The Content Curation Sweet Spot: A creation-curation paradox

Home The Content Curation Sweet Spot: A creation-curation paradox

Talking about yourself too much is, even when you’re an international well-known celebrity, almost always annoying. It’s not a good idea to go on and on about yourself. Brands and companies also, should not be too over-promotional. Brands seek to be a part of the conversation on social media by sharing links that are relevant to their followers but often not specifically about their products and services. We at InSites Consulting, do that a lot, too. Finding good content and share it is known as content-curation. But…isn’t promoting your own content the same as talking about yourself, in some cases too much? And isn’t that rude, and thus ineffective? This is what we call a creation-vs-curation paradoxWhere lies The Creation and Curation Sweet Spot, What is the optimal content strategy, creating or curating? At ConvinceandConvert, they’ve tried to find an answer to that.

Analysis: 150.000 Social Media Posts

The data behind the analysis they’ve made at ConvinceAndConvert comes from a sample of customers’ activity on Argyle Social, a social media marketing software provider. The selected sample included more than 150,000 tweets and status updates from more than 1,000 Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts between November 2010 and July 2011. The tweets and status updates came from typically professional marketers representing a range of company sizes across most major industries.

30% of the companies in the sample are curation-focused: 75% or more of their posts link to third-party websites. 13% of companies are creation-focused: most of their posts link to their own websites. There are clearly a broad range of strategies employed, although companies tend towards strategies dominated by content curation.

What works best?

Of course, you would like to know what works best: what is the most effective mix in creation and curation of content. They’ve triend to find out about this by checking the clickthrough rates on links that are marked as either curation and content creation links. The analysis found, that posts linking to third-party sites generate 33% more clicks than posts linking to owned sites. “This makes sense — the very best content on the Internet is typically not going to live at”

However, if you’re looking to drive conversions, content creation is the optimal strategy. Posts that link to your owned media website have a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate than posts that link to third-party websites. “This makes implicit sense, since conversions happen on your website. If you’re not driving people to your website and giving them good content to read when they get there, they’re not going to convert.” Seems quite straightforward, don’t you think. They came up with three company types when it comes to curation and creation:

  • Curators = Companies that link to third-party sites 75% or more of the time.
  • Balanced = Companies that link to third-party sites 50-75% of the time.
  • Self-Promoters = Companies that link to their own content 50% or more of the time.


It’s clear from the data that companies in the Balanced category achieve the best results overall. They generate 20% fewer clicks per post than Curators, but their conversion rate is 10t times higher. After digging into the numbers, the optimal balance for most companies is to link to your own content between 25-50% of the time, with 40% being the ideal mark. Tristan Handy writes at ConvinceAndConvert:

“If you’re new to social media marketing, a 40% content creation rate is a good place to start. But make sure you measure your own efforts and find out what works for your company.”

Very interesting research that I hope will be repeated to get even more grip on the creation-curation paradox. Very interesting for every company who’s into contentmarketing, creating conversations about their brands and have a lot of content to share.