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Content Marketing Is Hard: So Here’s What We’re Doing About It

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Keeping up with your blog and social presence is hard.

We get it. If it’s not producing an immediate and trackable return on your investment, then it’s tough to put at the top of the priority list.

It was a problem we faced every day at our sister company, Zenpost.

But it’s a double-edge sword. While we push content marketing off, we also understand how valuable it is to our business.

It grows our online presence.

Increases our brand awareness.

Drives qualified inbound opportunities to our site.

Strengthens our search presence and reputation.

We’ve all read the articles and watched the videos on why content marketing is important for our brands (and we’ll be publishing plenty of those ourselves on this blog).

They all leave us inspired to be more productive with our content marketing efforts, only to be deflated when we realize we lack the resources, sometimes the know-how, and most often, the time.

This was the problem we set out to change. We’ll get into that in a second. But, first…

Let’s Start With A Quick Story

Over the past three years, my team and I have been running a managed content services company called Zenpost.

It’s been the time of our lives. We’ve been able to write content for publishers doing millions of page views per month, international enterprise brands, and e-commerce products.

Through our experience, we noticed two major things…

1) Brands know a heck of a lot about their business and industry but know nothing about expressing any of it through content marketing due to lack of resources, know-how, and time.

2) Because we were so focused on sales and client management, we didn’t have time for our own content marketing, creating a very meta full-circle of embarrassing irony.

On top of everything that goes into building an agency, we were also focused on building a solution for scale. To do this, we spent a few years building out some custom tech to help connect our clients with our network of vetted, US-based, English-native freelance writers.

We’ll get to that further down, too.

Zenpost Platform Screenshot
Preview of Zenpost’s Platform

We had the tech, we had the creatives, and we saw a problem. The next steps were obvious. We needed to double down and build the content solution the industry needed.

“But aren’t there already tools to help you write and schedule content?”

Yes. But the problem is…

1) There are tools to help you create the content. But you’re busy. You don’t have the time to do that!

2) There are tools to help you find writers to write your content. But the problem is you still have to manage the content workflow, not to mention your new virtual employee, the writer.

3) There are tools to help you schedule content. But the problem is that assumes you have content to publish in the first place and, well, see point #1. The very meta full-circle of embarrassing irony strikes again.

So, it’s easy to see the content ideation, creation, management, and distribution landscape is fragmented, leaving you using 10 different software solutions for 10 different steps in the workflow.

Instead of solving the problem, these softwares become more like homework that requires you to learn a bunch of new tools and manage a ton of new responsibility rather than be a time-saving solution.

This problem was too big and continued to go unnoticed. So we decided to do something about it.

Say Hello To Zenpost

We’re excited to announce the build of the automated content marketing platform that will grow your online presence with dramatically less effort.

The biggest obstacle we want to tackle with your blog and social media efforts is decreasing the time investment it takes to be successful with them.

We translated this into a simple mission:

Take all the time-consuming and difficult parts out of content marketing and streamline them for your small team or marketing department.

In fact, we like to refer to it as “an automated content marketing department in your pocket.”

That’s not just us being cute, either. The problem we saw with most content marketing platforms is that they’re great for desktop but their mobile experience, if any, sucks.

So we are setting out to make Zenpost fully-mobile friendly.

What does that mean?

It means you get the entire Zenpost experience from your phone.

It means you’ll be able to approve a new blog post while you’re riding in an Uber.

It means you’ll be able to grow your online presence while you wait in line at Starbucks.

It’s 2018. Everything should be done on your phone, right?

Why Us?

How rude of me. Let’s finally get some introductions.

Hi. I’m Dave Polykoff, CEO and Co-Founder of Zenpost.

I’ve been building content tech solutions for the past 8 years. These platforms have serviced brands like Staples, Dell, and Home Depot as well as publishers like The Associated Press, Business2Community, and Metro.

My Co-Founder, Dusten Carlson, is Zenpost’s Chief Content Officer.

He spent nearly a decade honing content creation skills and editorial best practices at popular online blogs like ScreenRant, Business2Community, and The Inquisitr, and working on digital marketing and PR campaigns for major brands like Dremel.

Together, we’ve been driving Zenpost’s success over the past few years by investing, testing, and executing. We haven’t been comfortable yet, and are always learning and looking for ways to finally solve what we sensed was a major problem with content.

You can think of Zenpost and its associated tech as our testing ground. Our half-a-million-dollar learning experience.

Zenpost is a rebranded and amplified next step in the evolution of a content platform product we built at Zenpost.

We used that content platform to serve our agency clients. Now, we’re bringing the vision of the product to its full potential through Zenpost.

What Specifically Will Zenpost Do For You?

Oh, this is the fun part where we get to geek out on features. I know, I know. Marketing 101 tells you to talk benefits, not features. But bear with me…

Here’s what we have planned for our beta features:

Content Management: You’re provided a Content Manager to oversee the time-consuming parts of your content marketing efforts.

Content Ideas: Capture, organize, and collaborate on your blog post ideas. Turn them into new assignments with a click.

Topic Pitches: Got a concept but no topics? Request pitches from pro creatives.

Writer Matching: You have your niche and we have our extensive writer network. Every account and assignment is matched with one of Zenpost’s pro creators.

Promotional Social Content: Along with every blog post comes social content to use on your channels to promote your blog post.

Zenpost Ideas Page
Zenpost Ideas Page
Zenpost Assignments Page
Zenpost Assignments Page

In addition to all that, here’s what we have planned for the official launch:

Editorial Calendar: View and organize your blog and social content for publishing.

Social Integration: Easily share the social content we create for you to your social channels.

Auto & Suggested Post Scheduling: Quickly schedule blog and social content for sharing with suggested scheduling.

Suggested Social Content: We provide additional social content to share on your social channels based on details from your blog posts.

Don’t see a feature listed above you would like to see included? Email them to [email protected] and we’ll see about working them in.

We want to provide solutions for a couple different needs. Some companies have the time but lack the budget. Some have a higher budget but need a bit more of the white-gloved approach.

So, what we’re looking to introduce at launch are two subscription options:

Self-Serve: The technology solution to helping you ideate, create, and publish high-quality blog and social content.

Managed: This option allows you all the great features of Self-Serve but it also includes a Content Manager to handle all the tedious steps you don’t have time for.

We’re still figuring out the price points for both of these tiers, but we’ll get a better understanding of that during our beta runs.

Speaking of beta…

What’s Next?

Zenpost is working on finishing touches over the next two months to get it ready for a prime-time beta launch.

What’s a beta launch?

Essentially we take everybody who is interested in test driving Zenpost during its awkward teenage years and give them a free subscription for a few months while they provide feedback on how we can make the product better for them.

Sound like something you want to be a part of?

If so, click here and submit your email address in the top field. You’ll automatically be put into Zenpost’s beta launch list!

There’s a ton of work still to do, but we’re laser-focused on solving this problem for businesses (especially the ones that lack the resources and time to invest in their own content marketing just like us).

In the meantime, subscribe to be part of the beta and follow us on Twitter or Facebook to ask us questions or just say “hello.”

This is the start of something great. So make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position because we’ll be taking off shortly.

Stay awesome.

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