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Three Reasons Content Curation Is Overrated In B2B Marketing

85% of marketers are looking for a shortcut to thought leadership. The problem is, the shortcut they are choosing goes nowhere.

According to a recent report on eMarketer85% of marketers curate content in order to establish thought leadership!

Does sharing someone else’s content make you a thought leader? No.

Marketers, in their race to the shortcut, are confusing respect and attention with thought leadership.

Content curation can be a valuable activity. Done well, it can make you a recognized resources for news and information and keep you in front of your audience.

Similarly, a research librarian is valuable.

You respect their opinion of sources and value the skill they have at discovering and delivering the right information.

However, the content curator and librarian are not the thought leaders.

They are valued for what they discover and deliver, not for their own perspectives on the subject matter.

Here are the key tenants of thought leadership used (originally published in Thought Leadership Marketing is an Oxymoron).

Here is the definition of thought leader provided by Wikipedia: “Thought leader is business jargon for an entity that is recognized for having innovative ideas.”

Again, from Wikipedia, a distinguishing characteristic of a thought leader is “the recognition from the outside world that the company deeply understands its business, the needs of its customers, and the broader marketplace in which it operates.”

  • Thought leadership is recognized
  • Thought leadership is expansive
  • Thought leadership is pushing boundaries


Here are three reasons why curating content is not a viable marketing shortcut.

1. Prospects want to know what you think
In enterprise B2B sales and marketing, prospects want to understand how you view their marketplace, challenges and opportunities. They want to know your vision positions you to continue solving their challenges in the years ahead.

When you just curate other people’s content, your audience doesn’t learn anything about your thinking.

2. Everyone else is already curating
Look at Twitter, LinkedIn industry groups or Facebook pages. In B2B marketing, everywhere you look you find links to or thin repackaging of other people’s content.

Curation, by itself, is not enough to differentiate you. It just makes you one more source of links and similar perspectives.

3. You are reinforcing someone else’s thought leadership
With positive vendor profiles increasingly available for a fee and an increasing number of smaller firms that even provide product reviews, analyst content has lost much of its lustre. However, by continuing to license or link to analyst (or other third party) content, marketers reinforce someone else’s position as a thought leader or opinion maker and do little to advance their own perspectives.

In Summary

Is curation valuable? Sure. But if you believe content curation is your ticket to thought leadership and differentiation, you will be sorely disappointed.

Curation is not enough. It is time to start creating! 

By Eric Wittlake


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