Let’s Be Clear on Content Creation vs. Content Curation

Posted on May 25, 2016 by

content curation

Content Creation versus Content Curation … which is best for your brand? This is the hot debate raging in the marketing world.

Content Creation is the process of creating your own content from scratch and marketing it to your followers or subscribers.

Content Curation is the process of gathering existing information like blogs, social media posts or, ebooks relevant to a particular topic and sharing it with your brand’s followers.

Content curation is huge: only 5% of marketers surveyed said they never share third party content. Perhaps it could be said that explosion of content curation stems from time constraints as 64% of content creators struggle daily to produce enough quality content to establish an engaged audience and populate each of their social channels.

However there is still a certain stigma attached to content curation — especially from CEOs and even CMOs who quiver, “But we don’t want to lose our customers” or “Isn’t that just stealing?” If your brand is still getting into content marketing, there’s a good chance that you are grappling too.

So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of content creation and content curation.

Why You Should Create Content

  1. It Generates Leads- If you are creating content such as an ebook, whitepaper or webcast as bait for your landing page then it needs to be original. A recent MarketingSherpa report found that 75% to 80% of marketers cited lead generation as their number one priority. By creating original content, you can easily insert branded images, logos, links and most importantly CTA (Call to Action) buttons.
  2. The Content Belongs To You– If you are working in a strictly regulated industry like finance, then you need to be careful because there’s a fine line between curation and copying. Even sharing a link from another organization can leave you open to a fine if you don’t cite the source properly. Additionally if the information contained in the link is incorrect you may be held liable!
  3. It Drives Traffic– Google loves original content especially if it’s useful and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly. In an ideal world, a fresh blog post would be written each day to keep your site ranking highly. Read more on writing content that drives traffic.
  4. It’s On Brand– If you write the content then it’s going to be reflective of your brand and brand voice. 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it (Bop Design).
  5. Become A Thought Leader– By creating your own content, images, infographics and posts you are becoming a thought leader that others want to follow. This makes your brand aspirational and highly desirable to customers. Iconic thought leaders like Richard Branson (Virgin) Steve Jobs (Apple) or Elon Musk (Tesla) set a high bar through years of consistent effort. It isn’t easy to become a thought leader but it certainly starts with your own content and ideas.

Why You Should Curate Content

  1. It Builds Relationships – One of my favorite quotes on content curation comes from industry expert Heidi Cohen who says that Like sharing a bottle of fine wine with friends, content curation enhances your relationships.” She’s completely right as content curation breaks the ice, makes the introduction and can build solid online relationships with industry influencers. According to Crowdtap research, 44% of influencers decide to work with a brand because the opportunity is relevant to their own audience.
  2.  To Save Time– If you’re a busy content manager with five social media channels to populate, a blog to write, a brochure to work on and perhaps a few press releases each day then curation really is a saving grace. 76% of B2B marketers say they want to produce more content in 2016 so if you’re one of them but don’t have the resources then curation could be the answer. If you feel really protective of your brand’s voice then curate content only on channels like Twitter and save the original stuff for your blog.
  3. To Present A Wide Knowledge– Your brand can’t be the expert on everything in its niche but with content curation it can seem like it is. Be careful to select content from reputable sources such as Forbes, Reuters and Bloomberg if you work in a field like finance. Interestingly it may end up being your brand that inadvertently takes the credit because many social users who share a headline, image and link don’t actually open the link to read the content or see the original source.

intel iq
*Intel launched a digital magazine called iQ which curates content from across the web based on hashtags.

  1. Get To Know Your Audience– If you are in the early stages of your content initiatives then curation is a must to help you get to know your audience. What do they like? What gets more retweets? Which style gets higher engagement levels? Experimenting with different content types through content creation can really point you in the right direction.
  2. Shake It Up- Sometimes the constant sound of your own voice can be a bit … YAWN right? Use content curation to shake up a stagnant content marketing strategy and wake up your audience. In fact, 82% of marketers embraced sharing a mix of their own and other people’s content on their social channels.

My Favorite Tools  For Content Curation



Paper.Li- This is a great social media marketing tool which curates your popular tweets and formulates them in a super handy online newspaper.

AgoraPulse– Using AgoraPulse’ easy content management calendar you can schedule your evergreen content (or someone elses) throughout the year.  it allows you to easily share content from across the web and even schedule content curation for later on. With its easy chrome extension, Buffer is a must have for busy content managers.

So content creation or content curation… which one wins? Try using both but with a clearly defined strategy of what and where is appropriate!

Charli Day is a British writer and social media manager specializing in dynamic branding, campaign strategy and content engagement. Responsible for a number of high profile brands and with 500+ articles published, her success lies within her originality and hands on experience of the digital marketing world. Charli lives by the Mediterranean and loves Starbucks, popcorn flavoured jellybeans and writing poetry.