Pinterest hooked me early. I was invited to try it out in 2010, and I’ve been addicted ever since. My addiction to customer advocacy is already well documented, and the intersection of the two might put me over the edge. Any minute now, you’ll probably find me in the corner, snuggling my Pinterest boards and customer stories, blissfully for hours on end.
It’s pretty clear how Pinterest is being used by consumer brands like Crate & Barrel and Nordstrom, but Pinterest is a relatively B2B-free corner of the Internet. That doesn’t mean that B2B marketers should ignore Pinterest and its secret sauce. Au contraire—there’s lots to be learned from Pinterest. Let’s discuss.
The overwhelming amount of content produced and shared on the web every day is impossible to quantify. People are inundated with content on every topic imaginable. To put things into perspective, YouTube users upload 48 hours of video, Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content, Instagram users share 3,600 new photos, and Tumblr sees 27,778 new posts published Every Single Minute. The global Internet population now represents 2.1 billion people, and with every website browsed, status shared, and photo uploaded, we leave a digital trail that continually swells the hulking mass of big data.
How does one sort through the chaos to find relevant, useful information? This is where content curation comes into play. As a marketer, it is your duty to help your customers find meaningful content.
Content curation is the process of finding, organizing, and sharing online content. Organizations can also enhance that content by adding personal opinions and expertise. Enhanced content delivers added value to its consumers. Well-executed content curation isn’t just a regurgitation of something that was already published, but rather a personalized retelling of a story. The personal perspective on content is what makes curated content compelling. Burt Herman, co-founder of Storify, explains, “Great curation tells a story and takes you through an experience. You’re creating something better by putting the parts together. Curation is about humans. It’s about thinking of the audience and giving them something they want to see.”
Curated content marketing is one reason that Pinterest is wildly successful. With more than 10 million registered users, “Pinners” gain a sense of community, engage with brands and like-minded people, and curate content that is significant and interesting to them. Pinterest is just as much about the people using it as it is about the stuff being pinned. What did we learn from Pinterest? Community, engagement, and curation also make B2B content more successful and relevant for targeted audiences.
Let’s talk about the work Metia did with the SQL Server Team at Microsoft. We produced 101 case studies for the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 launch and wanted to curate that content to tell the end-to-end SQL Server story. We also saw an opportunity to use data visualization to strengthen the story that we were telling about SQL and what they can do for customers. We selected the most compelling customer quotes and tidbits of information from our case studies and created three video infographics to tell the SQL Server 2012 story. The videos already have approximately 1,000 views and have helped customers discover the very best stories that match their current database-related challenges.
Carefully curated content on the web has the potential to attract and build an online community of people who are interested in niche content. B2B marketers would do well to take their cues from sites like Pinterest, which allow users to consume the information that matters to them. Do you know what matters most to your customers? Tell me in the comments!