If content marketing is all about creating and sharing your own content then content curation is all about finding, organizing, and sharing great content. Content curators aggregate interesting content from across the web about topics that they’re passionate about.
Today, Content Curation is as important as content marketing as it’s a great way to improve the user experience of your website and/or brand. Moreover, content marketing is not easy as creating high quality content is expensive and takes a lot of effort and time.
Why Content Curation Matters?
Content Curation is not something that can be automated because no computer algorithm can find exactly what your users want. So it’s your job to find interesting content what you think will be of interest to your readers.
There’s a Matt Cutts video in which he answered the question:
Many sites have a press release section, or a news section that re-posts relevant articles. Since it’s all duplicate content, they be better off removing these sections (even with plenty of other unique content)?
And Matt’s short answer was “Yes”.
In other words, when you re-post relevant articles or when you create mashups it’s important to think about how it adds value to users. Matt explains that by comparing an auto-generated section of a website with New York Times and John Gruber. New York Times creates their own original content and John Gruber highlights things that are of interest to him with his own editorial philosophy.
You know that there are tons of tech blogs out there and most of them produce awesome content but it’s impossible to track all those blogs, right? For example, if you’re subscribed to both TechCrunch.com and Mashable.com then you know that their topics are more or less the same. That’s why there’s Techmeme, a technology news aggregator. You can check Techmeme.com and it shows how content curation should be done.
Curation: Techmeme accomplishes this the only way possible: by linking to stories from all around the web. Spotlighting the writings of reporters, commentators, and industry players from across the media and industry landscape provides the only effective means of offering a comprehensive view. And by doing this well, we spare readers the impossible task of monitoring an abundance of news sites, tweets, and status updates.
Content Curation Tools. Curated.
Now I’m going to feature here, some of the best content curation tools on the web. And the best thing? They’re all free! Of course, there are tons of other tools, but I have decided to feature only the quality ones, that I liked the most.
If you are a content marketer then don’t miss 101 Content Marketing Tools, which is a comprehensive list of (almost) all free and premium content marketing tools. And, you might also like 37 Content Discovery Tools if you want to find great social content to share on your social media or website.
So, obviously I’m not including the tools that I’ve already featured there unless they can also be used as a platform to share content.
Paper.li is one of the most popular content curation tool that allows you to publish your own online newspapers in minutes. It’s a great tool for those who don’t want to curate stuff manually because Paper.li automatically processes over 250 million social media posts a day (including your own social media channels and RSS feeds) and then allows you to publish and promote interesting content (articles, photos, and videos). You can add filters so that you control the content appearing on your online newspaper.
Scoop.it is an online magazine creator that allows you to create and share your own social magazines easily. It offers more powerful features than Paper.li and has a professional look. You can add content to Scoop in 4 different ways: you can Re-Scoop content shared by other members, publish suggested content by Scoop.it, add a custom post by sharing a URL of your choice, or by accepting content suggested by another Scoop.it user.
Storify allows you to aggregate content from across the web and then you will be able to publish on Storify or can even embed on your website. With Storify, you can collect social media posts like photos, videos, tweets, etc. by other people and can then turn it into compelling stories. You can check their homepage to find the best stories made from images, videos, links, tweets, etc. by other Storify users and you can even re-use them to create your own story.
Pinterest is, as you probably know image sharing on steroids. It’s an amazing tool to curate images and no wonder it’s one of the top traffic referral. In 2013, Pinterest was driving more traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit combined. Simply “Pin” interesting images, that you come across while browsing the web, and organize your pinned images by creating Pinterest Boards. You can even invite your friends so that they’ll be able to add new Pins to your board.
RebelMouse allows you to curate your social feeds by connecting your own social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. It turns your social media news feed into a dynamic page that updates automatically as you update your social networks.
Themeefy is an amazing tool that helps you to create original learning content in few minutes. You can organize various resources as a theme and it’s easy to arrange the resources or to add your own insight so that you can share it with others. It’s different from other content curation tools that I’ve featured here as with Themeefy we are able to organize and present our content in a unique way.
Bundlr is a freemium tool to organize your favorite web content. With Bundlr, you can bookmark content by creating bundles that includes photos, videos, tweets and documents and can share them with everyone. You can even embed your bundles on your blog.
List.ly allows you to create lists on almost anything – images, videos or even texts. Makes lists and invites other community members to vote up and down for it. You can even embed your lists on your website by adding their codes or by using their official WordPress Plugin. List.ly can not only be used as a content curation tool but can be used to get content ideas.
Pearltrees allows you to cultivate your interests. You can collect, organize and share web pages, files, photos, notes, and everything you like on the web for free. You can also discover interesting content based on your interest to enrich your account. And you’ll be able to create an unlimited number of folders and subfolders so that it’s fun and easy to manage your pearls and pearltrees.
10. Flipboard Magazines
Flipboard Magazines was a social magazine app at first and later they reimagined the app so that users are now able to organize articles, photos, video, and audio as magazines. Users can either make their magazines private or can share with the public so that every Flipboard user can now become an editor.
Diigo is basically a social bookmarking network but it’s also an amazing curation tool. With Diigo, you can bookmark, organize, and discover interesting links on the web and can then organize them using tags, lists, and groups. If all you want to share is links then I guess Diigo is the best tool for you. Because it’s super easy to add links as you browse the web and is very simple to share and organize the links that you have collected.
12. Twitter Custom Timelines (via TweetDeck)
Twitter Custom Timelines enables users to gather tweets and organize them as a list. Now it’s my preferred way to curate and share social content on my own blog (See the preview here). Of course most of the above tools allow you to embed the curated content on your blog or website but I believe that Twitter Custom Timeline is simple and much more flexible. Because you don’t have to sign up anywhere else (but you need TweetDeck to add tweets to your custom timelines).
Meddle lets you create a blog post in under two minutes. The idea is to turn your thoughts about an article (or even a link) into a quick blog post by automatically adding a headline, photo, and an excerpt from the original article. You can then share your micro blog post with your friends and followers.
14. Echo Experience Studio
Echo Experience Studio lets you create a social experience in few seconds. That is, you can create a social media conversion in a chronological list, highlight photos or videos from a social media post, or even display a conversion in a multi-column grid.
iFlow lets you create “flows”. A flow can be a photo, video, blog post or article, or even a status update. Also, you can — follow news on any topic, invite contributors, curate your favorite music, movies or videos, collect designs, etc.
Spundge is a content platform that lets you create, distribute, and even monetize your content. Spundge makes it easy for you or your team to discover, organize, and create content. And then you will be able to showcase your curated content and monetize it by setting up content subscriptions.
Google+ is the second largest social network out there with over 500 million users. But I never liked Google+ and in fact I refuse to call it a social network as it doesn’t feels like a social network. That said, it’s good as a platform to showcase our profile, share and discover content, communicate with others, store and edit photos, etc.
I primarily use Google+ as a photo storage service (thanks to Picasa) and also to share my latest blog posts. It’s a good platform to curate content as well. For instance, you can share links in one-click, and add a hashtag to get organic traffic. And the best thing? Everything we share on Google+ is searchable.
- ThingLink — makes your images interactive with text, music, videos, shops, etc.
- Kippt — lets you collect research, stories, inspiration, notes, links, etc. and build an online library that you can share it with others.
- Utopic — is a visual social bookmarking tool that lets you collect all your links in one place.
- Kuratur — lets you create an automated web page (like Paper.li) using your social media feeds.
You can choose any of the above tools to start curation but I would recommend you select the tool that enables you to embed the curated content on your own blog. Why? Because your blog is your personal brand.
Have I missed your favorite content curation tool? Let me know as a comment below!
Happy Curating & Merry Christmas! :)