Today, Tuesday, I’m (mostly) working on UpScribed.
As one of my New Year’s resolutions (yeah, whatever) I decided I needed to get serious about marketing and developing UpScribed.
Over the last few years we’ve spent lots of money and lots of half-hearted hours trying to share our vision of what content marketing should look like.
For those who may not know, we, Search Influence, have built a number of different pieces of software to make our own lives easier.
One of the challenges of being early to a market is you don’t necessarily have the support, in expertise or software, to make life easier.
When we were building WebBoss in 2001, which feels like a hundred years ago, there was no WordPress, no Squarespace – there was Microsoft Frontpage and GeoCities. So we wrote our own rudimentary content management system.
When we started building Search Influence, there were no great project management tools for marketing.
As an aside, there wasn’t even a Google Analytics yet. There was Urchin, PHP MyVisites and a handful of other early analytics tools.
There were generalized project management tools – not even online yet – and CRM systems. So what did we do? We commissioned a developer to modify SugarCRM to support our management of thousands and thousands of tasks in a production line methodology.
Because of our work with very large partners, ultimately demanding 10s of thousands of pieces of website content, we built our own tool to manage the process called (very creatively, I might add) Content Manager. Content manager is still in active use every day and allows Search Influence to marshall the resources of dozens of internal and external content creators and editors.
The number one issue we had to manage was quality. Yes, volume was an issue, but it’s easy enough to throw bodies at content and get volume. When you’re dealing with someone else’s end client you absolutely have to assure quality. Arguably we lost a lot of money due to poor quality. And we therefore invested significantly to solve for it.
With Content Manager we have both software and human systems that allow us to create tons of content across any number of industries with very high levels of quality. And we’re doing it all with very little human effort for tasking and traffic management..
We learned over time that we had solved a problem shared by many other marketing agencies and media companies. Managing content creation and quality at scale.
We also came to understand that most agencies weren’t taking full advantage of the content they were creating. The best analogy I’d seen for this was from Jason Miller, then of LinkedIn at the Swivel conference in Bend, OR produced by Mark Knowles.
So, we decided we should turn our internal product into something we could share with other agencies. We wanted to take the best of Content Manager and support the kind of smart content deployment in Jason Miller’s analogy from Swivel – the Turkey.
We worked with a 3rd party developer and internal employees to get to our MVP, which has been pretty complete for the better part of 18 months or so.
In the spring of 2019 we went through the Idea Village IdeaX Accelerator program. This was a really valuable exercise. We got to refine our thinking about the product and about what sort of business structure and financial partnerships were going to be best for us.
Ultimately we decided we were better off continuing to develop UpScribed on our own, i.e. without other people’s money, until we had a critical mass of customers.
So what is UpScribed going to be?
Ultimately, we hope it will be a platform marketers can come to with some ideas and some budget and get a tailored plan just right for their client engagements.
From idea generation through to reporting and accountability we plan to support what we refer to as the whole content continuum. Whether a portal to our editorial team, or a SaaS platform to manage your own, we see the future UpScribed as a game-changer in easing workflow, and assuring much higher quality content.
Today, though, upscribed is an access point to allow marketers to produce high quality content and to distribute it to a limited number of platforms.
So, need some content?
Agencies only, please. We’re not ready for individual merchants to use UpScribed.
If you’re a marketing agency or media company who wants blog posts, website copy, articles or social posts for multiple customers and you don’t want to have to worry about poor quality from the content-mills we want to talk to you.