Many marketers feel responsible for developing content for their email marketing campaigns from what they already know. Too often, the seemingly high level ethics end up with the content developer sitting at the computer…with fingers on the keyboard… frozen with the question about what to create. That is not good for anyone, buyers included.
So if curation is a way to develop email content, what is the difference between just “stealing” and ethical curation? Although your professor insisted that all your content spring from your own brain, your customers don’t have the same standards. However, if you cross the line in – or even near – plagiarism, the trust level plummets.
Online tools like Google Alerts can provide aggregated sources of information. What they do not do well is factor in the quality of the sources. As an expert in your industry, you can provide aggregated content from other sources to give your reader real-time updates about your industry.
Of course you want to be careful to not promote a direct competitor. Think instead of all the associated companies that fill the needs of the same customers. What can their content offer your email list?
Aggregated content works best when you hyperlink back to your resource articles. Make sure you review the resource as to quality and accurateness. Group the collection of points gathered from other sources. Allow your reader to understand the overall focus of the email content and give them multiple sources from other company perspectives to support the information you are sharing.
The result is your company looks trustworthy, knowledgeable and generous to them.
A good content curator is focused on the needs of the target market. They don’t simply regurgitate content to get an email out quickly. Instead, they are discerning and selective. Their goal is to share only the most relevant high quality information. It takes a human to curate. It cannot be automated without someone vetting the material.
It’s important the content creator also takes time to add value to curated content. The curation process is an efficient compliment to originally created content. The purpose is to benefit the reader, not the curator. When you are focused on increasing engagement and value to reader, generally you are thought to be ethical and following fair use practices.
There are no hard and fast rules about the use of other people’s copyrighted content so it makes sense for you to read about the distinctions between copyright infringement and fair use curation. Even with many lawsuits and court decisions, it still seems to be a bit vague. Stanford University published a document outlining Copyright & Fair Use standards this year. Copyright Laws are available for you to read as well.
The plethora of content is increasing every day. When your readers can depend on your company to be the source of insight and knowledge, it leads to an engaged, appreciative email recipient. When your customers trust what you share with them, loyalty and trust follows.