The 30 Best Content Curation Resources for Marketers and Business Pros

content curation resources as visualized by various images of library booksWhen I first graduated from college almost 20 years ago, I quickly learned that I was not prepared to have conversations with experienced business professionals on the reality of the business challenges they were confronting.

My approach was to subscribe to 3 magazines: BusinessWeek, Fast Company and Newsweek and I read the newspaper every single day. I have been a voracious consumer of news ever since.

Today, there are so many options available and we each have to find a way to find, filter, consume and share the information that is relevant for us.

I use email alerts from RSS feeds, Twitter lists and a few key websites I visit every day to make sure I can stay on top of the latest trends and news in business and marketing. So here, I have curated my own list of the top sites of business and marketing information – some of which are great examples of content curation themselves.

I invite you to visit these content curation resources, subscribe to their RSS feeds or follow them on twitter. I’ve also created a twitter list of these resources and other influential bloggers that you can also subscribe to…

  1. The New York Times (@NYTimes) – “All the news that’s fit to print.”
  2. Mashable (@Mashable) – social media news blog
  3. TechCrunch (@Techcrunch) news blog focusing on technology and start-ups
  4. Business Insider (@BusinessInsider) – get the inside scoop and some pretty racy headlines on finance, media and technology.
  5. Fast Company (@FastCompany) – one of the best rags you’ll find on business, innovation and professional success.
  6. The Week (@TheWeek) – if you’re looking for content curation in practice and some pretty excellent coverage of all the news across just about every category, The Week fits the bill. I subscribe to the print and digital editions and get their daily news alert as well.
  7. Forbes (@Forbes) – I thought about grouping these next 5 together but they each have a slightly different approach to covering news, business and life.
  8. Fortune Magazine (@FortuneMagazine)
  9. Inc Magazine (@Inc)
  10. Time Magazine (@Time)
  11. BusinessWeek (@BW) – one of the best twitter handles on the web!
  12. Forrester (@Forrester) – top analysts firm covering business and marketing
  13. Harvard Business Review (@HarvardBiz) – thoughtful, intelligent and unique coverage of the latest in business
  14. Knowledge@Wharton (@knowledgwharton) – from the University of Pennsylvania
  15. The Altimeter Group (@AltimeterGroup) – Charlene Li (@CharleneLi), Jeremiah Owyang (@Jowyang), Rebecca Lieb (@LiebLink) and many other amazing analysts produce tons of some of the best analysis on the innovations driving business today.
  16. Adobe’s (@CMO_com) – covering marketing and digital trends for marketing leaders.
  17. Content Marketing Institute (@junta42) – everything you need to know about content marketing
  18. MarketingProfs (@MarketingProfs) – one of the best resources covering the latest trends and thought leadership in marketing
  19. Hubspot (@Hubspot) – another one of the top resource for marketers.
  20. Ad Age (@AdAge) – the latest in advertising trends, discussions and opinions.
  21. The Nielsen Wire (@NielsenWire) – if you’re looking for stats for your next presentation, this is a good place to start.
  22. iMediaConnection (@iMediaTweet) – keep up to date on the state of digital marketing and advertising
  23. eMarketer (@eMarketer) – another great marketer resource for stats.
  24. SmartBrief on Social Media (@SBoSM) – Jesse Stanchak is one of the best curators on the web working at SmartBrief, a company whose newsletters in many ways provide the best example of content curation in the digital age. I also subscribe to their Small Business and Leadership emails
  25. BtoB Magazine (@BtoBMagazine) – for us Business to Business marketing folks
  26. MarketingVOX (@MarketingVox) – stats and research notes covering the “voice of digital marketing.”
  27. MarketingSherpa (@MarketingSherpa) – research reports and blogs on marketing.
  28. Social Media Today (@SocialMedia2day) – a great site syndicating some of the best authors covering social media
  29. Business 2 Community (@B2Community) – one of the top social news sites on the web covering the latest trends and discussions on marketing, business, entertainment and more. (Disclosure: I am co-founder of Business 2 Community)
  30. Business Innovation from SAP (@Biz_Innovations) – covers how business can grow and innovate through the latest technology. (Disclosure: I am the editor for this site @SAP)
I hope you find this list helpful. Let me know which ones I missed and follow me @BrennerMichael.

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

27 thoughts on “The 30 Best Content Curation Resources for Marketers and Business Pros

  1. Michael: Great post. Great insights. Appreciate the point regarding knowing your customer. It all starts with the customer. I’d add also that to align all digital marketing activity with your company’s business goals. Focusing on the bottom line will help you choose the right platforms to engage your customers, and build the digital initiatives to help you achieve the right results.

    1. Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for the comment. As I also mentioned on your latest post, I agree that the most important first step to successful Digital Marketing is to align to business goals and focus on the customer. I love the quote about customer-focus as taking the “Marketing high ground” and using it to lead not just marketing but the entire company.

  2. Great piece, Michael.

    I think the first point you make regarding keyword research & outlining “what’s in it for you” is crucial in marketing.

    Overlooking the need to REALLY understand your audience is definitely a recipe for destruction yet I feel that truly considering your audience is oftentimes underestimated..

    When you put in the time to learn about the needs, challenges and issues your audience confronts I think your effort shows. Even if your campaign doesn’t drive the results you desired, at least you know your customer better & may have won their trust.

    1. Hi Donna,

      I appreciate your thoughts. I have found what you said totally rings true in the process of executing marketing strategy. Just the small efforts to understand and then reflect customer needs and using their language can go a long way. I have also found that the simple act of asking customers what they want has a great impact in demonstrating customer focus.

      Best, Michael

  3. Spot on, Michael. I’ve been watching these changes over the last few years as well. I recently partnered with Hubspot to offer a turnkey inbound marketing program to my clients, many of whom are transitioning marketing spend from traditional marketing to online tactics, and it’s been a big win all around.

    It can be overwhelming for SMEs, who don’t have the resources of larger firms, and it takes much more than just the ability to tweet or build a website. It takes time, but the lower cost per lead and the ability to scale up lead gen without adding bodies is worth it.

    Great post. Great blog. Thanks, Michael!

    1. Thanks to you all for your thoughts and comments!

      @Brenda: happy to hear that you are seeing the shift to more inbound. You make a great point also that it’s not easy but the rewards make the effort worth it.

      @ Jill: you are the “unsales” person and advocate is the perfect term.

      @Allison: She inspired this whole post. I see lots of organizations trying to create playbooks and focusing on standard process and the fact is that each customers is different and play books miss the point. She’s my new idol

  4. I am inspired by Dana Anderson’s quote, “Experiment, learn, try, fall, get up, discover, have fun, be puzzled, find your way out again, thrive, and be humbled by the whole, miraculous vantage point.” This is the stuff that makes marketing so fun for me: trying new things and finding out what works and what doesn’t. Change is already happening and there is a huge shift in the way we interact with customers and prospects. Marketers get to be on the cutting edge of this shift. That’s what makes it so exciting!

  5. # Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic.
    # Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.

    I can testify to these last two points as we have built our customer base (and reached cash-flow positive in about 9 months) primarily through blogging and our customer acquisition cost ratio is far better than any other company I’ve previously been involved with. For B2B, especially in the early stages, inbound marketing is the way to go.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. My most recent blog post was spun out of some of those same statistics you listed. My question for every social media advocate, however, is how are you measuring hard ROI for social media programs? Got any ideas?

    1. Hi John,

      Oh boy! OK, thanks for asking the question. I like to start by assessing the expense side. First, every business owner must look at what is the risk in having a social media crisis (think BP) that the company is not ready to respond to. This is not just an issue for big companies but can hit small franchisees as it did in New York with a rat-infested video. Second is that there is relatively lower costs (not free) to social media than other traditional marketing. I can blog (the content) and tweet it (the promotion) for relatively little if any funds.

      Now let’s look at the revenue side. You can see the metrics of this post that companies are gaining more traffic to their websites and actually acquiring customers through social efforts. Simple link tracking will allow you to identify that. The stat about the lower costs of inbound marketing leads can help you see the ROI. Many companies are starting to see actual customers and revenue from social efforts but more importantly are able to track it.

      The bigger concern I have is with the question itself. I’m happy to answer it because so many people ask it. But I often wonder what’s behind the question. Do we question the ROI of having a telephone or a PC for your employees? In many ways, social media is a cost of doing business. It is required because it is a risk to NOT have one. It is expected by our customers to respond to them in ways they interact (in social media) and it has value and cost.

      Additionally, I often question marketers who claim ROI on their programs. This is the whole attribution marketing problem. You see we have a huge issue in that the “last marketing touch” often receives all the credit for a sale. When in fact it takes many touches across multiple people in customer organizations to produce a lead, a sale and a happy customer. All of those touches should receive some “credit” of attribution of value.

      So at the end of the day, I just wrote a whole blog post to answer your question but I hope you feel I addressed it.

  7. Michael – This is a great article and SPOT ON.
    As traditional interruption-style marketing techniques are being blocked and filtered out by buyers, marketers need to shift to inbound tactics using magnetic content that enables buyers to educate themselves about the nature of their problem, available solutions, vendors, and products long before the first personal engagement with a vendor takes place.
    Please check out our recommendations for aligning content with the buyer’s journey. I think you’ll find it as a good extension of your message here.

    There’s still an important place for outbound marketing in the integrated mix – but it must be used wisely.
    Cheers, Lauren

    1. Lauren, you are my kindred marketing new best friend! I also talk about how content is not enough, it needs to be delivered in the proper context. Thanks for sharing the link and I look forward to reading more.

  8. Hi, Michael.

    Thanks for putting this great info in one place. Because I know you are at SAP, I know you’re in a B2B space + you’re a thought leader. The influence algorithms (of the cloud in my mind) place you as a very effective ; ) influencer. Klout’s got nuthin on me.

    As you are a B2B influencer, I’d love it if our B2B community could stay in the B2B space. e.g. the BP example is of course interesting and valuable to many in marketing, but it doesn’t really apply to the B2B space.

    The trouble is, less evolved marketers than perhaps you and I, take this non-b2b info and build methodologies around it. My hope is that we B2Bers can start to build an share case studies so we don’t even have to touch on purely B2C examples.

    Finally, I respectfully disagree with you about ROI for SM. I do think it’s measurable (and HAS to be) in B2B. I wonder if Meg Heuer at Sirius has posited on this yet?

    Bravo you for being such a great corporate early adopter. Would that more of your peers would follow yours and Sam Wee’s example.


    1. Thanks Maureen, I appreciate your thoughts on my influence. 🙂 And you are right to challenge me to stick to the B2B examples wherever possible. There are plenty out there.

      On attribution, to be clear, I also believe SM can be and is highly measurable. That’s why I answered by stating the opportunity costs of NOT doing SM, then broke down the expense and revenue sides of the ROI equation. My point of the “last click” problem is that too many marketers are incorrectly attributing ALL ROI to the last tactic. When you apply proper attribution modeling, all tactics in the marketing mix start to take on different values. I hope that helps to clarify.

  9. This article perfectly states why I quit my job and started my own company to help others do exactly what you outline here! You say it better here than I’ve read any where else. Thanks for your post, I really, really enjoyed hearing someone who can articulate my own thoughts so well! 😉

  10. I was struck by Rick Perreault’s comment that Unbounce has built its customer base primarily through blogging. Wow. That is testimony to the power of content marketing, especially for the B2B segment. Having said that, I saw a couple of other statistics that were in the original Hubspot post, namely that a) 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email and b) 40% of U.S. smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while shopping in-store. The stampede to a smaller, mobile screen means that our “content marketing” systems must deliver equally well to both the palm and the desktop. WordPress reportedly has a plug-in that displays an interface designed for folks who come in via mobile and Unbounce, of course, is all about landing pages. Something to think about and thanks for a great post!

  11. This is totally on spot Michael. Marketers need to switch their focus from outbound to inbound by creating real value and meaningful content, and quickly so. Only then they will come and find you.
    One of the challenges to make that switch is that stakeholders and decision makers in organizations are often still focused on the old tactics and tools not knowing that they are decreasing in impact dramatically. So another key role marketers have, in order to make that switch, is to educate, evangelize and over-communicate on the new world order and to promote new metrics to measure the impact of inbound strategies.

    1. Thanks Marcus. Not only are your comments full of wisdom for the audience here but I know you are “walking the walk” as well with your leadership. Education and change are hard roads but I completely agree with you that we need to make the effort.

      I’m all for the advocacy required and fully expect to prove the business case with our dual efforts to create customer-focused messaging and social interaction along with the continuous education and evangelization you mention.

  12. Hi Michael,

    Great insights and I agree with the rising importance of inbound compared to outbound. But why is that ? It’s because inbound is much more relevant to a customer seeking a service compared to outbound which has traditionally been like shooting arrows in the dark.

    However the next wave to make outbound more effective and tying it in with inbound is propensity study based out buyer personas using behavioral analytics. TARGET is already doing this. While I do agree B2C like TARGET has a more robust data bank to fall back upon, analyzing buying behaviors, I think the same can be done to an extent analyzing browsing patterns, social media activity, blog/forum participation and reigistration data for B2B as well to build a more targeted outbound strategy which ties in with inbound.

  13. I like where you are going. Our company is built on the premise that because consumers now make decisions based on what others say and write about their products and services. Therefore brands will need to put in strategies and systems that proacitively generate, capture and manage brand advocacy like referrals and testimonials. Leveraging customers, employees and affilliates just makes good business sense. It works for both b2b and b2c.

    1. Thanks Richard, the customer is so clearly in charge and yet so many brands have yet to face up to it. I think the strategies you suggest would go a long way in helping them to succeed in the new buyer / customer environment.

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