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Created content should stand as the backbone of your content marketing strategy, since original material helps differentiate your brand from the competition. But the reality is that limited budgets, staff, and time often make it nearly impossible to create enough original content and keep all your channels updated on a consistent basis. Too much created content can be a morale-killer because it often requires a back-breaking pace of constant creation for employees. Plus, not all organizations have strong storytellers who can create high-quality content on a consistent basis.
These are just a few of the reasons why many savvy content marketers include a combination of created content and curated content in their strategy. Our recent survey of top marketers found that on average, they use 65 percent created content and 25 percent curated content, with 10 percent of content syndicated from third party sources.
Curated content solves some of the pain points created by a 100 percent creation strategy, and when done well, curated content actually includes elements of creation such as incorporating additional context, opinions, and so on. It’s also more realistic for marketers with a limited budget or small staff to supplement their created content with curation rather than to create it all themselves.
Curation Complements Creation
Here’s why curation is the ultimate complement to created content:
Solves resource issues: Unlike created content, curated content doesn’t have the resource challenges mentioned above. It’s not as expensive or time-consuming to produce and doesn’t require a huge team of writers. Curated content allows you to get more content out the door and ultimately increase leads without a proportionate amount more original content. When news breaks, it’s easier to curate articles on the topic in real time versus producing them yourself.
Gives readers other perspectives: Your readers or customers don’t want egocentric marketing that focuses entirely on your products, your perspective, you, you, you. They want to hear from third-party sources who can offer a different point of view, and curation affords you this opportunity. Annotating curation by adding your own point of view or commentary helps drive thought leadership. In fact, 55 percent of the marketers we surveyed said curation has helped improve thought leadership, while 63 percent said it has helped boost brand visibility.
Content Mix Best Practices
Now that we’ve convinced you of curation’s value, here are some best practices for content curation:
Curate consistently: To get the best results from content curation, you need to curate content on a consistent basis – ideally every day. Sixteen percent of the marketers we surveyed curate third-party sources for their audience every day, while about half are curating from third-party sources at least once a week.
Devote time each day to curation: To maintain reasonable frequency, set aside time each day for curation. Use tools to streamline your curation process, easily distribute content to multiple channels and ultimately, save time. Our survey found that nearly half of marketers are spending over two hours per day on curation. These marketers are likely wasting time annotating content that isn’t brand relevant or manually sharing to multiple channels. We recommend spending about 30 minutes per day on curation and using content specific technology that can help you find, annotate, organize and share content efficiently.
Publish across multiple channels: The top three places that marketers publish curated content is on social media, their blogs and newsletters. But posting manually to these channels isn’t necessary. One-click to multi-channel publishing can help you get more mileage out of every piece you curate in a fraction of the time.
For more insight on content marketing strategies, including the latest statistics on best practices and what top content marketers are doing this year, download Curata’s Content Marketing Tactics Planner 2014.