As the way we share online has changed over time, so has the definition of content. We not only have that which we create, but also that which we curate. Which has caused a question to form: which of the two is more valuable, and how should they be implemented into overall content management?
What makes this question unique is that is isn’t limited to any one platform. Original versus curated content is as relevant to blogs as it is to social networks, for example. It can be asked by marketers, webmasters,bloggers and business owners alike. The answer is also not so cut and dry as selecting which holds the most benefit for any one person.
The truth is, both are highly valuable, and both have their place in the scheme of things. It is more about finding the right combination of the two.
It should be obvious why original content is important. You are creating something new and unique, that can be identified under your brand, business or personal. When that content is curated by others, it furthers your scope and visibility. Which, in turn, has benefits such as increasing traffic, solidifying your reputation as an expert in your field, and expanding your social presence.
Content should be created for all different sources of your brand. That means blogs, business sites, guest posts on other sites, your social networks, and so on. Likewise, different types of content should be made, from text posts to images, and even infographics or videos. Anything you can make that is unique will have a positive impact.
The downside to this is that the creation of content takes a great of time and energy. You need fresh ideas, platforms to release it on, and it sometimes a piece might not get the attention you have hoped. Indeed, there is no method for reaching viral status that anyone can pinpoint. It is just a matter of quality versus timing, and very often a complete fluke.
On the other hand, we have curated content. This is work that has been created by someone else, and reposted or collected by you. With full rights to the person who made it, you are able to piggyback on the success of that content, while giving them the added benefits of visibility by sharing them out. So it is a mutual relationship that many choose to foster.
Most commonly, you see on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Sharing a link in a status update could be content curation. So could pinning something to your board. Or just retweeting an amusing or relevant comment that is relevant to your industry.
The benefits of content curation are less direct, but more continuous than in creating your own work. You will be able to quickly share items throughout the day, and that gives you regular results. But they are going to be fleeting, like a quick injection of activity. You also run the risk of sending them elsewhere, rather than getting them to stick around.
You need to have a balance of both unique and curated content to get the best possible results.
How Much Of Each?
There is no magic number. No matter who you ask, they are always going to say that it is dependent on the case. One thing is for sure, you should be posting regular original content on all of your social platforms, from your blog to your pages and profiles. This could be several times a month, or several times a week. The latter is probably going to be more beneficial.
As for curated content, this should also be done regularly, but not so much as to overpower your original work. A couple of posts a day at each account should give you a good groove to work on.
The most important way to find that balance is through collecting data. Watch the analytics for all accounts and sites, and adjust accordingly. You can monitor the activity of users, such as how often they visit the page, read the content you post, and when that activity drops off or surges. That will give you the information you need to create an informed and decisive plan of action.
Image Credits: writing, content, content.