B2B Content Curation adds a new competitive channel to influence online vendor preference

For medium-sized to large B2B companies, with comparable online marketing budgets and resource capabilities, content curation delivers a unique competitive edge to similar competitors.  Companies that fail to curate could be missing out on a hard-to-imitate business strategy and increased market authority.

B2B marketing competition is about driving more attention to your brand over that of your competition.  If you’re a medium-sized or large B2B company, most likely you have all the same tools at the disposal of your competitors.  You are most likely evenly matched in your online marketing activities, which include content, SEO strategies, advertising, and other marketing communications.  If your competition makes a move, you’re able to follow with a comparable move.  In game theory, we call this strategy the Tit-for-Tat strategy in which two competitors match each move, equally, unless provoked otherwise.  In this game, the only way to gain an edge over the competition is to secure a resource that your competition cannot easily imitate.  Content curation is uniquely un-imitable because the act of curating is unique to the curator.  Curating entails building a relevant collection of insights, based on an understanding of the information artifacts and the objective of the collection.  Thus content curation allows companies to break free from imitation marketing strategies to a unique content strategy driven by their particular perspective.

Market influence over vendor selection arises out of curation when those reviewing the content can depend on the information resource as comprehensive.  Content curation is not simply about aggregating relevant content, but aggregating the most comprehensive collection of relevant content around a particular issue.  Authority goes to those sites that can be trusted to provide easy access to as much information on a particular topic.  This particular characteristic of comprehensiveness of results goes by the term “recall”.  Information resources that deliver high recall, deliver the most comprehensive information in a request.  Thus, curation around a particular subject, if done well, can increase trust and reference authority as a result of good recall.  When companies that curate see increasing traffic, it is the recall ability that is driving returning visitors to both curated and original content.

A curated collection can be analyzed for additional information that can drive competitive intelligence and marketing response.  With a curated collection, visitors will express their intention and preferences across both original and curated content.  This additional intelligence is a new competitive resource for the firm.  Without curation, most firms can only measure which of their original content was of value to their customers.  Those firms that curate will have an additional competitive view into what content is driving customer interest.  Thus, curated content increases the scope of competitive intelligence to the marketing organization.  Companies that don’t value this window of data may be missing a valuable opportunity.

Curation opens a new, unique, competitive channel to influence vendor preference in B2B online marketing and B2B Social Media.  Some companies will understand and grasp and build on this edge.  Others may not. To those who understand and exploit curation, increasing traffic and market leadership will be theirs.