How Content Creation and Content Curation Should Work Together Let's start by defining the differences between content creation and content curation.

By Timothy Carter

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most entrepreneurs realize by now just how valuable content can be. With excellent content, you can improve your reputation, attract more people to your website and ultimately score more conversion. What's more, your content can work synergistically with a variety of different marketing and advertising strategies. You can use it with email marketing, social media marketing and even paid advertisements to foster a better environment for your brand.

But your burden as an entrepreneur shouldn't solely be content creation. Instead, you should employ a mix of tactics from both content creation and content curation — related yet distinct concepts that synergize effectively.

Content creation vs. curation

Let's start by defining the differences between content creation and content curation.

Content creation is pretty straightforward. It's the act of creating new pieces of content from scratch. For example, you could hire a writer to create an eBook for your brand or use your in-house graphic designer to come up with an infographic. These are original works created specifically for your strategy and they can be shared in a number of ways.

Related: 11 Call to Action Hacks to Boost Clicks and Conversions

Content curation, by contrast, is the process of finding content already in existence and modifying or manipulating it to suit your brand. Depending on your goals and the type of content you're after, this could mean sharing someone else's content on your social media platform of choice, adding your own commentary to someone else's blog post or even cultivating fan submissions from your customers.

The advantages of content creation

There are several advantages to content creation, including:

  • Originality. Creating a piece of content from scratch makes it totally original. You won't have to worry about your audience seeing the content somewhere else first — and you can take full credit for the entire piece. It's invaluable if you're interested in creating a better reputation for your brand from the ground up.
  • Total control. As a curator, you'll have control over which pieces you share and publish, but you won't have control over the core messaging of those pieces. With content creation, you'll have complete control over the entire piece. It's a chance for you to make it into whatever you want.
  • Specificity. During the creation process, you'll have the opportunity to research your target audience and craft a piece that speaks to them directly. You'll have highly specific, targeted content, rather than a generic piece made for someone else's audience. This is especially important for persuasive pieces.

The advantages of content curation

However, there are also advantages to content curation:

  • Lower time requirements. One of the obvious benefits here is that you won't need to spend as much time on your strategic objectives. Writing a new piece of content from scratch can take many hours, especially if you're creating something that requires in-depth research. Pulling an existing piece from somewhere else and adding a few pieces of commentary won't take much time at all, by contrast.
  • Diverse options. The internet is a big place, with more than 600 million active blogs and 1.7 billion websites. There's no shortage of external content, so you should be able to find a wide range of sources in your field of choice. If you're curating content, that means you can take your time finding pieces and perspectives that suit your brand perfectly. It's also an opportunity to expand your horizons and review content from sources you might not otherwise have discovered.
  • Relationship possibilities. Curating content can also be a valid way to flesh out your network, meet new influencers and build better relationships with them. For example, you can share a whitepaper by a trusted authority in your industry and use it as a launchpad to have a more in-depth conversation with them. In the future, you can share each other's work and cross-pollinate your audiences — or even collaborate on a new creative piece together.

Blending the strategies

Relying exclusively on curation or exclusively on creation will yield you inferior results, compared to utilizing a blend of both. These strategies also feed into each other, enhancing each other's positive effects. For example, as you create more original content, you'll develop a stronger reputation as an authority in your space; with this stronger reputation, you'll find it easier to reach out to other content creators and collaborate on shared material. And curating more content exposes you to a diversity of different perspectives and opinions, which you can use as research to fuel your own creations.

Related: What You Need to Know About the LinkedIn Stories Feature

If content is a centerpiece of your online marketing strategy (as it should be), you should take the time to discover the merits of both content creation and content curation — and use both as integral components of your campaign. The balance will look different for every brand, but almost any company can benefit from these strategic additions.
Timothy Carter

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Chief Revenue Officer of SEO.co

Timothy Carter is the CRO of the Seattle digital marketing agency SEO.co. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & digital marketing leading, building & scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and driving growth from websites and sales teams.

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