Don’t be alarmed by that title – I’m not talking about stealing content for gain, I’m talking about adding the filtering and aggregating of content to your content consumption, creation and sharing routine.
Pretty much everyone has bought into the idea that they need to produce lots of valuable content in order to build the trust and search engine eyes of today’s online prospect. One way to supplement your content strategy while still providing lots of value, is to get good at finding and filtering other people’s content that your prospects and customers will find useful as well. (Done right, the “other people” will thank you for giving a wider audience to their content)
It should go without saying that giving credit to the original source and full attribution to the author when appropriate is a must.
There are a number of ways to think about this idea
Make yourself a better resource
Creating a habit of filtering content related to your industry, products, competitors and customers will make you better at what you do, allow you to keep up with trends and give you data to help you build deeper relationships with customers.
Share content to draw attention
Pointing out useful resources and good finds is a great way to build your social media and blog followings. Consistently sharing relevant links and sharing them on Twitter is a strategy that many find helps them be seen as follow worthy. Creating a once a week blog post roundup of good stuff is a great way to add content and keep readers engaged.
Filter personalized content
A more advanced strategy is to use your filter skills to create your own industry research briefs. If you specialize in several market niches you can create laser specific new pages and email newsletter roundups that feature the best of what you find each week. You can even use RSS technology to deliver dynamically changing web content password protected for your best clients.
Some of my favorite tools for finding other people’s content
AllTop – This site collects what it believes is the all the top blog content on a large number of topics and displays the last posts from each of these sources. This should be a daily stop for most. You can also build your own custom page here and use this as your RSS reader.
Delicious – This is my favorite bookmarking site. As I surf the web I mark sites here with tags that I define. It’s a place to categorize content, find new content and create custom RSS feeds of the content you find. If you are trying to create pages for customers you simply define a tag for the customer and then set-up an RSS feed that streams your hand picked content.
StumbleUpon – A service that helps you stumble upon content related to topics of interest that you define. Browser toolbar makes it very easy for you to go looking. I’ve used this technique on numerous occasions to find unique content to share on Twitter.
Business Exchange – Business Week’s community platform allows users to submit content related to specific topics.
Kurrently – Once of the first search engines that allows you to find what’s being said on Facebook
Twitter Advanced Search – Using the Twitter advanced search function you can set up a search like this: “small business” OR entrepreneur OR “start up” filter:links to bring you tweets for a specific topic that contain links. This is a great way to keep up with what’s being shared on a specific topic and since the search produces an RSS feed you can send it to your Google Reader or even publish it to an HTML page.
Google Reader – Subscribe to relevant industry blogs and have a library to read any time you have some down time. You can also set up a custom TwitterFeed to tweet your shared Google Reader items adding a hand selected way to share more content as you read.
Google Alerts – Create custom searches for things like brands, people and products and have any mentions delivered to your inbox or reader.
Google Insights for Search – With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties
Instapaper– A simple tool for saving web pages to read later but in a nice custom newspaper kind of format. Phone, Kindle and iPad apps available.
Feedburner – This is Google’s tool that allows you to enhance your RSS feeds. For purpose of this post I point to the Feed feature that makes it very easy for your to take and RSS feed and publish to a web page. Here’s an example where I’ve take hand selected delicious feed mention of my book, The Referral Engine, and streamed them on a web page. Bonus: Notice the RSS feed of Twitter mentions doing the same thing.