The Content Marketing Institute reported that 90 percent of organisations are marketing with content. And now, Forrester predicts that enterprise content volume is growing at a rate of 200 percent annually. It’s safe to say that most companies are embarking on or are deep into a content marketing initiative.
If your company is just leaping into the mix or is experienced in content marketing, there’s a good chance that you are still grappling with the challenge of figuring out how much content is needed and finding the balance between content creation and curation. Do you need to make or moderate your content?
The solution is not a one size fits all, but it is almost always a hybrid solution with a varying percentage of original versus third-party content, and the formula is based on the type of company, goals of the content initiative, and how much content is already out there.
Right now, companies are generally practicing a ratio of 65 percent created and about 35 percent curated. While that may be the average, that may not be the right balance for every company. We’ve found that 40 percent original, 30 percent licensed curated content, and 30 percent UGC or employee created content. But the needs for every brand is different.
Here are some pros and cons for each:
Original content will directly align with your campaigns. Although curated content can be relevant and timely, original content allows you to share your brand voice and unique point of view.
Original content can be powerful for opt-ins. A recent MarketingSherpa report found that 75 to 80 percent of the B2B marketers surveyed stated that generating high-quality leads is their biggest concern, which is how they are using their content initiative. Creating original content – whitepapers, reports, webcasts, etc. – and hiding it behind opt-in forms can absolutely generate those leads.
Licensed content frees up your team. Creating that high value content takes a lot of work! This is where licensed content comes in – allowing you to keep up your content cadence while focusing your energy and bandwidth on bigger projects.
With both licensed and original content, the content belongs to you! All the original content that is created for or by your company is yours, but by using licensed content instead of curated links, you can use and distribute that content freely as well.
So let’s take a step back and first, understand the difference between content creation and content curation.
Content creation vs. content curation
Content creation is pretty straightforward – it’s the original content that an organisation creates and organizes into a slew of different formats – from eBooks to infographics and everything in between. According to the Custom Content Council, two-thirds of consumers say that the information provided through custom media helps them make better purchase decisions and more than half say they are more willing to buy a product from a company that provides custom media.
Content curation comes in two forms: simply curating links to third party content, or licensing curated content to host on your media property. Curation involves finding, organizing, annotating, and sharing high quality digital content that must be relevant to the organisation’s audience and come from credible sites. NewsCred encourages brands to license their curated content, as simply curating links drives traffic away from your site, while licensing content allows you to curate and distribute content from highly respected publishers while keeping your audience on your digital properties.
Since most companies don’t have the infrastructure to be 24 hour newsrooms, curating licensed content can be an easy way to scale, save time and resources, and align your brand with credible third-party publishers. Also, by promoting content from respected, outside licensed sources your brand can get involved in bigger conversations and shy away from being to self-promotional (and as any marketer will tell you, being overly promotional will definitely not get you anywhere today). It also allows you to share breaking news in your industry in a legal, easy way that doesn’t sap your team’s manpower.
So back to the question: Does it make the most sense to make or moderate your content?
A foundation in content creation is vital to the success of your content initiative. But without a round the clock content team in place, this becomes an unattainable goal.
So, consider creating content as your foundation and making it a priority. Then, once you know the volume of content needed to maintain your content initiative and reach your goals, fill in the gaps with licensed content. This percentage could vary from the average of 65/35, but that’s okay – it’s your company’s individual strategy. For guaranteed success, measure your results, note your achievements, and adjust your content mix accordingly. Content marketing is not a cake walk but with the one-two punch of original and licensed content – your strategy can really take flight.