Marketers still struggle to decide whether content creation or curation should be the best option for their activities – usually preferring one over the other. Some believe that curating content is lazy and unoriginal, or that content creation is a drain on already stretched resources. The reality is that both practices serve very different purposes – content creation is self-promoting, while content curation is cross-promoting. If you limit yourself to just one, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities from the other.
To clarify, ‘created’ content is original – solely produced and owned by you. Every piece of content you create represents your company’s unique expertise, products, services, insights, and opinions. ‘Curated’ content is generated from external sources outside of your company that you share with your audience. It should be relevant and useful to your target audience and demonstrate that you recognise the value that other companies bring to your industry, or areas of relevant interest.
Both types of content have their advantages and tend to work better in certain situations. Attainting the optimum balance between generating both created and curated content campaigns will depend on what you’re hoping to achieve – be it greater brand awareness, higher search rankings, optimal social engagement, or more conversions. Knowing the differences and usefulness of each type of content will help you make the right decision when developing your next content strategy – so here’s what you can achieve with each approach.
Gain a thought leadership position
By creating original, educative and objective, content – via images, infographics and posts, you boost credibility and cultivate deeper relationships with your audience. This activity also helps position your brand as aspirational, highly desirable – and one that others may choose to follow. It’s not easy to become a thought leader but it starts with generating your own content and fresh ideas.
If you are creating content such as a white paper, ebook or webcast – to lure traffic to your landing page, then it needs to be original. You can then insert branded images, logos, links and most importantly – call to action buttons.
Drive web traffic
Google still loves original content, especially if it’s useful and SEO-friendly. In an ideal world, to keep your site ranking high, aim to write a fresh blog post each week.
Build new relationships
Content curation breaks the ice, makes the introduction and can develop online associations with industry influencers. If done right, you can use content curation to get your social channel in front of a broader audience, by adding the social account of the author or source of your curated content. Content curation can also allow you to build thought leadership capability and credibility quickly, especially when you can add your opinions to breaking news and insight.
Get time efficient
If you’re a busy content manager with multiple social media channels to populate, a brochure to write and blogs to prepare, etc – and don’t have the time or resources – then curating content can help. Content curation doesn’t only help to fill your social channels, it can also provide you with new content ideas. If you’re really time constrained, just curate content on channels like Twitter – and save the original stuff for your blog.
Present alternative views and resources
Your brand can’t be a sector expert on everything, but with content curation it can appear to possess a wider knowledge – just select information from reputable sources. If you’re really lucky, your brand may inadvertently take the credit – especially if social users who share a headline, image and link – don’t open the link to read the content, or see the original source.
If you are working in a regulated sector, then you need to follow strict guidelines. It is common sense but there can be a fine line between curation and copying. Never amend or alter curated content for your own purposes, always attribute (credit) the original sources very clearly – and provide a clear link back to the original source of the article. Some businesses may put disclaimers to ensure that their customers understand that the content they are consuming is third party. Finally, if there is any issue with content that you have curated and published, ensure that it can be removed quickly if it’s inappropriate or flagged up by a customer or the original author.