Auto-Curated Content Management Systems

SEMA News—December 2019

INTERNET

By Joe Dysart

Auto-Curated Content Management Systems

Respite for the Harried Content Marketer

  Web
Auto-curated content systems specialize in finding and repackaging web content for use in company marketing campaigns.
   

Businesses looking to keep visitors glued to their websites and other digital properties with interesting content—including social-media posts, articles, images, videos, podcasts and more—are finding relief with auto-curation tools. Such solutions can be programmed to automatically search out and grab excerpts of interesting content, summarize and repackage them as original posts, and then port the results in a pleasing format to the company’s website, blog or even a social-media account.

“In short, if you want your brand to be well-regarded by your audience, give it something valuable,” said Lisa Murton Beets, research director for Content Marketing Institute (www.contentmarketinginstitute.com), a big believer in the power of content marketing.

Of course, repackaged Tweets, article excerpts, short podcast descriptions and the like will probably never match the draw of fresh, completely original content that is specifically designed for a highly specific audience—namely a company’s existing and potential customers. And marketers dabbling in repurposed content need to use care to publish only excerpts or short summaries of the copyrighted content they find, lest they run into copyright problems with the original creator or owner.

But even with those limitations, many content marketers find that sage use of auto-curated content offers them respite from content marketing’s relentless demand for new stories, posts, images and the like that many refer to as “feeding the beast.”

Even more pressing: There’s always that driving realization that unless a content marketer provides a steady stream of fresh material on his or her website, blog or similar publication, that need will be more than happily fulfilled by a competitor. In fact, 81% of business-to-consumer marketers said that they’re fully invested in using content to attract visitors to their web properties, according to a 2019 survey released by Content Marketing Institute.

Moreover, 57% said that they’ll be spending more on content marketing this year than in 2018, and most said that they’re seeing results from their efforts. Specifically, a full 74% said that the promotional results they’re seeing from their content marketing is much better (or at least somewhat better) than what they saw the year prior.

Much of the attraction of auto-curation content systems is that many solutions can be completely set on autopilot. Simply program in some keywords for the kind of content you’re looking for, and many of the programs will search out, package and publish the repurposed content they find to the web property of your choosing without any intervention.

But equally attractive are the manual curation options embedded in most systems. Those features allow marketers to look over a content stream coming in courtesy of the auto-curation systems, pick and chose what they like best, and then click “publish” to render what they consider to be the cream of the crop in a pleasing format. Many curation tools also enable marketers to mix in some original text, imaging, video and the like so that the resulting production feels more personal and more custom made.

In either case, the resulting creative is extremely versatile. Most auto-curation programs enable you to instantly publish to virtually all major content management systems, including Wordpress, Moveable Type and Buffer. And the curated content is also generally easily ported to e-newsletter management services such as Mailchimp as well as to all the popular social networks.

As a major bonus, many of the auto-curation systems use artificial intelligence to monitor the curated content you actually decide to use and then tweak their future content searches to bring back additional content that more closely mirrors what your prefer. You’ll also find that there are a few auto-curation solutions that are designed for extremely specific needs.

CrowdyNews, for example, specializes in generating a continually refreshed “social-media wall” that pops up next to original articles you’ve already produced and published on your web properties. And Tailwind homes in on users of Pinterest and Instagram who are looking to beef up their presences with curated content that can also be monitored for performance and results.

No matter what your preference, a raft of companies have sprung up during the past few years to help automate the process of securing, packaging, publishing and analyzing curated content online. Below is a representative sampling.

Curata (www.curata.com): Probably the best way to select an auto-curated content system is to study Curata and compare its approach with the others. Essentially, Curata is an extremely high-end, industrial-strength solution and one of the early pioneers in the space. You may not need all of Curata’s bells and whistles, but taking Curata for a test drive is a great way to take a measure of what the industry has to offer.

Like most content-curation systems, Curata can be programmed to grab keyword-specific content for you from websites, blogs, social media and the like and then serve up its findings on an easy-to-use dashboard. You always have the option to have Curata auto-publish the content it brings back as your company newsletter, blog, website or even as a post on social media, but you may want to use its curation tools to eyeball what Curata is offering and publish only what you prefer.

With Curata’s manual curation feature, you also have the option to mix in your own text and images to give your resulting publication a more custom feel.

The system is designed to publish seamlessly to all of the popular content management systems, including Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, TextPattern, Moveable Type, Buffer, Hubspot and Marketo, and it also seamlessly publishes to social-media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

For content sources, Curata relies on more than 100,000 news and other websites that it has identified as reliable over the years, including sites with or without RSS feeds. And you can add your own preferred content sources to the mix to ensure that Curata brings home exactly what you’re looking for.

The beauty of Curata’s search feature is that it relies on artificial intelligence to ideally grow ever smarter about the kind content you consider most useful. It does that by monitoring the specific news and social-media posts that you actually choose to publish from all the offerings it brings back, then tweaks its search rules to ferret out future content that most closely resembles your choices.

With each content choice you make, the AI tweaking process repeats. Theoretically, that relentless refinement ultimately produces a search system in which Curata’s choices and your own become one.

The solution also includes a tool that advises you on how to comply with copyright laws. That advice comes in very handy when you’re thinking of publishing summaries or excerpts of copyrighted work (www.fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use).

For a great overview of how Curata works, check out its 20-min. demo video (www.tinyurl.com/curatavideo). It’s truly informative and will get your wheels churning on how to use Curata for your own purposes.

For pricing, contact Curata directly.

PublishThis (www.publishthis.com): Another early pioneer in the auto-curation of web content, PublishThis works similarly to Curata by bringing back keyword-specific content that it will auto-publish for you or store in a library to await your final curation. Like Curata, PublishThis ports seamlessly to virtually all of the popular content management systems, email newsletter systems and social-media networks.

You can currently give PublishThis a free test drive. After that, pricing starts at $99 per month.

Scoop.it (www.scoop.it): Another industry veteran, Scoop.it also uses keywords to bring back trending content, which can be auto-published or ported seamlessly to virtually all popular content management systems, e-newsletter publishing systems and social media. As with most other established systems, you can mix in your own text and images, and Scoop.it auto-integrates Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web) into its system, enabling you to monitor how your content choices are performing on your website, blog or on social media.

Scoop.it offers a free version, with upgrades starting at $14.99 monthly.

Instapaper (www.instapaper.com): Billing itself as a simple tool you can use to capture web content, Instapaper allows you to publish your curated content in a predesigned newspaper format. You’re also able to output to your own website, blog, social media or a newsletter publishing platform such as Mailchimp (www.mailchimp.com).

In a nice bonus, the solution also comes with a subscription widget that you can use to plug into your website, offering you the option to charge for your curated content.

Instapaper offers a free version, with beefed-up alternatives starting at $9 per month.

CrowdyNews (www.crowdynews.com): CrowdyNews takes an interesting approach to auto-content curation by creating a social-media newsfeed that runs next to articles you’ve published on your website or blog. It also uses keywords in a different way, bringing back content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumbler and Flicker based on the topics of original articles you’ve already published on your web property.

Essentially, CrowdyNews enables you to create real-time, updated news streams on any topic for your website or blog, ensuring that your site always monitors the pulse of trending news. Like many solutions, CrowdyNews uses artificial intelligence to “get smarter” over time about the kind of content that works best for your site.

For pricing, contact the company.

Tailwind (www.tailwindapp.com): This is a unique curation tool that is specifically designed to help users of Pinterest and Instagram drive more traffic to their digital properties there. While Tailwind auto-suggests new content for your Pinterest or Instagram presence based on the kind of content you’re already using, much of its power resides in its performance analytics.

With Tailwind, you can come up with new ideas for content by monitoring what people are posting, and you can pinpoint the keywords that users of Pinterest and/or Instagram are relying on to find your company on either social network.

Need to drill down to analyze your presence by category, the display boards you create, keyword and/or hashtag? No problem, Tailwind has that covered.

If you’re looking to track your growth on either service based on your followers, the boards you create, the images you
re-pin, or user likes or comments, Tailwind nails that, too. Essentially, it is a curation tool that deserves a test drive from anyone looking for a way to continually generate new content on either service and precisely measure the results of that effort.

Tailwind offers a free trial. For pricing, contact the company.

Still other auto-curation solutions to check-out include Shareist (www.shareist.com), Wordpress Plugin MyCurator (www.wordpress.org/plugins/mycurator) and Flockler (www.flockler.com).

Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.

646-233-4089

joe@joedysart.com

www.joedysart.com

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