While I still consider myself a young marketer, with less than 10 years under the belt, I’ve seen this travesty time and time again: companies spending countless dollars and dozens (or hundreds) of internal man-hours to create a website, only to find that they won’t get a significant amount of site traffic.
A lack of compelling content.
Without compelling content, your website, blog, or other online publication is useless. You must have relevant, interesting, well-written content in order to draw readers. The better the content, the more people will read it and share it; and as a result, you’ll get more attention for your website, your business and your products.
However, not many businesses are creating this content that is shareworthy. In fact, in the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends guide, published by the Content Marketing Institute, only 32% of business marketers consider their content marketing maturity level as sophisticated or mature.
This lack of content marketing sophistication is where content curation tools come into play.
The internet is glutted with content right now— and it takes so long to personally comb through it and find pieces that are worth posting on your blog or site. What if there were services that could find, curate, or save the available content for you? Systems like Feedly, Pocket and Storify can do just that, with varying degrees of success. Find out how these content curation tools could help you share better content and attract more readers.
Feedly tracks blogs that offer content via Real Simple Syndication (RSS). It delivers that content to your computer, tablet or phone, where you can see the updates and decide what you want to read.
- Keyword Alerts: Feedly allows you to keep an eye on any news related to your products and your business. You can also monitor news items about your competitors, changes in your field or market, and innovations that affect your company.
- Easy Organization: Rather than overwhelming you with giant streams of content, Feedly organizes the content for you. You can create manageable, accessible collections to sort your stories for future use.
- Different Views: You’ll enjoy browsing your categories thanks to a clean, fresh-looking interface that helps you focus and avoid distractions. Choose from three different display formats (Title Only, Magazine or Cards) depending how much of the article you want to glimpse as you’re scrolling through. Too much on your plate? Save the content you’re interested in so you can read it later.
- Format Change for Alternate RSS Reader Feeds: If you have feeds from different RSS reader applications, you’ll have to do a tricky export/import switch in order to add them to Feedly as your preferred content curation source. Change the feeds to OPML format, then import those items to Feedly.
- Hard to Read on Mobile: The articles and content you draw from Feedly can be tough to read on a standard smartphone screen. You may have to use a tablet, upgrade to a phone with a larger screen size, or simply get used to zooming in as you read.
- Some Features Not Free: Although much of Feedly is usable for free, there are a number of helpful features that are only available with the paid Pro version. At the rate of $45 per year, it’s a reasonable investment to gain more sharing options, Dropbox integration, advanced search, faster fetching, and custom sharing.
Who Should Use This Tool
Anyone who likes to see the latest news and blog posts in easy, manageable bites will enjoy Feedly, especially since the content can be tagged, emailed, shared, or saved for reading later. It’s a quick way to gain some relevant content for your channel of choice, whether it’s your company blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.
Pocket serves as a digital space for stashing content that you’d like to read or use later.
- Always Available: Once you place a piece of content in Pocket, it’s saved to all your devices, including your phone, computer or tablet. You don’t need an Internet connection to access the content and read it.
- Batch Save Option: What if you find a page with several articles that you want to save? With the “Batch Save” Chrome extension of Pocket, you can save and tag a number of links at once.
- Compatibility: Pocket works beautifully with Evernote, enabling you to go paper-free and effectively streamline the digital content clutter in your life. There’s even a guide for using Pocket and Evernote together— Pocket for articles you want to check again soon, and Evernote for longterm storage of interesting content. It’s also integrated with over 1500 other applications.
- Limited Usefulness: Although Pocket is helpful as a place to save content, it lacks a number of features that other content curation solutions offer. Pocket doesn’t go and find content for you or keep track of topics related to your life and business. It’s up to you to find those pieces of news.
- No Organizational Tools: While Feedly allows you to organize content into collections, Pocket only provides tagging as a method for sorting your saved content.
- Space Constraints: The more items you save to Pocket, the more space it eats up— not just on one device, but on every device you have linked. You’ll definitely want to set up offline storage limits, especially if you save large amounts of content, or you may run out of storage space on your smartphone or tablet.
- Ads in the Free Version: To keep Pocket free, the tool runs various sponsored ads. You can upgrade to the tune of $44.99 per year to enjoy ad-free use of Pocket, advanced topic search, and Suggested Tags.
Who Should Use This Tool
If you prefer to find interesting content yourself, rather than having a content curation tool do it for you, you may enjoy the simple service that Pocket offers. It’s a place to keep and tag lots of articles, blogs and links that you may need soon; and in that capacity, it works well.
Storify offers access to quality, fresh content. It also enables content creators to quickly and easily produce relevant, engaging posts.
- Of-the-Moment News: Storify provides easy access to things that are happening right now, whether you’re interested in an award show, sports, a conference or a breaking news report. You’ll find live blogs, feeds and stories all at your fingertips.
- Quick Content Creation: Have you found an interesting bit of information or a hot story? Do you have breaking news from your business or a new product to showcase? Build your own story quickly and easily with content from your business or from across the Internet. Storify’s system of dragging, dropping, searching and filtering lets you craft a piece of compelling, professional content within minutes before the news grows cold.
- Teamwork in Real Time: Storify allows multiple people to edit, review, update or publish stories, no matter where they may be. In the words of the company, Storify enables a “social newsroom” experience as your marketing group or content team works together to provide content that your clients want to see.
- SEO Failings: Storify lacks SEO power, even with original published stories. In order to get any real Google attention, your posts from Storify must have some backlinks or some love from social media. Otherwise, they may get buried under the avalanche of content pouring out onto the Internet every day.
- Design Limitations: Storify makes it incredibly easy to illustrate a post, but that automated ease also means that its designs can become boring. You don’t have the freedom to play around with the placement of images and the look or style of a piece of content. Of course, if you don’t want to spend the time customizing a design, the rigidity of this format could be a positive thing for you.
- Compatibility Issues: Some users have run into compatibility issues when using Storify. Not all tweets or Facebook posts may show up, at least until you have the right Chrome extension or embed URL tool. WordPress users often struggle with getting their Storify content to show up correctly. There are workarounds for most of these compatibility problems, but the solutions take time to implement.
Who Should Use This Tool
If you’re interested in only the hottest, most current content, try using Storify. It’s also perfect for people who really don’t want to spend precious time trying to find illustrations and visuals for their original content.
Finding Your Content Curation Tools
Still not sure if these tools are right for you? Take a few weeks to experiment with them and figure out which ones might save you time. Look for a content curation tool that enables you to stay well-informed while you keep your company’s content fresh and up to date.