Defining the C Word - Content
Content marketing was all the rage in 2012, despite being misunderstood and often misused in terms of its scope. The potential for driving sales and brand growth sometimes fell short due to a quantity over quality approach. 

Its full potential will begin to be realised in 2013, as marketers come to understand two main points:
1) It's simply a customer-first philosophy - dictating you deliver marketing customer value; and
2) It can, and must, be measured in terms of creating behavioural changes such as increasing consideration, shopper intent and, of course, sales.

In practice, a solid content strategy will enable marketers to build a brand in various ways. Firstly, well curated content enables a brand to engage with its customers without selling, add customer value to their offering and grow customer opt-in. Secondly, relevant content will provide a way for a brand to create a consistent dialogue with its customers resulting in the brand becoming an authority in its sector.

4 tips on creating a content strategy:
1. Aggregation: gather a variety of content to test. Then measure the response rates. i.e click through, visits, stick rates, bounce rates. Refine the content - repeat and measure, and so on.
2. Customer POV: build customer loyalty through the type of content rather than aim for high page view rates.
3. Be the authority: commenting on your curated content increases stick rates and return visits.
4. Create a lean content factory. set up curation tools - there are a number of companies out there building curation tools: Curata, CurationSoft, Scoop.it, Google+, Storify, PearlTrees

Why do it?
Content curation filters the web for your customers and adds a commentary based on your brand's beliefs. It will also build trust in your brand and drive engagement. It's also great for SEO.

Who's doing it well?
Check out Harley Davidson's site Ridebook featuring content in culture, style, music, and travel.

Stephen Wong heads up Creative and Strategy at Cumming Agency + Studios.

Further Reading: http://www.fastcompany.com/1834177/content-curators-are-new-superheros-web







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