Free Tools & Ways Businesses Can Benefit From News Aggregators
When asked for their secrets to success, Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban both give the same piece of advice - read.
Buffet claims to read 4-6 hours a day and Mark Cuban around 3. Could the answer to becoming the world’s next billionaire really lie in the relentless absorption of the written word? Not likely, but one thing is clear, knowledge is power.
Today we live in a world where access to almost anything and everything is done from a simple click of a mouse or quick search on Google. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day, to say that we are in information overload is an understatement.
From breaking news and fascinating blog content to forums and social media chatter, the amount of information coming at us through a variety of platforms can be overwhelming.
So how can you sift through the noise and get to the stuff that matters? Simple - with a news aggregator.
A news aggregator, also known as a feed aggregator or RSS feed, is a tool that curates content from blogs, videos, news, and social media channels into one platform.
Basically, a news aggregator delivers content that you care about and puts it into one simple place where you can easily access it without searching through multiple sites.
A news aggregator is certainly useful for just about anyone. Who doesn’t like more organization in their life?
However, from a business perspective, a news aggregator is especially useful and can provide more benefits than one would think.
Ok, this one might seem a little obvious, but staying up to date in one’s industry is an important key to success. Most news aggregators will allow you to aggregate content from particular sources you’re interested in or will curate content by industry or topic.
As a digital marketer, keeping my finger on the pulse of the latest updates and marketing strategies is crucial. My news aggregator is set to pull in content multiple times a day from the best industry sites such as Search Engine Land, Hubspot, and Moz.
Each day, while enjoying my morning coffee, I skim through the latest articles and spend some time reading. It helps me get into the work mindset. Oh, and those “I just read that” moments make me feel like a rock star.
Have you ever had a conversation about something with a colleague or client then a few days later come across an interesting article about that said conversation? Nothing says “I’m thinking about you” like sending along a useful article to someone. Especially to a client.
Maybe it’s not even about business. Perhaps your client mentioned they had travel plans to Peru and you stumbled across a “Top 10 Things to Do in Peru” blog post. This is great for relationship building or a friendly way of opening up a conversation about business.
Knowing your customers and giving them tools that are useful makes you a valuable resource.
Producing your own self-published content is fantastic. However, coming up with creative, fresh content each week can be a lot of work. By using a news aggregator, you can bookmark interesting articles you come across and send them along in your email campaign or in your blog and social media channels to mix it up.
Another great way to keep tabs on your competition is including their blogs into your news aggregator. What are they writing about? What new features or products are they coming out with?
From an SEO standpoint, you can discover which keywords and content pieces are most important to them. What are they doing better than you? How are they targeting your potential customers?
Tip: Google Alerts is a fantastic tool for keeping up with the buzz around competitors. Anytime your competitor is mentioned on Google, they will email you an alert along with a link so you can keep your pulse on every newsworthy action.
A consistent intake of fresh information from competitors and industry experts opens your mind to creativity and new ideas. The more you know, the more you can expand upon your current offerings and experiment with current products or services.
Encouraging your team members to follow a news aggregator and share resources they find with colleagues help keep the creative juices flowing. Some companies have implemented “articles of the week” where their weekly meeting includes a summary of interesting industry articles team members have found to spark ideas and brainstorming sessions.
So now that you know what a news aggregator does and all of its amazing benefits, below is a list of the best content aggregator tools in the market.
Feedly is the king of news aggregator sites. Available on all major browsers and apps available for iOS and Android, you can access Feedly at your desk or on the go.
It’s free to use for up to 100 sources and has a sleek interface and very simple set up. You have the ability to customize your feed sources adding sites and blogs you’re most interested in. You can also opt to add content through a variety of topics, themes, skills, and trends.
You can add multiple feeds for different areas of interest such as marketing vs food.
Additionally Feedly offers some cool sharing features such as “share with teammates” or “create a team newsletter” so you can share interesting content or specific feeds with others.
Panda is also a great news aggregator for those interested in design, development and entrepreneurship. It actually aggregates content from other aggregators such as Growth Hackers, Product Hunt, Tech Crunch, etc. Panda’s interface is also the most appealing compared to other aggregators.
Panda is available for up to 3 different feeds for free. For more feed options and features, paid options are available.
Flipboard is another fantastic news aggregator tool that allows you to narrow down your content options by “passions”. They offer categories for everything from Bollywood to climate change and business.
Flipboard curates content for longer reads from a variety of news sources. Topics can be left as broad as “business” or you can niche down into “marketing” or “small business” within that broader topic.
You can search Flipboard and find “magazines” to follow from your favorite publications as well.
A slightly different type of tool from the others is Juicer, a social media news aggregator.
Juicer curates content from more than 15 social media accounts into one simple feed. The Juicer dashboard is a great way to view your social content from multiple sources without having to switch between sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The best feature of Juicer is your account comes with a customized code that allows you to embed your business' social feed into your webpages or display on a live screen at events. Give your customers and web visitors a glimpse into your social side without them having to navigate off your webpages.
Juicer also offers automated filter and moderation features so nothing appears on your feed unless you’ve allowed it to.
Juicer’s free social media aggregator allows for 2 social source integrations and 24-hour feed updates. Their paid options offer more social feed integrations and great features such as moderation and analytics.
From news aggregators to social media news aggregators, you have now discovered the best tools and benefits to get started. Hey, did you learn something useful? You’re off to a great start!
Which news aggregator have you already tried? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!