Content Market­ing and Strat­egy are about a lot of things includ­ing plan­ning, creation, promo­tion, process, distri­b­u­tion, outreach and measure­ment.

Creation of content is just one part of the journey, but it’s arguably the hardest and requires constant inspi­ra­tion. On recent visits to some favorite museums I was reminded of how great content strate­gies can also come from the cura­tion and orga­ni­za­tion of content. This is what great museums do well. Sharing numer­ous, unique ways to view and access the best content can be improved by several processes.

5 Content Strategies We Can Learn from Art Curation

5) Under­stand and develop perspec­tives that are impor­tant to personas:

  • What is the artis­tic perspec­tive? Picasso and Baroque were friends and shared and learned from each other. They both explored differ­ent aspects of uncer­tainty and mystery and encour­aged each other to push the bound­aries of their inter­pre­ta­tions.

  • What is the histor­i­cal perspec­tive? How did the time of an artist impact his art? Henri Matisse’s work was confis­cated by the Nazi’s in the 40′s and the great historic events happen­ing around him. His work was impacted by the war and how it frag­mented and twisted life percep­tions. One of his artis­tic goals was to “deflect from the prob­lems of the world and to focus on the harmo­nious­ness of art”. Knowing that great efforts were made to return Matisse’s art to its’ right­ful owner after the war also gives a glimpse into human­ity and how art helps the viewer tran­scend polit­i­cal differ­ences and even tyranny.

Content Strategies and Art Curation

Knowl­edge of the artis­tic, histor­i­cal, spir­i­tual and emotional impact of the art adds a level of under­stand­ing that is hidden without it.

Market­ing Example: While creat­ing content for a customer who crafts high-end invi­ta­tions it seems obvious to write about quality. The quality of the paper and the longevity of the company that creates the paper is helpful, but writing about the fact that the paper company, Neenah Paper, has created the Inau­gural Ball Invi­ta­tions for every pres­i­dency for the past 30 years is far more evoca­tive. Curat­ing those invi­ta­tions into content strate­gies and a story that high­lights quality and crafts­man­ship makes a visceral and emotional connec­tion with the content.

4) Execute and prior­i­tize taxon­omy based on the size of each market segment:

Some museums utilize an appli­ca­tion called Art Lens that allows the viewer to find art with an iPad based on:

  • Loca­tion (what is near me?)

  • Collec­tions such as Clas­si­cal, Modern, Renais­sance, Cubist

  • Collec­tions by region such as Egypt­ian, Greek, Roman, Japan­ese and Amer­i­can

  • Collec­tions by popu­lar­ity or featured

This feature allows visi­tors to self select the art/content that is most valu­able or inter­est­ing to them.

Market­ing Example: This is an excel­lent way to encour­age addi­tional consump­tion of content. If someone is reading your blog post about content processes, sharing links to other related posts increases the like­li­hood the reader will spend more time on site and, ulti­mately, may be more inter­ested in your point of view, service or product. Think­ing about how personas engage in the funnel helps guide not just the “what” but also “how much” content to develop.

3) Look at the data or content in new and inno­v­a­tive ways:

  • The museum commis­sioned local hospi­tals to lever­age new XRay tech­nol­ogy to better under­stand the art and see the brush­works textures Claude Monet would have employed as he worked on his famous water­col­ors.

Market­ing Example: Curat­ing multi­ple perspec­tives around a topic and aggre­gat­ing them into one piece of content (video, image, post or info­graphic) provides a fresh perspec­tive on previ­ously published infor­ma­tion. This co-spon­sored aggre­ga­tion of great content by Getty Images and gives a fresh, solid perspec­tive on an impor­tant topic: featur­ing real, diverse, empow­ered women. It’s a power­ful way to look at images of women driven by a curated collec­tion as well as influ­enced by the LeanIn initia­tive.

Getty Images Lean In Collection Content Strategies

2) Share the data or content in differ­ent forms:

  • Plac­ards are placed next to the art so viewers can read about it.

  • Apps and even iPads are made avail­able to the viewer so they can listen to cura­tors speak about the art.

  • Videos are avail­able to watch regard­ing the art and cura­tion perspec­tives.

  • Art is tagged inten­sively to allow for search discovery from many perspec­tives (time periods, artists, collec­tions, subjects, etc).

Market­ing Example: If you’ve created a video, tran­scribe the content in that video into text, turn the concepts from the video into an easily digestible info­graphic.  Moz does this beau­ti­fully in their White­board Friday series.

1) Enable people to search and discover based on their own agendas and even ones they may not have thought of yet:*

  • To encour­age inter­est in chil­dren, some museums sponsor child-friendly museum time. They share Scav­enger Hunt brochures or Audio Presen­ta­tions that guide chil­dren through activ­i­ties such as making up stories about some of the people in the paint­ings by start­ing a story and encour­ag­ing chil­dren to select nouns, verbs, adjec­tives and adverbs to help craft a story.

Great cura­tion helps cura­tors allow art viewers (and marketers to allow customers) to consume content through­out their customer journey in whichever plat­form, device or taxon­omy they choose.

Market­ing Example: For content marketers, provid­ing content on owned Web prop­er­ties (the brand site or blog) as well as a variety of earned/social chan­nels is key in engag­ing a brand audi­ence accord­ing to each person’s personal pref­er­ences. Content strate­gies should include giving the reader addi­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties to explore the topic and even the author.

Takeway: Helping our customers in their Search Discovery journey should begin, not neces­sar­ily with more content, but with thought­ful cura­tion of the content that already exists.