The execution of a social market leadership strategy requires that you develop digital relationships with people who can become evangelists of your brand or quantifiable value-add. One of the best ways to support these relationships, and strengthen your brand (especially if you’re in the intellectual property business) is to post compelling content online: new videos, blog posts, tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook status updates. Creating it consistently, however, requires significant bandwidth. You have to sift through content yourself, pick the best and most trustworthy voices, craft appropriate responses and counterpoints. Who has the time and wherewithal to make sense of it all? Other than a handful of exceptions such as Butterfly Publisher, there are few tools that disseminate content and help you proactively manage the deluge of resulting conversations.
To address this need, we have created a unique corporate communications role, not commonly defined or omnipresent in many organizations, called the Content Curator. We found, respectfully, that many traditional media people are just not effectively converting to these new mediums. They would rather keep doing what they’ve been doing for the past 100 years.
So, I’d like to introduce you to Jennifer and Chris, the Relationship Economics Content Curators. Let me describe what they do:
1. Content Curators Get Their Brands. Jennifer and Chris have invested significant time, effort, and resources to truly understand the clients we work with, the market challenges and opportunities we address, and our value-add. They not only articulate our unique value proposition in Relationship Economics, “Helping clients create unprecedented growth through a unique return on their strategic relationships,” but they understand it well enough to defend it. As Content Curators, they are familiar with the succinct buyer profile we market to, and how to influence their thinking, perspective, and call to action. This is the foundation of their role, without which the rest of our efforts wouldn’t be nearly as successful.
2. Content Curators Get You! Your name is your biggest brand. Your voice is part of that brand. If you plan to have a voice online, content that is researched and provided for your review, as well as the comments made on your behalf, actually have to sound like you. Consistency in articulating your unique perspective is critical in building and nurturing digital relationships. As Content Curators, Jennifer and Chris send me sample paragraphs of “something you’d say!”
3. Content Curators Invest Focus and Bandwidth. Continually finding, grouping, organizing and sharing the best and the most relevant digital content on specific issues requires unparalleled focus and bandwidth. The instantaneous nature of digital conversations requires continuous diligence. If you only want to tweet once a month, save time and effort – don’t! That level of effort is on par with exchanging emails with people critical to your success only once a month; how productive is that? I hear from Jennifer and Chris several times each week with key questions, discussion points, or results from recent campaigns.
4. Content Curators Nurture Digital Dialogues. Social media is not a personal billboard. If you focus on educating first and marketing / selling second, you’ll create marketing gravity and pull through demand. Digital conversations are just that – an exchange of ideas, perspectives, and points of view. Can you imagine walking through a museum where the curator recited the price and delivery timeframe of every piece you passed? There may be beautiful paintings and sculptures to see, but most people would excuse themselves in about five minutes! The same thing happens online. You may not always agree with a particular point of view, but a dose of dissent is actually intellectually stimulating. As Content Curators, that’s what Jennifer and Chris do – they engage our profile of economic buyers and market influencers in dialogue on key issues such as strategic relationships, innovation, or lasting change.
5. Content Curators are Citizen Editors. Jennifer and Chris comb through a vast sea of content to collect and share the best and most relevant for others to consume. As Content Curators, they publish highly valuable content created by our team as well as other thought leaders in the market. They are methodical, often bringing a needed utility and order to our social market leadership efforts.
6. Content Curators are Learning Teams. The social media landscape changes far too quickly for any individual to keep up with it all. Although Jennifer and Chris bring unique experiences to this role, they are also constantly learning. They participate in multiple webinars each week, attend social media conferences and read position papers. They now can quickly discern social media experts who are contenders versus pretenders, those in the sea of unemployed professionals who are now (suddenly, it seems) LinkedIn experts!
7. Content Curators Track and Analyze. Jennifer and Chris have hunches for what works, but verify, validate or void their critical assumptions with key campaign tests. Instead of posting the same message on 100 sites, they create four compelling yet unique dialogue tracks and test them on various sites. Each dialogue track has a unique call to action, which allows us to analyze what message resonated with which stakeholders. During our monthly calls, we review both the previous month’s campaigns as well as key action items in the roadmap ahead. In short, as Content Curators, they understand and track our progress along a continuum of digital relationships.
8. Content Curators are Steadfast yet Agile. The tracking and analytics mentioned previously provide timely insights as to the required corrections in our course of action. Content Curators are not large oil tankers requiring “cost-benefit” analysis to make changes in tactical execution, but rather speedboats able to turn on a dime. As Content Curators, Jennifer and Chris succinctly understand our overarching strategy and are steadfast in using it as a compass, yet agile enough to recognize what’s not working or which efforts would yield little to no results. On the contrary, even too much of a good thing is still too much!
9. Content Curators Go Beyond ‘Not Invented Here.’ They extend their reach to “invented everywhere.” The fundamental value of Jennifer and Chris as Content Curators is their understanding and ability to participate in an open dialogue of insightful information. Although they understand and protect our intellectual capital and property, they also understand that the currency in digital relationships is the free exchange of great ideas. As such, they reach out for permission to quote other sources, and freely give others permission to use our content with appropriate credit. This effort enhances our R&D and helps raise the bar in continuously manufacturing, not just re-publishing, compelling content.
10. Content Curators Drive Results. There are two types of social media resources – those who are cost centers and those who are revenue producers. In early conversations with Jennifer and Chris, we discussed the results that I cared about: influencing conversations, which influences relationships, which influences our desired outcomes. In their role they are creating marketing gravity, which translates into revenue results.
How are you establishing your social market leadership with a similar role?