Content Curating for Fun and Profit

A quick scan of active Twitter accounts with Whatcom County locations revealed something interesting. There are Twitter accounts not associated with any particular person or organization that are repurposing news, event info and other tidbits of local interest. They appear to exist to fill voids in existing services, providing a public service of sorts by compiling the most relevant local information from a number of sources.

A couple I found are:

BellinghamBuzz  @bellinghambuzz
We curate the best Twitter feeds to broadcast breaking news, things to do and daily deal around our Bellingham.   Bellingham WA · http://breakingbellinghamnews.com

Bellingham Weather @bhamweatherBham
Follow Me and Join the Yahoo! Group for Bellingham/Whatcom County weather year round. Bellingham, WA · http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bhamweather

 

I was confused by one Twitter account at first glance. It was Bham Reporter. It’s profile image,  , is so generic I assumed it was one of the group. Closer examination revealed it is the local news desk at The Bellingham Herald. Brand image value and use will be a topic for a later post I suppose.

Small businesses marketers should take note of the examples set by these curation efforts. There is no reason why everything you associate with your company and products must be of your own making. Becoming a trusted source of relevant and useful content is a rewarding way to earn a much appreciated if not expert status with your customers, peers and prospects.

During a recent conversation about the need for content marketing, more specifically how to create a periodic newsletter, the response was, “That will require way too much time.” Then I pointed out the how to curate the best news, articles and posts discovered while monitoring their industry. This was time already being spent. Then, when time came to compile the newsletter, the best of their own content would be blended with the best of the rest of the industry’s. Using their own and other existing content, they could quickly compile a beefy newsletter chock full of useful information. Additionally, their content was being grouped together with content from very authoritive industry sources. You are judged by the company you keep, right?

“But is that legal?,” I was asked. “Won’t they be pissed at us for reusing their material?” Nope. They will be overjoyed actually. I’m not recommending reprinting entire news stories or articles. That would more than likely violate someone’s copyright or, at the least, earn you a nasty email and a long-lasting grudge. Instead, I recommending telling your audience what’s important to them about the article via a headline, maybe include a snippet from the article and then provide a link to the full version on the source’s web site. You’re driving traffic to their web site, how can they not love you for that?

One of the most popular examples of a web site doing this is The Drudge Report (also on Twitter at @Drudge_Report).

Think again of your audience. They are also time-challenged. They don’t have time to scour all sources of news and information on a specific topic and filter out what’s really useful. But, as a player in your industry, you probably are already doing that for your own competitive advantages. I bet a great deal of what you come across will be of interest to your customers and prospects.

Don’t you wish someone was curating news and information for you? Wouldn’t it simply your life, save you time and make you appreciative of the curator? You may consider them quite the expert at the end of the day.

Your prospects and customers feel the same way. Step up and help them out. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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