Content curation is the talk of all digital marketers. For many people it’s still a mystery.
So, what is content curation and how can you do it properly?
The main reason people talk highly about content curation is that it’s a very effective way of sharing your insights and opinions, while also showing your followers the thought leaders you admire and pay attention to. It saves you from having to come up with all the ideas yourself, and stops you looking like you only ever share your own content. It also positions you as a thought leader yourself if you’re adding your own ideas to the mix.
You might also consider content curation as a tool for your own education. If you’re looking to learn a new skill, you should use a dedicated content curation tool to collect resources around your subject.
Consider that you have a real interest in gardening, and you have many followers across all sorts of social media that want to learn more about gardening. Are you going to post continuous links to your own gardening blog posts? Not if you want people to keep following you.
You need to keep sharing useful information with your audience in a useful way. So, you curate it. And here are the best tools to get the job done.
While there are a number of great RSS readers out there, Feedly has outdone them all in terms of features and integrations. Get started with this Google Reader replacement. Your favourite RSS feeds can be organised into categories, and posts can be saved or tagged to keep them organised. For curation, group your content around specific themes or topics.
Feedly integrates with Buffer, and that allows you to schedule the sharing of content with your networks. Feedly’s sharing options across the board helps you to effectively share the best content and speed up your content curation process.
When curating, hand pick the shareable content and always add your own insight to the information you share.
Power users can also use IFTTT recipes to share tagged posts to all sorts of services like Tumblr or Storify, and even to create tasks in Todoist. Feedly is available across platforms, and because of all this, Feedly can quickly become your content curation headquarters.
Storify is a social media-lover’s dream curation tool. You can search for tweets, Facebook updates, Flickr and Instagram photos, entries from Tumblr, YouTube, Google+ posts, and everyday regular links. You can then quickly mix things up and add your own commentary to tell a story about a particular topic or event. And when you’re done, you can embed it in a blog post.
Scoop.it lets you curate a collection of links on a given topic and feature it like a sort of magazine. However, it also lets you view a magazine-style feed of all the topics you’re interested in, so that you can read at your leisure and quickly re-scoop the articles to your own collection.
With Bundlr, you’re encouraged to curate bundles of links in collaboration with others. It can also be used for exploration, with featured bundles for a selection of popular categories showing on the Explore page. Bundled links created with the free account are public by default. A subscription of $19.99/year unlocks premium features like private bundles, statistics, and Dropbox syncing.
Bundlr is available for the web, Android, and iPhone
Gibbon is all about sharing learning playlists, so you would specifically use this tool to curate a collection of links that helped you to learn something useful. People who want to learn about certain things will specifically seek out these learning playlists and “Start Learning” them in sequence.
All Major Social Networks
The quickest way to demonstrate content curation is with a social network like Twitter and its retweet feature. Retweeting is a really quick way to share great content with your followers, and tools like Tweetdeck, Buffer, IFTTT and Hootsuite make it easy for you to retweet and share links.
Even more notable is Twitter’s new “Quote Tweet” feature, which lets you add your own insight with the original tweet.
But Twitter and similar tools like Facebook and Google+ are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content curation. Even visual social networks like Pinterest and Tumblr, which are often used as content curation tools, are not the be all and end all of content curation. There are many sites designed specifically to let you curate a collection of links, photos, video and audio into a collection to tell a specific story.
One of the most powerful tools available for content curation today is embeddable media. You can simply take content from most of the top social networks and embed it straight into your blog posts, using it to tell a story as you go. In the same vein, you can also quote paragraphs of text from an article and link back to the source.
This is a really powerful way to curate content, as you have a lot of control over the formatting, and there is an expectation that you’ll write a readable article to go with it. The resulting article usually comes across as well researched and more interesting to read than a simple rant.
Embedding gives you a quick way to share images, presentations, video and audio while still giving full credit to the original creator. To use embeddable media, simply browse sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Slideshare, Google+, Vine, Storify, SoundCloud and Instagram, then look for the share/embed function on the post you like.
Curating For Yourself
Content curation can be personal. For this, tools like Pinboard.in, Pearltrees and Delicious are a great way to curate links you want to keep track of, while buzz-collector lynk.ly and the personal magazine-creator Flipboard are fantastic ways to curate (and share) the information you are going to read.
The Mixtape of the Web
In the end, content curation is just making a mixtape of the web. And no matter which tools you use, your mixtape will only be as good as your own taste. Be picky, be patient and use your discretion wisely to curate something worth reading. Your online reputation could depend on it.
Which tools to you use to curate online? Tell us what you love about them.
Image Credits: printed products Via Shutterstock