The more content you can share that’s relevant to your industry and speaks to the audience you want to attract, the more you’ll boost your influence and authority within your niche.
The more content you’re sharing, the more visible you become, the more frequently people start to recognize you and your content, the more credibility you attain, the more followers you attract, and so your influence and authority grows.
The problem lies in the constraints on the amount of content you can create, whether financial, time, or other factors. Producing all the content yourself that you need to gain traction on social media and to maintain the consistency required to keep audiences sustained is neither practical nor sustainable.
Fortunately there is an alternative that offers greater benefit … and that’s content curation, which rather than distracting from your own content, serves to enhance, supplement, and add credibility to it.
What’s Content Curation?
Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users.
In effect, content curation involves harvesting relevant content from sources around the web, and sharing the fruits of that harvest with your own community, usually through social media and/or your own website.
The best content to curate tends to be evergreen – so with long-lasting lifespans – rather than the short lifespans of news-based content for example. The longer your curated content continues to have relevance for your audience, the more they stand to benefit, and the more advantage it brings to you and your business.
Why Curate Content?
Content marketing in 2014 requires a content curation component and related strategy.
Heidi Cohen, Riverside Marketing Strategies
There are several benefits to curating content that make it ideal to most businesses:
- It’s cost effective.
- You can keep your social media streams fresh and sustain your audiences, while avoiding burn out
- With increasing amounts of information out there, there is so much noise and clutter that people need a source that gathers all the information of interest and relevance to them in one place. By becoming the trusted source of information relevant to your niche and without the usual agenda of selling, your authority status makes it easier to both drive traffic to your website and sell through it (with lack of trust one of the major barriers to sales).
- The opportunities for your own learning are huge – the time I spend curating are always when I learn the most. By gathering content from such an array of trusted sources (which you build up over time) and sharing the very best with your audience, you become a true master of your niche, and worthy of the influence and authority you consequently build.
- Content curation is an increasingly essential part of effective content marketing.
- Look around … most social media success stories are built on a foundation of mixing created and curated content. Those who avoid curated content to concentrate solely on pushing their own content, usually with an agenda of trying to sell directly through such content, tend to find it works against them. They’ll find social media far less effective (often missing the whole point entirely), rarely sustain an enduring presence, and burn out quickly.
So with that said, how can you get started with curating content?
Here’s a list of the top nine content curation tools and resources that will enable you to get started with curating content quickly, and as a result start boosting your online influence and authority.
Top 9 Content Curation Tools And Resources
1. HASO: Help a Socialist Out
From former Apple Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, HASO is a great place to get started with content curation, and involves receiving a daily email with stories you can cherry pick to share over your social media channels.
The concept is simple: they collect content to share over their own social media channels, and share these same findings with you.
Covering a range of topics, you’ll likely find at least one or two stories a day you’ll be able to share with your own audience.
ContentGems.com monitors over 200,000 of what it calls the “best online sources”, including news sources, blogs, and social media accounts.
You create “interests” by entering keyword combinations (keywords that should be/must be/must not be included), and it then returns results for that interest, including the number of current tweets relating to each result so you have some gauge of current social media interest.
Scoop.it is a curation platform where, similar to ContentGems.com above, you create “topics’ by entering keywords you are interested in. By viewing your topic, you can then see the latest content on that topic that scoop.it has collected.
In addition, it permits direct sharing into your social media networks (currently only Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in – so no Google+) of web pages you scoop online, via their bookmark tool.
The free version is more limited than ContentGems.com in terms of its content sources, but you can upgrade (starting at $12.99/mo) for access to more sources, analytics, ability to schedule scoops in advance, and so on.
TrendSpottr shows you content that is ‘trending now’ on social media, based on Twitter and Facebook (and according to their site, soon Google+ as well).
You use it in a very similar way to a search engine. When you search for something (you can search based on keyword, hashtag or @name), you’ll see real-time trends about that query.
For example, here are some results on the topic of content marketing.
It’s useful for two main reasons:
- It can identify trends before they reach a more general level of awareness, and in terms of boosting your own influence and authority can allow you to share content with your own channels well before your followers may have come across such content from elsewhere.
- The fact that the sharing of such content is accelerating to a point where it shows up on TrendSpottr means it’s highly sharable content – so when you share it, there’s a higher chance it will get re-shared, giving you the potential for further exposure on your followers’ own social media channels.
5. Google+ Explore
A fairly recent addition to Google+, their Explore feature enables you to find other posts of interest on Google+ by searching on hashtag. You can then share the same content with your own communities and circles, as well as find suitable content through which you can engage and interact.
Evernote software enables you to collect content together you may want to share in future, as well as anything else you want to keep notes on. Essentially, it’s a notepad for the Internet which you can access via your computer or smartphone, and help ensure you don’t forget items of interest to you.
Feedly is a service available through your web browser or smartphone, and compiles new content together from a variety of sources through their RSS feeds.
For example, you can add all the main blogs in your industry or others you are following, and rather than visiting each blog individually, can view all the latest posts in one place.
By disseminating content from thought leaders in your niche, their authority rubs off on you, building up your own authority and influence as a result.
8. Google Alerts
Create Google Alerts for all your topics of interest and immediately see what’s new in your niche. You can then share such information with your followers, and become the trusted source where people can keep up to date with what’s happening.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform that enables you to manage all the content you share to your different social media networks. For example, you can schedule posts and tweets in advance, track who’s talking about you and where, and view all your social media activity at a glance.
You could for example use the tool to curate all the content you’re going to share and schedule all your tweets and posts for the next few days in one sitting, and then know much of your social media activity for the week has been taken care of.
Edit: Surprise, you get one extra! The following was added when I came across the resource after this post was originally published. It’s a further useful content curation tool you might want to add to your content curation arsenal … call it a bonus!
Realtime is from the creators of bit.ly, and allows you to see what’s being shared most frequently, right now, in real time, based on the links bit.ly users are sharing.
It provides a number of filtering options, so you can for example filter based on keyword, topic, social network, location, domain and language.
It also shows you how many clicks per minute each link is currently generating, although it is a little unclear how the content is ranked. Content with a higher number of clicks per minute can often be found lower down the page.
Using Content Curation Tools Effectively
Knowing which tools to use to help in your content curation activities is one matter. Using them, and using them effectively, is another.
I find it easiest and most efficient to use my Mac’s multi-desktop facility (you can also do similar in Windows) with a separate desktop containing a Firefox or Chrome window with tabs open for the relevant sites above, and another window for my social media channels and Hootsuite. I’m then able to switch to this desktop between other tasks, line up some new content I’ve curated, perform some other social media activities, and then switch back to what I need to concentrate on next.
With content curation becoming increasingly essential for creating and increasing your own influence and authority, these nine tools will help you more easily curate content for your own niche and ensure this important strategy plays a central role in your content marketing activities.
Are there any other tools or resources you maybe use personally and would recommend for content curation?
Grab a unique, professionally-written version of this post for your own blog. More info...