Forget big data, think content curation: Gartner

It’s human, it’s simple, it’s visual and it’s curated.

When it comes to social marketing, organizations are more focused on curated content rather than big data, according to Jake Sorofman, research director for analyst firm Gartner Inc.
(Image from Gartner Inc.)

“OK, don’t forget about big data – it’s a big deal,” Sorofman wrote in a recent blog. “But, these, days content may be giving data a run for it money.

For instance, Gartner’s 2013 Digital Marketing Spending Survey found that content creation and social marketing accounted for 21 per cent of digital marketing budgets and as much as 47 per cent of companies see content creation and curation as the top role of their social marketing teams. The survey queried 200 marketers from North American firms with more than $500 million in annual revenues on how they allocate their budgets and which activities are contributing to their success.


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Content typically includes: text used in blogs and syndicated messages; images, including infograhics, photos, drawings cartoons, and line art; videos, slideshows, podcasts, e-books, white papers, and others.

Sorofman said, the pressure to produce more curated content is forcing many organizations to outsource the task. Respondents said that as much as half of their digital marketing activities are outsourced.

The top four digital marketing investments are:
– Commerce experience
– Social marketing
– Content creation and management
– Mobile marketing

Curated content is in such demand because it is the “grist for the social marketing mill.”

“Big data may be the intelligence behind micro targeting, but the precision of your aim doesn’t matter if the customer experience falls short,” he said. “Without compelling, insightful, and inspiring content, social engagement fails to happen.”

When asjed what were the main roles performed by team members tasked with social marketing in their organizations, respondents said:

– Content/message creation or curation – 47 per cent
– Set strategy for social marketing – 37 per cent
– Analytics – 29 per cent
– Monitor and respond to customer complaints and comments – 27 per cent
– Community management – 20 per cent
– Manage external agencies – 16 per cent
– Manage social media channels and platform presence – 16 per cent

Sorofman characterized content in the social networking age as:

– Human – It speaks in a conversational voice and is not stilted
– Neutral – Supports a brand’s point of view without always making the brand the hero
– Simple – Typically stripped down and gets to the point fast
– Visual – Visuals are easier to consume
– Curated – There’s no need to create your own content. You can organize and annotate third-pary content
– Controversial – Communities sustain the dialogue in the form of comments, reviews and ratings
– Organic – It’s published fast, often in reaction to an issue

Read Jake Sorofman’s blog here


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