Content marketing is hailed as one of the most important ways to meet business goals. But what happens when you have to keep up with the breakneck pace of content creation? For many businesses, the answer lies in content curation—sharing content from other sources.

This article will give you an in-depth look at content curation versus content creation and how you can make both work for your business.

What’s the difference between curation and creation?

When you think of curation, you might picture an art collector or a library. But curation plays a huge role in content marketing when used alongside content creation.

Content creation

As the name suggests, created content is original content—such as a blog post, graphic, or video—that you created for yourself. It’s original and fresh, created specifically for the purpose of your business.

Quality content creation (emphasis on quality) helps you connect with your audience and establishes you as a credible source.

And since it’s all yours, you can tailor your content to your business goals. Repurposing content that you create yourself also comes with the benefits of getting your brand name out there and engaging with your audience without the risk of plagiarism.

Content curation

Curation involves sharing content created by other sources. Think retweets instead of making an original post on Twitter. Though curation has been derided as a “lazy” way to bolster your online presence, curation has many positives. By sharing other people’s content, you can introduce your audience to multiple points of view, stay on top of trends, and network within your industry.

Curating content effectively

There are many lessons on curation to be learned. After all, curation is not just sharing content just to share content.

First, ask yourself why you are sharing something in the first place. What do you hope your audience will gain? If you can’t think of a reason why your audience would appreciate the content you’ve shared, give it a pass.

Next, make sure the content you share is credible. Platforming conspiracy theorists is, as a rule of thumb, not going to do wonders for your business. To avoid spreading misinformation, make sure to do a fact-check. Is the information in the content true? Is it skewed or biased? Be sure you understand the content before you share it.

When you curate content, you create an opportunity to start a dialogue. Add your own thoughts when you share content and ask your followers to engage with it.

Finally, give credit to the original source. It’s easy to do with functions like the retweet button on Twitter. If you repost curated content, however, link back to the original source and mention the creator.

Benefits and challenges of content creation

If content creation is so important to growing as a brand, why curate? If content curation saves time and resources and helps you network, why create? Let’s dive in.

The importance of content creation

Through content creation, you can better connect with your audience. Making original content allows you to inject your unique voice into your work. This, in turn, leads audiences to trust you and engage with you.

In addition, quality content creation boosts SEO. More content online makes rooms for more relevant keywords and backlinks that can help boost your rank on search engine results pages. Plus, interesting and high-quality content inspires people to share and discuss your work, making it all the more prevalent. By creating engaging content for SEO, you’ll make it easier for people to find you.

Finally, content creation feeds your social media strategy. Posting content gives your followers something to engage with, share, and talk about.

Challenges of content creation

Because algorithms are so demanding, it’s easy for content creators to burn out. Many content creators face heavy workloads with short deadlines. This time pressure leads to writing mistakes and careless fact-checking.

Even before that, however, content creation requires a lot of time and resources. To manage this, many brands turn to outsourcing content creation. But outsourced labor often forces you to choose between cost, timeliness, and quality.

Another challenge is that content creators don’t know everything. (Shocked? So are we.) Curating content from subject matter experts highlights know-how from the pros.

Resonating with your audience

Define your business goals. How does creating or curating content help that? Do you want to educate or entertain your current audience? Grow your audience or increase brand awareness?

Identify your target audience. What are their demographics? What do they like? Research the kinds of content your audience engages with most and what platforms they use.

Competitor research and industry research are both important too. By seeing what the competition is doing, you’ll be able to figure out what direction to head in (and see where the competition is slacking so that you can fill in the gaps!).

How content creation and curation can work together

Content curation and content creation are two sides of the same coin. When used together, they strengthen each other and bring in more online traffic.

The benefits of using both content curation and content creation

Curation requires fewer resources than creation and introduces your audience to multiple perspectives. Plus, it helps you stay on top of trends and look for new, thought-provoking pieces or news pieces before others catch on. It also helps communities flourish around a shared interest.

Meanwhile, creation allows you to engage more directly with your audience. It also lets you tailor your content to fit your brand’s specific voice and goals.

Striking the right balance

Here are some ideas to help you organize how and when you’ll share content.

  • Designate a page on your website for curated content, and link to the original sources.
  • Share curated content on social media. Recommend an article to followers, or share a quote. And, of course, credit the source.
  • Make sure the content you share is relevant, and curate consistently. Implement content curation into your calendar. When there are days where you don’t have any new or repurposed original content to post, share curated content.
  • Keep a reserve of curated content. Pocket is one tool that helps you save content from across the web to reference later.
  • Look at how competitors balance how much they create or curate. Consider how the platform you use affects that ratio too.

Blending strategies for content creation and curation

By now, you may be thinking, Great: I know to curate and create! But how much do you curate, and how much do you create?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic number. But there are a few things you can do to create a strategy that blends content curation and creation.

Developing a strategy for blending content curation and creation

When developing any content promotion strategy, it’s important to develop SMART goals. These goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time based.

What do you hope to achieve as a brand? How will content help with that goal?

From there, determine how to analyze data. For example, if you’re interested in connecting with your audience and increasing brand awareness, you might focus on post engagement.

Next, know your audience. What platforms are they on? How can you create or share content for those platforms? Create a content schedule.

Post, reshare, and analyze the results.

Managing your content strategy

Sharing user generated content, keeping up with influencers, and linking to authorities in your field are all ways to curate content. You can also turn to contributing writers or other content creators who work alongside in-house content creators.

Sometimes, outside help is necessary. Content strategists offer a variety of services to help you plan and create relevant content that meets your business’s goals. Meanwhile, a content marketing agency can work with you to launch a content marketing campaign, research your audience and industry, and analyze data to help grow your brand.

Successfully blending curated and created content

Blend niche or specific areas of expertise with general, accessible content.

Curate content from brands or people that are experts in a different—but related—field.

For example, let’s say you run a dessert blog. Although you may have expertise on everything within the delicious world of pastries and pies, other food-related topics may be out of your niche. That’s where sharing content—say, a post about how to bake different kinds of bread—can fill in the gaps.

Strategizing your content

It can be tough to strike the right balance between curated and created content, but finding that balance is like striking gold.

Whether you’re interested in strategizing your content marketing campaign or outsourcing your content creation, Elite Editing can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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