Content curation

5 Free Content Curation Tools To Help Fill Your Scheduler18 min read

November 24, 2022 11 min read

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5 Free Content Curation Tools To Help Fill Your Scheduler18 min read

Reading Time: 11 minutes

“What do we want?” an ecstatic crowd outside my window proclaim.

“Free content curation tools!” the rest of the crowd bellow in unison. 

A woman with a microphone shouting "give the people what they want".

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Settle down, settle down. I hear you. Here are five of the best content curation tools found on the web:

But wait one second, have you ever asked yourself if you can really explain what content curation is? What if there’s more to it than you thought? Why are the above tools so darn good?

I’ve got you covered.

What is a content curation tool?

A content curation tool is quite simply a tool that can be used to curate content. It is precisely what it says on the metaphorical tin. Let me be a little more specific. These tools are a means to flood your social media channels with hand-picked content.

“Well, what exactly is curated content?” I hear you exclaim. The good folks at Quuu quite simply say that curated content is “sharing original content you didn’t create yourself”.

In its most basic form, think about a humble retweet. Without even knowing it we are using curated content. This is because we are reusing someone else’s great content to reinforce our viewpoint or engage with our intended audience. Whether that be that Adele looked simply gorgeous on the red carpet or a tweet about an article that summarizes how to use curated content to boost your social media profiles

A tweet of musician Adele on the red carpet demonstrating an everyday type of content curation.

The numerous content curation tools available help you share content tailored to your audience’s wants and needs across your social media platforms with a mere few clicks of a mouse and minimal social media management from you. Sounds brilliant? It gets even better.

 

Yes, absolutely.

We all remember the infamous ‘piracy it’s a crime’ advert attached to early-2000s DVD releases to dissuade plagiarism and piracy. It haunts me. The worry of breaking unknown copyright laws by simply reusing relevant content to my social media channel constantly lingers in my mind.

The infamous 'you wouldn't steal a car' advert found on most DVD releases in the early 2000's.

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However, with content curation, there is no need to worry about FBI agents rappelling from our ceiling due to your use of well-curated content. It may seem rather absurd that this wealth of quality content is legally free but believe it or not, it is. There are hundreds of free content curation tools dedicated to providing you with great content whilst navigating the looming threat of plagiarism by inciting fair use.

Content curation tools vs content aggregation tools?

The difference between content curation tools and content aggregation tools can seem like knowing the difference between the most expensive cuts of steak at a top-end restaurant. Unless you are an expert on the subject it is incredibly difficult to decide what will be the best. However, the below example neatly highlights the main differences between these two content marketing strategies:

An infographic showing how a beauty influencer would use the three types of content creation: normal content creation, content curation and content aggregation.

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To summarize, there are three types of content marketing: 

  1. Standard content creation is where you create content for your social media platforms
  2. Content curation is handpicked and annotated relevant content for your social media
  3. Content aggregation is the automation of this process which collects relevant content on a topic without any commentary

Here are the four main differences between the two main means to share content:

Content curation tools Content aggregation 
Hand-picked curated content Automation-lead content 
Contains original content Does not contain original content
Includes commentary and opinion  Do not include commentary or opinion
Enforces status of being a thought leader Lacks the voice of a thought leader

The benefits of content curation are undeniable as it delivers fresh content with an original flair that is customized to your content marketing strategy. It will also allow you to be seen as a thought leader and influencer on your chosen topic among your readership. 

Why use a content curation tool? 

Let’s be honest for a moment, shall we? The constant maintenance of social media channels and the endless search for relevant content can be a real headache. Especially for stressed-out business owners with crammed schedules and zero time to spare.

Overworked businessman with a crammed schedule and searching for content for social media.

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Here is a question for all the overworked business owners out there. After a difficult week at work would you rather: 

  1. Sit down and watch several hours of the newest Netflix craze?
  2. Delve into the complex world of social media content creation to make SEO-tailored articles for your clientele?

“Netflix!” I hear you scream as you hurl this blog out of the nearest open window. “That is entirely understandable” I retort as I collect the shattered remains of your laptop.

A laptop being thrown out a high window in anger.

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Let’s admit it to ourselves, content marketing is hard work. It is not some unspoken secret only uttered in the darkest corners of conference rooms. Finding that elusive, relevant content can be a huge drain of resources and energy. So, how can you lighten this seemingly endless workload? Content curation tools such as Pocket and Scoop.it, could be the miraculous answer you are looking for.

 These free content curation tools can:

  • Deliver the absolute, best content humanly possible for your intended audience
  • Minimize your invaluable time spent searching for those allusive trending topics to fill your social media feeds with
  • Fill in those awkward quiet moments in your content marketing strategy with great content
  • Deliver the types of content that create long-lasting trust with your specific clients

The 5 best free content curation tools

‘Nothing of value is free in this world’ is always touted by the pessimists of this day and age. As it turns out, high-quality, free content curation tools may be the one exception. 

A boss telling his employee angrily with a lot of hand gestures "Free? There's no free here. I'm the boss".

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For a small business owner naive to the benefits of curated content, the idea of investing in a content curation tool may seem daunting and unwise. Thankfully there is an abundance of tools that can bolster your content marketing strategy for absolutely no cost at all. You heard that correctly, not even a single penny. 

Mr Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants next to a conveyor belt of money exclaiming "fresh and invigorating plus it's absolutely free".

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So, are you looking for a new content marketing tool that will be the ace in your social media marketing strategy but don’t want to risk the investment? Or are you just wondering if all the fuss about curated content is truly deserved?

Then look no further than this blog, in your very hands, as we are about to examine the five best free content curation tools available. (While some of these aren’t strictly free, they have free plans that could be exactly what you’re looking for.)

  • Quuu – boost conversions by sharing curated content
  • Pocket – the ultimate personalized plugin pocket library
  • Flipboard – a curated content magazine just for you
  • Curata – a customizable, content curator
  • Exploding topics – future trends now
  • BuzzSumo – a Swiss army knife of content creation tools

1. Quuu

Quuu's free content curation tool landing page.

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“I’ll be back” is the iconic line uttered by leather-clad Arnold Schwarzenegger’s robotic metal monstrosity in The Terminator. It is also what Quuu’s customers shout ecstatically after experiencing this content curation software for the first time.

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So, how does it work? Well, we’ll scour an archive of content categorized into over 500 interests to provide you with high-quality, relevant pieces of content daily. Then whenever you share it, you can include a custom call-to-action that leads people back to your site.

Quuu works with the most popular schedulers like Buffer, HubSpot, Hootsuite and SocialBee. So, the advanced content curation software can schedule relevant content for your social media platforms in auto-pilot mode. Want to hand-select the content yourself? Not a problem. Quuu lets you have as much control as you desire.

It’s one of the best content curation tools for business owners who want high-quality content delivered to their social networks with minimum fuss or effort.

Like the free taster? Gain more from Quuu with even more features and content by exploring the Pro and Business pricing tiers.

2. Pocket

Picture this: you are sandwiched between commuters on a packed train. You have had to stand because an inconsiderate person has decided their bag deserves its very own seat. The smell of body odor is wafting into your nostrils, and you are 90% sure you have just put your hand into chewing gum. This is not an ideal reading situation, but a crisis has arisen. You have just found the perfect article guaranteed to set your social media alight.

A simple bookmark is the most obvious answer. Correct. But have you seen your home screen lately? It is a tangled mess of every type of content imaginable, from social media posts to the latest tweet from your favorite blogger. It has become impossible to find content marketing diamonds amongst the sea of bookmarks.

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Pocket is your little plugin savior. With one click, Pocket saves great content from your favorite web pages to a singular place. Dive into the Discover feature to find trending relevant content or use My List to view the links you have shared to your social media platforms. Or look for the newest, quality content that is relevant to your social media channels in Pocket’s Collections which is a curated content RSS feed that is influenced by the posts you have shared.

Pocket's My List shown both on desktop and mobile devices.

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Pocket is a plugin with the power to organize the most relevant content for your social media accounts.

3. Flipboard

Imagine a magazine completely catered to your social media channels filled to the brim with fresh content and the latest news. No filler or fluff. No endless search for that nugget of relevant content amongst the countless articles of celebrity gossip and internet rants. Just pages upon pages of the best content tailored for your digital marketing campaign.

A retro style woman not really paying attention to flicking through a magazine.

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That’s Flipboard.

An example of Flipboard's personalised magazine catered to an individual's interests.

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It’s a discovery tool that locates great content for your social media and presents it in a handy magazine format. Flipboard is content discovery made easy for the masses. It is guaranteed to increase your workflow and minimize time searching for SEO content that will catapult your business up the search engine rankings.

A woman selecting her food interests and Flipboard creating a personalised magazine featuring relevant articles.

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What is more, it is available in a mobile app making Flipboard highly portable and an even more essential content curation tool.

4. Exploding Topics

Homepage showing the most up to date trending topics such as: styled components.

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One of the most common interview questions is: what superpower would you most like? Easy! If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to reverse time. Reliving the best moments of your life and rewriting the worst sounds wonderful. Boy, how I would like to change that ‘incident’ at Thorpe Park. 

Doc Brown from Back to the Future looks bewildered and says "Great Scott".

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However, for most small business owners I guarantee the answer would be the ability to see the future. Predicting trends can feel like an impossible task in the modern age. Fads can appear from anywhere and just as quickly vanish. However, there is a constant need to keep track of the latest news to find the best content to hashtag, tweet, or post on social media.

Well, cancel that Amazon order of a magical crystal ball and look no further than Exploding Topics. It’s a relatively new content creation tool that examines a real-time stream of search engine searches, email newsletters, conversations and mentions found all across social media and the rest of the internet. With this information, Exploding Topic’s algorithm spots trends months or years in advance allowing you to share content that is several steps ahead. 

So, whether it is the growth of interest surrounding a ‘houseplant that develops holes in its leaves, giving it a distinctive look’ or Sezzle, a new ‘buy now pay later’ scheme, Exploding Topic has you covered. With its incredible trend prediction algorithm, it’ll make you seem like the go-to thought leader no matter your niche. 

Whilst Exploding Topics is free you can certainly get more bang for your buck with Pro which offers even more functions to unlock the latest trends.

5. BuzzSumo

The content analyser is showing how many google shares, Facebook likes, Linkedin shares and twitter shares each article has received.

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Fun fact: BuzzSumo is not a martial art used for centuries by bees. No. It is a fantastic content creation tool that will launch your small business into the big leagues of search engine rankings.

A cartoon bee dressed in martial arts attire karate chopping a block of wood.

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BuzzSumo has an arsenal of content curation tools that will allow your social media channels to shine. The Content Analyser stores a whooping 8 billion articles covering almost any topic, that’s more articles than people on Earth. It is a fantastic content curation tool that shows what is trending by showing likes, links, and shares. It also allows you to optimize your content by analyzing what is the best content format and distribution technique.

The newly unleashed Journalist Profiles examines what the thought leaders in your niche are talking about. Allowing you to find the newest trends to help you create high-quality original content for your social media. 

A journalist profile for Lauren Joseph showing a graph of what links she has shared.

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Last but not least is the Topic Explorer, which allows you to view an endless stream of topics that have been reaching the top rankings of search engines. BuzzSumo itself suggests seeking out a topic that has limited pre-existing content but is heavily desired in searches. This, in theory, will act as a content gap analysis that will allow you to create fresh content that will kickstart immense engagement for your social media channels.

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BuzzSumo is the ultimate content curation tool to help you find the most relevant content that will secure your place as a thought leader in your niche.

Honorable content curation tool mentions

Whilst we have covered some of the best free content curation tools the web has to offer we could not fit them all into one article. We may be content curation wizards but we are not magic. Seriously, I have struggled with that realization since the age of 11 when I did not receive my letter from Hogwarts.

The hulking mass of Harry Potter's Hagrid informing me that I am not a wizard.

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So, if you need more free content curation tools to spruce up your social media platforms then look no further than the tools below:

Conclusion

So, what have we learned? Well, first of all, we now know that content curation provides our social media channels with the best content for our audience. What is more, this wealth of great content is free and legal for us to use on our social media. No need for the cast of NCIS to visit us, thank you very much.

We discovered the many benefits of content curation and how it compares to content aggregation. But here is a brief bullet point recap of the pros, just in case you forgot:

  • Deliver the best content
  • Become a thought leader in your niche
  • Find the next big trend

We have delved into the world of the best content curation tools the web has to offer from Quuu to BuzzSumo and seen how they can transform your digital marketing strategy.

So, without further ado fellow marketing adventurers, much like Disney’s Moana, head into the unknown sea of content curation. Discover the endless new possibilities of content curation tools. Let them redefine your social media channels right now.

Disney's Moana sailing into the unknown reaches of the ocean.

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10 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs (hubspot.com)

Curated List of 16 ABSOLUTELY FREE Content Curation Tools – David Moceri

46 Best Content Curation Tools For Fail-Proof Marketing Automation (optinmonster.com)

Content Curation Tools: The Ultimate List for Beginners and Pros (curata.com)

Content Curation is Easy with these 7 Fantastic Tools for Personal and Business Use – Geekflare

26 Free (or Free-to-Try) Content Curation Tools – Search Engine Watch

The Top 23 Content Curation Tools to Power Your Marketing in 2022 (nealschaffer.com)

Best Free Content Curation Tools – 2022 Reviews & Comparison (sourceforge.net)