Throughout my extensive journey as a marketer, the debate between in-house content creation and outsourcing has consistently surfaced. Both avenues have their unique merits, underlined by the needs and vision of individual organizations.
In-house teams undoubtedly bring an invaluable consistency to a brand’s voice, reflecting its core ethos in every piece. Their intimate understanding of brand nuances allows for a seamless communication flow. However, the world of outsourcing offers vast opportunities. It provides access to a diverse range of industry-specialized talent, ensuring content of high quality and pertinence.
Recent advancements further bolster the case for outsourcing. Notably, the integration of AI capabilities, including platforms like OpenAI, is revolutionizing the content creation landscape. This synergy of human expertise with the power of advanced AI streamlines processes, optimizes content output, and anticipates market shifts with precision.
In essence, as businesses adapt to the digital age’s ever-evolving demands, the fusion of top-tier talent with cutting-edge technology offers a compelling pathway forward. Outsourcing, in this context, isn’t just a tactical choice—it’s strategic, ensuring brands stay ahead of the curve while efficiently managing resources. The key is to align decisions with overarching brand objectives and the ever-changing pulse of the market. In stride with this strategic outsourcing, content marketing platforms emerge as powerful allies.
What are content marketing platforms?
Content marketing platforms are centralized digital environments where businesses can manage, create, distribute, and sometimes measure the performance of their content marketing efforts. These platforms provide a suite of tools and resources that streamline the content marketing process, making it easier for marketers to generate and share content that resonates with their target audience. They often include features like content creation and editing tools, SEO, and access to a network of freelance writers and designers. By consolidating these functions into one platform, content marketing platforms empower businesses to maintain a consistent brand message across various channels, optimize their content strategy, and efficiently collaborate among teams and with external content creators. Moreover, they save time and resources, making the complex task of content marketing more manageable and more effective in reaching and engaging the intended audiences.
Benefits of Utilizing Content Marketing Platforms
In the digital era, the need for robust and compelling content is paramount for any business aiming to create a significant online presence. Content marketing platforms serve as a springboard for such endeavors, offering a plethora of benefits that significantly outweigh traditional methods of content creation and distribution. Here are some notable advantages:
- Cost-Efficiency: One of the primary benefits is the cost-saving aspect. By consolidating various content marketing tasks within a single platform, businesses can significantly reduce operational costs. Additionally, the access to freelance talent often proves to be more economical compared to hiring in-house teams.
- Access to a Broader Talent Pool: These platforms are a gateway to a global pool of skilled content creators, offering a diverse range of expertise and creativity. This diversity can inject fresh perspectives into your content, enhancing its appeal to a broader audience.
- Streamlined Operations: Content marketing platforms simplify the workflow through a centralized dashboard, making it easier to manage assignments, track progress, and maintain deadlines. The streamlined process minimizes the hassle and saves valuable time.
- Enhanced Content Quality: With the availability of experienced and specialized freelancers, coupled with built-in SEO and editing tools, these platforms significantly elevate the quality of content. The collaborative environment also facilitates feedback and revisions, ensuring the content is polished and aligned with the brand’s message.
In summation, content marketing platforms are instrumental in bolstering a brand’s online narrative while fostering a conducive environment for creativity, collaboration, and strategic content marketing.
Key Considerations When Selecting a Content Marketing Platform
Navigating through the vast array of content marketing platforms to find the one that aligns with your business needs can be a daunting task. However, by focusing on certain key aspects, you can significantly simplify the selection process. Here are some critical considerations to keep in mind:
- Ease of Use: A platform that boasts an intuitive interface and user-friendly features will lower the learning curve and enable your team to get up and running quickly. Ease of use enhances productivity and ensures a smooth workflow.
- Range of Services: It’s crucial to choose a platform that offers a broad spectrum of content marketing services. From content creation, editing, and distribution to analytics and SEO optimization, a comprehensive suite of services will cater to all your content marketing needs.
- Pricing: Pricing structures vary among different platforms. It’s essential to select a platform that provides transparent pricing and delivers value for money. Assess the pricing against the range of services provided to ensure it aligns with your budget and offers a good return on investment.
- Customization Capabilities: The ability to tailor the platform to meet your specific needs is a huge advantage. Customization ensures that the platform can adapt to your marketing strategies and brand guidelines, providing a personalized user experience.
- Support and Training Resources: Robust customer support and an abundance of training resources are vital for navigating any challenges that may arise. Look for platforms that offer timely support, comprehensive training materials, and a community forum for peer-to-peer assistance.
- Scalability: As your business grows, your content marketing needs will evolve. A scalable platform that can grow with your business is a smart investment for the long term.
By carefully weighing these factors and aligning them with your business objectives, you can select a content marketing platform that will meet your current needs and adapt to your evolving marketing strategies. Driving sustained success in your content marketing endeavors.
So without further ado, let’s dive into our top 8 list of content marketing platforms that focus on content creation. The selection of content marketing platforms was made with real consumer insights from several third-party platforms, ensuring a well-rounded view of each platform’s strengths and areas of improvement
The primary attraction of Contently is its ability to serve as a powerful platform for content creators and marketers. Users applaud the platform’s efficiency in creating and maintaining an online freelance portfolio, making it effortless for writers and marketers to showcase their work to potential clients. This addresses the prevalent challenge in the content industry of having a consolidated, attractive, and efficient way to display one’s work. Additionally, Contently has found favor among brands looking to craft compelling narratives, notably in sectors like healthcare where quality, engagement, and differentiation are paramount.
- Portfolio Creation: Users can effortlessly add new pieces to their portfolios, enhancing their online presence.
- Job Opportunity Board: An exclusive feature available only for Contently members, opening doors to potential freelance opportunities.
- Docalytics: This is an underlined favorite. Unlike traditional email tracking, docalytics provides precise insights such as when a document was opened, the duration of engagement, the device used, the recipient’s location, and specific areas of interest through heat mapping. This empowers users to strike while the iron is hot, making timely follow-ups.
- Smart Workflows & AI-powered Tips: Users benefit from streamlined processes that save both time and energy.
- Advanced Analytics: With comprehensive and smart analytical tools, brands can monitor their content’s progress and performance, fine-tuning their strategies based on real-time feedback.
- Limited Portfolio Flexibility: One of the recurrent complaints is the inability to add PDF files to the portfolio in lieu of links. Given the transient nature of online links, having a stable PDF version ensures durability.
- Analytical Navigation: Some users find the pathway to certain analytics confusing, indicating a possible need for refining the platform’s intuitiveness.
- Cost: Noted by some, the subscription price for Contently is on the higher side.
The Contently team garners widespread admiration for their proactivity and support. Whether users are initiating their journey on the platform or require continued assistance, the account team is consistently recognized as “exceptional”. Any delay in integration or operationalization is often attributed to the user’s end, reinforcing the platform’s inherent ease of use.
Contently has firmly established itself as a premier platform for content creation, distribution, and analytics. It offers a suite of advanced tools that cater to the diverse needs of freelancers, marketers, and brands. While it excels in multiple domains, especially with its innovative docalytics feature and robust analytics, there are areas, such as intuitive navigation and portfolio flexibility, that could benefit from enhancements. Regardless, its laudable customer support and overall efficiency make it a formidable contender in the content management space.
Contentoo is praised for its ability to match businesses with freelancers who fit their company and project requirements, thus solving the problem of finding experienced and specialized freelance help. Many users mentioned that Contentoo is exceptional at bridging the content gap within their organizations, especially when in-house teams are overwhelmed. The platform is particularly lauded for aiding in content localization, whitepaper creation, and translations, which were previously time-consuming tasks handled internally. Apart from that, it really serves as a one-stop shop for all content needs, and you can also create various designs via the platform. One of the key features of Contentoo in respect to the other solutions is their augmented AI tool, that can be optimised per customer for different needs. The AI tool can, for example, be used for innovative and cost-effective content refreshes at scale.
- Tailored Freelancer Matching: Contentoo’s freelancer selection process ensures that companies are paired with experienced freelancers suited to their specific needs.
- Ease of Use: Users find the platform intuitive and straightforward, making it easy to submit projects.
- Quality Content Production: The freelancers on Contentoo are often commended for delivering quality content that enriches the digital presence of the clients.
- Scalable Platform: Contentoo’s scalability is appreciated for aiding in ramping up content production and localization efforts. Contentoo has been incorporating AI/NLP (OpenAI) as part of its workflows speeding up the content creation process at lower cost.
- Close Contact with Account Managers: Users appreciate the close contact with account managers who are described as genuinely interested and helpful.
- Foundational Platform Features: Some users have pointed out that the platform offers a basic set of features and could benefit from further development, particularly in incorporating advanced functionalities like SEO checks.
- Rigidity in Operations: The system has faced criticism for its limited flexibility, especially in handling custom requests or non-standard procedures.
- Room for Improvement in Translations: It has been observed that translations may not always be flawless, sometimes necessitating user intervention to make necessary corrections.
The contact with Contentoo’s customer support, particularly the account managers, is described as very close and responsive. Users appreciate the prompt responses to their inquiries and the willingness of the support team to help. However, there’s a suggestion for the platform to offer broader brainstorming sessions for long-term collaborations to improve the content creation process further.
Contentoo is appreciated for its ability to connect businesses with experienced freelancers, thereby aiding in scaling content production and filling content gaps within organizations. Its ease of use and the quality of content delivered are highly valued. However, users suggest that the platform could benefit from enhanced features and a more flexible system to cater to custom requests. The customer support is generally well-regarded, with users appreciating the close contact and responsiveness of the account managers.
Freelancer.com has emerged as a versatile platform catering to both employers looking for talent and individuals searching for work. The ability to work remotely, particularly crucial in contemporary times, is one of the major problems Freelancer.com addresses. It offers a convenient arena for the unemployed, students, and professionals alike, to find suitable job opportunities tailored to their skills and availability.
- Diverse Opportunities: Users appreciate the wide array of project options available, from professional services to simple data entry tasks.
- Global Access: The platform boasts a vast global reach, connecting clients and freelancers from all corners of the world.
- Security Measures: Freelancer.com boldly flags potential fake job postings, ensuring users are wary and safeguarded against scams.
- Skill Enhancement: Freelancers have the opportunity to take additional exams on the website, bolstering their credentials and making them more appealing to potential clients.
- MAS Tool & Marketing Automation Software: These tools assist in efficient data management and improve communication skills, providing users with an enhanced ability to manage their tasks and clientele.
- Account Issues: Some users reported abrupt account shutdowns without prior notice, resulting in lost time and effort.
- Low-Quality Talent: Despite the platform’s vast user base, there have been complaints about the quality of talent, with some freelancers merely copying/recycling content from the web or not living up to expectations.
- Misleading Job Postings: Despite security measures, users still encounter deceitful job postings or situations where the agreed-upon payment changes after an award.
While the platform is known to have extensive mechanisms in place to ensure user security, the effectiveness and efficiency of customer service have been questioned by many. Users have experienced delays, lack of clarity, and occasionally, inadequate resolution to their problems.
Freelancer.com serves as a comprehensive hub connecting skilled individuals with potential employers. Its strengths lie in its global reach, the breadth of job opportunities, and tools designed for better management and improved user experience. However, there are certain operational areas, especially in terms of account management and customer support, that need attention. Given the platform’s dual role of serving both clients and freelancers, ensuring a seamless experience for both parties is imperative. The platform proves invaluable for many but also has room for critical improvements.
Upwork serves as a facilitator for freelancers and clients, aiming to bridge the gap between job opportunities and talent. For freelancers, it offers a platform to showcase their skills and find work, while for clients, it provides a hub to find the right talent for their projects. The Payment Protection feature is particularly valued as it creates a sense of financial security for freelancers by ensuring they get paid for their work. Moreover, clients find it beneficial as they can scale operations up or down based on workflow, and access a global talent pool without the overheads of training, thereby accelerating project timelines.
- User-Friendly Interface: The platform’s user interface is appreciated for its simplicity and ease of navigation, which allows users to easily search for jobs or talent.
- Free Connects Award: The recent initiative of awarding free connects to freelancers upon securing a job or an interview is seen as a positive step toward encouraging active participation on the platform.
- Escrow Service: Upwork’s escrow service, which holds payment until job completion, is recognized for providing a secure payment gateway, especially beneficial for cross-country transactions.
- Competitive Nature: The highly competitive nature of the platform makes it challenging for some freelancers to secure jobs despite numerous proposals, leading to potential income instability.
- Fee Structure: Many users find the 20% cut taken by Upwork to be hefty, which can significantly impact earnings, especially for smaller projects.
- Restrictive Policies: Restrictions on testing developers before hiring and other platform constraints are seen as hurdles to a seamless hiring process, limiting the ability to evaluate talent accurately.
- Client-Freelancer Disputes: Instances of clients reneging on agreements or engaging in fraudulent activities have been reported, with some users finding the platform’s response to disputes unsatisfactory.
The experience with customer support appears to be mixed. While some users found the support system efficient with timely resolution to queries, others had less favorable experiences, especially when disputes arose with clients. A notable instance was a case where a freelancer’s identity was stolen through a job posting, though Upwork intervened to assist in resolving the issue. However, some users have found the platform to be non-responsive in cases of disputes, which has led to dissatisfaction.
Upwork, with its user-centric features and secure payment mechanisms, stands as a substantial platform for freelancers and clients seeking to connect on professional projects. It’s initiative to provide a competitive yet secure marketplace is lauded. However, the steep competition, high fee structure, restrictive policies, and inconsistent customer support experiences are areas that could use enhancement to improve user satisfaction and trust on the platform.
Fiverr emerges as a solution for individuals and businesses seeking to hire freelancers for specific tasks or projects. The platform offers a vast and diverse talent pool across various fields, facilitating an easy connection between freelancers and those in need of their services. For freelancers, it provides a platform to showcase their skills, learn, earn, and connect with potential clients globally. Clients, on the other hand, find it a reliable resource for accessing a global network of professionals to meet project needs quickly and conveniently. Moreover, the platform’s refund policy ensures that clients only pay for satisfactory work, thus providing a sense of financial security.
- User-Friendly Interface: Users find the platform easy to navigate, aiding in efficient selection of freelancers.
- Comprehensive Profiles and Customer Reviews: These features help in making informed decisions while hiring freelancers.
- Diverse Talent Pool: Fiverr hosts a wide range of professionals across different fields, catering to various project needs.
- Gig Creation and SEO Features: These features help freelancers in promoting their services effectively on the platform.
- Spam Accounts: Users report an overwhelming influx of spam accounts, which can affect their response rate percentage if not addressed.
- Gig Deactivation and Deletion: The platform may disable gigs due to inactivity or delete them without providing valid reasons, causing inconvenience to freelancers.
- Pushy Payment Flow: Some users find the payment flow too aggressive, pressuring them to complete transactions hastily.
- Inconsistent Pricing: There’s a discrepancy noted between the quoted price tiers and the actual prices quoted by sellers.
- Quality Concerns: While some users found the quality of work to range from okay to great, others have had less satisfactory experiences.
Customer support experiences on Fiverr are mixed, with some users facing ban issues or account deactivation with little to no explanation from the support team. Responses from customer support are sometimes seen as pre-written messages that do not address the concerns adequately, leading to dissatisfaction. However, there’s a mention of Fiverr sending anonymous follow-up emails to ensure the quality of service, which is appreciated as it allows for honest feedback without affecting freelancer profile metrics.
Fiverr acts as a significant hub for freelancers and clients to connect over various projects. Its user-friendly interface, extensive talent pool, and features that promote self-service are well-received. However, the platform has its share of downsides including spam accounts, pushy payment flows, and sometimes lackluster customer support. Despite these challenges, many users find value in Fiverr for both earning income and getting tasks done efficiently.
Textbroker serves as a platform for writers and clients in need of content creation services. Freelance authors appreciate it for its steady stream of work opportunities, while clients value the large pool of writers available for their various content needs. The platform facilitates an efficient workflow once a good match between a client and a writer is found, ensuring a continuous cycle of content creation and approval.
- Reliable Support: Both authors and clients commend the prompt and helpful support from Textbroker in addressing concerns and optimizing order processing.
- Transparent Pricing: Clients appreciate the clear pricing structure which helps them budget for their content needs.
- Efficient Workflow: Once clients find their preferred writers, the workflow is described as simple and very efficient.
- Order Variety: Authors value the diverse range of orders available, allowing them to earn money either intermittently or on a regular basis.
- Platform Interface: Some users find the platform’s interface outdated, likening it to designs from the early 2000s, which could potentially hinder user experience.
- Application and Acceptance Delays: There are reports of significant delays in the evaluation of application texts for new authors, with some facing rejections after a long wait.
- Content Quality Concerns: Some clients express dissatisfaction with the quality of texts from certain writers, finding them not worth the money.
- AI Impact: There’s a concern among authors about Artificial Intelligence taking over content creation and the perceived decline in interaction quality with Textbroker employees.
Customer support is lauded for its promptness and effectiveness in addressing concerns from both authors and clients. The open and binding communication is valued, and the support team is credited for optimizing order processing. However, there seems to be a disconnect in communication when it comes to application evaluations for new authors, with some facing impersonal rejections from the system after lengthy waits.
Textbroker positions itself as a reliable conduit between freelance writers and clients in need of content. With its transparent pricing and a variety of order options, it caters to a broad spectrum of content needs. While the platform enjoys a good rapport for its customer support, the outdated interface and concerns over AI’s impact on the platform’s human touch are areas that could use improvement. The lengthy evaluation process for new author applications also emerges as a significant downside, potentially deterring fresh talent from joining the platform.
Draft.co addresses the need for quality and timely content creation for businesses and individuals. For clients, it offers a streamlined process to request and receive content, saving them time and effort in creating blogs, articles, web copy, and other written materials. Freelancers find a steady flow of interesting projects, enabling them to focus on writing without the hassle of client management.
- Ease of Use: The platform’s user interface is praised for its intuitiveness, making it simple to request and receive content.
- Timely Deliveries: Clients appreciate the prompt turnaround times for their content requests, which often outpace internal systems.
- Writer-Client Matching: The platform facilitates matches between clients and writers, with some clients able to request specific writers for their projects.
- Quality Content: Many clients find the content quality satisfactory, which in turn helps in improving their marketing strategies and SEO rankings.
- Inconsistent Content Quality: Some clients faced issues with the quality of content, especially when the writers lacked understanding of the specific topics or products.
- Communication Barriers: There is a lack of communication reported both between the platform and the writers, and the platform and the clients, leading to dissatisfaction.
- Misleading Trial Period: The trial period requires an upfront payment, which is not clear to some users, and getting a refund or response from support can be challenging.
- Vague Briefs: Some writers find the briefs provided to be scant, which might affect the quality and relevance of the content produced.
The experiences with customer support are mixed. On one hand, some users mention that customer support is always available when needed, and there’s a system for requesting revisions if the content is not up to par. On the other hand, there are complaints about lack of responsiveness, especially regarding refunds and account cancellations, which leaves some users feeling frustrated.
Draft.co emerges as a viable solution for both freelancers and clients in need of a hassle-free content creation process. Its easy-to-use interface and prompt delivery are strong suits, making content requests and fulfillment a breeze. However, the platform does have its share of challenges, including inconsistent content quality and communication barriers, which could affect user satisfaction. The misleading trial period and the reported lack of support responsiveness are areas that could use improvement to enhance the overall user experience.
Malt is appreciated for providing a platform where professionals can meet, collaborate, and find job opportunities. It aids freelancers in setting up profiles to showcase their skills and engage with potential clients. Moreover, Malt’s platform eases the process of connecting freelancers with job opportunities, which is especially beneficial for individuals and companies in tech-related fields.
- Ease of Use: Users find Malt easy to use and understand, allowing them to set up profiles and navigate through the platform with ease.
- Responsive Customer Service: Many users praised the responsiveness and helpfulness of the customer service team in resolving issues and answering queries.
- Marketplace for Professionals: Malt is recognized as a marketplace where freelancers and clients can meet and collaborate on various projects.
- Delayed Payments: Some freelancers experienced delays in receiving payments for completed jobs, which extended well beyond the stipulated time frame.
- Poor Communication: There are instances of poor communication, especially when users faced issues; some found their inquiries being ignored.
- Misrepresentation of Opportunities: Malt is criticized for inviting professionals from various fields while primarily offering tech-focused jobs, which misleads and disappoints freelancers from other industries.
- Low Profile Visibility: Some freelancers found that their profiles received very little visibility, leading to a lack of job opportunities.
The customer support at Malt receives mixed reviews. Some users had a pleasant experience with the support team, finding them helpful, reactive, and effective in solving administrative issues or answering logistical questions. On the contrary, others faced challenges in communication, with inquiries being ignored or unresolved, especially when it came to issues around payments and profile setups.
Malt provides a conducive environment for freelancers and clients, especially in tech-related fields, to connect and collaborate on projects. With a user-friendly platform and a responsive customer service team, it eases the journey for many freelancers in finding job opportunities. However, challenges such as delayed payments, misrepresentation of job opportunities, and instances of poor communication could hinder user satisfaction and platform trustworthiness. Improvements in these areas could significantly enhance the user experience on Malt.
As we review the diverse offerings of content marketing platforms, it becomes apparent that a tailored approach in selection is crucial for aligning with one’s distinct requirements and financial considerations. Our exploration unveils three platforms that stand out in their respective domains: Contently, Upwork, and Contentoo.
For those seeking a blend of quality and impeccable service, Contently emerges as a strong contender. Its structured platform, dedicated to enriching the narrative of content creators and marketers, is praised for its efficiency and robust customer support. Contently’s commitment to delivering compelling narratives with actionable insights embodies a quality-centric ethos that can significantly elevate a brand’s content marketing journey.
On the flip side, when budgetary constraints are paramount, Upwork provides a viable avenue. While its competitive environment is a double-edged sword, it provides an opportunity for budget-conscious businesses to access a global talent pool at competitive rates. The platform’s structure allows for a flexible engagement model, where brands can scale operations based on workflow, and freelancers can bid competitively, creating a win-win scenario for cost-effectiveness and quality deliverables.
Adding to the spectrum of noteworthy platforms is Contentoo, offering a balanced blend of cost-efficiency and quality output. They have quality controlled freelancers on their platform, so you can always be sure of the quality of the outcome. Its tailored freelancer matching, ease of use, and scalable platform provide an inviting environment for both clients and content creators. Contentoo stands as a notable mention for businesses looking to bridge the content gap efficiently without compromising on quality. Apart from that, the innovative side of Contentoo is worth a mention, while AI content creation tools are on the rise, they are combining the best of both worlds with their top-notch freelancers and AI capabilities. You have the option to solely use the AI tool, but you can also opt to use the tool in combination with the high-quality freelancers.
In sum, the right platform hinges on a harmonious alignment with your brand’s financial outlook, quality expectations, and the overarching content marketing strategy. Whether steering towards a quality-service oriented platform like Contently, a budget-friendly alternative like Upwork, or a balanced and innovative solution like Contentoo, the choice entails a strategic assessment of the platform’s capabilities against your brand’s unique content marketing objectives. Through a discerning lens, the endeavour is to foster a collaborative ecosystem that propels your content marketing endeavours to new heights, resonating with your audience in a meaningful and impactful manner.