5 Curation Tools To Create Your Own Online Magazine

Publish your own online magazine or newspaperYou have probably heard the phrase  content curation a lot; and the concept of sharing interesting, relevant articles and posts is one of the core activities in good social media marketing.  By sharing good content from a range of sources, you can show expertise in your field and present your customers, prospects, business partners and colleagues with a single stream of relevant, accurate and informed material.

“CURATION means to discover, gather and present digital content about a specific topic or subject; amassing content from a variety of sources and delivering it in an organised fashion. It’s now becoming a marketing staple for companies who want a successful online presence”

Source: EContentMagazine

Of course, many people make extensive use of Twitter and Facebook to share blogs, news and websites and Pinterest is great for building a visual pin-board of ideas.  But how about collating and presenting all these articles visually as your own magazine or newspaper?

There are a variety of tools that serve this very purpose.  They can be fun to use and give your community a one-stop-shop for finding useful resources and news.

Not only do they allow you to share content you have found, they actually help you find new content to publish to your own pages.  Most include a “bookmarklet” to make it easy to share articles.  A bookmarklet is the tiny icon that sits in your browser’s toolbar.  It allows you to grab content or feeds from any web page and add them to your paper in 1 click.

Here are five well-known online curation tools we like:

  • Storify

    Storify gathers social media postings such as tweets, photos and videos to tell a story on a particular subject.  The interface lets you search multiple networks and resources to build your story.  You can also add your own headlines and comments, pulling all the elements together and giving your own opinions.

  • Paper.li

    Paper.li has many automated features that help you promote your pages and find new, relevant content from across the web.  It allows users to subscribe to your paper and also gives you access to scheduled posts and usage stats.  It comes as a free basic version and also a paid-for ‘Pro’ edition with more features and customisation options.

  • Scoop.it

    Scoop.it is another tool with a great magazine-style layout at the front-end.  Its smart searches and community help you discover new content and, of course, it also gives you a bookmarklet to add your own content.  You can add your own thoughts and perspective and easily share your magazine across social networks and blogs.

  • RebelMouse.com

    RebelMouse.com, with its ‘Rebel Roar’ product, is a relatively new arrival offering a sophisticated, professional publishing platform which is already being used by some very big companies.  It includes many of the same features as other tools;  it allows you to bring together and share content from social networks and websites.  It has a strong focus on automated tools such as generating newsletters, Twitter Cards, polls and petitions.

  • Pearltrees

    Pearltrees is a much more visual platform, ideal for photos, graphics and video.  This makes it similar in many ways to Pinterest although the interface has the feel of an online slideshow.

If you use any of these tools why not link your magazine below and we will share. Or if we’ve missed your favourite content curation tool let us know!

Re-purpose Content With Digital Animation

Videos make great online content and, compared to using real video footage, digital animation is a relatively quick and flexible way to put together an entertaining piece.

Here’s how BeeSocialSmart created an animated video from existing content…..

Re-purpose Existing Content: In terms of promoting your services, re-packaging your existing content in the form of a video can provide new marketing opportunities and stimulate interest in your company.  YouTube videos are great for your Google ranking and, social media gurus like Jeff Bullas are always telling us, they are more likely to get shared and prompt feedback via social media channels.  They also provide a fun and interesting way to encourage people to find out more about you by visiting your website.

We had the idea of creating an animated video to promote our social media services and started thinking about how to create a short ‘sting’ to tell people what we do.  The style needed to be clear and bright, show off our friendly personality and give a short, comprehensive message of what we are about.

Pare Down Content: Before thinking of any visuals, we sat down and made some notes on what we wanted to say.  The message had to be made up of short sentences and bullet points but not become too slogan-y.  It also had to get straight to the point, be quick to read and easy to understand.

There’s so much to say about your own business that it can be quite difficult to pare it down to the bare essentials.  However, we think we did quite a good job of picking a few choice phrases and still giving a strong ‘call to action’.

Key Points for video content:

  • Keep messages short and easy to absorb
  • Don’t overload the screen
  • Pace things so that people have time to read the text
  • Unless it’s a tutorial, if your video starts to get more than a couple of minutes long consider splitting it into two separate clips.
  • Try to be consistent with your other marketing materials and activity
  • Make it clear what people should do when they reach the end

After sorting out the text content, we began thinking about how to present the information visually.

Use Your Brand:  The star of the show was always going to be our busy bee, but of course we also needed to make good use of our logo and brand colours. By taking

sb3

Social Media Can Help Your Business Bloom

inspiration from other elements such as the BeeSocialSmart website and our presentation material, we were able to keep a consistent feel.  Consistency is important because it helps people understand who the message is from and gives a much more professional impression.

From this point on, it’s really a case of using your imagination!  The great thing about animation is that pretty much anything is possible.  However, it’s still important to remember to present text clearly and pace things so that people have time to read and absorb the information.

Animation: Sitting down with the animator, we first of all worked on getting the text to flow and then used the animated bee to link the ‘scenes’ together.  We added a vibrating effect to the word ‘buzz’ and, naturally, the word ‘bloom’ was just crying out for a few flowers.  We chose a vibrant pink to bring in an extra splash of colour and add a little impact.

We didn’t have a voiceover, so we chose some soundtrack music which we used to set the pace and timing for the animation.  Adding a few sound effects completed the job!

The finished video was uploaded to our new YouTube channel and embedded into the BeeSocialSmart website.  From there is was easy to promote the video using Facebook and Twitter.

If you want more help with understanding how to use video as part of your online marketing strategy then contact us info@beesocialsmart.co.uk or visit our web site www.beesocialsmart.co.uk.