With content marketing, small businesses use content in various formats to build stronger relationships with their customers, capture attention, improve engagement, and improve brand recognition. For small businesses, content marketing is a particularly cost effective marketing alternative that does not require a sizeable budget to run. In addition, content marketing delivers some of the highest overall Return on Investment (ROI) for every marketing dollar spent. And it is an integral part of a solid marketing strategy. This is because it helps to increase leads, generate more leads, get higher SEO rankings, and drive more traffic to your site.
If you can’t afford the time and money to create all that content yourself, content curation might be a viable option.
What is Content Curation?
Simply put, content curation is about collecting and sharing great content — without necessarily having created it — and presenting it to your audiences in a way that adds value. The content could be an article, a blog post, expert advice, or anything that your audience will gain value from and enjoy. Properly optimized, content curation will help you with some of these goals:
- Build networks: Sharing other people’s content helps you find collaborative relationships and boost networking. Make sure to let the people whose content you are sharing know you have shared their content to open the doors for collaborations.
- Establish your business as a thought leader: By providing your followers with quality content, you position yourself as a valuable resource on topics that might interest your readers and followers.
- Fill gaps in your content calendar: Creating your own original content in-house is great but in some cases, you might not be able to continuously churn out content. By curating content from others, you can maintain a regular posting schedule while saving money. Provide your audience with a constant stream of quality content from a variety of sources beyond just your brand and you offer a diverse selection of voices.
- Provide value to followers: People follow your blog or social media posts for a reason. They want to know what you think about an issue or to hear you share your expertise on a particular subject. They want to learn from you and gain valuable insights on product features, services, and trends.
20 Best Content Curation Tools for Small Business
Content marketing is all about sharing high quality content on a consistent basis. So great content marketing entails paying more attention to the needs of an audience along the entire buying cycle and tapping into the reach of sales teams through sales enablement. Essentially content curation tools help you find, curate and share different types of content. If you’ve decided to use content curation tools as a way to create value for your customers and clients, here are some tools that can make the job easier.
Hootsuite offers tools that include influencer identification, engagement, and a social media publishing suite. Its easy-to-use platform helps you create content and share it across multiple social channels. The dashboard helps you view upcoming scheduled content, map out campaigns, fill content gaps, and collaborate in real-time. Hootsuite supports social media posts that include Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles, Pages, and Groups, LinkedIn profiles, groups, and WordPress blogs. Paid plans on Hootsuite start at $19 a month and you can manage 10 social accounts with unlimited scheduling for one user.
Flipboard is a free digital web and mobile distribution platform that allows you to create your own digital magazine by combining updates from social feeds and news sources, so your readers can read it on the go. This platform lets you build magazines with curated links that are relevant to a specific topic or interest, including your blog posts and other original content.
With Flipboard, you can share quality content thanks to its content curation tools that include the magazine widget, profile badge, Flip.It button, and the web bookmarklet. These tools simplify the packaging of your content by curating your magazines around big events, themes, or channels and promoting them on your social media to further amplify your voice.
Pinterest is a social media platform that lets users curate visual content into boards you can make public and share. It is an effective marketing tool that helps drive shopping behavior. This curation tool can be an excellent way to improve conversions and sales.
Pinterest’s curation bookmarking tool helps users to discover and save creative ideas including tricks and tips. It offers a great way to discover and share your ideas, interests and hobbies with others in the community and people can follow pinboards, like them, comment, and re-pin other users’ content.
Pinterest is in the process of launching Pinterest Premiere, a video marketing tool that allows advertisers to own an exclusive video placement in the home feed targeting a specific demographic, interest and/or category during a designated time period. Pinterest is a great source to get ideas on home design, architecture, Do It Yourself projects, creativity, travel, fitness, beauty, fashion and style inspiration, new recipes, cooking, and much more.
BuzzSumo provides content curation tools that help search for and find the most shared content on any topic, and share it with your audience. Buzzsumo also offers content insights to generate ideas, create high performing content, monitor your performance, and identify influencers.
Pricing for Buzzsumo starts at $99 a month and comes with an unlimited monthly search, one year of data, unlimited projects and items, and ten trending feeds. A 30 day free trial is also available.
Scoop.it lets you create a topic page and suggests content based on the interests and news sources you specify. This includes RSS feeds. The Content Director tool for business also lets you curate and share content on a larger scale, as well as content curation tools for teams.
Scoop.it’s basic functionality is free, with paid plans starting at $14.99 per month. It comes with an advanced content engine that monitors global sources to find and curate relevant third-party content. You will be able to boost credibility with readers and build brand awareness, establish thought leadership and strengthen influencer connections.
You can also access sources ranging from mainstream media to niche publications while searching for content according to keywords. At the same time, you can share curated content directly to your social channels and embed everything you find on your page. It is a platform used by 8 plus million curators including large enterprises. Learning how to use Scoop.it, can be a good skill to acquire.
Feedly is a simple free content curation tool where you can keep up with content from multiple sites or topics, and label your group’s feeds for easy reference. It gives you regular updates from the online publications that you enjoy. You can follow blogs and sort through the curated content quickly and efficiently. This gives you a resource library ready to be accessed with a customized layout.
It comes with Leo, an AI research assistant that will read your feeds and filter out the noise for you. Feedly is free for up to 100 sources and three feeds. However, if you want to use and share boards and much more, you’ll have to upgrade to the Pro version. It starts with a $6 monthly subscription billed annually and comes with the ability to search up to 1,000 sources; notes and highlights. You have the ability to save to Evernote, and OneNote; and to share to LinkedIn, Buffer, IFTTT, Zapier and more.
Pocket helps you to save articles, videos and stories from any publication, page or app and curate them on your own space. Pocket installs a button on your browser, so when you come across an interesting article, video, or image, you just hit the button and put it in your ‘pocket’ for later. You can also access your content offline, so you can build your library while you browse and access it whenever you want.
Basic functionality is free, though upgrading to Pocket Premium will give you advanced search, suggested tags and a backup of everything you save. Pocket Premium is $5.47 per month and this content curation tool will save textual as well as visual content on a cloud-based database that can be accessed from computers, tablets, or smartphones.
8. Twitter Lists
Twitter Lists allows you to monitor content from influencers, news websites, and other relevant companies which can be resources for real-time marketing. A Twitter list is a curated group of Twitter accounts where you can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others so you can check the conversations under a topic in an instant.
With millions of users, Twitter offers a vast network of potential influencers and brands to connect with. Twitter helps you to organize your Twitter feed into targeted topics, so you can always keep up with the most important conversations in your industry. To find relevant lists to subscribe to, head to the Twitter profiles of relevant people or accounts in your industry. Click on the Lists tab, and look at what lists they’ve created, subscribed to, and been added to.
Through email subscriptions, you can send your newsletters directly to the inbox of your audience. This is yet another way to deliver content curation to your audience. Take inspiration from industry-specific newsletters to create your very own in-house newsletter.
Curata is a content curation software that lets you choose and source content from blogs, news sites, authors, keywords, and more by collating a list of relevant results. You can add your own commentary and imagery from their dashboard, then share or schedule.
Curata’s self-learning engine helps users uncover the most relevant content from the most reputable sources. The tool will automate the organization, annotation, and contextualization of the curated content with only a few clicks. Curata’s Content Curation Software (CCS) gives you access to a wide selection of published content available online, at your fingertips. By opting to use keywords, news sources, authors, bookmarked or shared content and others CCS will scour the web and return highly relevant results in a dashboard that empowers you to incorporate your own summary and brand voice, embed royalty-free imagery, schedule, and share.
Reddit bills itself as the front page of the internet and has a massive collection of forums where people can share news and content or comment on other people’s posts. Essentially Reddit is broken up into more than a million communities known as “subreddits,” each of which covers a different topic.
Triberr helps users to create tribes, or groups of people with shared interests who share each other’s content. It lets you discover shareable content from other bloggers, thought leaders, and influencers. You can then establish relationships with key influencers to promote your content and import your content into tribal streams for members to share to their audience. Triberr’s dashboard auto-aggregates with recent posts, giving you easy access to current, sharable content.
It comes with a specific content curation tool to automate content discovery and sharing. However, you’ll need to pay $20 a month to get access to Triberr Lite for some robust features. This includes building up to seven tribes, 24 RSS feeds, link shortening and tracking, social analytics, and more.
ContentGems is a content discovery engine that bills itself as having monitoring services that screen RSS feeds for the latest news sites, blogs, social media accounts, and other services. It filters results based on your specific interests, which you define through keywords, social signals, and other indicators to dial in on your preferred content.
ContentGems offers a free version that comes with two filters and two workflows. The paid plan starts at $10 a month with ten filters, ten workflows, ten destinations including support. The service also offers one-click social buttons, so you can easily share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and other networks.
Quuu helps you grow your social media following and engagement by helping you post hand curated content in your niche. You can send users relevant content which includes articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more.
Quuu Promote works in two ways. You can use it to find great content to share on your social media handles including Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profiles, or you can use Quuu Promote to promote your content to others who will then share your content on their social profiles. The free version lets you manage one social profile, provide up to six suggestions a day, one social media sharing pod, RSS feeds, and more.
Paper.li uses natural language processing, machine learning and social signals to analyze and extract the most relevant and engaging stories from social media and the web. You can pick the topics and Paper.li will deliver curated articles to your inbox and with just one click you can share them on your personal webpage, social, and newsletter.
Paper.li starts at a monthly subscription of $12 and offers daily content suggestions, a self-updating website, social publishing scheduler, and a newsletter creator.
Elink is an all-in-one content curation tool that helps you turn your discovered links and bookmarks into newsletters as well as website pages for your site. It is designed to be compatible with any devices including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It has everything you need to save bookmarks and build webpages, email newsletters, RSS website widgets, social bio links, social walls, automated content and more.
Elink helps you build content, drive traffic, share resources, and engage with your audiences. The free plan allows you unlimited bookmarks; one Elink post per day; five links per post and multiple import options. And the Pro Plan which comes with a monthly subscription of $12 offers even more robust features.
Sniply is a social media marketing solution that allows users to create custom messages and calls-to-action (CTAs) alongside any content you share via a Sniply link. Sniply works on the same principles as a URL shortener. The difference is that Sniply doesn’t just shorten links, it allows you to overlay your own content on the destination site.
This allows you to send your followers to third-party content without disengaging them. All you have to do is just embed a button that links back to your own site or curate an entire education journey that guides them through each step.
The Sniply paid plans start at $29 a month and features include Snips, customer targeting, themes, customization, analytics, split A/B Test, integrations, automated publishing, keyword tools, and more.
UpContent helps you to discover, collaborate, and distribute relevant third-party content that helps turn leads into loyal customers. UpContent helps marketers boost their social media, email marketing, and website conversion efforts as well as support their original content creation. The technology offers an array of plans that are designed to offer only the features needed at a price point that fits your budget. The paid plan starts at $13.50 per month which lets you post up to 10 topics, limited partner integrations, custom article summary, and support.
DrumUp’s content curation tools mine through tons of content across the web in real-time, and use sophisticated algorithms to recommend fresh stories most relevant to your audience. The smart workflow makes it easy for you to quickly review, create and publish posts to your social media followers.
You can add multiple accounts to your dashboard and tweak their settings to your liking as well as follow and curate updates from your favorite feeds and link your blog updates to post on your Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts. You also get to monitor all of them in a single place to stay on top of your social media presence.
Paid plans start at $15 a month which allows you to manage three social media accounts, publish up to 10 posts a day, access three content suggestion streams, three RSS feeds, and more.
ContentStudio’s content marketing and social media management platform helps publishers and businesses share content consistently and increase their reach. It comes with all the tools you need to centralize your content marketing operations for all the channels including blogs, social networks and, newsletters.
The paid plan starts at $49 a month and comes with ten social media accounts, blogs, automation campaigns, and more.
How can your Business use Content Curation?
- Leverage content: Effective content curation provides content your followers may not have seen before in a way that adds value and impresses the original source. You can share content relevant to your industry so you become the go-to place to find the best content. It also helps build brand awareness and grow a following.
- Set agendas: It is important that you post relevant and timely content that appeals to your audience. Besides constantly churning out content, make sure you also add value to it by adding your own context. Successful curation involves making the content better by highlighting it in a new way or adding a new element to make it more interesting or shareable.
- Encourage collaboration: Good content should be sharable. Make sure it is compelling enough to make others want to share your content with their audiences. They should also be encouraged to follow you and/or your brand, improving the distribution of your content long term.
What Content Curation Tools are Right for you?
Before you select the best content curation tools for your business, it’s important to consider the role content curation will play in your marketing operations and the size of your team. If you’re a one-person operation, your content curation effort might only require beginner and intermediate options.
As your business and team grow, content creation and content curation may play a larger role and require more powerful software. Content curation is all about collecting relevant content from various authoritative sources and sharing it with your audience in different formats. Content curation tools help you find relevant content. A good content curation tool should help you do the following:
- Pick the right topic: Picking your topic is an essential first step in developing a successful content curation program. There are three questions you will need to ask yourself when selecting the perfect topic: How much competition is there for this topic? Is my target audience interested in this topic? Is there sufficient content on this topic for me to curate? Always remember to curate content ethically. If you are re-posting an excerpt from an original article, make sure your excerpt only represents a small portion of the original article. Always credit the original source and drive visitors to the original publication. And don’t use no-follows on your links to the original publisher’s content.
- Personalize: Your content curation tool should help you segment your audience to allow you to send personalized emails so that each newsletter you send out is completely customized to each reader.
- Allow for automation: Make sure that your content curation platform can be customized for the frequency, day, and time you want content to be published.
- Provide insights: Your tool should help you identify individualized preferences of your audience. This will allow you to get insights on when subscribers first subscribed, when they looked at your content, what topics they’re most interested in, and more. Smart marketers have begun to take steps needed for a more data-driven content marketing approach to identify what is and isn’t working.
- Automate: Content curation makes sure that your content outreach is more comprehensive. Automation gives you updated content that you can add to your outreach. It also provides your audiences with references as well as ensuring real-time content. Instead of curating content manually, by opting to automate the content curation process you save time and make the whole undertaking more efficient.
- Integrate: Among the content curation tools, the best ones will help you use URLs; integrate across various platforms that include blogs and social media; and help you incorporate videos, podcasts and other trending content.
- Share: Your content curation tool should help you share content to inform, educate, and influence your prospects and customers, simultaneously strengthening your brand’s position as a go-to resource and industry thought leader.
When used properly, content curation tools are invaluable, but you can’t just set it and forget it. While the automation features are great, you have to go over the content to ensure you are sending the right content to the right audience.
With so many content curation tools available in the marketplace, making the right choice for your particular needs can be difficult. The good news is most of the providers offer a free version or a free trial. This will help you make a more informed decision based on real-world usage and see just how well the curated content works for your brand.