One of traditional marketing’s theoretical cornerstones was ‘creating as much original content as possible’. But even traditional marketers cannot deny the fact that creating original and engaging content on a daily basis is an impossible task.
Traditional marketing channels did not require a fresh injection of content on a daily basis. Modern marketing mediums and the emergence of social media sites have made content marketing an almost daily task. Even brands with large teams and the best of creative heads cannot create content that frequently.
This has given rise to content curation. Marketers now depend on other sources and other companies for ready content and simply share them from time to time. While most brands/marketers make it a point to stay away from their rival’s content, some brands have gone ahead and shared some goodwill even with rival content.
The Difference Between Creation and Curation
So far I’ve already established that content creation is way different from content curation. But what exactly do these terms mean and how are they different?
Think of it as writing a story and posting it online vs. compiling a list of book recommendations and sharing it with your followers.
Content creation means that you create original content that you then market to your audience while in content curation you gather existing information related to a topic relevant to your niche and share it with your followers.
Pros of Content Creation
- Generate Leads:
Creating original content gives you the freedom to add branded images, logos, links, and, more importantly, call to action buttons. Studies have found that sharing original content has an average of 2.4% of click-to-conversion rate, 54% more than sharing third-party posts.
- Drives Traffic:
It’s no secret that Google loves original content, especially if it is valuable and optimized for search engines. And while curated content can rank on Google, if the content is really well-presented and valuable, original content has a better chance of ranking higher on SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages).
- Become a Thought Leader:
Giving your audience original content makes your brand ambitious and covetable in their eyes, rooting your position as a thought leader in your industry. Although it isn’t easy to be a thought leader, it definitely starts with sharing your own content and ideas.
Pros of Content Curation
- Builds Relationships:
Sharing curated content allows you to build strong online relationships with both, your peers and your audience. Sharing curated content with your audience shows them that you are ready to share valuable and relevant information with them even if you aren’t able to promote your brand; it gives you an aura of trustworthiness.
Everyone knows that to be successful in any field, you need to have good connections, and usually, you really have to chase after to find said connections and work hard to build them. But content curation is an easy way to bypass the “chasing after” part (because you still will have to work hard to build and maintain the connections). Sharing third-party content is a great ice breaker, it essentially says, “Hey, I’m sharing your content with my followers because I find it valuable”. This gets you noticed by the people whose you’re sharing and serves as an incredible introduction.
- Saves Time:
If you’re a content manager who has to handle 5 different social media platforms, a blog, and 2 other projects, it’s safe to say that you have your hands full and creating original content every day will surely be the last straw.
But don’t worry, because curation is your metaphoric buoy in the never-ending ocean of content.
A simple way to get around the problem of wanting to produce more content with limited resources is to curate content from already existing material. But if you feel protective of your brand voice, you can choose to use curation only on a few social media platforms and save the original for your blog and/or website.
- Get To Know Your Audience
Using content curation in the early stages of your content initiatives will give you a chance to understand your audience. Experimenting with various content types can help you find out what your followers like, what post gets shared the most, what style gets more engagement, which is the best time to post to get maximum engagement, etc.
Creation or Curation: Which One is Better?
The thing is, curated content and created content can’t replace each other because they complement each other.
Here are some key points you should know that relate to content creation and content curation:
- Rule of thumb: Ideally, start off by sharing 40% created and 60% curated content and adjust it from there according to what resonates with your audience.
- Social media is not your megaphone: Using social media to continuously and exclusively promote your branded content will not get you more engagement. In fact, some organizations may even find that sharing only created content gets them nominal engagement. Curating content from trusted sources gives your audience a fresh break from branded content and balances out the self-promotional content you make.
- Curate content from trusted experts: No one brand can be an expert in everything pertaining to their field. But curating and sharing content from reputed and trusted experts in the industry will not only show your followers you know more, but it will also help you learn new things about your niche. Sharing curated content is a great way to grow your audience and establish yourself as a trusted advisor.
- Be consistent: Consistency is one of the major prerequisites of becoming successful. However, it is not possible to come up with original content to share on a regular basis. You can use content curation to fill in the holes in your social media schedule on days when you don’t have created content.