Content curation is powerful, it increases visibility and user interaction, two things many businesses will never get tired of. But unfortunately, it can never form the heart of a successful marketing strategy.
Here are a few reasons why you should only ever use curation as a supplement to your wider marketing and outreach efforts.
1. It Changes How You're Perceived
Reddit is a big site, it's a famous site, and it gets billions of hits daily, but it is not an authority. It's crowd-sourced and crowd-managed content curation. You can find a lot of interesting things there, but the authority is lacking.
The value of content curation is in sifting through the Internet to find the most interesting and relevant items, and that's the value people will see in you. You become an aggregate feed, not an authority.
2. You Lose Your Voice
Content curation is great for your content creators as it gives them time off or lightens the load. Unfortunately, content curation can also dilute the strength and clarity of your message and voice. You may agree with what you just shared, but that's not your voice, and the rest of their work may contain messages that do not align with your branding.
Think about the kind of messages you see from friends on Facebook. If they share enough messages from a specific political party, you might start thinking that they're in that party, even if they aren't. You can curb this by adding your own commentary, but it's like the tide, and you can't stop it from eventually coloring your brand.
3. Everyone's doing it
Reddit, LinkedIn, Upworthy - everyone's in the content curation game in one form or another. Curating content doesn't make you special. At best, it can get you some extra attention. And while every little bit helps, it won't be enough to get you a real market advantage.
4. You Build Other People's Authority, Not Your Own
One of the best practices in content curation is creating a pool of reliable content creators that you can regularly pull from. Pull from that pool often enough and you start building their authority, not yours.
Think about why you're sharing their posts instead of making your own. More often than not, it's because what they did is better or more insightful than what you believe you would've come up with. Ultimately, what gets shared is what gets the attention, not who does the sharing.
Content curation isn't inherently bad - in fact, it's one of the best tools you can have in your marketing kit. But that's all it is, a tool. By no means, should it become of the majority of your campaign or process. It can supplement and enhance the content you create, but it shouldn't be the star.
Keep content curation as part of an ensemble marketing cast and you'll do well.