Creation vs. Curation: The best content strategy for your business
We all know that content is king. In the magazine world, from where I have come and which is vastly different to that of marketing, content drives advertising, audience and sales. Come to think of it, perhaps there isn’t much difference between the two.
What makes a magazine successful is a good mix of editorial and features written from within the editorial department and outsourced articles written by experts within particular fields. As a business editor, I would ask contributors to supply specific topics on property, investments, risk management and marketing. In-house editorial combined with carefully curated content, creates a magazine that encompasses the most important aspects of readability: information and entertainment.
An editor should never lose sight of the fact that audience engagement is the difference between success and failure.
In marketing, the same principles apply.
No matter whether you are small business with limited funds or a big agency trying to attract large amounts of market share, your content plan should be informative, entertaining and therefore engaging.
I learnt that lesson early on. And it has stuck with me since. If you create content that audiences love, you build a relationship and therefore create brand loyalty.
Don’t think that you can just sit down and build content for your website, blog or other medium. Your content has to be meticulously planned. If you want to engage customers through blog posts, make sure you are writing content people want to read. It must have relevance. And you have to be consistent. Writing isn’t easy. Some of the best bloggers take a day to put one piece together. It is a well-known fact that blogging gurus Neil Patel and Jon Morrow can take up to eight hours to complete one post. That is a day’s work and if you are running a small business, you may not have the time to dedicate to the task.
Dedication and consistency is key. If you add a blog to your website, be consistent. Put up one post a day, or one post a week, but make it consistent. Let your readers come to expect and anticipate its frequency. Let them in, they want to know you, what you stand for and why they should follow you.
The worst thing to do is start blogging and not follow through. Like anything, you have a three-month window to establish consistency. Once you have been doing something for three months consistently, you form a habit and, in this case, content creation becomes second nature.
But think about this: what does it say about you or your business if you start a content plan, or a blog and deliver on your promise early, only to fall away when it counts the most? Will clients or customers question your ability to follow through with your product or service? In short, don’t start a content plan if you feel that time may be an issue for you. Or hire someone to dedicate time to the project.
We have focused on blogs here, but your content plan may involve any social media platform and may even involve updated website content including product reviews, company news and releases.
Content generation takes time and effort. So, before you start your content plan, build in the time to follow it through.
Think of yourself as the art director of the national gallery, handpicking pieces that you know will draw an audience. Pieces that tell a story and that people will be talking about long after they are shipped back to the Louvre.
That’s what a great curator does. And you can do that too.
There is no need to agonise over every word of your blog, when there are more succinct people out there who can deliver your message for you.
There are several ways to go about this using various social media platforms. If you go down this path, you need to ensure that you are curating the best content possible.
And curating doesn’t necessarily mean using existing articles or asking someone to write for you, it also involves commenting, posting videos and joining discussions on particular topics.
Another thing to be mindful of is how you present the content. Like the curator in the art gallery who has to look at the tone and context of one piece in relation to the next, you need to know where to hang your content: what time to post, what message you want to deliver with your media and where you will attract the most views.
You can still put a human face to curated content and allow people the opportunity to build relationships with you and your brand, however curating must be done properly. It is not as time consuming as creation, and you may not be writing from personal experience, but you can certainly relay your experiences, opinions, values and ultimately your products by expressing yourself utilising the work of others.
Blogger’s note: More than two million people use Feedly to curate content. Content DJ is another great resource. Check them out.