Paid curation services: How to find the right one

If you’re thinking about choosing a curation service to boost your brand’s online presence, these examples can help you make your choice.

With the variety of free and paid content curation tools hitting the market, finding the right one for you or your organization can be as daunting as choosing a good toothpaste or pasta sauce from the wealth of choices that confront you on store shelves.

One factor that can help you decide is to look at how others are using the services. Most of the fee-based services perform roughly the same tasks: They search for content based on the keywords you’ve set up, and display them in portal-like interfaces.

Here’s a quick review of some content curation companies and the curated pages of some of their customers:

Curata

Curata, which runs at $1,500 per month (first 30 days free), describes its products as “a Web-based content marketing and content curation solution that helps you easily update your microsites in 19 minutes a day with new, fresh and relevant content.”

I’m sharing two examples of companies that use Curata. The first, Airvana, is fairly simple, and one I’ve been showing as an example of a business curating content since before I knew which platform it was using.

Airvana, according to Wikipedia, provides mobile broadband network infrastructure systems and femtocells; its products enable mobile operators to deliver mobile Internet access. Its curated site, FemtoHub, collects and shares worthwhile content on femtocells (used in cell towers).

A more complex site comes via Green Data Center News, from Verne Global. It not only puts news in discrete categories, but adds videos, Twitter feeds and photos.

Curation Station

At $99 per month (first 14 days free), Curation Station is considerably less than Curata. Based on the Marshall’s site that taps Curation Station as its platform, it’s also considerably simpler:

DayLife

Daylife touts itself as a “publisher suite,” not even mentioning curation on its home page. But based on some of the pages I’ve seen from this $3,000 per-year service, the ability to create multiple topic-specific curated pages is a serious strength.

An example from NASCAR shows that you could easily use this service to curate a page for different subsets of a larger topic, just as NASCAR did for driver Jimmie Johnson:

But that’s not the only way to use DayLife. Purina has applied it to a single purpose-a page called Pet Charts that brilliantly pulls in content about pets from across the Web, including blog posts, photos and videos. You can view the previous day’s content, the last week’s, month’s, or “all time.”

Equentia

Equentia offers pricing plans that look familiar to anyone who has subscribed to online services before. There’s a free level (that goes up to $10 per month for more than 30 articles per day), a custom-stream feature for publishing curated material on your own property, a professional portal (for $6,000-9,000 per year) and an enterprise version offering multiple streams and portals for $12,000 to $18,000-plus.

The University of Colorado at Boulder is using Equentia for a site called Slices of Boulder, which represents a huge opportunity for anybody looking to launch a curated site as a business with hyperlocal content.

Equentia works just as well with other kinds of material too, as evidenced by Canada’s Ventura Capital and Private Equity Association’s VC & PE News site:

Loud3r

The New York Daily News uses Loud3r for its travel web page. I worry about the potential cost, though. Whereas the other services listed here are fairly upfront about their fees, Loud3r wants you to call for pricing.

Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology and writes for the company blog, where this article originally ran. Follow him on Twitter @shelholtz.

Topics: PR

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