Zen and the art of content curation

Zen and the art of content curation





Zen and the art of content curation


Tony Hallett
Managing director

Tony set up Collective Content in 2011 so brands can more easily become publishers and tell stories. This built on 15 years in media, from reporter to publishing director at Silicon Media Group, CNET Networks and CBS Interactive.

We get asked often about curation. Sometimes that’s still about the basics of curation – a proportion of companies don’t know it involved third-party content, for example, even if they’ve read curated pieces like that from publishers and other companies over the years, as online articles or newsletters.

But sometimes it’s about the nuances of curation. We came across a really great example not long ago.

You might have noticed the number of high-tech mattresses that are advertised left, right and centre these days, mainly meaning social networks and outdoor. Think of brands like Bruno, Casper, Leesa and Simba, among others.

They’re all sophisticated and quite different to trying and buying a mattress in store. So how do you differentiate?

In the case of Casper, it worked with read-it-later article saving service Pocket. As well as using the Pocket button on Chrome and Safari on my desktop, it works great on my mobile devices. I usually save longer, non-essential reads for times I’m on a train and maybe offline.

But what’s the approach for a brand? The curated piece this writer saw ‘Brought to you by Casper’ last month contained nine links, two thirds clicking to specific pages about Casper products (including pillows – don’t forget your pillows).

The reason the one-off email works is that the non-Casper links go to articles on the BBC, Guardian and Psychology Today. This ties in with something we say often – don’t make your content all about you.
For a mattress, especially one espousing new technology (just wait for all the smart mattresses that will be coming along!), getting into product details is understandable. But curation is a chance to provide context and the authority others’ content provides.

And if you’re interested, this writer went for a Leesa a few months back – and I’ve never slept better.

Bonus: For more on principles of curation, here is a thought-provoking piece from Fast Company that has little to do with curation and content marketing. It’s about how a small team at Starbucks work out what plays in your local coffee shop.

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