Curating Frustration

I realize yesterday might have seemed as if it was Foodie Friday since the topic was food related.

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However, Foodie Friday the 13th is today, and I’m going to focus on an unlucky site’s marketing today. While I’m not going to mention their name, I’ll say upfront that it’s a site I generally find incredibly helpful. They curate recipes and do so with beautiful photos. Their emails are just as pretty and generally quite useful. Which is why I’m calling them out today and hopefully making a business point in the process.

This morning’s email was about side dishes which will “compliment your holiday spread.”  Of the 21 photos they used to tease me to click through, four were latkes, one was a noodle kugel, and two involved challah.  Since Hanukah has been over for a couple of weeks, that “holiday spread” is long gone.  In fact, many of the other recipes in the collection were not really appropriate for a winter holiday at all.  Grilled potatoes?

My point is this.  If you’re curating content, you’re supposed to be picking the best content that applies to a particular subject.  Relevance is a big deal, as is how the content is organized and presented.  This site generally gets high marks for the latter two but when a third of what you’re presenting is appropriate for a holiday that’s long gone, you’ve failed.

You might be thinking “well, this isn’t an issue for me since we don’t curate content.”  I’d be surprised if that was true, dear reader.  Almost every business is in the content creation and/or distribution business these days, either of your own content or that of others which you think might be useful to your audience.  Email, social channels, and your own website (not to mention advertising!) are all places where you’re publishing.  Being relevant and useful are critical.  Organizing it in such a way that readers can slice and dice it as they like is important.  It’s all part of listening to your customers and continuing the conversation.

Giving someone a great recipe for grilled anything while the grill is covered in snow not only isn’t useful, it’s frustrating.  Hitting them up with the right content at the right time in the right channel with an easy way to take action should they so choose is magnificent.  Which will you choose to do?

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