we must curate content in 2015.
Why is that happening? Why is this accelerating?
As communication shifts from traditional methods (PR, advertising, old-style SEO…) to new ones (content marketing, inbound marketing, social media…), professionals and businesses can not only become their own media: they have to. This is something Brian Solis noted about brands a few years ago, as social networks started to become significant for content distribution, when he said they needed to become media to earn relevance. But today, this is not about brands anymore: social networks are not just significant, they are dominant. They became social media and they’re just the main way we receive and consume content. Even search evolved to reflect that and Google changed their algorithms in a defensive way. Today, this about every company, big or small and whether you think of your business as a brand. Not just businesses but professionals too have to build their personal brands and show thought leadership through the content they publish. At Scoop.it, we like to summarize that by saying that:
You are the content you publish.
But another thing changed as well: after an initial period where we learned how to like, follow, subscribe or mark as spam, we, as content consumers, are regaining control. We have tools to filter the noise, we learn how to manage information overload. So in this new world of communication, professionals or companies who want to get heard need to consider this question:
Do people listen to you because they have to or because they want to?
As my friend Steve Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation, puts it in his latest book – Curate This! – we can’t rely anymore on captive audiences. Each of us as consumers of content make a conscious or unconscious decision every time we’re confronted with content: do I want more stuff like this? or less?
It might be explicit when we like something on Facebook or favorite a tweet – in which case you can bet on social networks algorithm to amplify that for you more and more in the future. But even when it’s not, we still make that decision and unconsciously downgrade the content quality ranking of the content source. Are you still ranked AAA by your target audience? If not, there is a point where your readers will ask Facebook to hide you from their news feed or use services like unroll.me to stop your emails from overflowing their inbox.
Consumers filter out spammy messages which is why, to be heard, we’re caught between a rock and a hard place:
– We have to publish more (to become media and raise above the noise as more and more of us are also publishing, creating what Mark Schaefer calls content shock). If we don’t, we cease to exist online…
– We have to publish better (or consumers will filter us out as spammy).
To solve that equation, we simply can’t rely on our our content creation capabilities. Nobody can create the best content on a given topic all the time, every day, every hour. And it would actually be a waste of time for someone to do so as there is a lot of awesome content out there anyway.
Because publishing content is a necessity to be visible online and because we all constantly make a conscious or unconscious rating decision on the content we consumer, we have to curate or die.