Public Relations is a content-driven business.
Every press release, every talking point, every story that you want to tell is a piece of content. PR professionals know better than most people that content is quickly perishable, and that the perpetual churn of content is expensive.
Depending upon your budget, good content is difficult to generate and sustain. I often take time to admire the surroundings on the Vocus Blog in awe: today I see an upcoming webinar with Marketing Profs principal Ann Handley, an amazing article by Susan Payton discussing tips and techniques to establish your credibility and they recently published a guide about how to generate publicity.
This small sampling of how Vocus generates perpetual interest in their software solution isn’t replicatable by most companies. Most businesses don’t have the machination, savvy or budget to accomplish these. Despite our shortcomings relative to PR software experts, we need to generate interest in our products. So where do we start?
What I want to discuss in this post are content curation tools. If you are generating content yourself, hiring freelancers or ignoring content altogether, these tools provide you the opportunity to repurpose third-party content as your own to various degrees. The benefit of this is that you’ll have more content available for your customers and prospects published at a greater frequency with less overhead cost. Of course, you do lose some editorial control and would probably want to augment curated content with content specific for your business as well.
Incidentally, the inspiration for this post was an AdAge/Oglivy PR presentation on the relative costs of different types of content (source).
Curata is one of most well-known of the content creation services.
It features a very intuitive recommendation engine, curation tools, website and social media integration. It also has some neat tagging and categorization tools that can be used to bring order to the curated content. Its most differentiating feature may be the capability for curators to add unique text and commentary to the third-party content.
Curata is notably used by IBM, Alcatel-Lucent and the Content Marketing Institute.
TrapIt is similar to Curata in that it has a discovery engine and that it pushes content to social and owned sites. It claims to have 100,000 content resources and to have customizable elements for any curated post.
TrapIt is notably used by astro and sgi.
PublishThis is similar to Curata in its capabilities for discovery, editorial commentary and publication to social media and to organic sites. They additionally have the capability through their API to push content to standalone mobile apps.
PublishThis is notably used by Fandango, SAP and The Boston Globe.
BazaarVoice is a somewhat uniquely positioned curation service as it curates social content from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and has third-party curators available to do curation to your social hub page. In the broader context of what they do, the curated content reinforces brand products and services through authentic customer reviews.
BazaarVoice is notably used by USAA, Graco and Johnson and Johnson.
ScribbleLive is a real-time content creation/publishing platform. It’s meant to create and perpetuate discussion in real-time, so it’s not necessarily a third-party curation platform as you might think of it. It’s a platform that allows you to create and control content around an event in real-time. Think of it as enabling frictionless content creation and aggregation.
ScribbleLive is notably used by Samsung, Shell and cadence.
NewsCred is somewhat differentiated from the other curation services in that it offers owned content, freelance services, paid third-party promotion and frictionless scheduling. It has similar discovery and sharing capabilities as the other services as well.
NewsCred is notably used by Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson and Orange Telecom.
Storify is a pretty well-known tool for social content curation. It’s characterized by its ease-of-use but doesn’t have the robust discovery that other content curation solutions have. Its VIP product is an enterprise solution that will curate content to websites as well as to social media.
Storify is notably used by HBO, Al Jazeera, and BBC.
Scoop.it is another well-known consumer curation tool that has a more robust enterprise solution for businesses. They have a discovery engine, site and social sharing and a scheduling module.
Scoop.it is notably used by the University of San Francisco and Orange Telecom.
My intention with this post was to introduce you to different content curation solutions that may help you to scale your content without increasing your budget. Vocus is a special entity to be able to create so much noteworthy content on a daily and weekly basis.
Content curation software allows businesses to be able to provide topical, relevant, conversation-driving content to their readers (as Vocus does) within a reasonable budget.
Image: KL Mircea (Creative Commons)