If you ask any stand up comedian what the most difficult part of his or her job is, they might say, “Reading the room.”
This phrase refers to the comedian's ability to analyze information from the audience and use that information to improve their act. They have to be able to perceive what jokes people are loving and what jokes aren't hitting the mark, so they can factor that into the rest of the set.
On a base level, inbound marketing has to be able to do the exact same thing.
Just like a comedian, a marketer has to to know what their audience will be into and what they will likely ignore. It makes sense if you think about it: you can't appeal to an audience that you don't understand.
So what is the best way to understand what your readers want? To many inbound marketers, it's content curation.
Simply put, content curation is finding and sharing articles with your audience. What exactly does that mean to a business owner? It means that if you know how to curate valuable content and analyze your audience's response, then you can learn what interests your current readers and what can potentially attract new ones.
Curating Valuable Content
Whether you're creating or collecting content, you have to provide information that educates and engages your readers. Modern B2B buyers aren't just looking for a product or service. They are looking for a company to help them make an informed decision.
You can insure that the content you're sharing is valuable by focusing on information that relates to your experience. In other words, share resources that helped you through an issue. If a piece of data gave you a new perspective on a meaningful topic, those are exactly the things that your audience needs. In this way, you're doing more than just copying and pasting a link, you're offering a new perspective on a relevant, real life situations.
Plus, drawing from your own experience you can open up conversations with readers who are going through a problem similar to yours!
Analyzing How Your Audience Responds
This element of curating content is a little more complicated. You can't just replicate the information that your readers like, you have to build on it. Let's go back to the stand up comedian example: if a joke gets a laugh, the comedian can't just say that joke over again. They have to develop the joke into something new.
It's the same with analyzing how your audience responds to curated content: you can't just reuse content that you think they'll like, you have to develop it.
To take a marketing example, let's say that you notice that your readers are interested in mobile optimization. You could write on the differences between mobile vs. non-mobile visitors, you could discuss the different search engines (and how they effect mobile optimization), you could do just about anything that has to with mobile SEO. Instead of recreating something old, you're building off a relevant topic to create a totally new perspective.
In an age of endless articles, content curation has to be a part of a marketing content strategy. With thousands of resources shared every week, you can't afford to miss out on the opportunity to offer valuable curated content and analyze how your audience responds to it.
So go interact with your audience! Share what you are reading. See if they've seen the same articles are in their feed. Engage with your readers and become their source for relevant information.