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Create Content or Curate Content

That is the Question

Content creation is the process of identifying topics that you believe your target audience will find interested in and then generating compelling content around these topics. Content curation is the process of identifying topics that you believe your target audience will find interesting and then gathering existing content around these topics through research and ‘packaging’ this content in a compelling manner. So, the question regarding your content strategy is; “Do you generate your own content, collate existing content or do both?”.

There are arguments in support of both approaches and each has benefits.

Content Generation
  • Pros – Branding, controlled explanation, thought leadership association, drives traffic
  • Cons – Time consuming, costly
Content Curation
  • Pros – Quick to market, inexpensive, drives traffic
  • Cons – Loss of branding, follower association

In my view, the answer to the question of generated versus curated content starts with an understanding of the purpose of a content strategy. There are numerous definitions of content marketing. Here are two examples.

Market Muse: “Content strategy is the ongoing process of transforming business objectives and goals into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving those goals.” 

Brainlabsdigital: “Content strategy is the discipline responsible for satisfying business requirements through content creation and distribution.”

The compelling, common goal of a content strategy, in my view, is to use content to engage with the target audience(s), in a non-selling, value-adding manner, to inform, reinforce and/or change thinking which ultimately benefits the distributor of the content.

Should both approaches be used? – yes. What then should the ratio be? I don’t know what this ratio should be and have not found any meaningful data regarding this question. To get some insight into the thinking of marketing professionals I asked my target audience using a LinkedIn poll. 43%, which was more than double the amount of the other options, indicated that their preferred ratio is 60% created and 40% curated.

The resultant ratio seems to be significantly influenced by a plethora of factors including business requirements, industry, target audience, goals, market share, brand positioning, and available resources.

Happy content distribution!
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