Content marketing is arguably the fastest growing part of the online marketing world. Companies are increasingly reaching out to bloggers in an attempt to prove thought leadership and reach new audiences.
Central to this has been a new start-up from London that hopes to grease the wheels of content marketing. PostJoint was founded late last year by Saleem Yaqub to act as a marketplace for bloggers and content marketers to come together.
The site recently saw $100,000 generated for bloggers from activities on the site, so I thought it was an opportune time to catch up with Saleem and get his thoughts on how the site is progressing.
What inspired you to create PostJoint?
I was working on client campaigns at my agency mainly to increase sales, boost awareness and drive more traffic. Guest blogging was one of the most successful yet time consuming methods we found. I knew then that we had to find a more efficient way of getting content published on quality sites. So in mid-2011 I founded PostJoint, setting out to take content marketing to new levels of efficiency, scale and quality.
How did you go about growing the network?
We've been reaching out to well known bloggers on a one to one basis as well as writing guest posts on high traffic sites - this has helped tremendously. We also use Twitter and LinkedIn on a daily basis to look for new opportunities We've done a limited amount of advertising using Google Adwords and Facebook. Our blog is proving to be a useful resource as well - we are getting into the habit of publishing value added posts for our target audience.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
Its been tricky to balance competing priorities and the differing interests of advertisers and bloggers. Since the Penguin and Panda updates more SEO's now call themselves content marketers and are producing mediocre content solely for link building purposes and aren't looking to pay to have it published. Quality blog owners are quite aware of this and aren't willing to sabotage their blog with this type of regurgitated, overused content. I've learned that these advertisers need support and guidance on creating better content. Similarly some bloggers want to be compensated for each post, then there are other blogs that really just want great content. And there is everything else in between… By opening up the dialogue and listening closely to everyone's feedback we're continuing to learn how to strike the right balance. We've also learned that no matter how many quality control measures you have, some people will always try to abuse the system. We're developing new ways to filter out the junk as quality control is and always will be PostJoint’s top priority.
Do you see this being the future of content marketing?
The marketing landscape is continuing to shift and content marketing is stepping up to become a core strategy, with this budgets will increase and we will begin to see more dedicated teams. Advertisers want to drive sales, establish thought leadership, boost brand awareness and to diversify their sources of traffic. Content marketing provides all of this - with the added benefit of being a great source of backlinks for SEO campaigns. Bloggers want to engage their audience, offer a fresh perspective, reduce their own content production workload, and of course monetize their sites in new ways (most AdSense users make two figures p/m). Search engines want to deliver quality, relevant results for their users: so its a win - win - win situation for all parties. One challenge for all content marketers will be measuring the impact and performance reporting beyond traditional metrics like referral traffic.
What does the future hold for the site?
We're growing everyday with new users signing up and telling their friends. We’re proud to count many top digital agencies and well known bloggers as our clients. We're iterating fast with lots of incremental improvements and several major updates in the pipeline. We're collecting lots of feedback on our support portal which is buzzing with activity, votes, suggestions and comments. Once we've got stronger quality controls in place, an improved feedback system and a new relevance algorithm, user satisfaction will increase drastically. We are essentially building a community of advertisers and publishers. We're helping to make connections, build relationships, and get results rapidly. We aim to be one of the largest and highest quality places ‘to do’ content marketing.