Technology was one of the big stories at this year’s Content Marketing World (CMW) Conference in Columbus, Ohio. On showcase at this year’s conference were multiple technology-based publishing platforms looking to capitalize on the significant upward shift in brand-based publishing investments. They are also looking to make the barrier to sustained publishing even lower than where it has recently fallen thanks to many of the independent and customizable, or “open,” platforms like WordPress, Movable Type and Drupal, as well as “closed” platforms like Facebook, Delicious and Tumblr.
These new platforms are as diverse as they are flexible. This is because the field of content marketing continues to evolve into a very dynamic discipline requiring a balanced mix of talent, tools and methodology. I spoke with Matt Kumin, CEO of PublishThis, one of the technologies showcased at the conference, and as Matt states: “The whole field of content marketing seems to be dividing up into three focuses: content creation, content distribution and content marketing management.” While brands look to cultivate solutions to content creation, either internally or with an agency partner, the second and third areas are quickly getting filled with a slew of innovative options.
Here’s an overview of a few of these emerging solutions providers:
Kapost offers publishers a comprehensive platform enabling the management of a host of processes associated with content marketing, not least of which is end-to-end content production. Kapost’s platform also serves as a repository, enabling marketers to deploy content across various channels, including social media. Kapost can integrate with WordPress, Movable Type and Drupal, as well. Publishers with a robust editorial process, or looking to establish one, should seriously consider Kapost to help centralize and streamline the operation.
PublishThis offers nascent brand publishers the ability to become a publisher, literally within a week. PublishThis is a sophisticated curation platform that enables publishers to filter through what is already relevant and trending on the Web, and excerpt and showcase this through a Web-based interface that, on its own, resembles a media property. However, the real power of PublishThis is its ability to integrate with WordPress to significantly enhance an original content publisher’s ability to deliver on the content needs of a broad and dynamic audience.
As more and more marketers balance their branded content creation with non-branded forms of video and prose-based content, more options are becoming available to marketers to broadcast or distribute this content. Post Release enables marketers to syndicate this content as content rather than an ad. This is particularly powerful for brands’ nonbranded, informative content. Post Release’s analytics engine matches the nature of the content with online destinations to ensure contextual relevancy. Post Release is particularly useful for content marketers looking to distribute content, rather than focusing on sustained inbound marketing.
Similar to Kapost, Compendium offers a dynamic platform that enables publishers to manage various processes. And like Kapost, Compendium also provides tools that allow external writers and contributors to post content. But Compendium also provides users the ability to pull in user-generated content for redistribution purposes. Compendium also offers users customized end-user interfaces, eliminating the need for a separate publishing solution like WordPress.
Outbrain has been around for a while, and it is certainly not kept secret among contemporary content marketers. Outbrain is essentially a content discovery engine that can be “bolted on” to any Web-based publishing platform. The engine is capable of finding and serving up additional articles that are contextually relevant to the content a user is currently engaging. The engine can help publishers churn current visitors, effectively extending visitor session lengths, by serving up additional relevant site content. But the engine’s real power is its ability to lure new visitors by syndicating compelling headlines across the Web, in highly contextual environments, to attract inbound traffic to the content the headlines represent, often more efficiently than paid search.
One Spot enables publishers to dynamically convert site content into standard ad formats across multiple digital platforms, including Interactive Advertising Bureau standard, as well as proprietary formats for Facebook, for instance. These ad formats are distributed and served programmatically via RSS across the Web on a cost-per-thousand or cost-per-click basis and usually yield much higher click-thru performance then traditional “branded” ad units.
Brightcove has established itself as one of the leaders in the cloud-based video content distribution space. With Brightcove, marketers can effectively create media experiences across all video enabled devices.