Content Curation Vs. Content Creation

I was recently on a call where we ended up talking about marketing lingo and all the words that the average person probably couldn't define if you held a gun to their head. It was super eye-opening for me to think about the ways in which I was using industry jargon without bothering to define it for people who don't spend 40+ hours a week up to their eyeballs in marketing soup. 

When I sat down to write a blog for this week, I initially thought I'd write something about strategies for curating content. But thanks to this recent call, I realized I've never even properly defined the term "content curation" much less what I actually mean by "content creation". 

So today I'm going to break down these two common marketing terms you've probably heard or seen tossed around as you've attended talks or attempted to read up on marketing strategies for your business. While these two terms might seem pretty similar, it's important to know the difference between them and how that applies to your social media marketing strategy.

What is Content Creation?

Content Creation is just what it sounds like....the process of creating content. This is what all of us business owners endeavor to do day in and day out - create fascinating, original content that converts potential customers into sales.

A lot easier said than done, right?

Content creation involves creating things like photos, videos, blog posts, infographics, listicles, free guides, checklists, etc. Pretty much anything you can create that is wholly original (or pretty much so) that pertains to your business, establishes you as the authority in your industry, and helps your business connect with your audience and make sales. 

What is Content Curation?

Since the beginning of the year, I've been doing a lot less Content Curation that I used to. This is because of several changes on the major social media platforms. Facebook has admitted that they somewhat suppress content attached to links that take the consumer off of Facebook. In an effort to cut down on spam and bots on the platform, Twitter is a lot more stringent with recycled tweets. And in general, created content performs better. It always has.

But it's not always possible (in terms of the economics of time or money) to create all of your own content day after day, week after week. And besides, sometimes you just need to freakin' use some links.

Enter content curation. Content curation is the process of, much like an art gallery, gathering relevant content from other sources (think other people's articles, blogs, videos, podcast episodes) that pertains to your business, establishes you as the authority in your industry, and helps your business connect with your audience and make sales. 

Should I Consider Doing Both as Part of My Marketing Strategy?

Honestly, it depends.

If you're a lone wolf in your industry, you might not have much opportunity to do content curation. And you might be better spending the time creating your own content from scratch versus trying to find something that's already been created that you can reshare.

If you're in a market with a lot of local competition, content curation might not be that effective because, simply put, it's too easy for everyone to do. Most small business owners are pressed for time and if they can grab an article that looks good and throw it up on Facebook, why wouldn't they take that opportunity? So if you're looking to really stand out among the local'll probably have to dig deep and make the time to create your own content. It's the equivalent of a girl making her own clothes because she doesn't want to look like everyone else at her high school that shops at the mall.

If I'm Hiring Someone to Do My Marketing, Which Should I Have Them Do?

Again, it depends. Content curation is so much more cost effective that content creation. I've been doing this for years and I think my best time is 10 minutes/post when I have to create it from scratch...times however many posts I have to do that week/that month. And if it's art heavy or I have to edit a video together or re-edit the artwork/copy for each platform...time really stacks up. 

I think it's more important when you're talking to someone about doing their marketing and they give you prices is to ask what this covers and really dig into it. Are they creating original content from scratch? Is this content that's unique to you (and only going to be used by you) or are they using templates for all of their clients? Is everything highly customized, semi-custom, or not custom at all? Are they recycling any old content they create for you or is everything created new? How much experience do they have in the medium they'll be using the most? How much experience do they have in your industry?*

*I'm starring this last one because this isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. It's just something to consider. If you get someone who's been highly recommend to you and they haven't worked in your industry before, it might not be a bad thing. I have a couple clients in complex industries and let me tell you, if I can figure out their business and their concepts well enough to explain it to myself, you bet I can translate that succinctly to the average consumer. Plus, a fresh pair of eyes can bring new perspective.

My prices might seem high especially compared with those spam bots who message you on Instagram and tell you they can do all your content for $50/month...but I'm not a spam bot. I'm a real person who does highly custom content for my clients. There's a major difference in pricing and there should be.

I hope that gave you a better understanding of what these two key terms, content creation and content curation, actually mean. If you liked this type of post where I took some time to break down a concept, please leave me a comment below or message me so I know to do more of this!