Content Marketing Dictionary: Definition of Content Curation, Content Aggregation and Content Creation

Content Marketing Dictionary: Definition of Content Curation, Content Aggregation and Content Creation

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of discussion around what’s the differences between content aggregation, curation, and creation. How do these fit into the content marketing strategy puzzle?

Let’s take a moment to head back to basics and provide the definitions and differences between the three.

Content Aggregation

Content aggregation is the act of bringing together articles on a similar topic, grouping them together with no additional commentary or annotation. Tools like Google Reader or Google Alerts provide this aggregation type of service. Aggregation is done by a machine or a software technology primarily and may or may not take into account any quality of sourcing.

Good for: Aggregation provides a high level overview of what’s going on in the online world related to that topic. When you don’t have time to curate through content, aggregration is a great way to get realtime updates.

Look out for: Quality and sources of content can range. This content in most cases has not been reviewed by a person to ensure quality of the content.


  • Breaking news feeds
  • Stock tickers
  • Twitter or facebook feeds


Content Curation

Content curation is similar to aggregation but takes it to the next level. Curated content provide context, although the content may be found online by a software, it has gone through the process of human selection, where a human curator has chosen that content to share to the larger audience. Good curators also provide annotation or notes on why the content is important, only including a small snippet from the original article and clear attribution to the original source. For more on ethical curation and best practices, check out Pawan Deshpande’s Blog post.

Good for: Feeding a constant flow of high quality content where its necessary to vet each piece of content, and perspective. Curated content can provide additional perspectives to original content along with providing relevant related content. Creating an online destination associated with a particular topic using curated content can create thought leadership and drive additional leads to your brand.

Look out for: Find a curator whose opinion you trust, similar to any publication, curated content can provide context to a point of from a particular individual or organization. Here’s a link to a Content Curation Look Book that provides a range of organizations who are successfully curating.


  • Huffington Post
  • The Drudge Report

Content Creation

Content creation is the original creator of the content, either the author, illustrator, researcher or whomever is the original source. Content creation is an important part of the content marketing process, allowing individuals or organizations the ability to share their point of view about a topic.

Good for: Owning a topic or conversation, providing unique perspective to that topic and thought leadership on the topic. Also creating content can be a the main strategy behind brand awareness within an industry or marketplace.

Look out for: The time commitment, sometimes creating original content can be time consuming. Combining creation with a curation strategy can minimize the time spent in getting a business’s message to the audience.

Developing a content marketing strategy is critical with our online world in creating thought leadership, brand awareness and lead generation. Remember, content comes in many forms, not just blog posts, tweets and webinars. Check out our “Feeding the Content Beast” eBook to learn more on how to make your content marketing strategy work double time.