Having a steady flow of engaging and valuable content is a constant challenge for most businesses and brands.
The time and effort required to produce incredible Facebook updates, powerful tweets, stunning pins, captivating videos for YouTube, and longer format blog posts is a challenge that many businesses find overwhelming.
Social media and content marketing require incredibly hard work if you are going to experience the full benefits they have to offer. That’s just a fact.
A result of businesses coming to this realization, I’ve found that many turn to content curation as their primary method of feeding their content pipelines. There’s a ton of great content being published all the time about every imaginable topic, so why not share that with your audience? Right? Well, there are drawbacks to this.
While you might assume that based on what I’ve just written I’ll be going on to preach the virtues of content creation, there are actually pros and cons to exclusively applying one approach over the other to engage your business’ audience.
Before I get to providing a recommendation about creating versus curating your business’ content, I think it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of each.
The benefits of content creation are numerous to say the least.
- The content you create is exclusively yours.
- Consumers who enjoy your content will need to come to you as the source, and return for more.
- The value you offer will be unique to your audience.
- You will be more likely to build a stronger, more loyal audience.
- You will be able to directly demonstrate your business’ knowledge, expertise and experience.
- It is possible to very specifically tailor content to your target demographic.
- The content you create can be optimized for search to give your business better search engine rankings.
- The tone, voice and personality of your business can be showcased.
- Your content can work toward addressing your business’ unique goals and objectives.
… and on.
On the flip side, there are many reasons that keep some businesses from creating their own content on an ongoing and regular basis. And these reasons are completely legitimate. Again, not a comprehensive list, but here are some of the downsides.
- Content creation can be incredibly time consuming.
- It adds an extra layer of pressure to sustain regular creation of content.
- It can take a great deal of time and dedication before your business can experience real measurable success through content marketing.
- The creation or rich multimedia content such as audio, video or still imagery can be expensive.
- Depending on the category in which your organization competes, and the nature of the content you create, you can be opening your business up to criticism.
- You are providing your audience with only a single perspective on the subject of your content.
Finding relevant content to your business, posting it to your social media channels, and engaging with your audience around other organizations’ content can be amazing for your business’ social media channels for reasons of its own.
- Content is incredibly abundant.
- It’s less time consuming to curate content than to create it.
- You can likely post with greater regularity if content is curated.
- It’s easy to offer your audience numerous perspectives on a given subject.
- Sharing other peoples’ content is inherently social; always a good thing on social media.
- There are many tools that are available to make curating content incredibly efficient.
Similar to just about anything in life that is relatively easy to do, curating content as your business’ primary method of engagement on social media has its drawbacks.
- Curated content will never be demonstrative of your capabilities, expertise or experience.
- By featuring others’ relevant content, you could inadvertently be promoting your competition.
- Your content calendar can become a bit of a slave to the content being created by others.
- Engagement with curated content can be lower than with content you’ve created by virtue of the fact that your audience could be engaging with it elsewhere.
- It might be more difficult to achieve your business objectives by solely posting curated content.
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THIS
Creating unique social media content for your business, and curating relevant content for your audience, are both valid approaches to filling your content pipeline. This said, there is no single approach that will yield the best results.
You may want to experiment with the balance of content you publish that is created by your organization versus curated. Factors that influence this ratio are likely to include the time and resources you have to put toward creating unique content, the level of organizational support you have for social media and content marketing, the value that can be gained by developing relationships with other content creators, and your business objectives to list a few.
Providing your audience with a healthy and manageable mix of uniquely created content and curated content will maximize your ability to consistently provide value to them while also demonstrating what your business is all about.
Do you find it is typically your unique content, or curated content, that your audience is most interested in?
How do you balance the content you create with the content you curate?
What keeps you from either creating your own content, or including curated content as part of your social media strategy?
It would be awesome to discuss this with you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
It can be beneficial for businesses of any size to encourage everyone in the organization to create and capture social media content. Increased diversity, fresh perspective, capitalizing on opportunities, having a sense of involvement and contribution, greater volume, shared responsibility, and better quality are just some of the benefits that can be experienced by involving an entire staff in content creation, versus the onus being placed squarely on one person’s shoulders.
The trouble with this approach to content creation is to do with the practicality of curating content from a potentially large number of sources. Also, encouraging the creation of content that is specifically for your organization can be a headache to say the least.
So, how can these challenges be overcome? Try using Twitter hashtags.
Choose a Hashtag
Select a hashtag for your coworkers or employees to use on all of the relevant content they are posting to their personal social graphs. This will allow you to easily follow and search for this content, and won’t require major adjustments to their natural use of Twitter.
Monitor the Hashtag
Set up a stream in HootSuite or TweetDeck to monitor the content your coworkers or employees are posting and tagging using the hashtag you’ve selected. This should give you a steady stream of relevant content to post on your organization’s social media properties.
Curate, Schedule and Post the Best Content
After you’ve got your streams in HootSuite or TweetDeck set up, all that will be left is curating the very best content that is being published, editing the content you’d like to repost, and then scheduling or posting your content.
By using Twitter hashtags to curate relevant content that your coworkers or employees are creating, you’re streamlining the process of content creation, collection, editing, and publishing by tapping their natural use of social media.
All of this said, you shouldn’t expect that just because you’ve organized a Twitter hashtag that everyone in your organization will automatically become a content producing machine. However, this approach will cater to those individuals who regularly use social media and will naturally be your top content contributors, and perhaps because of the ease of contributing, could result in a greater number of contributions from people who would otherwise be less keen to get involved.
How do you curate content that is being produced from various sources within your organization?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial