Content Marketing - Typing

To curate or create?

It’s a question that many marketers ask themselves when planning their strategy.

Luckily, the answer isn’t one or the other. It’s a combination of both curation and creation that can help marketers achieve great results.

For years, content creation has been pointed to as the holy grail for content marketing. From ebooks and infographics to blog posts and presentations, the idea that content is king has resulted in a content boom.

One of the best content platforms in the world is Netflix. Marketers can learn a lot from Netflix as it relates to both content marketing and data driven decisions. It’s an entity that has perfected both the creation and curation of content. Content creation is the act of taking an idea and turning it into an actual piece of content. Content curation is the act of finding great content and then distributing it across your own channels.

These are two things that Netflix does better than anyone.

House Of Cards

Netflix leverages content creation when they take an idea and turn it into original programming. The Netflix series House of Cards or the documentary, Making A Murderer are both great examples of content created by Netflix. Netflix invests billions of dollars into creating original content because they understand the role it plays in generating new subscribers.

Research from Cowen and Company found that 23% of Netflix subscribers subscribe because of the original programming.


Netflix also specializes in content curation by finding and licensing great content that was developed by other production studios. For example, Hartswood Films, BBC Wales and WGBH are the production studios behind the hit series, Sherlock, but anyone can watch if they have a Netflix account. Netflix invests billions into these contracts and agreements because they understand the importance of giving their subscribers access to great content.

In a 2014 study, Contently surveyed more than 600 marketers to uncover insights surrounding the current state of affairs in the content world. The research found that more than two thirds of the marketers surveyed believe that original content is more effective than licensed (syndicated) content.

Content Creation - Contently

The reality is this:

If you create or curate quality content; you will succeed at content marketing.

Why You Should Create Content

The benefits of content creation for marketers are plentiful. Ranging from the ability to drive traffic to a channel in which you own to the increased likelihood of having long term search traffic – creating content is a great marketing opportunity. When you create content that provides value to your readers life, they associate that value with your brand. As a content creator you control the message, the type of content and the purpose it plays in your readers life.

If you’re able to create content consistently and deliver value, your readers will keep coming back. Your readers will share your content with their connections on LinkedIn, their friends on Facebook and to their entire team on Slack. This benefit comes from a focus on creating quality content and sharing it to the right audiences.

Why You Should Curate Content

One of my favorite resources online is the Mattermark Daily newsletter. It’s a daily round up of the best articles surrounding startups, venture capital and the operations of a technology company. I subscribe to lots of different newsletters but this one is special because the content is always high quality.

And I’m not alone in thinking this way:

Brad Feld is the managing director of the Foundry Group and investor in companies like Moz, Gnip, FullContact and Fitbit. In a blog post titled: Why I don’t have to follow VC blogs anymore – he pointed to Mattermark Daily as the reason.

Mattermark is a software company that delivers data for startups & VCs. The Mattermark Daily newsletter has played a huge role in helping the company establish a strong reputation with this target audience.

Content curation is when you take the content created by others and filter through it to identify content your audience should be consuming. You can curate content by sharing various links on your social media accounts, through a blog post or in a newsletter. Tools like Crate, Buffer and Pinterest make it easier than ever to curate great content.

Should You Curate or Create Content?

Let’s go with both.

Netflix is a great example of the perfect curation and creation mix.

You should strive to have some channels in which you’re acting as a content curator and others in which you’re the creator.

For example, if you’re the owner of a gym; you could launch a blog or video series that constantly offers value by sharing insights about workouts, diet and training. At the same time, you could also have a weekly newsletter and Twitter account that shares content from all over the world about fitness and healthy eating. In doing this, you’ll be seen as an authority in the space and build a following of people who want this information.

Want to learn more? Check out the Ultimate guide to Content Curation. It’s filled with insights that will help take your curation skills to the next level.

Anything I miss? Let me know in the comments.