Forget the content curation vs. creation debate and focus on value
When it comes to content, well, it’s king. But it’s the strategy that maximizes its potential. Do you curate, or create your own? The debate is fierce—Ragan.com has published all sides of the argument through numerous articles: there’s one against curation, one that says there’s no other way to go and an even more recent story that talks about the “sweet spot” between creation and curation. I think the optimal approach falls somewhere in between the two extremes—as long as the focus of any content-driven campaign is on its value to readers.
Content, whether original or curated, only matters when it’s valuable to the target audience. Putting the audience first is exactly the winning takeaway in Forbes’ recent review of AviSavar’s book titled, “Content to Commerce.” Companies that embrace this viewpoint have the keys to success. I’ve found many times that I’ve been exposed to some fantastic viewpoints and opinions through sites that curated existing work and featured it on their blogs. Some companies are wildly successful with a curation approach—and to do it right takes as the same, if not more, resources as creation. Likewise, there’s a dearth of original and meaningful B2B content. Giving companies an edge that invest time and resources into creation.
I’ve also seen both strategies go terribly wrong. Curation-heavy blogs that either fail to engage readers or drive prospects to competing brands, or original work that boils down to a sales pitch.
If a company is willing to devote the resources to both create and curate really great content and disseminate it appropriately, the audience is going to find significance in the source and the work. Occasionally bringing in an outside expert commentator or discussing and linking to a well-balanced article can keep things fresh and expose your readers to a new voice. Likewise, the development of original and balanced writing is going to keep prospects and customers more engaged with your brand.
Again, no matter what path you choose when developing content, what matters is that you know your target group of readers and continue to build their trust. The only way to do that is to uphold the integrity of your work and only present your audience with value.