by Sharon Hurley Hall,a professional web content writer and blogger
You can’t go anywhere online these days without hearing about content curation – and there are dozens of tools to help you do it. One of those which has great marketing potential is called Scoop.it.
What is Scoop.it?
In its own words, Scoop.it offers ‘publishing by curation’ which means, that if you’re a marketer, it’s a great way to collect information relevant to your customers and share it widely.
Scoop.it is available in three varieties: free, pro and business, with each level offering differences in the number of topics you can curate, the sources you can curate from and the ways in which you can share and brand the information you share. Here’s a snapshot of how the free version of Scoop.it works.
How Scoop.it Works
The signup process is simple. When you set up your account take a couple of minutes and add your social media accounts – Facebook profile and page, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress and Tumblr – anywhere that you plan to market actively or already have a strong presence. Then it’s time to start creating your first digest (or collection).
Setting Up Your First Digest
Give it a name, description, set keywords and choose the language you will publish in. My tip: think about SEO when you do this – it will make your digest even easier to find online.
Next, it’s time to select the content sources you will use for your digest. The site suggests some based on your keywords, but you can add or remove as you wish. In testing, I found that not all the content suggested was relevant, but taking five minutes to adjust the sources worked well.
One option for using sources effectively is to set up a Twitter list of the people who always publish information you want to disseminate and then use this as a key source for your digest. Other potential sources are selected Twitter users or searches, information from a Facebook page, searches via Google (news, blogs or videos) or OPML import. Once this is set up, content available for curation shows in a ‘suggested content’ list when you click the ‘curate’ tab on your dashboard.
Adding Content the Easy Way
When testing the application, I found that instead of using the curate tab, I tended to use the Scoop.it bookmarklet. Click on it when you’re on a page you want to share and it brings up a sidebar interface which grabs the title and description and invites you to select a publication to share it to. A particularly useful feature is the ability to share to all your social media profiles by ticking the appropriate box. My tip: take a couple of minutes to customize the updates so you can foster more interaction. (But it’s ok to just hit send too.)
Why Marketers Should Use Scoop.it
So that’s how Scoop.it works, but I’m sure you’re wondering why you should use it. Here are some reasons why I think this tool is a marketer’s dream:
1. It reduces the effort you need to put in to reach your audience by allowing you to share to multiple places at once.
2. It helps you build authority for your clients on multiple platforms in a variety of niches (up to 5 with the free version).
3. It looks great – and with paid accounts you can brand your publications, keeping a consistent look and feel across all your online interactions.
4. You can embed the content on your site via widgets and custom RSS feeds, keeping a constant stream of relevant information on hand for site visitors.
5. You can also follow other topics and rescoop (in other words reshare) relevant content from those – a great way to stay on top of your business and your niche.
6. With a Pro or Business account you have access to analytics which show how your customers are interacting with the content you share.
7. You can be a content marketer even if you are not generating the content yourself.
Have you tried Scoop.it? What did you think?