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8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines

Get Your Content Production Process Operating Like a Well-Oiled Machine

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8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines
8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines




    Get Your Content Production Process Operating Like a Well-Oiled Machine
    By now you’ve heard the call: Marketers need to become publishers. You need to create a content strategy, manage an editorial calendar, develop
    and distribute a steady stream of content that appeals to your target audience, and measure the results. Phew! It’s no small task handling that
    process from beginning to end. In fact, recently the most consistent complaint from marketers is that they struggle to build and maintain scale
    across their content marketing programs.

    Most marketers currently rely on a mishmash of tools and spreadsheets in an attempt to tame the chaos, often because they simply don’t know
    of any other way. That’s why we created this guide. In it, you’ll find an overview of eight tools that fall into three categories:


    Blogging Workflow Tools: Focused on editorial project management and search engine optimization
    	  	 InnoBlogs

    Content Workflow Tools: Designed to help you shepherd any content projects through from start to finish
    	 	 Compendium	
    	  	 DivvyHQ
    	  	 InboundWriter
    	  	 Kapost

    Content Workflow Tools combined with Writer Networks: Supporting end-to-end content development while providing access
    to a network of writers if needed
    	  	 Contently
    	  	 Skyword
    	 	 Zerys

    Read on to see how these tools can help get your content production process operating like a well-oiled machine.




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8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines



    Compendium
    What It Is
    Compendium is a content marketing platform that helps organizations capture and create original content in a branded hub for distribution to
    any marketing channel.

    Why Consider Compendium
    Compendium is focused on simplifying the process of content marketing.
    The platform gives you a central location to manage your marketing messages online,
    strips away distractions so authors can focus on writing, and gives your editors and
    reviewers all the tools needed to do everything from assign a post to promote content
    through social media channels. In addition to the hosted software, you have access to
    a dedicated account manager assigned to guide you on best practices and help you
    successfully create a content marketing program.

    What You Get
    If you’re looking for a one-stop content marketing shop for your authors and editors,
                                                                                               Figure 1. Bloggers focus on authoring posts, while editors assign, schedule,
    Compendium is worth a look. By design, Compendium makes it easy for content creators       approve, decline, edit, and promote posts. Click the image to enlarge.
    to focus on writing content. When authors log in, they are immediately presented with
    a content creation dashboard that includes suggestions for better content, target
    messages to include in their writing, and a real-time feedback meter that grades             Editor’s Pick:
    each piece of content for each author. By providing prompts and “gamifying” the user         Automate the Process
    experience, content creation can be made easier and more effective.                          Editors choose an author from a pull-down menu
                                                                                                 and write a message outlining what the post should
    Rather than lock you into a one-size-fits-all approach, Compendium allows you to             cover. Once the message is submitted, an email is
                                                                                                 automatically sent to the author and the assigned date
    customize your approval workflow to suit your specific needs. From a central spot,           automatically populates the editorial calendar.
    your editors can assign, schedule, edit, publish, and promote content, and track related
    communications. That means no more nightmares chasing down posts and their status via
    spreadsheets and email.

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8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines


    Want to tap into user-generated content? You can create forms to post on your site
    or on social channels, such as your Facebook page. Anything submitted via the form
    is aggregated into a single page, and the content then flows through your moderation
    workflow. You can also set up custom integrations to use our software to pull content
    from other third-party sources.

    To help you track the results of your content marketing efforts, Compendium pulls
    from your Google Analytics (or whatever analytics provider you use) account.

    What it Costs
    Choose from any of our packages that best suit the needs for you and your company.
    Pricing can be found at http://www.compendium.com/pricing.

    Who Uses It
    Over 350 companies of all sizes across industries use Compendium’s solution,
    including Gymboree, ExactTarget, Swanson Health Products, Cvent, Bass Pro Shops,
    and Dow Jones. Anyone involved in the content marketing process (writers, editors,
    designers) use Compendium to create the best and most engaging content they can
    for their company.
                                                                                            Figure 2. The calendar displays posts and their status. Click the image to
                                                                                            enlarge.
    To learn more, visit http://www.compendium.com/platform/.




4
8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines



    Contently
    What It Is
    Contently connects companies-turned-publishers with experienced journalists and
    provides web-based tools for managing content development and the writer network.

    Why Consider Contently
    Contently is a web-based platform for connecting publishers with high-
    quality, professional journalists with specific areas of expertise. The
    software helps you manage the content workflow through a streamlined interface,
    including instant payments to writers. Unlike some marketplaces, Contently applies
    strict curation standards and quality checks on the writers in its network to exclude
    content-farm writers and amateurs.

    What You Get                                                                                    Figure 1. You can select your writer(s) or choose one(s) from the
                                                                                                    Contently network. Click the image to enlarge.
    Customers use Contently to build remote editorial teams and manage the entire
    publishing operation in the cloud, scaling up or down in volume, as needed.
Contently
    provides robust editorial and freelancer management, including automated reporting
                                                                                                      Editor’s Pick:
    and payment tools, as well as access to its database of hand-screened journalists from
    major publications. While its main offering is built for premium brands and agencies              Best for
    to manage high-end content programs, it recently released a free, lite version of its             High-End Publishing
    platform for small businesses and internal teams.                                                 Offers simplicity and flexibility for brands or agencies
                                                                                                      with expansive publishing operations. Contently
    When choosing teams of writers from the Contently network, you see short bios, areas              automates high-caliber freelancer management
    of specialization, what they’ve written, and for whom. To build their portfolios, writers add     (contracts, payments, taxes, workflow) and discovery.
    the publications they’ve written for, and Contently pulls in clips and indexes the writers in
    its data-driven search engine, which incorporates social influence into its topical expertise
    scores. The platform also allows publishers to have their writers pitch story ideas for
    consideration, as well as assign stories via a drag-and-drop editorial calendar.

5
8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines


    Based on the assignment options you choose, Contently suggests a price you should
    expect to pay a veteran journalist (this happens even if you use your own writers,
    based on costs you input when entering your writers into the system). Should you
    use writers from the network, you can rate them once your project is complete.

    Contently automatically emails writers about assignments, and writers see all
    necessary details to author the piece. They can either write in the Contently
    interface or upload via their writing tool of choice. Through a Facebook-style
    messaging platform, publishers can manage their own teams of writers and
    communicate around assignments or in teams without losing conversations.

    What it Costs
    There’s a free version (Contently Platform) that lets you manage your own content       Figure 2. Once you indicate the details and assign a writing project,
                                                                                            Contently sends an email to the writer(s) you’ve chosen. Click the image
    creators, and a premium version (Platform+) that gives access to Contently’s writer     to enlarge.
    network and advanced tools for high-end publishers. If you commission or pay writers
    through the system, Contently takes a transaction fee.

    Who Uses It
    Contently is aimed at two key audiences: journalists and publishers
    (whether media companies or brand publishers). Journalists use the
    web-based software to publish their portfolios and join the network
    of writers available for hire by publishers. Publishers use the solution to
    find experienced journalists and manage their content — all online. They
    work with over 500 publications, including American Express, Mint.com, Weber
    Shandwick, Federated Media, Forbes, The Atlantic, Mashable, Michael Kors,
    Allstate, and PetSmart. Contently’s writer network consists of thousands of qualified
    journalists.

    To learn more, visit http://contently.com/home/buyer or
    email sales@contently.com.


6

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8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines

  • 2. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Get Your Content Production Process Operating Like a Well-Oiled Machine By now you’ve heard the call: Marketers need to become publishers. You need to create a content strategy, manage an editorial calendar, develop and distribute a steady stream of content that appeals to your target audience, and measure the results. Phew! It’s no small task handling that process from beginning to end. In fact, recently the most consistent complaint from marketers is that they struggle to build and maintain scale across their content marketing programs. Most marketers currently rely on a mishmash of tools and spreadsheets in an attempt to tame the chaos, often because they simply don’t know of any other way. That’s why we created this guide. In it, you’ll find an overview of eight tools that fall into three categories: Blogging Workflow Tools: Focused on editorial project management and search engine optimization  InnoBlogs Content Workflow Tools: Designed to help you shepherd any content projects through from start to finish  Compendium  DivvyHQ  InboundWriter  Kapost Content Workflow Tools combined with Writer Networks: Supporting end-to-end content development while providing access to a network of writers if needed  Contently  Skyword  Zerys Read on to see how these tools can help get your content production process operating like a well-oiled machine. 2
  • 3. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Compendium What It Is Compendium is a content marketing platform that helps organizations capture and create original content in a branded hub for distribution to any marketing channel. Why Consider Compendium Compendium is focused on simplifying the process of content marketing. The platform gives you a central location to manage your marketing messages online, strips away distractions so authors can focus on writing, and gives your editors and reviewers all the tools needed to do everything from assign a post to promote content through social media channels. In addition to the hosted software, you have access to a dedicated account manager assigned to guide you on best practices and help you successfully create a content marketing program. What You Get If you’re looking for a one-stop content marketing shop for your authors and editors, Figure 1. Bloggers focus on authoring posts, while editors assign, schedule, Compendium is worth a look. By design, Compendium makes it easy for content creators approve, decline, edit, and promote posts. Click the image to enlarge. to focus on writing content. When authors log in, they are immediately presented with a content creation dashboard that includes suggestions for better content, target messages to include in their writing, and a real-time feedback meter that grades Editor’s Pick: each piece of content for each author. By providing prompts and “gamifying” the user Automate the Process experience, content creation can be made easier and more effective. Editors choose an author from a pull-down menu and write a message outlining what the post should Rather than lock you into a one-size-fits-all approach, Compendium allows you to cover. Once the message is submitted, an email is automatically sent to the author and the assigned date customize your approval workflow to suit your specific needs. From a central spot, automatically populates the editorial calendar. your editors can assign, schedule, edit, publish, and promote content, and track related communications. That means no more nightmares chasing down posts and their status via spreadsheets and email. 3
  • 4. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Want to tap into user-generated content? You can create forms to post on your site or on social channels, such as your Facebook page. Anything submitted via the form is aggregated into a single page, and the content then flows through your moderation workflow. You can also set up custom integrations to use our software to pull content from other third-party sources. To help you track the results of your content marketing efforts, Compendium pulls from your Google Analytics (or whatever analytics provider you use) account. What it Costs Choose from any of our packages that best suit the needs for you and your company. Pricing can be found at http://www.compendium.com/pricing. Who Uses It Over 350 companies of all sizes across industries use Compendium’s solution, including Gymboree, ExactTarget, Swanson Health Products, Cvent, Bass Pro Shops, and Dow Jones. Anyone involved in the content marketing process (writers, editors, designers) use Compendium to create the best and most engaging content they can for their company. Figure 2. The calendar displays posts and their status. Click the image to enlarge. To learn more, visit http://www.compendium.com/platform/. 4
  • 5. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Contently What It Is Contently connects companies-turned-publishers with experienced journalists and provides web-based tools for managing content development and the writer network. Why Consider Contently Contently is a web-based platform for connecting publishers with high- quality, professional journalists with specific areas of expertise. The software helps you manage the content workflow through a streamlined interface, including instant payments to writers. Unlike some marketplaces, Contently applies strict curation standards and quality checks on the writers in its network to exclude content-farm writers and amateurs. What You Get Figure 1. You can select your writer(s) or choose one(s) from the Contently network. Click the image to enlarge. Customers use Contently to build remote editorial teams and manage the entire publishing operation in the cloud, scaling up or down in volume, as needed.
Contently provides robust editorial and freelancer management, including automated reporting Editor’s Pick: and payment tools, as well as access to its database of hand-screened journalists from major publications. While its main offering is built for premium brands and agencies Best for to manage high-end content programs, it recently released a free, lite version of its High-End Publishing platform for small businesses and internal teams. Offers simplicity and flexibility for brands or agencies with expansive publishing operations. Contently When choosing teams of writers from the Contently network, you see short bios, areas automates high-caliber freelancer management of specialization, what they’ve written, and for whom. To build their portfolios, writers add (contracts, payments, taxes, workflow) and discovery. the publications they’ve written for, and Contently pulls in clips and indexes the writers in its data-driven search engine, which incorporates social influence into its topical expertise scores. The platform also allows publishers to have their writers pitch story ideas for consideration, as well as assign stories via a drag-and-drop editorial calendar. 5
  • 6. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Based on the assignment options you choose, Contently suggests a price you should expect to pay a veteran journalist (this happens even if you use your own writers, based on costs you input when entering your writers into the system). Should you use writers from the network, you can rate them once your project is complete. Contently automatically emails writers about assignments, and writers see all necessary details to author the piece. They can either write in the Contently interface or upload via their writing tool of choice. Through a Facebook-style messaging platform, publishers can manage their own teams of writers and communicate around assignments or in teams without losing conversations. What it Costs There’s a free version (Contently Platform) that lets you manage your own content Figure 2. Once you indicate the details and assign a writing project, Contently sends an email to the writer(s) you’ve chosen. Click the image creators, and a premium version (Platform+) that gives access to Contently’s writer to enlarge. network and advanced tools for high-end publishers. If you commission or pay writers through the system, Contently takes a transaction fee. Who Uses It Contently is aimed at two key audiences: journalists and publishers (whether media companies or brand publishers). Journalists use the web-based software to publish their portfolios and join the network of writers available for hire by publishers. Publishers use the solution to find experienced journalists and manage their content — all online. They work with over 500 publications, including American Express, Mint.com, Weber Shandwick, Federated Media, Forbes, The Atlantic, Mashable, Michael Kors, Allstate, and PetSmart. Contently’s writer network consists of thousands of qualified journalists. To learn more, visit http://contently.com/home/buyer or email sales@contently.com. 6
  • 7. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines DivvyHQ What It Is DivvyHQ offers what it calls the “Spreadsheet-Free Editorial Calendar Application,” designed to help content producers manage the content-planning process. Why Consider DivvyHQ Built by content strategists and content marketers, DivvyHQ helps you organize and successfully execute your content marketing initiatives. While it’s mainly focused on helping you capture ideas and plan your content, it provides an online space to manage the editorial team, the production process, and deadlines. And it’s all done in a slick, easy-to-navigate browser interface. What You Get With a focus on simplifying the content planning process, the DivvyHQ Dashboard gives a snapshot of the week, showing: • The latest ideas posted by your team members in the “parking lot” • Discussions about ideas and content Figure 1. View all your content ideas and statuses at a glance. Click the image to enlarge. • Content and its status, whether in production, in review, in revision, approved, published, or killed Editor’s Pick: A Content view shows the content you’re responsible for in an intuitive Master Your Calendar spreadsheet-like view. With DivvyHQ, you can track all content in production across all calendars or campaigns in a single Master One of DivvyHQ’s biggest strengths is its calendar functionality. In addition to creating Calendar, with each calendar’s content color-coded for easy identification. and maintaining multiple individual calendars, you can see all calendars in aggregate, color-coded for an easy at-a-glance view. 7
  • 8. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines While DivvyHQ provides a basic interface for creating content, writers can upload their files if they’d prefer to create content outside of the system. This same interface is where you can get granular in your planning. For example, you can note which buyer profile characteristics should be taken into account and the keywords you’re aiming to include in your content. You can even search to see what content is in process or has been produced on a certain topic or category. While you can also indicate where you’d like to publish and promote your content, you can’t publish and promote it directly from the tool. DivvyHQ lacks any true reporting, but you can export data as a CSV file. What it Costs Pricing is based on number of calendars and users, and all plans come with a 30 day free trial. A free account intended for bloggers and freelancers is limited to one calendar and one user. • The Consultant: Good for 1 calendar and 3 users, $29.99/month • The Small Team: Good for 3 calendars and 6 users*, $49.99/month Figure 2. Users assign, plan, and create content through a simple interface. • The Agency: Good for 7 calendars and 14 users*, $99.99/month Click the image to enlarge. • The Corp: Good for 10 calendars and 20 users*, $149.99/month • The Enterprise: Good for more than calendars and 20 users, Custom Pricing *Includes unlimited number of reviewers; does not count against user total. Reviewers can review content, see the calendar, and comment in the activity feed. Who Uses It DivvyHQ came out of beta in January 2012 and counts about 825 users, including individuals, B2C and B2B companies, and agencies. Sample customers include H&R Block, Intel, Lee Jeans, MarketingProfs, Ogilvy, McDonald’s, Microsoft, QVC, and Vibe Magazine. The software is meant for anyone who owns the content production process, whether a freelancer or someone in a company or in an agency serving multiple clients. To learn more, visit www.divvyhq.com. 8
  • 9. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines InboundWriter What It Is InboundWriter from Eightfold Logic is a web-based writing-optimization tool that delivers real-time insight into what your target audience is reading, sharing, and discussing online. Why Consider InboundWriter InboundWriter was developed with the writer in mind, with a focus on optimizing content as it’s being written to improve the chances of it being found through search engines. Available as either a Web-based application or plug-in to WordPress, InboundWriter is intended to bridge the worlds of creating content and optimizing it so content marketers can get their content out the door quickly. And a new HTML5 version of the app ensures publishers can access it from their iPads and tablets. What You Get Whether you choose the Web-based version or the WordPress plug-in, you get a straightforward interface focused on content writing and optimization. (Those looking for workflow support will need to rely on WordPress.) To start, you determine your document, advertising, and reader-targeting strategies. For example, you may choose to maximize the use of popular terms in the search engines, or opt to focus on long tail terms. InboundWriter also takes into consideration whether advertising via Google AdSense is part of your strategy, and the education level of your target audience. Once your strategy is set, you enter a few terms related to your topic, and Figure 1. InboundWriter takes into account your document, advertising, InboundWriter scours major search engines and popular social media sites for relevant and reader-targeting strategies when suggesting ways to optimize keywords and phrases. It then displays a list of words and phrases ranked with your content. Click the image to enlarge. strategy in mind. 9
  • 10. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines As you write your blog post, article, press release, or web copy, the Interactive Editor displays your document score, which changes in real time based on how well you use terms and adhere to best practices suggested by InboundWriter. Though the software doesn’t provide any analytics and you can’t publish content directly from InboundWriter, once you’ve optimized your content, you can copy and paste it into your publishing system of choice. In April 2012, InboundWriter released a new module called Topic Buzz. Based on automatic analysis of the drafts maintained in a user’s account, Topic Buzz proactively searches Twitter for the most relevant articles that are being circulated and presents findings a ‘Buzz’ screen. The screen also displays the suggested articles’ sharing Figure 2. InboundWriter displays your content score – and popularity, associated hashtags, and the Twitter handle of the influencer Tweeting about suggestions for improving it – directly in the writing interface. Click the image to enlarge. the content. What it Costs Editor’s Pick: Plans and pricing can be found at http://www.inboundwriter.com/pricing/. Optimize in Real Time As you’re writing, InboundWriter makes Who Uses It suggestions for improving your chances of Though InboundWriter is still in beta, Eightfold Logic expects it to be in production mode getting found in the search engines, such as by adding more keywords to your title or within a few months. Meantime, about 9,000 writers, editors, bloggers, and marketers are moving keywords to the beginning of your title. using the solution, including users in dozens of Fortune 1000 companies. To learn more, visit www.inboundwriter.com. 10
  • 11. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines InnoBlogs What It Is InnoBlogs from Innogage is a collaborative blogging workflow solution with WordPress at its core. Why Consider InnoBlogs InnoBlogs works best for companies that maintain blogs with many contributing writers and that offer many products and services. The hosted software forces you to first define content categories and indicate targeted keywords (if you need help, Innogage can assist). InnoBlogs then enforces your content strategy by making sure writers associate posts with a defined category and are optimizing for SEO. The software makes it possible for multiple writers to work together in an organized fashion, and those familiar with WordPress will feel comfortable with the Figure 1. InnoBlogs coaches writers in real time to optimize for the workflow. search engines. Click the image to enlarge. What You Get If you’re managing a collaborative blog, InnoBlogs might be the right tool for you. It Editor’s Pick: handles workflow, sends reminders about assignments, and suggests topics, among other things. Even writers who know nothing about your company’s marketing or Convert in 1-2-3 Three tiers of conversion elements – including content strategy can produce copy that is optimized for search engines. The on-screen conversion widgets and in-content links – help Search Engine Optimizer is a real-time grading system that coaches writers to use you convert readers into buyers. words and phrases your company is trying to rank on. The most recent enhancement to InnoBlogs is the integrated drag-and-drop Editorial Calendar. For companies that want to plan out their content in advance, this feature lets you manage that process with ease and flexibility. 11
  • 12. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines If you choose the Professional version of InnoBlogs, you get access to conversion triggers that are especially valuable for companies selling directly on their sites. This three-tiered conversion includes: • A Buy-Now button • A Post-Promo function that adds whatever promotion you choose to all posts (even those that are already live) • Dynamic Auto-linking technology that automatically links to other pages of your site A Blogging 360 feature monitors what you’ve written to date, compares it to all content available online, and shows the top 10 closest matches. The idea is that you can reach out to bloggers covering similar topics with the goal of expanding your own reach. Whether you choose the Standard or Professional version, InnoBlogs provides reports for content, categories, traffic, and conversions, and also plugs into Google Analytics. What it Costs The price of InnoBlogs covers the hosting of the software, software license, bandwidth, backup, and support. • The Standard version runs about $400/month, and includes the SEO Optimizer and workflow support. Figure 2. Three-tiered conversion is especially valuable for those that • The Professional version costs about $650/month, and includes the three-tier sell directly on their sites. Click the image to enlarge. conversion elements and Blogging 360 feature. Who Uses It About 30 B2B and B2C companies, agencies, educational institutions, and non-profits use InnoBlogs, including ST-Ericsson, The University of Akron, The Pert Group, ConversationalMarketingLabs, Ohio Hi-Point Career School, and The Search Engine Academy. The company’s sweet spot is B2B and B2C companies that want to improve SEO and easily manage multiple authors in the blog content-creation process. To learn more, visit http://www.innogage.com/business-blogging-software/. 12
  • 13. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Kapost Kapost is a content marketing platform that helps brands create, deploy, and analyze engaging content that helps grow traffic and business for the brand. Why Consider Kapost Kapost helps content marketing teams develop ideas collaboratively, produce content, distribute to various sources (YouTube; virtually any CMS; SlideShare; Twitter; Facebook, etc.) and analyze the results — all in an easy-to-use interface. With custom workflows, marketing automation integration, and elegant content analytics, Kapost is ready to tackle the challenges of a full- Figure 1. View your content and social performance with Kapost Analytics. You’ll easily be fledged content marketing organization. able to find what content is performing, what content isn’t, and what topics your audience is interested in. Click the image to enlarge. What You Get Kapost is a full-circle content marketing solution covering everything from story ideas to content Editor’s Pick: performance analytics. You can also manage your content workforce, including payments to Keep Users in the Loop freelance writers, if needed. Given Kapost’s flexibility, content marketers can craft a perfect As content moves through the production workflow that fits with their business objectives and goals. process or is shared in the social sphere, automatic notifications keep relevant parties The software automatically: informed, and comments capture discussions. • Keeps content deadlines and editorial calendars in sync • Tracks assignment status to avoid bottlenecks and delays • Encourages communication between editors and content producers The interface provides everything needed for: • Content producers to publish and track content • Editors to review, approve, collaborate, and manage payments 13
  • 14. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Kapost advises users about best practices throughout the system and allows editors to set custom writing guidelines — for example, “Aim for 350-500 words per blog post”. Kapost also publishes directly to your CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Magneto, etc.) and your brand or company’s social media properties. For more advanced users, Kapost provides an API that allows you to integrate with any CMS, social network, or analytics platform of your choosing. With the newly released analytics module, users can now drill into content and can slice content data by author, category, type of content, or any other custom field you can think of. You’ll also get insight into page views, unique visitors, re-tweets, Facebook Likes, and other relevant metrics. Figure 2. Keep your content and deadlines in full view with the integrated Editorial Calendar. Filter your view by content type, user, content stage, or any custom field you can think of. Should you opt to manage payments via Kapost — especially valuable for Click the image to enlarge. those working with freelancers — you can send out payments automatically over PayPal. The software does not integrate with back-end accounts-payable systems, but you can exportall payment-related data as a CSV file. What it Costs Kapost’s pricing is determined by factors including number of users, content types, and content destinations. Typically prices range from $1,000 to $7,000 per month. Each prospective customer goes through a 30-day trial where they get hands-on set-up and attention. Once a customer signs on, Kapost’s support team is always a smile away. Who Uses It Over 100 companies use Kapost, including some of the world’s biggest publishers and brands. Sample clients include Intel, Verizon, TripAdvisor, CBS, Mashable, and Discovery Communications. While executive-level marketing professionals use the tool for a view into content production, editors use Kapost to manage the process, and contributors — whether in-house staff, freelancers, guest bloggers, SEO experts, or the legal team — use it to author and review content. To learn more, check out the demo newsroom (http://movieline.kapostdemo.com/posts) or schedule a demo at the bottom of Kapost’s home page (http://kapost.com/). 14
  • 15. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines SKYWORD What It Is Skyword offers a comprehensive content production platform that enables retailers, brands, media companies, and agencies to reach and engage their audiences with quality content designed to succeed in search and the social web. Why Consider Skyword The Skyword Platform is a comprehensive SaaS platform that addresses all aspects of content production, including: • Writer recruitment and management • Content creation and optimization • Editorial and review • Social promotion • Measurement and analytics Built-in tools get writers up to speed on an organization’s writing and branding guidelines; ensure writers optimize for keywords, quality and readability; and encourage them to promote their content via social channels. The platform also provides in-depth intelligence on what content and topics resonate with audiences and the tools to act on Figure 1. As writers create content, Skyword provides instant that intelligence. With centralized access to all content performance data, best practices, feedback on how well they’ve met the content requirements and and workflow associated with the entire content production cycle, Skyword customers optimized for search engines. Click the image to enlarge. can continually improve the performance and efficiency of their content programs. What You Get While you can use your own writers, Skyword is set up to connect you with a network of writers that it recruits. (The company also offers content strategy, writer management, and editorial services for clients seeking a turnkey solution.) To apply, 15
  • 16. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines writers submit their bio, social profiles, and a writing sample, and Skyword runs style, grammar, and readability checks. You can evaluate, onboard, and train writers, and review and edit their content on Skyword. Should you need multilingual support, you can manage content production in English, French, and Spanish. When writers log in, they can see all content, any commentary, and a project status related to them; claim a topic; and author content. As content is created, Skyword provides writers and editors with scores on quality, search optimization (based on your keyword list), and readability. Writers can’t submit a piece for review until they’ve met all content requirements and addressed all recommended changes. Though you can’t promote your content via social networks such as Twitter directly through Skyword, the platform makes it possible for writers to promote the content they author for you via their social networks. Once you’ve approved content, Skyword can publish directly to your CMS or social platforms through the Skyword API. Skyword tracks the content’s performance, allowing you to evaluate article, topical, writer, and editorial performance over time. Figure 2. You can generate a range of reports to see how well your programs, managers, writers, and content are performing. Click the What it Costs image to enlarge. Skyword charges a set monthly fee depending on article volume, starting at $3,500. Skyword offers content strategy, copy editing, and writer management services for an additional fee. 100 percent of writer fees are paid directly to writers. Editor’s Pick: Eliminate Money Hassles Who Uses It Skyword distributes payment to writers in the Leading companies such as IBM, The Wall Street Journal, Education.com, ImpreMedia, network twice each month via PayPal (pulling from Stack Media, Everyday Health, Auto Trader, The United Way, and a growing list your escrow account) and issues 1099s to writers. of global agencies use the Skyword Platform to efficiently deliver the information consumers want, when they want it, and where they want it. To learn more, visit www.skyword.com, email LearnMore@skyword.com, or call 1-855-SKY-WORD. 16
  • 17. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Zerys What It Is Zerys offers marketers, publishers, and agencies a comprehensive content workflow system to manage content strategy, assignment, production, and publishing. It also offers a risk-free way to quickly sample many writers at different price points, identify the ones you like best, and build a virtual team of your favorite writers over time. Why Consider Zerys With a focus on connecting marketers and other content publishers with writers, Zerys combines the tools to manage content assignments and production with access to Zerys’s network of writers. Though you can assign projects to your own writers, Zerys is best suited to those wanting to sample lots of writers quickly and easily and to select those they like at the right price point. Writers in the Zerys network go through an eight-step application process, and must become an expert author in a few niche categories at www.yoexpert.com, Zerys’ Q&A site. This Figure 1. You can place a one-time order for content, or create a long-term allows buyers to find writers who are proven experts in over 25,000 niche categories. project for reuse. What You Get You can either use Zerys to manage your own projects or to connect with a Editor’s Pick: certified agency that can handle content production for you. Avoid Duplicate Content Zerys runs every piece of content through an In the DIY scenario, a built-in keyword research tool helps you find the best anti-plagiarism system called Copyscape to make sure keywords to target and topics to write about. Then, a title-suggestion tool scans the content doesn’t appear elsewhere online. the web to help you brainstorm the most interesting, compelling article or blog titles. You can then create a list of titles for which you’d like copy written, along with writer instructions and job details. You can also choose to assign dates to each title to plan your editorial calendar. Intended to help you experiment with quality vs. price during the writer-selection process, Zerys’ SmartPost lets you set the minimum and maximum you’re willing to pay per word, and how long the job should sit at each price point. Initially, your projects are only visible to writers with a five-star rating. If no writer bites by the time the job 17
  • 18. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines has reached your maximum bid, SmartPost opens up the job to four- and five- star writers, at the minimum bid. When a writer submits a draft, Zerys scans it using third-party software called Copyscape that looks for matches across the web to detect plagiarism. Once you accept a draft, you can easily publish it to WordPress or HubSpot.
At the same time, Zerys automatically deducts the agreed-upon rate from your account — along with a commission — and submits payment to writers via PayPal. You never pay for content that doesn’t meet your standards; you can either request revisions or post the project to the job board to find a different writer. Zerys envisions you building a list of favorite writers over time, so you can quickly Figure 2. You can request changes or make changes yourself, accept or and easily create ongoing content. And it’s training its top writers and editors so reject drafts, and rate writers from a single screen. Click the image to enlarge. it can launch a service marketplace for those that need more assistance with their content strategy and production. What it Costs It’s free to get started with Zerys. When you’re ready to order content, you deposit money into your account. You can offer writers anywhere from $5 to $100 per article that you post to the job board. Once you identify a favorite writer, you can quickly negotiate a set rate with that writer moving forward. Once you approve a document, Zerys pays writers in its network from your account and takes a commission. Who Uses It Zerys claims about 5,000 end users, over 700 agencies, and about 25,000 writers in its system. While its DIY version is used mostly by small and medium-sized businesses that need content for their blogs or websites, the agency version is used by marketing firms managing projects for multiple clients. You can learn more by watching the intro video at www.zerys.com, or visiting the section of the site dedicated to agencies: http://www.zerys.com/zerys-for-agencies/. 18
  • 19. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines About Content Marketing Institute The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) teaches marketers how to own their media channels instead of having to rent them through advertising. We do this through events like Content Marketing World, media properties like Chief Content Officer magazine, and strategic consulting and research for some of the best known brands in the world.   CMI content marketing experts Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose have teamed up to help marketing pros and business owners develop a content marketing plan that goes beyond theories, and explains it in a way that can actually be implemented in their new book, Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand. To see how others are using content marketing, view 100 Content Marketing Examples. 19
  • 20. 8 Content Production Tools to Help Marketers Transform into Publishing Machines Essential Content Marketing Resources Chief Content Officer magazine 100 Content Marketing Examples CCO magazine is the leading print and digital In this guide, you’ll see how companies big and magazine dedicated to content marketing strategy small from various locations and industries are for marketing executives. CCO is free to qualified producing creative, and successful content subscribers. Sign up here. marketing. Download the examples! Content Marketing Playbook Get Content. Get Customers You want content distribution options? You Called “The Handbook for Content Marketing”, Get got it. Here are 42 content distribution tactics Content. Get Customers. teaches organizations how and over 50 case studies from companies to use content marketing to deliver relevant, valuable doing content marketing right. Download and compelling information that turns prospects into the full guide today. buyers. Available now at Amazon.com. Content Marketing World Managing Content Marketing THE premier annual event for content The follow-up book to Get Content Get Customers, marketing, where thousands of content but focuses on how to manage and structure content marketers come together in one location marketing inside the organization. A must read for from around the world. Find out more anyone who “gets” content marketing and needs about CM World today! to execute content programs. Available now at Amazon.com. 20