Five Things To Consider When Choosing a Content Curation Tool
Implementing a content curation strategy all on your own is a nearly impossible feat.
With the amount of content out there, it’s impossible to manually surface the best content for your niche all the time, right?
Even if you scanned the internet yourself all day, every day, you still couldn’t take in all that information, sort it out, and share it with your audience.
That’s where content curation software comes into play.
But how do you choose which one is best for you?
Our Content Curation Experts here at UpContent put together five things to consider when you’re evaluating the different curation tools.
UpContent’s team was once part of a marketing firm, so we understand that different companies and clients have different needs.
Finding the right tool is critical when expanding your content marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll discuss the five things you should consider when choosing a content curation tool and why your tool shouldn’t dictate your strategy.
If you’re starting or using a content curation strategy, you probably do not just want to share the day’s top news.
An effective content curation strategy shares content around a specific niche, region, or combination of the two.
You need to know that your tool will be able to sufficiently surface the content that you need so that you do not have to go elsewhere.
Effective curation requires discovery and distribution, so if you are constantly finding yourself underwhelmed by the results of your search that's a significant value detractor.
But this concept isn’t just limited to themes or topics; it's also publisher based.
If you only want to see content from a particular publisher or group of publishers, can your tool support that?
Another thing to consider is what if you find content on your own.
Is it a separate workflow, or can you feed that piece you found into your curation tool effortlessly so that the rest of your approval and distribution workflow can continue unchanged?
Generally, there are two main types of content curation tools to consider - the all-in-one tools and ecosystem-driven tools.
Prior to determining which tool is best for you, you should first determine which category is right for your needs. .
First, there’s all in one tools.
These allow you to source, select, and share with your audience directly.
This could be a tool that allows you to schedule your social media posts within the platform, hosts a webpage with your curated articles for you, or creates and sends email campaigns to your subscription list.
These technologies are great for individuals and teams just getting started in building their audience where there aren’t other tools and processes already in place for distributing their original thought leadership.
But, as your audience grows and your strategies mature, do you see yourself growing out of that tool quickly?
Will you need additional capabilities in some of those distribution channels or find yourself switching between multiple tools to share original content vs. third-party, curated, articles?
The all-in-one tool may have worked for the first year in your content marketing strategy, but now you want to change your social media strategy to include your original content, gain clearer analytics on what’s working and what’s not, and expand to another channel such as email.
But that all-in-one curation tool doesn’t allow you to add your original content; it’s just for curated content and while they have some analytics, they aren’t as robust as what you’ve seen in other tools that focus exclusively on managing your social media presence.
Maybe an ecosystem-driven tool that allows you to leverage multiple workflows with original and curated content is best to look at.
Suppose you know you want to continue growing your social media strategy, but it’s small right now. In that case, you could start with a content curation platform and a free social media management tool like Buffer, but as you grow, you can graduate to a HubSpot or Hootsuite, and you can bring that tool with you.
Once you know the answers to, “What's good for me now, what's good for me in the future? And which tool is going to support both?” you can determine which kind of tool you’re looking for.
If content curation is going to be a critical part of your strategy, it needs to be supported as a critical part of your strategy.
And if it's not, maybe you don't need all that support.
When comparing content curation software, ask questions like,
- “Are real people there?”
- “I’m getting a great deal! But am I left to my own devices during onboarding?”
This makes it tough to make any adjustments or source the curated content you need, and every time you send support an email, you’re met with a generic email saying they’ll get back to you but you never know when that will be.
If content curation isn’t a critical part of your content marketing strategy or if you are comfortable with the technology, maybe you don’t need a high level of support and don’t need to overpay for that access.
Some tools will provide a lot of support, other tools don't provide as much, and G2 has a great series of metrics that help to understand the level of support that you can expect from different curation technologies.
But support isn’t the only thing to consider beyond the tool itself.
One of the benefits of subscription-based technology is that what you are paying for should continue to improve and stay ahead of the trends in the industry.
Content curation is a rapidly changing field where constant attention must be paid to both the discovery and distribution sides of the equation.
Understanding how the team behind the technology is investing in staying ahead of these evolving trends will help ensure your choice is not just the best for right now, but for the future as well.
Content curation is best accomplished as an iterative activity.
You spend the time between meetings or when you need to switch away from that main task to review what’s been discovered for you, approve what will best resonate with your audience, and distribute it at that time or queue it up for later distribution.
You may have one or more approval steps that must be considered as well - each requiring different information and wishing to approve in a preferred way.
Workflow is crucial when curating content for your branded channels.
When choosing a tool, you want to ensure that it supports the workflow you already have for approving content.
Some great questions to ask are:
- “How do you want to be reviewing and approving content?”
- “Is it fully automated, fully manual, or a blend?”
- “How do you wish to allow subject matter experts to curate outside your immediate team without the risk of giving them access to more than they need?”
Consider choosing a tool that caters to multiple workflows because your process may change over time.
If the tool is dictating your required workflow that’s going to create friction.
If you’re only using content for your personal brand, the workflow may be something you’re not as focused on. Just make sure that’s all you would want to use that tool for.
Cost is important when choosing a tool, but it shouldn’t be the first, second, or even third thing you consider when selecting a content curation tool.
Once you have the answers to the first four questions and you’ve narrowed your preferred tools down, you can ask, “Does this tool meet my budget?”
Suppose you’re looking to grow with your content curation strategy. In that case, some other cost factors to consider are additional costs for specific integrations, onboarding support, or features you may be wanting to use.
Is it essential for your company to be on a month-to-month plan? Or are you going to be locked into a contract? Are the savings associated with a longer commitment worth it?
Knowing how the pricing may change as you grow will help avoid the frustration you may run into because you only picked a platform based on price, not what you need it to do.
So make sure you understand the cost of what you need now and the cost that you will need in the future.
This goes for any tool you’re using in your business, but you should never change your strategy to fit a tool; your tool should just naturally fit in.
If it seems like it’s going to be difficult for a content curation tool to help your business, then it’s probably not the best fit for you.
And we all know that if you try to put a square peg into a round hole, it solves no problems for anybody, and you’ll probably end up not using the tool, canceling, and starting over again.
Choose a tool that’s as dynamic as your strategy is.
Next Steps in Choosing Your Content Curation Tool
With so many content curation tools to choose from, we know it can feel overwhelming watching so many demos, exploring free trials, and reading reviews.
That’s why knowing what content you need to source, your distribution strategy needs, customer support, and collaboration needs can help you not just choose a tool based on price.
Ready to start comparing content curation tools from across the industry? You can download the latest G2 Content Curation Grid Report to see how the top content curation software stack up against each other in the areas that matter most to you.
Download G2 Content Curation Grid Report Here!
Or, if you’d like to learn more about how UpContent can help with your content curation strategy, check out some of these articles!
What Does UpContent Integrate With?
Three Myths about UpContent: What UpContent Does and Doesn’t Do
What UpContent Plan is Right For You?