Digital marketing has been growing at an amazing rate since its inception back in 1990, and that growth is expected to continue. The benefits of strong digital marketing are almost endless—from customer loyalty to brand awareness and everything in between.
Creating awesome content can be quite tough. Add to that the option to choose between content creation and content curation and it’s no wonder even expert marketers are left feeling somewhat lost.
Content curation is convenient and easy, but content creation tends to be more personal and reach your specific audience with more effect. So, how is one to choose?
In this article, we’ll discuss these two important digital marketing elements for a better understanding of how they work and why every business needs them. We’ll also look at how to strike a good balance between curation and creation.
Understanding Content Curation
Consumers rely more and more on digital content to make decisions when it comes to their spending. As such, businesses can’t deny the importance of creating content that will successfully attract their target audience and keep them hooked.
For this reason, content curation may not seem like a good idea because it’s assumed this kind of content isn’t focused the way original content is. If you find your content from reliable sources, it can be just as good as the content you create yourself.
Curated content is ideal for small business owners or marketers who don’t have a lot of time. The right content curation strategies can increase website traffic and help boost rankings quite effectively. It’s also a good way to show your audience that you’re more than a company trying to get people to buy your product or use your service.
Look at this example, where Starbucks shares a Vogue article with followers to help promote the 2023 Met Gala, of which the company was the exclusive coffee sponsor. The tweet shows off Starbucks’ involvement in the event while using Vogue’s content.
Understanding Content Creation
Content creation is the foundation of most businesses’ marketing strategies. It’s made specifically for unique target audiences and with many different goals in mind. To build a brand voice that truly resonates with your audience, you need to have original content that represents your brand.
Creating original content can take many forms, like making helpful YouTube guides, writing thought-provoking articles, or or conducting thorough product assessments.
This Mattress guide from Eachnight is a prime example for content creation. This guide covers a wide range of topics, including product comparisons, mattress types and their characteristics, mattress sizes, sleeping positions, specific requirements, and more. As you can tell, it requires creativity, expertise, and often a significant amount of time and effort to create such content.
Original content created for your business enhances your brand authenticity and has SEO-related benefits, which is something no digital marketing campaign can afford to neglect. Creating content yourself will help you build trust with your audience and connect on a deeper level.
Any original topics you can discuss, ideas for marketing campaigns, and even social media posts you create yourself are considered your own content. It offers you a chance to speak directly to your audience and instill faith while establishing credibility.
The Wins and Losses of Content Curation
Content curation isn’t just a rosy path of finding nice content to share with your audience. There are several benefits and drawbacks to the process and knowing them will help you make good decisions.
Win: Saves Time
Content curation doesn’t suck up nearly as much time as creating original content does. You’ll find it easier to create and maintain a consistent content schedule and focus on other aspects of your marketing strategies.
Win: Builds Relationships
With curated content, you can build relationships within your company’s industry. By sharing the content of professionals in the industry, you’re effectively networking with them.
Loss: Risk of Losing Brand Voice
Because you’re using content you didn’t create, there’s no way to really insert your brand’s voice. You also risk confusing your audience with different kinds of content, unless you can find a way to always work in your company’s personality and aesthetic.
Loss: Maintaining Originality Can Be Challenging
When you’re using curated content, you’re using other people’s content. This can easily lead down a path that lacks any originality so always keep that in mind. Don’t let curated content smother your distinctiveness and innovation.
The Wins and Losses of Content Creation
Much like content curation has pros and cons, content creation also has good things to consider as well as a few negative aspects to keep in mind.
Win: Google Loves Original Content
Google is a huge fan of unique content, especially if you’ve created your content with an eye on SEO. If generating traffic and boosting your rank is an important KPI, original content is a great tool.
Win: Builds Brand Identity
When you create your own content, you’re able to tap into unique storytelling to create and polish your brand identity. After all, no one knows and understands your brand like you do and can tailor your content as well as you can.
Loss: Quality Content Can Be Time-Consuming
Creating high-quality original content isn’t easy and does take time investment and consistency. Creating high-value content on a regular basis will require quite a time-hungry investment on your part.
Loss: Outsourcing May Be Necessary
Let’s be honest: few business owners and marketers are great at writing content. You may have to hire freelancers or content marketing agencies to help you create original and high-quality content.
In fact, 30% of marketing professionals outsource their content marketing tasks which includes content creation.
Finding the Right Balance
Maintaining a good middle ground between content curation and content creation is important.
Pro-Tip: Aim to use 40% curated content and have 60% originally created content. That way, you can reap the benefits of content curation without losing your brand voice or allowing your content to be too broad and diverse.
With that in mind, it can be different for your company, so it’s best to use this ‘formula’ as a starting point. Once you’ve established a balance, start experimenting and find what works best for your company and your audience. You know your audience best, so keep their preferences in mind and keep a watchful eye on their reactions.
Here’s a brief checklist for striking a balance when it comes to using curated content versus created content:
- Define Your Objectives — Identify your digital marketing goals (engagement, brand awareness, etc.) and create or curate content based on them.
- Focus on Your Audience — Research your target audience’s pain points and needs and use them to decide what kind of content you need.
- Allocate Your Resources — Determine your budget, available time, and other team resources for content development and act accordingly.
- Choose Reliable Sources — Only use curated content from reliable sources and ensure your own content is also reliable.
- Remember Quality Control — Establish high standards for curated content as well as created content and always aim to improve.
Measuring Content Success
You can create the best digital marketing strategy in the world that has perfect harmony between curated content and original content, but if you’re not tracking your success, what’s the point?
To improve and fine-tune strategies, you have to understand what ideas work and which ones should be discarded. Determine important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and monitor them closely so you can constantly learn and refine your marketing strategies.
For example, if your end product is an app, measuring the ARPU metric in line with your content marketing strategies can be helpful to see which strategies work and which don’t.
Let’s briefly look at a few important metrics you need to be keeping tabs on to measure your content creation/curation success.
You need to keep an eye on the engagement your content is getting. You can do this by:
- Leveraging tools like Google Analytics that are great for engagement monitoring
- Closely following social media likes and comments
- Looking into ratings on sites such as Trustpilot and Amazon
- Reading and responding to reviews
Visitor Frequency and Page Views
If the content you created and curated was focused on your website and your aim was to get more website traffic, these two metrics will help you determine if your efforts paid off.
Both visitor frequency and page views directly reflect the impact and engagement of your content, offering crucial insights into the success of your website’s traffic generation efforts.
Google Analytics will come in handy for monitoring this KPI as well.
You need to know that your audience took the desired steps after consuming your content. Your conversions will indicate how well your content strategy is working.
You can use Google Analytics to track this metric and check sales, referrals, leads, and more to get an understanding of your success rate.
To effectively track the success of your content strategy, you need to stay updated on your ROI (Return on Investment).
By understanding your ROI, you’ll know whether or not the total cost of your strategies was worth it. Google Analytics is a nice way to keep track of this metric and you can monitor profit, revenue, and costs.
Content Curation or Content Creation — A Matter of Finding Balance
There are impressive benefits to content curation as well as content creation. To get the best of both worlds, it’s recommended to foster a synergy between the two.
By striking the right balance between content curation and content creation, marketers and businesses can unlock a multitude of benefits. They can establish themselves as an industry thought leaders, connect with their audience on a deeper level, and drive meaningful engagement.
This balanced approach also saves valuable time and resources while delivering consistently high-quality content.
Pair your strategy with a content curation tool like Scoop.it to experience synergy that becomes an unstoppable force, propelling your content strategy to unprecedented heights.