Is original content production the most important technique, or can brands benefit from curation as well? How?
Content curation can help businesses (1) build up a high-quality content pipeline and (2) establish a network among thought leaders in their industry. Content marketing is equal parts distribution and editorial. Curation through content syndication can help you hit both with one swing. Not to mention, syndication opportunities are typically reciprocal. When syndicating your content externally (for others to curate), ask for links to drive traffic back to your website. The concept is not new; rather, it has been a massive traffic driving strategy in the media/publishing industry (where I previously worked). We syndicated our content with larger media channels and were able to drive multiple millions of (free) pageviews a year (thanks to the level of scale at which we were producing stories). Happy to discuss further for anyone interested in the topic.
Content curation is a great way to show a wider breadth of your company's interests and values, as well as your ability to find and discover great ideas. It's particularly compelling if it's coming from one of your executives whom you hope to develop as a thought leader ("What our CEO is reading now") or is rolled up into a "reading list" that you add to the end of weekly e-mail newsletters to customers or users. In addition, curation can be handled in a relatively lightweight while still keeping quality high, and this may be an easy solution for a company that is having a tough time getting the budget or resources for a bigger content marketing strategy.
I think it's BEST to create original content, but you can also benefit from supplementing those original ideas with curation. And, if you're not up for creating original content for whatever reason (don't have confidence, don't have time, not sure what stories to tell), start with curation and take it from there.
Here's a post I wrote recently for Mashable on this topic -- We've positioned it for job seekers, but it could apply to companies or any individuals, too.
Content curation is a specialty of mine. The fact is original content is not nearly as good as curated content for many reasons. I would still add some original content but the mix can be tailored to your audience and position you to say more while spending and doing less. It is all about the management. Most people misunderstand content curation and the pros and cons and see it as a weak tactic when in reality it can be brilliant. Contact me to find out more.
Content curation is a great idea because it provides a great source for "easy" content. Lots of businesses have trouble coming up with blog post ideas and finding time to write the post ideas they do come up with. If you fit curation into your posting schedule, then that takes some of the pressure off of the idea generation and writing cycle. This could be something you do once a week or once a month, and the real key is to figure out if it's content that your target audience would want to read and share. In the end, they won't care if it's curated or not; they just care about great content that teaches them something they don't already know or helps them to keep up with their industry.