Content ‘Aggregation’ vs. Content ‘Curation’
Thirty percent of online users get their news from a website or mobile app that organizes news stories for them like Pulse, Flipboard or Spun.
A 2012 study from curation software company Curata found that both content curation and content aggregation are strategic elements of content marketing. When done correctly, they create a powerful digital experience, providing valuable content to users while still expressing a brand’s core values.
According to the same report, 85 percent of US marketers and agencies turn to content curation when establishing thought leadership – a jump from 79 percent the previous year, 80 percent leverage curation as way to elevate brand visibility or generate buzz and 65 percent turn to curation as a means of boosting SEO.
Both content curation and aggregation are quite similar. However, there are the four key differences between strategies – listed below.
Content aggregation is the act of pulling in content from a variety of different sources across the web, and publishing them on one platform, website or blog. This process is automated through RSS feeds and offers the distinct advantage of updating content in real-time – a process that can’t be achieved when simply curating content by hand.
Automation is incredibly helpful as the demand increases for timely content that is relevant, informative and routinely refreshed. This process typically requires less editorial oversight and resources. It also offers marketers a huge differentiator: speed.
Curation, on the other hand, can be a far more manual process and allows content marketers to thoughtfully pick specific content that best targets an audience’s needs and interests. While curation technologies have come a long way (and now enable marketers to publish content more efficiently), content curation has historically been much slower and resource-intensive.
It’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve when deciding how to publish and organize your brand’s content.
If your content is niche, highly targeted, topic-oriented, and requires real-time monitoring and updates, then content curation is right for you. If your campaign requires high quality content from specific sources, then curation will also most likely offer greater value in the long run.
Both Intel’s digital magazine iQ and GE’s Txchnologist are two excellent examples of branded content curation. These niche microsites are dedicated to specific topics that are important to both brands, such as innovative and technology in the case of iQ and science, energy, transportation and computing in the case of Txchnologist. Both sites require a more manual approach to publishing to ensure that both hubs are producing and promoting the most relevant content on a daily basis.
The editorial hand makes all the difference when it comes to the value content curation affords. When a brand or publisher employs an editor or content marketer to manage the publication and promotion of content, the insights they glean from the process can help to inform future editorial and content marketing decisions as well as communication with consumers.
188.8.131.52.4. Mixture of ‘original’ (new) and ‘curated’ content
The real value comes down to the experience a brand is trying to create for its audience. Aggregation can be especially useful to brands with large content channels to manage, like American Express. AMEX’s OPEN Forum employs a mixture of original (new) and curated content from external sources. This model allows for a certain degree of control that’s absent from other platforms that rely solely upon aggregation, like Yahoo News.