It’s called ‘curation’ and it’s the art of displaying your goods or services in an enticing way so your customers keep coming back.
The creative brains behind a brand – the visual merchandisers, photographers, stylists, artists and design teams – are crucial for retailers to capture the attention of consumers.
Some of the best craft spectacular sets and displays (such as Selfridges’ breathing window or Lanvin’s avant-garde store installations) by changing the layout of a store and placing products in strategic locations, while others educate and engage consumers in an informative and creative way.
Think of denim giant Diesel’s interactive window, where customers could ‘control’ the weather through a videogame – it won 2010’s VMSD International Visual Competition.
But can you, through a screen, curate and display your products and services in as captivating a way as a physical store or business can? Kevin Moore, a SmartCompany blogger and CEO of sales and marketing services company Crossmark, is adamant that you can.
He points to members-only, furniture and homeware retail site Temple & Webster – “curation and display delivered with beautiful content management” – which turned over $10 million in its first year.
Whether it’s through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook or a blog, or your retail website, finding, creating and managing quality content should be an essential part of your content marketing strategy. One of the most popular curation tools right now is the pin board-style image-led website Pinterest, which now has over 70 million users.
According to marketing manager Pam Dyer, who made this year’s Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, 68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them, while 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content.
“Content curation is the art of continually finding, grouping, organising and sharing the best and most relevant content with your brand's audience… being very selective, with a laser focus on your brand message, helps you become a thought leader in your industry and a trusted resource,” she told Social Media Today.
While curating content may seem overwhelming, there are tools that can save you time and increase productivity by coming up with ideas, organising content, identifying links and tracking results. Here are five worth considering:
- Listly – A collaboration community where users can build lists and contribute to other users’ lists by uploading content from their existing blogs. The result is curated content drawn from multiple sites focusing on themed topics.
- Scoop.it – Search content though the Scoop.it community, collate what you like, edit to make it ‘your own’ and then publish to your social networks and blog.
- Storify – This curation tool is touted by its creators as helping to “make sense of what people post on social media”. Basically, you can create your own, compelling stories through what people are talking about on Facebook or what’s trending on Twitter.
- Curata – This content marketing software finds and analysis content on specific issues or topics in order to establish thought leadership, industry conversations and drive qualified web traffic.
- ContentGems – Monitors more than 200,000 news sites, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch, along with Twitter users and websites you choose to follow, and keywords you select. It then filters your content before sending a digested version in an email to you. With one click you can then share the curated info via your social media platforms.