Content creation vs. content curation

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12th October 2017, 4 minute read

Producing enough content to keep your audience engaged is a challenge, especially for SMEs and startups.

In our previous blog post ‘Content marketing for social media' we looked at why you should set up a social media strategy and how content marketing would fit in. We mentioned the two different forms of content, created and curated. In this blog post we’ll look at what created and curated content is and how you can produce it.

Before we start, it’s best to look at all content you’re considering sharing and ask yourself:

  • Does it answer a commonly asked question?
  • Does it demonstrate expertise?
  • Does it entertain your audience?
  • Would it inspire your audience to share?
  • Does it make your company easier to find online?

Note: the content doesn’t have to relate to all of these questions, but if it doesn’t fit under any then it’s probably not worth sharing.

So, what’s created content?

Created content simply put is content that you as a business have created yourself. This can be anything from articles you’ve published on your blog or images shared on Instagram, how-to guides or infographics or even whitepapers and webinars. It can be anything that demonstrates thought leadership and often encourages visitors to your website. It will offer unique, original viewpoints that your customers will find useful and of value. 

What is curated content?

Curated content is a collection of resources produced by other companies in your industry which you ‘share’ via social media. It’s an effective way to make use of articles, blog posts and infographics that are relevant to your industry without your business needing to invest lots of time and money – it’s great at filling gaps when you are running low on created content.

There are several ways in which your business can use curated content and they each have their place. It’s about deciding which option suits each individual piece of content and the resources you have available. Your four options are:

  1. Aggregation – sharing links to blogs and other useful sources
  2. Distillation – you can add your own spin on content from someone’s blog
  3. Elevation – summarising information from a collection of sources
  4. Chronology – summarising the historical development of a topic

Using curated content is not necessarily a quick and easy way to fill a social media feed though. You must be sure to set aside a chunk of time for researching, reading and curating. Saying this, content curation can be as low or high effort as you please but you should make sure you credit the original content creator no matter which option you pick.

If you take the plunge and decide to produce your own content for social media, you now need to look at your balance between quality and quantity content. Like I said earlier, you need to produce enough content to keep your followers interested, so unless you have someone within your team solely dedicated to producing content for your social media channels, getting the right balance between quality and quantity will be essential.

Quality content is the content that keeps people interested in your opinions and motivates them to share, whereas quantity content is content that keeps you regularly top of mind.

But don’t panic, not all content must be created from scratch. Take a look at the resources you have already and repurpose what you can to get started. If you have a great video but want to grow your podcast listeners, take the audio from your videos. It’s a great way of building a playlist without having to put lots of time and effort into creating brand new content.

If you would like help building out your content strategy, please get in touch.

The Marketing Eye tip:

Don’t sacrifice great quality content for frequent posts. The reputation you build by sharing valuable resources will benefit you in the long run!

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