Lee Odden

10 Real Time Content Discovery Tools for Curation, Engagement and Sharing

Lee Odden     Content Marketing

Real Time Content Discovery

The influence of search on content beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo is pretty amazing. Just think of all the social media monitoring platforms that have launched – they’re all essentially search engines.

Another category of online tool that relies on search are content discovery tools (just like Google is a content discovery tool).  Except this category of content discovery weights content shared on social media channels more heavily and often provides the ability to organize and flavor search results based on an analysis of what your own social networks are posting and sharing links to.

Real-Time content discovery tools are handy for a number of reasons, namely being able to identify upward trending content aligned with topics or entities you are tracking. The idea is that if you can be part of sharing upward trending content early and even add to the conversation, you can capture the draft of that upward swing in attention – reaching new audiences and better connecting with those you are already engaged with.

There are a number of tools including Google itself that are useful for surfacing this kind of content. Content curation tools are certainly an option and so are some social search and social media monitoring tools. Everyone wants a piece of the action that will provide a fast track to content popularity.

Here’s a growing list of real time content discovery tools and content recommendation platforms that you might find useful whether you’re an independent consultant or a marketing leader at a Fortune 500 company:

Buffer – Within the Buffer dashboard there is a new, free feature that suggests stories which you can filter by: buffer picks, marketing, inspiration, business & startups, lifehacking and design.

Realtime by Bitly – Tapping in to all the links shortened by the bitly service, rt.ly offers free access to full search by keywords, topics, networks, location, domain names, and language. The option to “create a story with this search” reveals interesting graphs of aggregate data for a group of related links that are about the same thing, and, together, comprise what we refer to as a story.

HootSuite Suggested – A feature in beta with HootSuite’s Publisher feature includes suggested stories that you can either schedule directly through HootSuite or remove them.

Sulia – With a trial account, you can connect with LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter or Facebook and then pick trusted sources. Based on it’s analysis, suggested topics become part of the navigation to discover stories. Content from trusted sources as well as those with the most stories, views, most engaging and other story suggestions are presented. You can also search. Each story offers the option of clicking “trust” to further filter your preferences. Your profile shows what topics other users trust you most about, which is an interesting view of how people see you.

Spike – A free tool that offers topics, places, timeframes and open search as well as watch lists to track specific stories. With each story recommended, you can see how it’s doing on Twitter and Facebook. You can also get email alerts. Interestingly, there is a “pre-viral” category as well.

inPowered – Free and paid versions. Surfaces topics, experts, offers date range options, shows reads and shares trending of the search topic over time and if you register for a free account, some measurement data. The free version offers limited view of these data but still useful. You can share stories from within inPowered to your own networks or amplify stories across the web, social and mobile using inPowered.

Prismatic – A free tool that taps in to your Twitter and/or Facebook network to surface stories of interest. Stories are recommended based on your indicated interests, Twitter or Facebook connections and content. You can view globally popular stories and those that are popular on social networks. You can explore content from “friends”, topics from your own social shares, popular content from your friends and other recommended topics. You can also search by interests, people and publishers.

bottlenose – The Personal or “Lite” version is free and offers many useful features. Connect your Twitter account and get “News” including top links, trending topics, trending people and recent comments. Of course there’s also a paid version. You can track specific RSS feeds showing latest posts and a visual representation of content from the feed which displays the velocity of trending topics. The search will reveal matching, trending stories from across your social networks. The recent comments search results feature is particularly useful for finding opportunities to engage.

Sailthru – This is a tool for publishers, nothing free, that syndicates content from the web to your website based on preferences of your users. It’s essentially a content personalization platform (among other things) to make sure the kind of content your publishing meets the interests of your audience. The site explains this as: “We help combine demographic, behavioral, and contextual based profiles to form a more robust understanding of each individual consumer, so that product recommendations or content recommendations are personalized across all of your channels.”

Visual Revenue – An enterprise paid only tool for publishers, this platform provides a real-time analytics solution that is designed specifically to enhance the hand of editors in data driven newsrooms. Not only does it recommend content, but supports instant headline and image testing, social reporting, performance, recommendations, and automation. As more companies mature their own brand publishing initiatives, the demand by brand publishers for this type of enterprise tool used by the media publishing industry is going to increase.

Of course there are more tools in this category and I’d love to know what you would add. This list is a great starting point offering free to more sophisticated real-time content discovery. Of course you can still use search.twitter.com and even Google results filtered by the last 24 hours or Google News as well. It’s a matter of preference and aligning the right tool with how you’re going to use the stories that you discover.

What would you add to this list? What has been your experience with real-time content discovery tools? Good or bad, we want to know.

Photo: Shutterstock


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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. very valuable tools, very few applicants only know these tools. Surely assists to create and distribute content to reach the target customers/ audience.

  2. Thanks Jay.

  3. Thanks for the suggestion Leo.

  4. Avatar SusanEmerick says

    I’ve used inPowered. It’s a powerful tool for sourcing content from trusted subject matter experts who really know a topic. It think it’s one of the best options for marketers seeking to build relationships with trusted authorities.

    • Avatar Robb_Henshaw says

      Thanks for sharing your experience with inPowered, Susan. Stay tuned for some big news coming in a couple of weeks, which will make the platform even more powerful for marketers looking to discover and build relationships with top experts. Cheers!

  5. Avatar Paul Quigley says

    Thanks for covering Spike, Lee. Hope you enjoyed using it.

  6. Avatar Robb_Henshaw says

    Thanks again for the shout out, Lee – glad you enjoy inPowered. Lots of great services on this list. And I have to agree with both Jay and Leo below – Swayy.co and Trendspottr are both really powerful tools as well.

  7. Avatar Pam Sallegue says

    I’m starting to curate content now, so it’s really good to see this ind of post. Love this compilatiion!

  8. Very good collection, Lee. I too sway with Swayy suggested by Jay Baer below. But my best pick continues to be Buffer for making it so easy and “enjoyable”!

  9. Great post with good suggestions. Sometimes it just seems tuning in to what you should be watching (while tuning out the noise) is becoming impossible!

  10. Avatar Leigh-San Mo says

    Thanks for the detailed post Lee! I would suggest buzzsumo as another useful website for finding most social shares for popular pieces of content

  11. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for this list – even though I am in the Content + Curation space, was not aware of all these wonderful platforms. I can suggest Netcurate.com too to be considered for this list. I am Founder of this platform and we are taking curation to a whole new level where after you bring in a story, you can extend it with Poll, Quiz, Opinion and several more such engaging conversations!

    Let us know your feedback!

  12. Avatar neha varma says

    hey Lee,
    Thanks for sharing list of tools

  13. HELP, I’m Sinking…
    In A Vast Ocean Of Cash!
    It Just Keeps Coming…


  14. Avatar knowledgefilter.io says

    Great list, indeed! You may also want to look at knowledgefilter.io, a new tool that automatically finds interesting content based on your actions and social network activity.

  15. We view paperli and Storify as curation tools but I could see how they would be of use for discovery. Your spiral curation tool offers no sign up option.

  16. A very comprehensive list of tools. Might I suggest adding DrumUp (www.drumup.io) to this list. The tool searches for relevant content and queues it up for automatic or manual posting!