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 LeanIn.org 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.