From question marks in headlines to the ideal length of blogs, it seems us content marketers are a fiery (read: passionate) bunch that aren’t afraid to have a healthy debate. Yes, even over something as seemingly trivial as punctuation in a headline.
Another matter we like to discuss is whether you should opt for created or curated content, with marketers generally sitting sternly on one side of the fence. Here at M2, we believe you should straddle the fence, if you pardon the expression.
What’s the difference?
You’d be forgiven for not knowing what the difference is; after all, surely all content is created? While this might be technically correct, there is a big factor that separates created and curated content.
Created content is original content that has been produced by your own company or by an external agency. Not only does this mean that you own the content, more importantly, it means the material you share on your blog, website, social media, etc., is truly representative of your company’s thoughts and insights. Posting original content positions your company as an authoritative and expert voice in your field.
Curated content is content that you’ve found from external sources, that is relevant to your industry and your readers’ areas of interest, shared on your online platforms.
It might seem counter-intuitive to share content that will promote other businesses, but it can be a great way of fostering relationships.
- Time effective – With the right planning and sourcing of content, your marketing team could save some time, allowing them to focus on different areas of your marketing strategy.
- Improves SEO – Businesses can boost SEO by making sure the curated content they share is keyword relevant. CEO of Curata, Pawan Deshpande, claims that 65% of marketers and brands use curated content as a way of improving SEO.
- Fosters relationships – ok, so you don’t want to be promoting your competition, but sharing content from relevant industry sources can help you build relationships with other firms in your sector. You never know when those contacts could come in handy!
- Gives your audience a platform to read alternative views and be introduced to different resources – providing your readers with different views can help engage your audience, so they can make their own minds up or get involved and have their own say.
- Shows you as an authoritative industry figure – writing original content shows you know your stuff and keep on top of what happens in your industry.
- Gives you a platform to show an individual’s or company’s opinions, skills and knowledge – you have a unique voice that has been influenced by your experiences, so why not share that with your audience?
- Enhances your perception as a trustworthy source – in a world of fake news, readers are increasingly looking for sources they can trust. Creating your own content can help you be seen as a credible source.
- Builds stronger relationships with your audience – as well as boosting your credibility, sharing your own opinions will help readers learn more about your company and what it stands for, further strengthening their relationship with your business.
Combine the two
Some combinations are made for each other; bacon and eggs, steak and chips, Pimm’s and a summer’s day… Just like these classic combos, a mix of created and curated is a content pairing made in heaven. Your audience gets to know who you are in the original content you share, but enables you to have a break from writing your own posts all the time by sharing content you’ve curated.
Analysis by Convince & Convert found that having a balance between the two types leads to a better performance than those focusing on just the one. Companies in the ‘balanced’ group – businesses that use curated content 50-75% of the time – see 20% fewer clicks than those that use just curated content, but conversions are 10 times higher. When compared to created content, balanced saw more clicks and a higher conversion rate.
Created and curated content both serve very different purposes. If you limit yourself to just one, you’re missing out on a number of valuable opportunities. If you need help getting the balance right, get in touch with us today.