If you’re like 88 percent of B2B companies today, you’ve invested in content marketing—and for good reason, as it’s key to engaging your audience, furthering your reach, and making sure you’re using social media to the fullest. In the past, I’ve covered strategies for how to create valuable content on a budget and how to measure the effectiveness of your content initiatives, but there’s another incredibly important component to content marketing we shouldn’t overlook: Curation.
Content curation is a critical part of any marketing strategy. Below is a list of tools you can use to improve your content curation.
The whole premise of content curation is for your brand to find, comment on, and share digital gems that are relevant to your target market. In other words, just because you didn’t produce a piece of content doesn’t mean your audience won’t find it interesting. In fact, they probably welcome other credible voices on topics they care about.
That’s the beauty of curating. For many brands, the problem with curating, though, has to do with the content jungle. More content is being created now than ever before. Just think—every minute, users upload approximately 500 hours of video to YouTube alone. That doesn’t even factor in articles, white papers, infographics, reports, or any of the other mediums brands use to host their messaging. Do you have time to sort though everything piece by piece to determine what’s right for your audience and platform? I know I don’t.
To alleviate some of that burden, let’s examine some of the best content curation tools available today (and note their pros and cons).
Do you have a strong presence on Twitter? Curate there often, perhaps? If so, you should try Nuzzel. This service scours your network feed, picks out the top stories, and sends them straight to your inbox. The thing about Nuzzel is that it covers more than tweets—rather, you can see the underlying content that’s sparking all that conversation among your contacts. If you follow people or brands with similar interests to your intended audience, you can easily choose content to curate that will be interesting to your followers, too.
Pro: It’s free! (For now.)
Con: Nuzzel will only work if you follow the right people, as the lists generated come strictly from your network.
I put these two together for a reason. Although two separate services, they really come together for optimal curating in the Twitter-verse. Buffer is a highly popular, easy-to-use social scheduling app that allows you to post on different platforms at predetermined times, a necessity if you don’t want to be glued to your screen 24/7. How do you know what times are optimal for posting content, though? That’s where Twitter-friendly Followerwonk comes in, allowing you to see the overlaps in your followers and even note the time periods they’re most likely to be active. With this information, you can schedule posts through Buffer at the best possible times, getting the most traction out of your curation efforts.
Pro: Followerwonk is used by major brands like MerrillLynch and Xerox. A plan for up to three profiles is a modest $29/month, with other pricing models available to suit the needs of different users.
Con: Buffer has fewer features than it’s closest competitor, Hootsuite, and the pricing is relatively similar. Some prefer the simplicity that comes with a lack of options, though—but I’ll let you make your own Hootsuite v. Buffer determination. We love (and use) them both!
Feedly’s tagline is “the content you need to accelerate your research, marketing, and sales,” and I’m not going to argue with that. The platform gathers timely content (even videos you can view without leaving the page) from blogs and publications of your choice. Once it’s done, Feedly creates a one-stop-shop, personalized newsletter of sorts, full of value-rich content from all around the web.
Pro: Feedly delivers content as it is released, so you can stay out in front of timely stories.
Con: You regularly get recommendations of other blogs or publications you may want to follow based on your current selections. Clearly, this could be a pro—but if you want to keep things streamlined and simple, it could be a con, too. You decide.
If you need to do some serious curating at scale and hope to grow leads—but prefer to stay relatively hands-off—Curata might be for you. This tool not only searches the web for relevant content, it uses self-learning to add sources that pertain to your industry, pre-populates curated posts, and lets you crowdsource from across your organization.
Pros: Share and promote content instantly (and even automatically, based on your defined schedules and publishing rules). This solution is designed to integrate efficiently with email, marketing automation, and more.
Cons: Curata takes on the brunt of the content curation responsibilities, so it’s priced near the higher end of the spectrum. If you’re interested, you can get a quote.
Finally, let’s not forget Pinterest, a worthwhile solution if you’re wary of letting go of the reins entirely when it comes to curating, but you’re also not interested in losing an entire afternoon wandering through the content jungle. Just search for your topic and automatically see the most popular pins. This method should give you some solid content prospects to share with your audience with little hassle (and no fee).
Nearly one quarter (22 percent) of B2B companies surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute selected content creation as one of their top five content priorities in 2016. In truth, that sounds pretty low to me. Yes, it’s vital for your brand to produce engaging content, but you’ve got to collect it, too, in order to bring the most value to your audience.
What do you think? In your marketing department, what’s the ratio of content creation to curation, and how is that working for you? Did any of your favorite curation tools make the list, or is there another you’d recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts.