Content Curation in Practice

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My day started like most days. I opened and read email, a few blogs and checked out Twitter streams. An article about recent research results on content marketing spend caught my eye. As I glanced at it (how seldom we really read things these days) data about the surge in video use and planned growth caught my eye. So, what did I do? I copied the URL and forwarded it to colleagues with a note, “this is interesting, you should read this.” We all do this, don’t we?

Then my brain fired off a content marketing principle: acquire.  Always be acquiring ideas and inputs for new content. We call this content curation when content originates from a third party source (this link is an example of one use of curation). I copied the link into our content inventory (you have one of these, right?). I added the requisite information about source, topic, sub-topic, primary and secondary use, etc. This required less than 5 minutes.

Then I thought, “I should save that graphic, that could be useful someday.” So I saved it to the research/graphics folder on our network. We all do this occasionally. But I thought, “that graphic is never going to see the light of day.” So I opened PowerPoint and sucked it into a slide. That would make it more accessible and ready to turn into some useful presentation.

The principle of “prepare re-usable assets” popped into my mind. The research graphic looked naked so I went back to the article to get supporting text which I added along with a title to the slide. But we use more of our visual assets in video vignettes than traditional presentations. I opened Sound Forge and narrated a short explanation to the slide.

In my audio I referenced an image of a video tsunami descending on business marketers around the requirement for more video content. To make this a real asset, I wanted an image of a tsunami wave in front of the chart. I sent the slide to one of our graphic people who returned the updated slide a short while later with the image I needed. The resulting “asset” I uploaded into our Avitage Collections library. This activity required another 10 minutes for me, and about the same for my graphics person.

The result is a source visual asset in PowerPoint which provides flexibility in how I and others might use it, and even modify it for specific situations. It also gives me a simple video I can use — in a blog for example.

 A day or so later, I mixed this asset with others I already had in my library, and created a new video. No charge!

Thinking like a publisher means knowing the principles and practices that reduce the time, effort and cost of creating content. It means leveraging every opportunity, when they happen, to create useful and re-configurable source assets — even before they are needed!

Here is the link to the source and related assets in Avitage Collections.

Our video vignette webpage explains more of the process.

Here is a curation example using a free third party application called Scoop-it:

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