Choosing the Right Topic for Your Content Curation Initiative
Pawan Deshpande’s post on Crafting the Perfect Content Curation Strategy raised the important issue of how one chooses the right topic for a content curation initiative. The topic choice drives actions and investments. Moreover, the topic lays the foundation for engagement and becomes the focus for reputation building. Pawan points to three factors to consider in selection of the right topic: competitors’ content strategies, the volume of content on a subject, and audience interest. These three are definitely important. But some refinements are in order.
The number one factor in selection of a topic for a content curation initiative is what is compelling to your target audience. A close second is relevance to a point of view held by your company. Don’t bother if your topic doesn’t meet these criteria. (Also don’t bother if you haven’t already set clear objectives about how a content curation initiative will achieve the business results you are seeking and how you will measure success. That is the subject of another post.)
In selecting a topic for a content curation initiative consider the following:
First and foremost, think about what is compelling to your targets. What information do they need to do their jobs? Where are major changes underway that will affect their success?
Secondly, look at your answers to those questions through the prism of your company’s products or services. What is the storyline that connects your products or services to either the information needed to do their jobs or the actions they will need to take to respond to important changes occurring in their business?
Thirdly, scan the topics competitors have staked out. Is their overlap with topics you now have under consideration? Drop from further consideration those topics that competitors are addressing well.
Fourth, reflect on your brand. How will leadership in a topic support your brand promise? Drop topics that are incompatible with your brand.
Fifth, consider the significant information sources. How are they perceived? You’ll be citing these sources frequently so their reputations will be associated with your company.
Sixth, consider the issues associated with the topics under consideration. Will exploration of the issues provoke rich discussion? A discerning perspective on controversial views will draw more attention and offer more opportunities for engagement.
Seventh, consider the research you might undertake related to each topic. How might you provide an ongoing service to your targets through research-based thought leadership? You may find some topics are more suited to original research than others.
Eighth, take stock of the scope and depth your experts can reasonably address. Will your internal experts be able to successfully engage in discussion of the issues? Engagement of customers requires the involvement of internal resources.
These are the factors I counsel my clients to consider and urge you to reflect upon before committing to a topic. What other factors are relevant? How difficult have you found topic selection to be in your content curation initiative?