With all the content curation tools available to today’s marketers, it can be hard to decipher what makes one platform more valuable than another. This can vary depending on the field you want to share your expertise in, but having a curation strategy to compliment your original content can enhance your site traffic, improve SEO and reduce costs, among other benefits.

Ask yourself, are you marketing to consumers or other businesses? What does your marketing budget look like? Where do you want to share information? Curators have varying topics and audiences, but the backbone of every good content curation platform is formed by identifying, organizing, annotating, sharing and analyzing relevant content.

In order to understand which tool can give you the biggest lead over your competitors, make sure these four requirements are met.

1. Identify: Good Content Curation Means Finding and Discovering Relevant Content

✔ 24×7

The content your curation platform is gathering should be relevant to your brand, or to the topic you wish to publish, and be collected automatically. In a B2B strategy, it’s a must have that this process is continuous – relevant content should be circulated into your platform 24 x 7, as rapidly as it is being published by the original source online. This drastically reduces the amount of time you spend searching for, and reading through, appropriate content.

✔ Variety

Diversity and relevance are the keys to engagement. An intelligent content curation platform pulls from a variety of sources (e.g., RSS feeds, social media sites, news sites without RSS feeds) with various content types. B2B brands may require a platform that acquires and processes text content, while User Generated Content (UGC) curators might prefer images, video and social content. Variety also means you should be able to input additional content outside of the platform. For example, using a bookmarklet provided as part of the content curation software.

✔ Relevant Content

Relevance ensures that the content matches the interests and needs of your target audience. A good content curation platform can discover purposeful content based upon information that you provide to it. A great content curation platform will learn from the content that you like and use, and bring even better content right to your dashboard, sorted by relevancy. (e.g., a self-learning, relevance engine)

If you’re curating 15 pieces of content a day, look for a platform with this ability to absorb your preferences and recommend articles. A business grade content curation platform will begin to realize your preferred topics and better populate your curated feed automatically, cutting back on time taken out of your day. On top of this, a business grade platform should allow you to choose what gets published on your site as well as how those articles are presented. This process just becomes aggregation if you aren’t able to handpick from the curated content you’re provided with.

2. Organize and Annotate: Become a Thought Leader, Ethically.

✔Automatic Tagging

As your amount of curated content grows, it’s pertinent that your platform is helping to tag and organize content into relevant and easy to find categories, perhaps by date, or whichever structure is most helpful to your readers. The ability to quickly search through hundreds of indexed articles on your subject not only improves the longevity of your content, but makes you a thought leader and go-to source for readers. This process should be automatically built in with a business grade system along with the ability to archive old content.

✔ Contextualize

The best curation systems will enable you to easily, and ethically, add your own insights. (For more on ethical curation, check out Pawan Deshpande’s post, “What Marketer’s Need to Know About Ethical Curation.”)Incorporate your brand, and add value, into curated content by annotating and expanding upon various pieces. This is important for a B2B content strategy and can be done by writing your own original content or just simply commenting on existing curated content.

Providing your perspective with this additional context further explains to your audience that the article is important. The more influence your context provides, the more prone users will be to share your content or start conversations. Smart systems easily allow you to change titles and create thumbnails as well. If you’re using a content curation platform that doesn’t allow you to do this, it will be much harder to represent the voice of your brand.

✔ Attribution

If you want to become a respected curator, your content needs to provide clear attribution to the original author. Some platforms unethically duplicate entire articles with no credit given to the original source. This type of system leans more on the side of piracy and content scraping. An ethical platform shares content by reproducing a compelling sample and accrediting the source of the original content. Business grade platforms with built-in fair use features have automatic attribution, including clearly visible links and auto-fill of an author’s Twitter handle. This motivates readers to visit the original source and strengthens the credibility of the content. To learn more about ethical content curation, check out our latest eBook.

3. Share: Reach the Right Readers.

✔ Sharing

Although the first place you look in the morning may be your inbox, your co-worker next to you may be going straight to social media sites. Because digital consumption varies for everyone, curators have to make sure that content is distributed to each of these channels so that no matter how they’re consuming content, the right readers are reached. An intelligent curation platform with have a one touch publish to multiple destinations feature. This allows the user to share anywhere, anytime from the curation platform without the hassle of copy and pasting each piece of content to social feeds, blogs and websites. Time and money are saved, and marketing content effectively reaches the right audience. Also look for scheduling capabilities in a business grade platform – similar to a set and forget it approach where a marketer can curate and know that content is set to her specifications, where she wants it and when she wants it promoted.

Smart content curation platforms should also have an API that can allow you to expand your curating abilities to mobile or other mediums.

4. Analyze: Is it Working?

✔ Measure

In any part of content marketing, analyzing results is one of the most important steps. What works and what doesn’t? An intelligent content curation platform should measure and provide insight on what content is the most informative for users and which articles are getting the most hits. With this information, you will be able to adjust and provide the most beneficial content for users, bringing them back for more.

A platform without these must-haves won’t be giving you the full advantage that content curation can provide to marketers. Choosing the right curation platform can save your marketing team hours each day and make you a go-to source for readers. Stay of ahead of the competition and sign up for a quick Curata demo.

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