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Why content curation is kingly too

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 12 May, 2017
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6 Great Content Curation Tools

They say that content is King. If that’s the case then curation has to be, at the very least, a Baron or something. Actually, scratch that. Content curation, when it’s done right, can be king too.

One need only think of products and features like Reddit, Facebook Trending or Twitter Moments to see how important content curation is to the general public. Cutting through the noise of clickbait and subpar content marketing is extremely difficult, and that’s why effective content curation can be so valuable.

Short On Time? Curate!

If you have the time, creating your own content is a powerful way to drive traffic to your site. One need only look at the stats for proof of that:

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3x as many leads
  • Year on year growth of site traffic is almost 8x higher for content marketing leaders than followers
  • Hundreds of millions of consumers use ad blockers; content marketing is, generally speaking, safe from AdBlock and the like

If there’s one thing worse than no content marketing, it’s bad content marketing. You know the type of content we mean: shoddy, repetitive keyword stuffed articles that offer no value.

But without dedicated writers and designers, whether in-house or reliable freelancers, creating excellent content is tough.

Effective content curation offers a way to capitalise on all the outstanding content out there, a lot of which you probably stumble across on a daily basis, without having to bring on more pairs of hands.

6 Content Curation Tools

There are really two aspects to effective content curation:

  1. Discovery
  2. Publishing

They’re two sides of the same coin, in that without a stream of discoverable content you have nothing to share and without any publishing tools you have nowhere to put all the great content you have in your back pocket.

For that reason, we’re splitting our tool summary right down the middle and offering our top three picks for both content discovery and publishing that content in a way that drives traffic. Before you check them out, you might want to make sure you're up to speed with popular social media and marketing tools like Buffer and Tweetdeck.

#1 BuzzSumo 

As well as being great for tracking down influencers in a certain space, BuzzSumo also allows you to find the top performing content for just about any topic you can imagine.

The ability to filter by date is vital here, so you can see what’s dominating your industry in real-time.

#2 Pocket 

Find a great piece of content while you’re on the move but don’t have time to read it properly? Add it to Pocket and voila! An offline version of the article will appear wherever you have the app.

And, of course, it integrates with apps like Hubspot and Twitter for when you decide the time is right to share.

#3 ahrefs

Never run out of content again. That might sound like the fever dream of social media managers everywhere but, with ahrefs’ content explorer, it can be a reality.

And, because it lets you sort articles by “most shared”, you can see what topics are dominating any particular space at that moment 

#4 Publicate

From creating slick web roundups to drag and drop email newsletter templates, Publicate is a tool that was created specifically with content curation in mind.

It allows users to build content libraries, drag and drop content and embed HTML content just about everywhere. Oh, and it supports GIFs. Score! 

[Disclaimer: The author of this piece has previously worked with Publicate. Doesn’t mean it’s not a great tool though!]

#5 MailChimp

When you think of email newsletters, you probably think of slaving away over MailChimp writing update after update from your company. Except for the fact that your customers get so many of these emails that they probably just get lost in the noise.

Another (read: better) use for MailChimp is creating weekly, or monthly if time is an issue, newsletters that bring together the hottest content that your customers will love. That will boost your open rate, which will improve exposure when you have an update or new feature that you really need to tell your users about.

#6 Sniply

Adding a Call To Action to a website that isn’t yours is so delicious it feels like it should be illegal. But, thanks to Snip.ly, that’s exactly what you can do.

Adding buttons, forms, banners or hyperlinks to content written by other brands and thought leaders is a game-changer when it comes to solidifying the association between your brand and great content.

 Tips For Effective Content Curation

No matter how good their content might be, we’d advise against promoting content written by your competitors. Odds are that, even if you’re the ones who introduced them to it, they’ll come away remembering your competitor's’ name. And nobody wants that!

Make sure content is relevant to your audience. Remember, what’s relevant to you personally won’t necessarily be interesting to them. Keep an eye on the stats relating to your curation activity to see what type of content resonates with your customers.

Don’t self-promote too much. The Content Marketing 80/20 rule – 80% useful quality content, 20% promotional subject matter – is a good one to follow here. Promotional content might be content you’ve written yourself, blog posts about new features or something else entirely. Get creative!


The line between content and curation is blurring. Just look at this post: we’ve written content for it but have also included a roundup of some of our favourite tools. Is that content or curation? The answer is that it doesn’t really matter!

The most important thing is that your brand is getting its name out there and, in more and more cases, we’re seeing that curation can be just as valuable as creation in that respect.

As for taking things to the next level? Check out tools like IFTTT, possibly in tandem with Pocket and Buffer, and Zapier to automate your content curation efforts and seriously up your game.

May your Twitter feed never be dry and outdated again!

[Editor's note: For more ideas - 23 ideas for content curation]

Author's avatar

By Robert Allen

Rob Allen is Marketing Manager for Numiko, a digital agency that design and build websites for purpose driven organisations, such as the Science Museum Group, Cancer Research UK, University of London and the Electoral Commission. Rob was blog editor at Smart Insights from 2015-2017. You can follow Rob on LinkedIn.

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