Educating others through content has a profound emotional effect on readers. And in the business world--where trust is currency--brands can harness their content as a powerful sales force.
This is exactly what's pushed more companies to let their guard down and start educating and engaging readers through the power of content marketing.
But in the race to ramp up content production, many companies have found that they lack the resources or talent necessary to capture their story. To fill this void, new content marketing companies have sprouted up to help brands educate their audiences and earn their trust.
HubSpot and Marketo are two obvious behemoths that have been around for a while. However, here are seven new players contributing to the growth of content marketing:
1. Influence & Co.
Influence & Co. specializes in knowledge extraction and knowledge management to fuel content marketing and executive branding objectives. It's become one of the largest providers of thought leadership content to media outlets and online publications. It's also currently beta testing software that the company developed to complement its service.
The company's vision to empower brands and thought leaders to control their own message is a futuristic and refreshing twist on PR. As a proponent of thought leadership and inbound marketing, Influence & Co. is rapidly attracting companies from all industries and has grown from two employees to 75 on payroll in less than three years.
Contently, initially thought to be "saving journalism," has evolved quite a bit. The staff has grown to include more than 70 employees, and the brand just received another $9 million in funding in 2014. One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is churning out consistent content. Creating high-quality content can be expensive and time-consuming; done hastily, it can result in deceptive clickbait.
Contently solves this problem by licensing software that allows brands to easily create, distribute, and track content. It also maintains a platform for writers to host portfolios, giving brands access to world-class journalists and writers.
Having raised around $50 million and expanded its employee base to include more than 200 staff members, NewsCred has become a powerhouse in content marketing. Once an aspiring wire service, NewsCred has evolved into a full-fledged content marketing force, taking care of everything from editorial calendars to content distribution.
Its licensed software offers brands different levels of content strategy management, including access to Getty Images and premium articles. By tapping into its clients' audiences, it also provides data-driven suggestions for content creation and distribution.
Scripted offers freelance writing services to small companies to get their content marketing efforts off the ground. The company recently raised $9 million and plans to launch a copy-editing service in 2015.
With a pool of 80,000 industry-vetted writers, its team can create content to meet any business's or industry's specific needs. And with an inexpensive price tag for blog posts and social media posts, it's an attractive option for budget-conscious companies.
As brand storytelling becomes a necessity, not a luxury, Skyword has set out to streamline the content creation process with its leading content production platform. Its unique platform automates everything from content creation to measurement and analytics, taking the pain out of content creation and management for brands, retailers, media companies, and agencies. Having recently raised $11 million and acquired Vidaao, it doesn't seem to plan on slowing its growth in 2015.
Influencer marketing is important to the success of content marketing campaigns, and there are quite a few influencer marketing companies developing a presence. TapInfluence, backed by Techstars' co-founder, David Cohen, offers a platform that makes it easy to reach and manage influencers.
Education and trust play crucial roles in shaping today's path to purchase, and these companies are blazing the trail for brand-driven content that equips readers to become well-informed consumers.
Which content marketing companies have helped bring your brand story to life?