In the massive gig economy, content creation is one area that has attracted considerable attention. Quality content is an absolute necessity for businesses to bolster their online presence, help customers understand their offerings better, and amp up sales and profitability while sharpening their competitive edge in the market. Subsequently, new digital platforms are emerging to help organizations fulfill their content writing needs by communicating with freelance writers while making expenses more flexible and nimble overall than in-house teams. However, outsourcing content creation comes with its fair share of challenges.
"Unlike many freelance platforms that provide only writers at an affordable price, we ensure scalability and flexibility"
First and foremost, it becomes hard to maintain the content quality, which might lead to customer attrition. Finally, companies need not just out of the box content, they also need to manage and organize the content for all of their operations in one place. Subsequently, the on-time delivery of a written piece emerges as a major issue with many such platforms. Finally, not just out of the box content, companies also need to manage and organize the content for all of their operations at one place.
To bridge the gap between on-demand content creation and optimum quality, Denver-based Verblio facilitates the entire process of content creation with its network of 3,000 U.S. based writers. With subject matter experts spanning 39 diverse industry verticals (from astrology to zoology), Verblio helps marketing agencies and businesses curate the right content that aligns with their business-specific needs.
"By leveraging the talent base of the gig economy, we offer organizations a competitive edge in the market," says Steve Pockross, CEO of Verblio. "In addition to offering quality content, which we view as table stakes in this market, we offer our clients the ability to create quality content at any scale they’d like, with the level of involvement they prefer, and directly integrate that content into top marketing platforms likeHubSpot. Most platforms believe that one must choose to focus either on scalability and flexibility, or on quality. We believe in a different mousetrap that works whether you want to create a few whitepapers a month on trends in diesel engine mechanics or 1,500 articles a month for your publishing business.”
Quality Assurance and Client Satisfaction: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Verblio creates more than 70,000 unique pieces of content every year, without gambling over the quality of the work. Pockross credits this ability to four key elements of their quality process—the first being a rigorous screening process for selecting writers. "Instead of having different levels of writers, we have only one level of writers—the 'Verblio-accepted writers' who meet our high standards and that’s it. We accept only five percent of the total applicants after meticulous quality testing, and this is what keeps us ahead of the pack," comments Pockross.
While creating content, Verblio's focus is on understanding the client’s unique business needs. Clients can define their target audience on the Verblio platform along with the tonality required (technical, humorous, or conversational), word constraints, and samples.
Instead of having different levels of writers, we have only one level of writers—the 'Verblio-accepted writers' who meet our high standards and that’s it
This helps writers understand the clients' requirements and streamline content according to their specifications. Further, Verblio serves the HubSpot ecosystem and has since its inception with a direct integration to send content that’s publish-ready directly to the HubSpot CMS for blogs or website content.
Another key element of the Verblio quality process is to offer feedback functionality where every client gets the option to accept or decline a draft. Clients can also request for edits—which are sent directly to the writer—and receive the final draft within 24 hours. Most importantly, there is no platform fee or long-term contracts, and clients can change their plan anytime. In a nutshell, Verblio is a customized one-stop-shop for all high-quality content needs. Moreover, feedback for every article is visible to each writer (even if it wasn’t their piece); this helps writers hone their skills while enabling the company to scale the team as and when required.
A final key element of the quality formula is to have a crowd of writers who enjoy working on the Verblio platform and being part of their community. Writers choose which topics they write on, and often enjoy exploring new verticals. They also offer a writer forum which serves as a virtual watercooler for freelancers to create their own community. "Our writer forum offers such an interesting range of benefits—from building writer community to enabling them to share best practices they’ve found with particular clients and topics,” " says Pockross.
Verblio also believes that technology can help produce better content, and therefore puts a strong emphasis on its product and design thinking. So, in late 2017, the company made a key strategic hire, bringing on Mandi O'Brien to lead product. A veteran of household startup names like Blue Apron and Tough Mudder, O'Brien brought a strong background in design and a laser focus on customer experience.
“Content marketing—in particular, solving for content creation at scale—is a really exciting space to be working in. Our users are looking for an experience that supports really strong communication and the seamless coordination of lots of moving pieces,” says O'Brien. “At Verblio, we devote much of our energy and resources to learning about the needs of our digital agencies and enterprise clients. It turns out that solutions to support collaboration—between teams, with clients, with Verblio writers—are among the most critical to their success.”
Ensuring effective collaboration produces better content. But O'Brien says the team is just getting started. “When you look at our 2020 roadmap, it’s founded on key themes to support our writers and customers in co-creating excellent content. We want to meet our customers where they’re at, through flexibility. We want to create really effective client/writer relationships through bi-directional accountability. All of this is to support the unique challenges of high-volume content production.”
While providing these capabilities to clients, Verblio understands that there's more to content marketing than just creating great content. For inbound marketing needs, companies need to enrich the content using SEO and videos as well as publish it via proper channels.
Verblio Complete: From Quality to Enhancement
Verblio is available as a self-service platform, which is perfect for those businesses that have a strong content strategy foundation and the resources to work with the writers. For those who don’t, Verblio created Verblio Complete, Verblio's fully managed service for businesses and agencies takes care of clients' end to end content marketing efforts.
Apart from this, Verblio offers a variety of methods to make content more impactful and effective. "One is photos. We can add necessary and relevant photos to content and make them more appealing to readers. Secondly, through our search optimization program, our team optimizes every post and makes sure that they are up to HubSpot standards for SEO and inbound," says Pockross.
Verblio also creates videos based on written content. The 30-75 seconds long videos comprise a summary or teaser of a written piece that enhance the effectiveness of the content. To render this task seamlessly, Verblio acquired an AI-based video company last year. This acquisition played a significant role in the entire video creation process by making it more streamlined, faster, and cost-effective. "HubSpot's focus has always been on the overall customer experience, and we strive to achieve that with our video service by making content more enjoyable. Clients can import their existing content from their HubSpot account, turn it into a video on the Verblio platform, and migrate it over to HubSpot," Pockross comments. Furthermore, being one of HubSpot's most long-standing integration partners, Verblio allows its clients to streamline inbound marketing by sending purchased content directly to the HubSpot platform.
Scripting Success Stories
Verblio has acquired a legion of loyal clients over the years. In one instance, SocialSEO, a Colorado-Springs-based SEO agency, encountered major problems with writers who failed to meet customer requirements and deliver enough content to fulfill SocialSEO's massive content needs. The client also lacked subject matter experts in-house with an in-depth knowledge of the company’s diverse client base. It was largely affecting their business, and they were losing an edge in the market. SocialSEO's initial efforts to outsource content creation to different companies proved to be unsuccessful.
However, the company's engagement with Verblio turned the tides in their favor. Understanding SocialSEO's requirements, Verblio's team started creating quality content in no time. SocialSEO also had the option to accept or decline the pieces. Having all the content at the right time and place, SocialSEO was able to serve its customers in a streamlined manner and make a remarkable impact on their bottom line. Today, Verblio is creating content for dozens of SocialSEO customers, and most interestingly, SocialSEO is now able to keep up with client demands for content in a cost effective manner. Additionally, the client is leveraging the Verblio platform to create additional content types, including product descriptions, website content, and press releases.
With such compelling success stories under its belt, Verblio has set out on a mission to leverage cutting-edge technologies with a keen focus on video-based content to further enhance the content. Pockross believes that in the coming days, the entire realm of content marketing will go through significant changes with a focus on digestible and detailed content. Without the proper use of video, this evolution may not be possible. Subsequently, Verblio has planned to make considerable investments to grow in that area.
"Like every other sector, the content marketing arena is going to be more complicated with the focus on long-form content as well as video-based ones. We have anticipated this, and our goal is to be at the vanguard of this change," concludes Pockross.
Verblio Acquires Automagical
BOULDER, Colo.: Verblio, which helps companies power marketing and SEO with relevant, expert content, today announced it has acquired Automagical, which uses AI to instantly create video for any post or story. Verblio has added a surprise element to Automagical's technology: actual human beings who are topic experts -- and video editing mavens. And so Verblio is also announcing the launch of Verblio Videos, which let content marketers easily add better-quality video for any post or story -- without breaking their budget.
"We loved what Automagical created," said Steve Pockross, Verblio CEO. "AI made video suddenly affordable. But there was a problem: to talk to people, you really need people. AI can manage the heavy-lifting of video creation, but it's not great at nuance, or understanding double-entendres or emotion. To make a video any company would be happy to share really demands human experts with deep knowledge of a specific content area. Verblio already does that, so it's an excellent fit."
Verblio Videos (or Verblio Vids, as they are increasingly called):
• Help content marketers effectively double the amount of outreach to customers and audience by easily adding quality, curated and expertly edited video to any written or social media content;
• Use AI for the time-consuming parts of video creation, like basic storyboards;
• Add human subject-matter experts to make sure that both the content and the graphic and music choices match your brand;
• Are extremely affordable at $85 per video.
Kevin Raheja, who co-founded Automagical and is an executive at HubSpot, noted, "At HubSpot, I noticed that a large percentage of our 55,000+ Marketing Hub customers use a blog as a central part of their inbound marketing strategy -- but there is a huge challenge to afford video content at scale. So we built Automagical to take written content you've already created and automatically turn that content into video -- to increase engagement on social media, and send more traffic to the original written content source. Like a trailer for the original content.
"But we discovered that AI can't do really great video on its own, so we are delighted to see Verblio add its own technology, along with the human curation and editing services it already does so well, to help content marketers compete with anyone, with video," Raheja added.
Video has long been touted as the next wave to help marketers reach their audiences on multiple platforms. Verblio spent time figuring out how to deliver video that falls somewhere between tacky AI videos and highly produced, multi-thousand-dollar videos, at a price point even smaller companies can afford.