There are a hundred places to find stories within your own business. But sometimes it’s also nice to share content that you haven’t generated yourself. One way to do this is by curating content, which is basically finding information and stories published by other people that you think would be of interest to your clients, customers, followers, and friends.
So how do you find this content? Well, you could do it by sifting through hundreds of of online articles to find stories that make sense for your business or your customers. But that would take hours!
Google Alerts, for those who haven’t used them, is a simple tool that asks Google to send you daily stories and articles based on a keyword that you pick. You set a Google alert and then each day, Google will send you everything it can find on your topic. Some results are completely off base, some are spot on, and some are meh, maybe.
But here’s the thing. Sometimes even the ones that you don’t want to share with others spark a story about your own business. Here’s an example: Right now, I have a Google Alert set for “potatoes” and in my feed today are links to articles about:
- a food truck called Spud Nation,
- three or four recipe that use potatoes,
- a potato shortage in Australia,
- an overnight potato face mask,
- how researchers are using drones to find virus-infected potatoes, and
- how to use cauliflower as a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes.
As you can see, a wide variety – and this is just from one day. And I mostly don’t look at the alerts daily, instead looking at a week’s worth in one focused session.
You can cancel a Google Alert if it’s not producing anything you can use.
You can also use a phrase – I have another alert set for “sustainable farm” – which in addition to the main term, also yields results for sustainable + agriculture, organic + farm, so Google Alerts – just like in a regular search – is smart enough to send me results that are “related” to the original term.
The other way to utilize content curation is to take the idea from the story and adapt it to your business. So if you’re a farmer who produces potatoes, you could share the story about an overnight potato face mask “as-is,” but then provide a favorite potato recipe of your own instead of sharing one of the stories from the alert.
Using Google Alerts to curate content is just one of many tools you can use. I am always looking at new ways to find stories and automate the process of sharing them without spending hours or costing thousands! I’ll keep you updated.