How to Find Third-Party Content Diamonds in the Rough

finding 3rd party content

My teammate Becca recently wrote about how to curate better content for your brand. (If you haven’t read that post, you should totally check it out before you go any further.) One of the things she talked about is how important it is to find content “diamonds in the rough.” As a social media manager for some of our clients, I have faced this challenge head on when hunting for third-party content.

My introduction into the content curation world was, well, let’s say, a bit shocking. When prepping some of my first-ever editorial calendars, I quickly realized that you could surf the web and find the same content covered in different articles, over and over again.

Marketing content lost its initial appeal rapidly and I was left with a dilemma that I’m sure you’ve faced, too.

Do you continue to share mundane articles with readers, hoping that shares are enough to appease your boss? Or, do you strive to mine for that diamond in the rough: the content that isn’t just share-worthy but read-worthy? Choosing the former will leave you and your readers bored out of your minds. Choosing the latter will take you on a thrilling and rewarding search for notable content.

So, how do you go about finding unique content? The internet is huge—but it’s got to be hiding somewhere!

One of the mistakes that I made early on was limiting the range of content I would explore by using a single tool. In doing so, I only heard from a specific set of marketers and influencers. The result? I ended up in a content vacuum, unfortunately rereading the same material and sharing it with others.

Learn from those that have already traveled the path ahead of you. Branch out and try the following tools and methods for finding precious content that keep your readers happy and returning for more.

1. Twitter Lists

Remember the tool I mentioned that initially left me in a content vacuum? Well, it’s Twitter lists. And it has actually proved useful when integrated alongside other tools.

Start by creating a Twitter list made up of your favorite companies and influencers to gather quality posts from quality people. Share it with other marketers and coworkers to collaborate. Subscribe to other marketers’ lists, like Marketing Influencers, AdWeek Marketing Top 50, and CX Leaders for example, to pull from what they’ve already found. Don’t forget to hunt down lists that are specific to your industry or niche, too.

Another bonus of using Twitter lists is getting more publicity for your company. Add your own content to public Twitter lists to increase your brand awareness as well.

2. Feedly

Feedly is an awesome RSS tool for any content marketer. You choose what blogs you want to follow and receive suggested content based on your preferences. The app even makes it easier to organize and store content with boards (think Pinterest but much more applicable to the marketing world). I currently follow HubSpot, MarketingProfs, Quick Sprout, TopRank, and Buffer, just to name a few.

3. YouTube

Video marketing is exploding right now, which means it’s a great resource for your content needs. Anytime I find a worthy video for my audience, I’ll recommend it. How can you find relevant videos? Search TedX presentations and YouTube channels for quality videos related to your industry. Subscribe to the channels that seem to regularly churn out videos you enjoy.

Right now we’re watching Limitations Inspire Creativity by Brian Fanzo, Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer, and Scott Ginsberg’s TedX presentation, What’s In a Nametag.

4. Conferences

Your time at conferences doesn’t have to only benefit your company. It can also benefit your readers. While attending a conference, track the speakers, sponsors, industry leaders, and fellow visiting influencers to follow. Make a habit of checking in on their blogs, YouTube channels, and social media periodically to see what they’re publishing and what your audience needs to hear.

5. Twitter Hashtags

When you’re running low on creative content, you can always rely on Twitter hashtags. Start searching for new information by entering hashtags that are relevant to your readers. Even if the use of hashtags is declining, you’ll always be successful at finding unique content to share by using this method.

Full disclosure: this is true mining territory. You’ll have to sift through a lot of dirt and rubble to find the good stuff. But there is a payoff. Searching a hashtag also helps you weed out the content that’s already being shared nonstop so you can make sure to share unique content. 

6. Contributors’ Content

Looking for a way to show appreciation to your blog contributors? Seek out the authors who contribute to your blog, and find out where else and what else they’re publishing. If they freelance a lot, it might be helpful to set up a Google alert for their name so you get a ping every time they publish something new online.

Then show them some love with a content share! You’ll keep your audience engaged and increase the demand for your contributors’ writing on your own site.

7. Content Platforms like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse

I love Medium. Why? It’s always introducing me to new names, fresh ideas, and entertaining stories. Plus, I often save posts outside of marketing that make for fantastic reads over my lunch break!

Whether you strictly share industry content or enjoy throwing in something extra every now or then, Medium is bound to give you that diamond in the rough you can’t find elsewhere. Utilize the search button for infrequent visits, or if you’re a regular visitor, customize your interests and watch interesting new content roll in.

8. Email Lists and Content Roundups

Seeking out fresh content doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Follow those who have gone before! When searching for great content, seek out top content lists and weekly roundups. Keep in mind that your readers want to come to you because your content is unique. For social, I love The Social Scoop from Mari Smith’s team, which typically is an impressive weekly list of social media marketing posts.

Receiving top content lists in my inbox is my most productive method of the content search. Not only does it keep me from getting sidetracked, but it also delivers quality content all week.

9. Comment Threads

Admittedly, combing comment threads on your favorite posts can be hit or miss when it comes to finding quality content. But every so often, the comments will provide some great discourse, advice, or additional articles. On occasion, I have found a true gem of content in the comment section of something I’m reading. The best outcome to hope for is when I’m directed to more quality content!

Take heed of this idea when you’re considering engaging in the comments section of a post. You never know who will share a post you can reference.

How to Organize the Chaos During Your Content Search

If you’re searching for content the right way, there is no doubt that you will be drowning in a sea of tabs. Let me help! OneTab is the trusted tool I use to declutter my browser and organize pages I wish to return to. After a session of searching, simply click the OneTab icon (once you’ve added it as an extension), and your tabs will be ready for you whenever you want. I use it to make cuts to content that doesn’t meet quality standards and to continue to store the content that does.

My last tip to leave with you is to break up the search in blocks. Using these different tools, click on any content that makes you look twice and save your tabs in OneTab. Come back in for round two and read through the posts from your initial search that jump out. To finish off, load up your schedule with these finalists by alternating types of content and categories.

With these tools and tips for success, you’re ready to discover all of the great hidden content the web has to offer you and your audience. Happy hunting!

Overwhelmed? Don’t panic! Our team of assistants can curate content for your social media channels for you. Contact us to find out more.

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