Do Content Creation Services Really Make Your Life Easier?

November 30, 2012

As content marketing becomes increasingly popular, more and more content creation and distribution services are coming on the scene. From content management systems to automated content distribution and promotion platforms, there are a plethora of service providers out there looking to cash in on the action by taking various responsibilities off of your proverbial content marketing plate.

The question is, do these services actually help or hinder?

What I mean is, can external writers turn out the kind of technically accurate and nuanced content you’re looking for? I know from experience that independent freelancers can with the proper one-on-one coaching. But at large content marketing companies with thousands of far-flung writers cranking out content, often with little context, interaction, or direction from you, does the same hold true? Likewise, can content marketing services aimed at promoting your content through social media do the job as well as you can without coming across as automated or even robotic? Let’s table that discussion for a minute.

Before making any decisions, let’s take a look at some of the content creation and distribution services out there that you could potentially use to build and increase the overall impact of your company’s content factory. There are certainly others (I haven’t touched on the marketing automation services that companies such as Marketo and Eloqua provide, for example). To be clear, this post is not an endorsement of any of the content marketing services below. In fact, I’ve only used a couple of them myself. Suffice it to say, do your due diligence before using any of them.

Zemanta is a scalable solution for earned link building and blogger outreach through content distribution. The tool allows you to connect your content to more than 150,000 bloggers, who create over 250,000 posts every month. As those bloggers write in Zemanta, they are shown high-quality related content that they are able to instantly embed into their posts. Every time they refer to your content, it helps boost your search engine rankings by giving you high-quality inbound links.

Post Release automates the distribution of your content as a sponsored post or article in contextually relevant relevant blogs, forums, and content sites. It delivers sponsored content to targeted audiences, enabling you to have your messages absorbed as content rather than ads.

Skyword is a content management platform that allows you to recruit and manage writers, create and optimize content, institute an editorial review process, promote your content via social media, and measure its effectiveness using a variety of analytics. The company also provides an array of strategic content marketing services.

Kapost is a content marketing platform that offers planning, production, distribution and analysis functionality that drives improvements in a variety of areas. Used properly, it can help streamline your content creation process so that you’re able to create more content in less time.

Outbrain is a content discovery platform that can help content marketers in two ways by 1) offering recommendations to help your audience discover more content on your site that is interesting to them and 2) Growing your audience by distributing your content on other sites, where people are looking for something new to discover.

Zerys is a project management tool that connects you to freelance writers who create content at rock-bottom prices (as little as a few cents per word). Simply enter in a topic on their site, select the type of content you want to create, and specific details around length and style. An array of writers will submit drafts to you and you can then select the one you like best.

Scripted is a platform that connects you to a variety of writers, offering packages for a set number of blog posts and/or white papers that are written on a monthly basis. Scripted also pitches ideas and can help with content promotion through Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve got no doubt that some of these content marketing services can provider real value, but I’m equally certain that they’re not all created equally.

What content creation and distribution tools and services have you used with either good or bad results? What role do you think they should play in a content marketing strategy?

Content Marketing Director

<strong>Kevin Cain</strong> is the Content Marketing Director for <a href="">BlueChip Communication</a>, Australia's leading financial services communication firm. Before joining BlueChip, Kevin was the Director of Content Strategy for OpenView.