Cath Pope, Senior Content Manager for Curated Content talks about the surprisingly simple web of the future
Interview by Jennifer Thomé, photo provided by Cath Pope
Everyone knows that it’s not what you say but how you say it that makes a lasting impact. But when you’re deeply immersed in your business it’s hard to keep an eye on your outside image, let alone create one. That’s where curated content comes in. This new hybrid model of design, copy writing, and SEO offers an out-of-the-box solution to the growing design and content needs of any company, without looking like it was taken out of the box.
Cath Pope and Otto Ottinger, Product Manager for Curated Content
So, what exactly is curated content? Curated content is a cost-effective form of content marketing. We find, filter, and share the best and most relevant content on the web to meet the needs of clients. By curating content we increase traffic to the site and increase customer leads. Our clients become industry thought leaders, grow their online audience, and provide additional value to existing customers. When we started as a content agency, we discovered that clients understood they needed to provide quality content for their customers as part of their marketing strategy. The problem was that most companies couldn’t afford to create unique content on an ongoing basis – it was cost prohibitive and a drain on time, budgets, and resources. That’s when we started talking to clients about our curation services. We could provide them with ten times the content for one third of the cost! Now we specialise in curation and visualisation.
What kinds of sites have you done? All kinds! We’ve built curated websites on everything from surfing to taxidermy! Our most recent curated site was for the tech and startup investor scene in Australia and Asia: Techtype.com.au.
“People used to think it was boring working with data, but now we bring it alive in animated visualizations that people love and want to share with their friends via social networks”
Have you worked with any companies that have bored you to tears? Never! The interesting thing is collaborating with a client to work out exactly what kind of content they want us to source – via written, video and visual content on the web. Also, with our data visualization and infographic services, we work with companies that deal in data. People used to think it was boring to work with data, but now we bring it alive in animated visualizations that people love and want to share with their friends via social networks. We seek out content that is going to be relevant and engaging to the target audience and that could be everything from industry developments to weather patterns affecting crops or the price of raw materials used in production. Customers become so much better informed, and appreciate the added value of being able to build their own knowledge and expertise.
What are some of the benefits of curated content, and what can people expect from the experience? The key benefits of curating content is that it enables companies and brands to publish high quality content on their website at a fraction of the cost of unique content, leading to brand visibility, thought leadership and lead generation. Our customers have the benefit of all the best content on the web existing in one place, with fresh content published daily or even hourly! Search engines like Google and Baidu love a site that is making a great effort to find and share high quality content because it delivers a good result to the end user, so it’s definitely important from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, too.
“We’ll rely on expert curators to show us the best content on any given topic – whether it’s news or general topics of interest”
How does curated content fit into the new economy? The web has reached saturation point for content because there’s so much of it being produced and increasingly, search engines can’t deliver the best results. Curation of content makes sense because expert content curators do the hard work of searching and filtering the web to bring the best and freshest content together in one place – the user, that’s a huge benefit!
Are you poised to take down the big marketing houses? We’re poised to work with the big marketing houses! We see ourselves as a service provider for content production and curation. We also have a bundled product specifically designed to meet the needs of social media content that includes an exact number of tweets, blogs and infographics that is aimed at big marketing houses who run social media campaigns for clients, but can’t really employ someone to tweet all day. Our bundled products meet the needs of each campaign and audience, and the big marketing houses like the idea of knowing how much they pay per tweet. We help fulfill their client’s content strategy based on brief and budget and I think it’s easier for them to outsource this rather than manage it in-house.
What does the future of the internet look like in your mind? The future of the Internet will look far different than the Internet we use today. Internet usage in Asia is set to soar, so we’ll see developments driven by user need in that market. The Internet is increasingly portable; mobile applications will surpass desktops and laptops as the primary way the world gets its content. Lastly, and this is the future we’re most excited about, the explosion of content that is posted to the Internet everyday will have to be organised and then visualized, in order for it to be easily understood. More and more content is being collected, categorized, commented on and shared. This form of content curation will increasingly affect our decision-making. We’ll rely on expert curators to show us the best content on any given topic – whether it’s news or general topics of interest. These curators will become key influencers on the Internet in how we make decisions. The competition will be fierce for users’ attention and users, in turn will expect to find the answer they want to almost any question immediately. Curated Content believes people collect the best information; computers help to categorize it, but humans are needed at every level to make sense of what’s out there.