Content Creation vs. Content Curation: Settling the Debate

TASK Marketing
May 21, 2018 · 7 min read

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 we’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 for 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).

On Brand:
It is found that 45% of a brands image can be accredited to what the brand says and how it says it. Original content is a reflection of your brand, its voice, its values and beliefs. Sharing original content that is in line with the values of your audience has a higher chance of resonating with them.

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 everyday will surely be the last straw.
But don’t worry, because content 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.

Shake It Up:
Imagine the owner of a bakery in your locality yelling into a microphone about how good his bread is and why you should come visit his bakery and buy from him. All. The. Time.

Slowly, people will start looking towards him with disdain, try to avoid going near his shop lest he starts screaming in their ear, stop going to his shop altogether (because no one wants to risk going deaf even if they get to eat the fluffiest pastries) and the baker will lose business thanks to his antics.
This is kind of what you’re doing by sharing only original content that promotes your brand. Your audience will quickly get bored of it and try to avoid it at all costs, even if your content is really good and valuable. Sharing branded, self-promoting, internally created content all the time will not only prevent any new people from following you, but it might also drive away the old, loyal ones.

Sharing curated content shakes up your marketing strategy and gives your followers fresh content everyday without bombarding them with self-promotion.

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.

Another reason why curated content is liked by people is because it saves their time that they would otherwise waste in looking for credible sources to get their information from.

Balance between original and source: Merely making a list of links for the audience to go through may not be enough sometimes. To add your own, original twist to it, give your own opinion/insight on the topic of the shared content.

Avoid Duplicity:

To avoid duplication, make sure to borrow bits and pieces of quotes. And always credit your source with a backlink.

It may be annoying to read an entire blog post only to find out that the answer is “it depends”, but it really does depend. Digital Marketing, especially Social Media Marketing, does not have a “one size fits all” strategy. Every business comes with its own goals that are not necessarily the same. So to reach these goals, each business has to come up with a digital marketing strategy that is unique to them.

While sharing more created content and less of curated content is more beneficial to one business, another brand sees more ROI when things are the other way around. So it is best to follow the 40/60 thumb rule and go from there.

If you need any more help regarding this, or any other aspect of digital marketing, please feel free to contact us.

TASK Marketing

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