My Turn as a Content Curator: Three Things I’ve Learned

This past week I became a content curator.  In my role consulting with HiveFire, I took on the job of curating content for the Digital Marketing Days’ Breaking News portal, which is hosting news related to Digital Marketing Days conference & expo, June 14 – 16, 2010 at the Hilton, in NYC; feature stories relevant to digital marketing, online marketing and B2B marketing; and blog entries from Digital Marketing Days’ sponsors and exhibitors.

My role as a content curator puts me in a unique position; as a long-time B2B marketing and public relations professional I’ve planned and executed any number of marketing and PR activities in support of client and company products.  But it’s a rare day when I’ve had the opportunity to actually use a product I’m representing.  Not many folks really need their own business intelligence application or middleware solution.

What I’ve learned about content curation certainly won’t fit in a single blog entry, so here are the first three things I’ve discovered about this unique new online marketing tool:

• Content curation is not time consuming.  One would think maintaining and populating a website, no matter how defined, is a full-time job.  Content curating is not.  I come in each day, armed with my large Dunkin’ Donuts turbo coffee, and get to work.  I’ve usually selected the articles to go up on the site and have added that day’s blog entries before I finish my coffee. 

• Content curation is diverse.  Unlike a standalone blog that promotes one viewpoint, one issue, and one company, content curation allows you to serve up a variety of different types of articles, with differing viewpoints.  It feels like a microcosm of information, not an advertisement.  Of course, as the content curator, I get to select which articles go live and which are deleted, giving me overall control.

• If you curate content they will come.  As a B2B marketing professional, I cringe when I hear companies say “If we build it, they will come.”  Sure, Shoeless Joe and his teammates did come, but hot, budget-carrying B2B sales prospects don’t just show up because you have a product.  They “show up” as a result of marketing. 

Content curation proves me wrong on this point.  We turned on the portal (it’s linked to the main Digital Marketing Days website), and traffic started spending time on the site.  We issued a press release, and traffic spiked. 

Yesterday starts the actual conference.  I’m eager to see the types of content generated from Digital Marketing Days and how much traffic increases to the Digital Marketing Days’ Breaking News portal.

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