This is the fourth installment in a series on how to curate good content for your followers. Curation has benefits beyond just the useful photos, articles, videos and other content that it identifies. It is a great supplement to your content marketing efforts because it is usually quicker to do than creating content from scratch. By adding curation to your content mix you save time and add variety to your total content offering.
Content Curation Tools Save Time
A simple way to find good content is to use a content curation platform. These are software packages that search the web for appropriate content in response to your keywords. Most of these applications have features that allow you to share your curated content with others, either by posting it directly into Facebook, Twitter or other social media or by building up a list of followers directly on the curation site. Many also have plug-ins for WordPress and other popular website platforms so you can embed your curated content directly into your site.
Five Great Content Curation Platforms
Here are five of the most popular, free content curation platforms. Each has options for upgrading a free account to a paid level and some offer full-blown enterprise systems. With these premium packages you usually get better analytics and a broader array of options for formatting and sharing curated content.
- Scoop.it is a robust platform that allows users to create four different topic boards for free. The system will search the web for content on the topic and return at least 100 results for you to choose from. You can add various content pieces to your boards, along with a comment from you about why the curated article matters. You can opt to follow other Scoop.it users, other topics and other scoops. The system tabulates the number of people who follow you and who read the individual pieces of content that you create.
- Paper.li searches the web for content related to a specific topic that is determined by the user. This app pulls a range of content items and arranges them in sections much like an old fashioned newspaper once did. Sections include Headlines, Business, Politics, Science, Environment and more, and vary depending on how the user wants their paper to appear. One limitation to the free version of Paper.li is that users don’t have much editing control over what pieces of content are included in the layout and what ones are excluded.
- Storify does what its name implies: it creates stories from social media posts. It’s particularly handy for recording live tweets at events and for keeping track of a large volume of social media posts by multiple users. You can embed the finished story on a web site and share it via social media. Another nifty use for Storify is to collect and save for later analysis the comments of users and customers about a brand, new product or service, or news headline.
- List.ly helps you create intriguing lists and find lots of good content to put on them. Like most other content curation platforms, List.ly lets you follow other list builders, attract followers of your own, embed your lists in your website and evaluate your lists based on a built-in analytics program. One of the best ways to engage people online is to use lists — The 10 Best Movies of All Time, Four Sure-fire Ways to Build a Better Mousetrap, Favorite Baby Names of 1997.
- Pinterest is so popular that many people think of it as social media rather than a content curation platform. Actually, it’s both. A user can create an unlimited number of topic boards, either solo or with friends. You can upload your own photos and graphics, re-pin images from other Pinterest users and pin all manner of other content that you come across on the web. Pinterest also has a good, basic analytics package embedded in the application. One thing that I especially like about Pinterest is its popularity and the fact that it appeals to a wide range of audience segments.
This wraps up my series on content curation. Stay tuned for the next big thing.