Is there a clear winner?
When it comes to the “which is better?” debate, we always assume that there will be a definitive answer, one way or the other at the end. In terms of original content Vs curated content, both have their place in web content strategies.
Start with the obvious – understanding what curated content actually is?
Some pundits will tell you this is simply the latest buzz word, the current hot topic in the world on content strategy and like most trends, it will eventually die away.
Content curation does not involve the creation of original content but is the about discovering, gathering and organising material from a variety of sources which is then presented via your website or blog to the rest of the world.
If you are a online fashion retailer, you might, for example, gather and present a list of sources and materials for your customers or whoever on the use of a certain fabric or technology in the production of products like your own.
In trendy language it is about this ‘funnelling information in a mash-up style’.
Original content is the stuff that you create and write, post on your blog or website, inviting responses and comments from users. For many years now, online businesses have strived for original content that is fun and engaging – all this information is ‘out there’ and content curation is about pulling some of this knowledge and material together.
The Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons to each and there is no doubt that they both have merit in pushing your online business forward and, perhaps more importantly, keeping it there.
The web is an overcrowded place, where some websites sit lost and hidden – content curation might be one of way of getting it known. If you website is already a burgeoning empire then content curation is a way of staying ‘on trend’.
A possible con with content curation is that on occasions you could it wrong – is the content you have funnelled relevant and the sources reliable? If not, it can cause you and your brand some harm. But, on the pro side of the coin, content curation is a great way of adding depth on specific topics relevant to your product etc – BUT you need to provide links and make sure you credit other people for their work. If you don’t, this is plagiarism.
Of course, creating your own original content avoids all these pitfalls. Writing and creating your own material sets the tone for your product or business.
It is also true that today, customers expect more from brands and product – they expect transparency and entertainment. You can achieve both these from original content and curated content.
But, curated content is not about simply chucking a load of links together, with some stylish photos as a back drop. It is becoming a specialist field, with some great designers and curation experts out there.
Is there room for both?
Yes there is but tread carefully and make sure you get it right as customers as becoming increasingly savvy in their purchasing behaviour. It isn’t just about who is the cheapest or who offers best value; it is also about who offers the best experience, who informed them and who entertains them. Still images and static web pages are not in vogue – apps, infographics and a whole host of other media is fast becoming the norm that customers look for.
What are your thoughts?