The more relevant, interesting, and even entertaining the content that you share or publish, the more your audience will view you as a trustworthy source of information and not just a provider of a product or service. That perception builds trust, helps with branding, and enhances your customer relationships.

Content curation is the practice of seeking out and sharing content with your users that you believe is relevant to them. It can be done through your blog, email marketing, your website, or social media channels.

The key to successful curation is to find content that is both useful to your audience and consistent with your branding. If the content that you curate also happens to be trending, that's even better; however, just because the content is popular, doesn't mean it's appropriate for your business or your customers.

Fortunately, you don't have to scour the Internet for content to curate. Many tools are available to help you find and share great content online.

1. Feedly

Feedly is essentially an RSS feed on steroids. Rather than going the traditional route of going from one blog or news site to another, you can get all of your trending content in one spot. All you have to do is add your favorite sites to Feedly, and you can curate content from one convenient place.

2. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo will bring you posts on trending topics quickly. All you need to do is enter the relevant keywords to do a topic search. If you want to know what is trending on specific websites, you can enter in the URL to find the posts that are receiving the most social shares: You can find great content to share with your followers as well as get a sneak peek into the content that is trending on your competitors' sites. (Keep in mind that if you want to show up as trending on sites like BuzzSumo, you have to write great content.)

3. Pinterest

If you think of Pinterest as a site for people looking only for inspirational quotes, DIY projects, and recipes, you are missing out. Content marketers are using it as a repository to link to, store, and share articles, videos, images, and other content that your audience might find relevant. You can curate the content by pinning it so that your own Pinterest followers can see it, or you can use the website to find the original sources and link to those sources directly.

4. Storify

It's nice to have options, and Storify provides options in spades. You can go to storify and search for "stories" (content pieced together from social media) that other people have created to share with your audience. You can also create your own stories from your own social accounts, in essence curating your own content. With the enterprise version, Storify 2, you can use features such as live-blogging.

5. Pocket

Of course, before you actually curate something, you want to review it to be sure it's a good fit for your audience. Unfortunately, the moment that you find something isn't necessarily the moment that you have time to consume it. The good news is that you can simply placethose pieces of content into Pocket, and access them all in one place later, when you have time.

6. Scoop.It

If you use the free version of this tool, you can enter a topic that is relevant to your audience, and it will provide you with trending articles along with articles on topics that also might be of interest to your followers. You'll be able to share these through two social media profiles. If you purchase the subscription version, you can follow multiple contacts and connect to multiple social media accounts.

7. Sniply

This is a great tool that allows you to link to outside content while adding your own custom message. You just post a link you build through Sniply, pointing to content that you wish to share. Then, when someone clicks on the link, that content is displayed—as is your personal message, at the bottom of the screen.

8. MyCurator for WordPress

This great WordPress plugin learns what you want to share with your audience. The plugin uses the sources and keywords you enter to find relevant, trending articles for you throughout the day. As time goes on, the tool begins to learn your content preferences and becomes even more helpful to you.

9. Flipboard

Flipboard is a tool you can use to gather pictures, videos, articles, and other content, and then create beautiful, digital magazines that you can share with your audience. You can find compelling content searching by topic or publisher. You can also follow people who are creating and sharing content on Flipboard in various categories, such as DIY, technology, and fashion.

* * *

Why not test-drive a few of these great tools? They are sure to make your website and social media content more robust, and add value to your website and social media pages. Your audience will appreciate having a wider variety of relevant content you've curated.

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Nine Content Tools to Improve Your Online Presence Through Curation

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image of Diana Beyer

Diana Beyer is an experienced and self-driven media expert who is passionate about writing.

Twitter: @Diana_Beyer_

LinkedIn: Diana Beyer