Creating your own content is the cornerstone of content marketing, and it’s where businesses tend to focus their energy. Sharing curated content from other sources on social media and on your own website can also be a useful way to engage with your audience. Below, we’ll take a look at how each type of content can benefit your business, as well as what the evidence says about striking a balance between content creation vs. content curation.

Advantages and Disadvantages: Content Creation vs. Content Curation

Content creation is how most companies spend most of their content marketing efforts. There are a number of advantages to this approach: the content you create is completely yours, and creating great content can establish you as a thought leader that people turn to for information. At the same time, only using social media to share your own content can seem self-centered and eventually turn your social media avenues into an echo chamber.

Content curation relieves that problem by allowing you to link to content from other businesses, content that you don’t have a vested interest in. In contrast to your own content, which is ultimately aimed at making sales, the purpose of curating content is simply to find and share content that your readers will appreciate. This is a great method for getting plenty of clicks, and can be helpful in keeping your audience interested. It also relieves some of the pressure businesses face to constantly create new content. On the other hand, you’re not going to make any conversions by linking to other websites.

Striking the Balance

Clearly, there are advantages to using both curated and created content, and effective content marketers should be using both. The question is, how do you strike a balance between the two? Convince & Convert’s Tristan Handy used data from Argyle Social to look at how companies are sharing content and which proportion of created vs. curated content works best.

The analysis found that 2/3 of companies linked to others more frequently than they link to themselves, and 30% linked to third-party website 75% or more of the time. 13% of companies linked to their own website 75% of the time or more.

As can be expected, the two types of content had different results for companies. Posts to third-party websites received 33% more clicks than posts to business’ own websites, while links to created content had a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate.

The analysis also provides some great information as to where the balance lies between content creation vs. content curation. Here’s what the numbers say:

  • Companies that link to third-party websites 75% or more of the time generate a lot of clicks, but very few conversions
  • Companies that link to third-party sites 50-75% of the time receive fewer clicks but significantly more conversions
  • Companies that link to their own content 50% of the time or more receive even fewer clicks without an increased conversion rate
  • The top companies link to their own sites about 40% of the time – this is the “sweet spot” that you should aim for

How to Curate Content

So how do you find all that content to curate? There are a number of methods. You may find content you’d like to share with your audience in your own day to day industry reading, especially if you’re a B2B company. News aggregators can be great sources of content for curation. Employees may also have content they’d like to recommend.

As you start to share content more frequently (or less frequently, depending on how much you were sharing before), it’s important to look critically at how well the type of content you share is working for you. What types of posts are getting more clicks, shares, and comments, and which are being largely passed over? Looking at these numbers will help you to curate content that your readers are truly interested in.

How do you strike a balance of created vs. curated content? Do you think you might change your approach to use more curated content? Share in the comments!


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