For those who are still unfamiliar with the concept, content curation is the process of finding relevant information about your audience from a variety of sources and sharing it strategically through your communication channels.
The need for great content curation apps has never been more urgent. There are simply too many social networks, news feeds, emails, and infographics putting demands on your time and attention. Without trusted content curators, how else are you going to stay on top of your industry’s latest trends and enjoy your life? A successful content curator is no different than a successful journalist. If your selections are ad hoc, safe, and uninteresting, you don’t really know your audience.
However, if you know your audience, you can accurately gauge the temperature of the room and have the confidence to give the people what they want. In an attempt to help streamline your content curation efforts, here are 11 content curation tools every marketer needs.
Content Curation For Beginning Marketers
If you’re content curation is ad hoc, Pocket is the perfect place to start and get you in the habit of accruing content to use and share later. Instead of a laundry list of bookmarks or countless emails you’ve sent to yourself with links, Pocket keeps all your interesting images, articles, and videos in one place for reference. You can group articles by tagging and built-in search functionality makes finding those articles easy.
Install Pocket’s button on your browser for easy curation and download the app on your smartphone for cross-platform usage. And that’s just the beginning. Pocket integrates with over 500+ other apps (like Evernote) for easy saving and reference.
And as a bonus, Pocket tweets out their @PocketHits for the most-saved articles on their platform. A must-follow for Twitter users.
For other “read-it-later” apps like Pocket, check out Instapaper and Readability.
2. Twitter Lists
As most people may already know, Twitter can be a horrendous, streaming mess if you’re not using Lists to organise the accounts you follow. A list is a curated group of Twitter users that you can create or follow. For example, at the end of every year, sites will release their content marketing “must-follows” on Twitter. Rarely do they create a list to make following these people or companies easy. And here’s the beauty part: If you create a Pocket account, you can easily save articles from Twitter directly into your Pocket account. In Twitter’s attempts to make their service more approachable and user friendly, Lists continue to be vastly underrated. Learn how to get your first Twitter list started.
Newsletters are back in the light again and they are a great reminder to get your content curation done. The key to successful content curation, especially if you’re doing it on the cheap, is making sure to duplicate your efforts. Whatever industry you’re in, stay on the lookout for newsletter subscriptions. If a good one doesn’t exist in your industry, that’s the perfect opportunity to create one. Also, before creating a newsletter of your own, it is important to learn from what others outlets are doing.
Content Curation For Intermediate Marketers
This is the nexus of content curation and social media with a Pinterest-esque user interface. Start with a topic of interest and Scoop.it will not only generate the most relevant articles to view and share, but it will also include complementary topics and other Scoop.it users to follow.
Scoop.it will send a daily update of the topics you follow to keep pace with the most relevant articles to share.
The free version allows you to monitor one topic for posting on two social media accounts. For a more robust platform that follows multiple topics for share across all your social channels, you’ll pay $11/month (minimum).
Feedly is a supercharged RSS Feed and an ideal replacement to those who loved Google Reader.
Content curation takes two routes: There’s web browsing 1.0 which is essentially visiting one site at a time, copying a URL, and pasting it accordingly. Then there’s the news aggregation route powered by Feedly. By simply adding a few of your favorite sources to Feedly, you can aggregate and browse these feeds in one place from your desktop and mobile devices.
With the ability to sort sources by category there’s a limitless ability to scale and organize Feedly. Feedly also offers a Pro service ($5/month; $45/year) with additional features like Evernote and Pocket integration, more search options, and premium customer support.
Storify helps makes sense of an increasingly overwhelming and noisy social web. The concept is simple: Users can search, browse or create stories from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to, well, tell or follow a story.
Now companies have started using Storify to broadcast the goings-on at events, Q&As, and product launches. For example, Mashable embedded a Storify feed from their Mashable Media Summit to highlight the most salient social media nuggets coming out of the event.
And perhaps best, Storify is completely free to use.
Swayy takes the work out of finding and tracking the analytics of content curation.
Swayy integrates your social accounts, topics of interest, AND analytics in one place to read and share. The onboarding is practically nil. By adding one of your social accounts, Swayy will start algorithmically curating some of the best and most popular content that comprises your social network. You can add topics and Swayy will broaden its search.
After signing up, Swayy sends a daily newsletter that’s a great reminder to me to share noteworthy content across my social networks (and yes, Swayy allows for sharing capabilities within the app).
Swayy provides a free version that allows for one dashboard to use. For additional dashboards and functionality, pricing starts at $9.99/mo and goes up to $119/mo.
Sniply isn’t a curation tool per se. But it’s such an essential complement to anyone that shares curated information that I’d be remiss to leave it out. Sniply lets you include a custom message to almost any third-party content you share. There are a few sites that don’t support Sniply, but in my experience, not enough to warrant the tool’s exclusion.
When users click on a Sniply link, they’ll see both the shared content and call-out displaying your message.
Sniply offers a free version that allows for 1,000 clicks/mo for one user. Sniply’s added functionality can go up to $149/mo.
Content Curation For Advanced Marketers
Now we’re getting into some serious, enterprise-level curation software. These solutions work best for companies looking for a proven platform capable of working with a team of users, editors, and content curators. Enterprise-level curation provides users with advanced algorithms to find quantitatively relevant content for your audience, a centralised publishing platform, and the ability to customise content, teams, and publishing channels (to name a few).
The power of Curata starts with its INSPIRE™ discover and recommendation engine capable of finding content relevant to your audience without oodles of human labor. Users can fine-tune, customise, and categorise content sources for review and then disseminate in one place. The publishing and promotion allows you to repurpose curated content across your blog, social, newsletter, and automated marketing platforms.
Pricing starts at $499/mo and goes up to $999/mo depending on needed functionality. There is no free version and you can request a demo before purchasing.
Like Curata, PublishThis promotes the reliability of its algorithm to source relevant content for your audience–saving the time and headache that goes with daily curation. PublishThis focuses your communication channels on one platform making publication and posting easier. PublishThis also has an API to publish content to various platforms or apps. You can customise content to specific audiences while mixing in original content as well.
Again, pricing isn’t made available to the public, but you can request a demo via their website.
TrapIt allows marketers to set up content collections–called “traps”–then delivers a constant feed of real-time, relevant content based on these trapped topics and how you interact with the content. Here’s how TrapIt describes their discovery engine: “We combine search, artificial intelligence, and human curation to surface original, high-quality content you won’t find elsewhere.”
TrapIt recently merged with Addvocate (a social sharing platform for company employees to contribute content) to create an end-to-end content curation, publishing and analytics platform. Content can be published through TrapIt and shared throughout the organisation with Addvocate.
No pricing is available for TrapIt, but you can request a demo through their website.
What Tool Is Right For You?
Like any marketing software solution, it’s important to understand the role content curation will play in your business and the size of your team. If you’re a one-man marketing department, the beginner and intermediate curation tools should suffice for your needs. As your business and team grows, content curation may play a larger role and require more powerful software.
At that point, some of the advanced tools will help save time curating and getting everyone on the same page. Regardless of your team or business size, content curation should become an element of your content marketing strategy. Great curators build trust with their audience and become an indispensable resource as more and more content comes online and becomes harder to separate what’s worth reading and ignoring.