As more online platforms embrace social media, content curation will continue to lift its key role in the preparation and delivery of content, and the messages it conveys in various forms. But what gave rise to content curation? Why is it important? How does it work? And which content curation tools will you need?
Content curation means sorting and showing Web content in a well-structured way, focusing on a central idea. Step by step a content curator chooses, classifies, organizes, and publishes information. The curator has the discretion to choose and share the best, most relevant content to a certain community. Thus, content curation is not merely about link collection or data gathering; it is about arranging existing content into the right context with proper annotation and presentation.
The Importance of Content Curation Tools
A content curator offers a valuable skill to people who want to find high-quality content because looking for sensible information will increasingly need time and effort in this age of social media, wherein digital content is plethoric.
Content curation creates thought leadership for brands and organization. It follows a more focused, painstaking attention amid the ocean of clutter in the digital world. So content curation will help you become an influencer or thought leader in your niche or industry.
Beth Kanter provides a good explanation for content curation as a three-part process – Seek, Sense, and Share (the three S’s) – in this post.
Barring unnecessary details, the importance of curated content and content curation tools may be cut down to three points:
1. Content curation tools consolidate the increasingly social Web the way humans do.
No computer algorithm can replace human analysis and understanding. Though Google’s search engine algorithm is drawing closer to interpreting how the human mind crawls for and processes data, it will never be an equal to the prototype.
Curated content are crucial information found and shared by humans just like you. These people provide content that they think is valuable for their communities.
2. Curated content epitomizes social sharing.
Social sharing corroborates the first point. As the Web continues to lean on social channels and services, online communities will keep sharing to each other without ulterior motives. Sharing content other than your work increases the value of online communities because you are underlining the work of another person. And eventually, the content’s author will return the unsolicited favor.
Another benefit of curated content is the higher number of opportunities for interaction, exposing your work in due course.
3. Curated content and original content work better when together.
Any content creator will say it takes time and a few revisions to generate engaging, high-quality content from the outset. And not a single one of these persons will say the final revision is the best they can come up with. As a rule of thumb, you can always parse or prune content to convey the right message to your audience.
But not all great digital content came from your fingers; the Internet is a rich resource full of one-shot and consistently prolific content creators. Thus, countless relevant content for your online communities already exist.
Though original content still is the best tool for content marketing, curated content reinforces the campaign. This is where you can apply the 80-20 rule for content marketing: 80 percent curated content and 20 percent original content.
How It Works And Where To Start
Content curation starts by choosing the right type of content to use across channels. Though it varies for each channel, the best curated content focuses on perennial touch points because news-related subject matters are fleeting. Instructional guides, resource lists, industry definitions, and most non-journalistic writing are timeless content. But most visual representations do not fade with time, so vivid images also have important roles in content curation.
By and large Facebook is the most effective, most stress-free platform for planning curated content – but not exclusively, as Twitter is another platform for planning curated content, though it focuses on real-time curation for small- and medium-sized organizations.
In perspective, you may plan ahead for non-news posts on Facebook for 2014 because these status updates are independent of time. But content planning needs refinement in between posts – and in real-time – for seamless delivery and continuous community engagement.
10 Of The Best Content Curation Tools
Here are a few content curation tools arranged according to some of its various forms:
1. Feedly.com: Feedly was relatively off the radar until Google shuttered its own RSS and content aggregator Google Reader. Then Feedly became the default content aggregator for many people because it had seamless access to their feeds in Google’s defunct service. Feedly empowers you to add content through URL, title, and topic. Though it works splendidly for blog posts, Feedly cannot pull other types of content such as multimedia. It has free and premium versions.
2. NetVibes.com: Among the first and best content aggregators in the market today. NetVibes touts its rich stock of ready-made feeds and widgets. This free tool – a premium version is available – helps novice kick off with content curation in a few minutes.
3. ProtoPage.com (free): If you prefer an upfront and free content aggregator, ProtoPage deserves your time and deliberation. It offers the most control over relevant content among the other choices. It has a distinct bookmark-styled aggregation dashboard that often notifies you to look up social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, or other non-blogging services for that matter. And Twitter hashtag feeds may be set up to keep tabs on relevant conversations.
Content Discovery (Trends and Keywords)
4. ContentGems.com: ContentGems keeps track of hundreds of thousands of social media accounts and RSS feeds. It looks for content based on trends and the keywords you provided. The major selling point of ContentGems is the frequency of updates as it scans Web content almost in real time. It has free and premium versions.
5. iFlow.com: This content aggregator has a user interface similar to Google Reader. Like ContentGems it helps find content based on trends and keywords, discovering and sharing content in real time.
6. Scoop.it: Users of this content discovery tool boast about it because of the continuous stream of content it publishes and the overall experience it offers. It routinely pulls content such as comments from Twitter and Google’s blogging service based on the target keywords you entered and your interests. Scoop.it is highly customizable, providing room for more sources to be added to your streams. Its dashboard can practically handle an unlimited amount of sources – RSS feeds, social media accounts, websites, and so on – and you can choose keywords and limited dates.
Content Discovery and Delivery
7. PostPlanner.com (enterprise): PostPlanner is impractical if you consider only the free version. You must upgrade to a premium package to make the most of the content engine. Since PostPlanner is a Facebook app, you may have to consider using it if the world’s largest social network is relevant to your company’s marketing campaign.
8. Trap.it (enterprise): Trap.it dubs itself as a smart content curation tool because it intuitively raises its intelligence with time and usage. It has more than 100,000 scrutinized content sources with hidden gems that may boost your online presence.
All-In-One Solutions (Discovery, Arrangement, Delivery)
9. Curata.com (enterprise): Curata touts itself as among the few all-in-one solutions in the market today. It has several features designed for the corporate environment, big brands, and large organizations with a torrent of content to scrutinize, optimize, and publish.
Content Planning (Optimized Curated Content)
10. Kapost.com (enterprise): This tool best caters to a community manager or more befittingly to a content planner. It doesn’t use spreadsheets but offers a content calendar template that may be revised and scheduled. It also allows curators to sort posts by channel such as blogs or social networking sites.
Which Content Curation Tool To Choose
With all the high-quality content curation tools to choose from, the resources of one content curator will likely differ from another due to one thing: the goal. For small- to medium-sized organizations, free content curation tools will suffice. But the enterprise tools are more suitable for large brands and organizations due to more stringent approval and publishing measures.