In a world where “content is king” and one wrong move on social media can send your brand reputation into a nose dive, there is a lot of pressure on companies to maintain a successful online marketing strategy, from the website and company blog to social media pages. One topic that’s often debated is the balance between content creation and content curation. Does your company create and publicize unique content or share existing, external content with its audience? There are pros and cons to both scenarios, and a successful content strategy for one company may not apply to others.

Content creation

When a company creates its own content, it owns it. The ideas and insights belong to that company and reflect the varying opinions and skill sets within the organization and contribute to your brand’s thought leadership. As long as you’re providing value to your audience, they’ll be interested in what you have to say and keep coming back for more. If you respond to new developments and share relevant news in your industry, people will learn to come to your blog or website to see what you have to say on a regular basis.

In terms of audience and leads, original content can also drive conversions. When you share content that lives on your website, you’re not only driving traffic to the individual piece of content, but you also have the opportunity to turn your audience into leads. Additionally, you can tailor content messaging to specific goals your company is trying to achieve at any particular time, from lead generation to product sales.

Content curation

Sharing external content, on the other hand, informs your audience what else may be happening in your industry and that your company is engaged and aware of developments. Brands should demonstrate that awareness to their audience, which builds a reputation for being aware of the competitive landscape and space as a whole.

Curating other companies or publications’ content and sharing it with your audience shows that you care about informing them, and not just pushing out your marketing messages. No one wants to be at the receiving end of a never-ending sales pitch. Your audience should feel as if they are able to come to you for information, without feeling like you’re constantly trying to sell something.

How to create and curate content

A brand’s position on the spectrum between content creation and content curation depends entirely on resources. So, how you can use both content creation and curation, even with limited resources?

  • Engage your employee network. You may have untapped resources right under your nose in your other employees. Reach out to people outside of the marketing or content creation team to come up with story ideas or commentary. Employees are often a company’s best advocates.
  • Take advantage of free tools. There is an exorbitant amount of news aggregators out there. These apps and tools pull content from all over the web based on interests, trending topics, industry, etc. Find what tool works for you and use it! Feedly, Flipboard and Alltop are just a handful of options. Give them a try!
  • Be aware of what your competitors are doing. There are great insights to be found in a solid competitive analysis. Do your homework and then think about what your company can do better or differently! Have the creative chops to do something but take it to the next level rather than copycatting.

Not every company will be able to draft unique blog posts or spend a few hours finding interesting industry news to share with their audience every day. Knowing the audience, as well as where the company fits within its competitive landscape, will help determine content goals. And don’t forget – ramping up a content strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Do your research, don’t be afraid to start slow, and see what happens!

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