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Why Big Brands Are Shutting Down Their Content Suggestions Apps and What It Means For Curation

It’s nearly impossible to talk about content marketing these days without mentioning content curation. Curation has emerged as a key strategy in the space, especially because it is applicable to all major components of marketing: social media, email, blog posts, and more. In fact, 82% of marketers are curating content and 41% indicate that it has increased the number and quality of their sales-ready leads. The increasing demand for relevant, engaging, and tailored content makes curation a necessity for successful brands, but the process can be both time-consuming and challenging.

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How Content Curation Saves Your Audience from Content Overload

When content curation is implemented effectively, everyone wins. The brand, or curator, saves time that would have been spent crafting more original content, maintains an active and engaged presence on social media, and is perceived as a trusted thought leader–goals that support and enhance their other content marketing efforts. Additionally, the audience equally benefits by gaining access to more valuable, relevant content, written by a variety of sources–the reward for brand loyalty that keeps on giving.

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How $2M in Series A Funding Will Accelerate Growth and Rapidly Progress Feature Releases

It is with great excitement that we share some news. UpContent has closed our Series A round of funding, led by Topanga Partners, a private equity fund based in Pittsburgh. Through these efforts, we raised $2 million (USD) to accelerate growth and gain invaluable resources to support our team. Topanga Partners invests in early and mid-stage technology companies focused on product technology, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and digital platforms. This independent firm is an ideal fit for UpContent, as they bring a great deal of vital experience to the table and can also provide an objective view of our progress to-date.

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January 2017 Product Update: Faster Loading Speeds, Better Topic Creation, and Quality Cards

In between shopping and buying gifts last quarter, we were also busy putting together some super exciting updates and we’re thrilled to be able to share them with you first thing in 2017. UpContent recently had one of its best months ever in November in terms of user growth, but you won’t experience any negative effects from all of the extra traffic and here’s why: Even with all of your holiday plans, you have been sending us feedback and we’ve been listening.

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2016: A Year in Review

I think we can all agree when I say: What. A. Year. What a year for our world, our politics, our businesses, and our own personal and professional growth. For as many obstacles as we have collectively faced, we sure have all managed to get a lot of things done! For our last blog post for 2016, we thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane and take a look back at how much has changed for UpContent over the past year and share a special message to all of you–our users and friends.

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How Machine Learning Can Help You Curate Content

The team here at UpContent knows how hard it can be to find the right content for each situation–what appeals to one group may be off-putting or uninteresting to another. We want to make it easier for you to find content with just the right tone, so we have been training a new tool–nicknamed ArtClass–to help us out. It uses machine learning techniques to classify articles as news or blogs, and to drop less-engaging sites; when you tell us it missed the mark, it will learn how to avoid this mistake in the future.

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Holiday Housekeeping for Success in the New Year

The holiday season is in full swing! Though this is certainly an exciting time for the spirit, it’s a bit of an awkward time of the year for work. Projects are starting to wind down, clients are too busy and distracted to return phone calls or make any real decisions, and you tend to have less energy to maintain the momentum you’ve carried all year long. But that doesn’t meant the holidays are a wash!

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9 Common Misconceptions about Content Curation

If you’ve spent any time in the content marketing space recently, you’re probably well aware that content curation is a major topic of conversation. It appears that most people fall into one of two camps: either you’re totally gung-ho about content curation or you think content curation is killing the industry. At UpContent, we believe that, when done effectively, content curation can be a critical component to your social media strategy and help build stronger connections with your audience, but we also recognize that curation has earned a bit of a bad reputation over the past few years, a result of common misconceptions.

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November 2016 Product Update: The Topic Gallery & Better Emails

Two months have passed since our last product update, and we decided it was time to get back on track! We’ve been busy bees, and a lot of our work these past months will be revealed a bit further down the road, but there are a handful of things that we have already released and can’t wait to tell you about! Strut Your Stuff in the Topic Gallery UpContent users have created thousands of incredible topics across a broad range of subjects.

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How to Curate Content for Buffer Using UpContent

We’ve been talking a lot about our integration with Hootsuite these days, but did you know our standalone application is integrated with Buffer, too? We love how simple our workflow is from finding great content in UpContent to scheduling it seamlessly through Buffer–all in one place. While this process has become second nature to us, we thought we would break it down and share what topics we pull content from and how we share it on our social media networks for our audience.

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Connect via Hootsuite: a Recap of the World's Largest Virtual Social Media Conference

Between our content source integration and numerous guest blog posts, it’s no surprise that we really enjoy working with Hootsuite, a leading social media management tool and an all-around awesome brand. When they invited us to sponsor their virtual conference, Connect via Hootsuite, we were all in. There was no way we could pass up the chance to participate in the world’s largest virtual social media conference! With over 25,000 registrants and a speaker line-up that included top thought leaders from Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter, we were honored and humbled by the experience.

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A More Efficient and Effective Way to Curate Content

Content curation has become an essential process for any marketer, thought leader, or social media influencer. However, now that there is such an overwhelming amount of content being created, shared, and repurposed, it is important to invest in an intentional curation process that will serve both you and your network, instead of simply contributing to the noise. Even with an intentional strategy though, current methods for curating content can be inefficient and time-consuming.

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August 2016 Product Update: Query Builder and Updates to Relevance Graph

After working diligently on our Hootsuite content source app and Klipfolio integration, our dev team was excited to turn back to our own product and make some serious progress on our roadmap. This month, we launched some updates that we know will make a significant impact on both our team and our users in the long-term. Make Better Topics with the Query Builder Creating effective topics was one of our user’s biggest pain points, likely because our search algorithm operates differently from a Google search and users had a hard time articulating what they wanted to find in Boolean operator terms.

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Enhance Your Content Marketing Dashboard with Bonus UpContent Klips

We know you’re implementing exciting content marketing strategies–but how are you keeping track of your results? Too often metrics get pushed aside because it’s difficult to know what data to track and it’s too time-consuming to compile all of this data into something digestible. That’s why we are thrilled that we discovered Klipfolio, a dashboard software that gives you visibility into your most important data and metrics. And we’re even happier to announce that we’ve recently integrated with Klipfolio to enhance your content marketing dashboards.

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A BuzzSumo to UpContent Convert: Meet Clementine Holman

One of the best things about being a small team is the ability to connect one-on-one with our users. Whether it’s through our live chat or email, we are lucky to connect with people who are doing incredible things with their businesses. A few weeks ago, we received an email from a small business marketer named Clementine Holman. What initially started as a minor support question quickly evolved into a more meaningful conversation about more affordable and small business-friendly marketing tools.

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Announcing UpContent Integration with Hootsuite as a Content Source

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of UpContent for Hootsuite content source! With this new integration, we help to address the soul-sucking challenge that marketers worldwide endure in their relentless pursuit of engaging and relevant content to take immediate action–driving more meaningful conversations. HOORAY! At times like these it is important to take a step back and reflect on how we arrived at this point. Thinking back to the genesis of UpContent in 2013 (which, at the time, wasn’t enough of a thought to even warrant a name) as a way to assist our account managers who provided content marketing as a managed service and became frustrated at how much time it was taking to identify great, third party, content.

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Our Pricing Model Sucked, So We Revamped It Entirely

When a technology product comes together and is finally ready to be released into the wild, it can often be delayed by the difficulty of settling on a reasonable pricing model. There are so many questions and variables to consider: Should we offer our product for free? If we do, how will we pay for it? How many plans should we offer? How much would people be willing to pay for that feature?

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Welcoming Mark Holder to our Board

It is with great excitement that we introduce the newest member of our Board, Mark Holder. Mark’s extensive experience developing strategic partnerships and go-to-market strategies for startups makes him a natural fit to assist us in commercializing UpContent and continuing to grow Community Elf’s content marketing managed services. Originally from Southern California, Mark currently resides in Victoria, British Columbia with his family. Mark recently joined Checkfront, a leading online booking platform, as VP Partnerships & Growth, and is active in the Victoria startup community through VIATEC, an association dedicated to serving innovators and entrepreneurs.

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The Curated Community: Meet Jim McKenzie

It’s always a treat for us to get to sit down and talk one-on-one with our users, but it makes us smile extra big when we connect with someone from the local Pittsburgh area. We had the pleasure of speaking with Jim McKenzie, a Global Project Manager at Philips Respironics, who has been using UpContent for his work with the Pittsburgh chapter of Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). Though Philips Respironics is an internationally recognized company and there’s always a great deal of buzz surrounding them, Jim explained that when it comes to social media, the company has set a clear expectation that engaging online should occur outside of company time.

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9 Ways Curated Content Can Help You Meet Your S.M.A.R.T. Goals

We’re big into curating content around these parts, in case you haven’t noticed. We believe in it so much that we built a tool to make it easier and more meaningful. Even though UpContent gives you everything you need to make discovering and curating a more efficient part of your workflow, there’s still an art behind deciding which pieces of content to curate and when. Before you start sharing random content, it’s important to create an intentional content curation strategy that will help you establish goals that measure the success of your efforts.

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Essential Tools for Managing Our Content Marketing Startup

When you really break it down, it takes a lot of technology to run a technology product and the team behind it. There’s no replacement for a whiteboard and marker, a pen and paper, and good ol’ fashioned note taking, but we certainly embrace the various apps and software available to make our work lives a little easier. The UpContent team prides itself on being technology agnostic–a term that simply means we are generally unbiased toward the use of different technology tools to solve various problems.

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7 Things I Would Have Never Found Without UpContent: Cinco de Mayo Edition

Last year, I threw my first annual Cinco De Mayo party. I was unemployed and had plenty of time to put together a party of epic proportions. We had tons of food, decorations, and, of course, a variety of mixed adult beverages to enjoy. It was also the first time I was able to use my “big” backyard (hey, I live in a city, ANY backyard is big) to its fullest capacity and invite people over to experience it.

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Inbound Unboxed: A Podcast for Marketing Enthusiasts

Though podcasts have been around for as long as we’ve had digital music, it took quite a long time for the vast majority of the public to catch on to the medium. But that was before Serial. Nowadays, podcasts are just as mainstream as blogging and video. Given society’s mobility (and short attention span), podcasts are an ideal alternative to content that must be consumed while looking at a device.

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How to Optimize Your Twitter Chat Strategy

If you’re an active member of Twitter, you’ve probably seen a Twitter chat in action on your newsfeed. Whether you’re new to this form of engagement or have only taken part once or twice, there are probably numerous reasons you’ve held back from incorporating them into your marketing strategy regularly. For one, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by Twitter chats, both by the number of participants or their rapid speed.

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Pulling Back the Curtain: How We Launched Our Largest Feature Update Yet

It’s no surprise that a lot goes into launching a product. Even though it may not seem as obvious, the same (if not more) effort goes into launching new features within a product as well. Back in January, we released a suite of new UpContent features that we are thrilled about (and, frankly, relieved to see completed): the creation of user profiles, the ability to share topics, the addition of the relevance graph view, and the update to our influence filter.

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How to Incorporate Sharing Topics Into Your Marketing Strategy

Have you noticed that it’s both an increasingly exciting and challenging time in the content marketing space? It seems like there are so many opportunities that manifest from publishing and curating content, but there are also so many more obstacles that make standing out and being original difficult. Believe us, we hear you because we’re in the struggle, too. But we’re pretty excited to share that there is an area of content curation that is largely untapped and could be a big differentiator for thought leaders.

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Finding the Gold: How to Evaluate Content for Quality and Value

If you curate and share content to social media, you’ll likely know there’s a ton of great content out there. But you’ll also likely have noticed the not so great content too. Like a gold prospector, it’s your job to sift through the rocks (bad content) to find the bright, gleaming, glorious gold (great content). In content marketing terms, it’s all about finding the articles that’ll boost your following and industry influence.

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Introducing UpContent 2.0: The Release of User Profiles and Sharing Topics and Updates to Relevance and Influence

As anyone in the tech industry knows, it takes a lot of time and elbow grease to gather feedback from users, choose what areas of your product to improve and build upon, write and implement the code, test the new features, fix the bugs, and then share the outcomes with the market. After releasing UpContent as a Hootsuite integration in spring 2015 and then introducing the product as a single application a few months later, we have since been working on our first big release of new features.

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Designing Small: An Interview with Kyle Grady

Great design is absolutely essential for any tech product to succeed. That’s why we’re truly grateful to have Kyle Grady as our Lead Product Designer. Since starting as a UX/UI Designer in April 2013, he has headed up two redesigns, illustrating his dedication to continuously improving both aesthetic and user workflow. He has flourished in his new role, bringing fresh perspective and confidence to his designs, and UpContent is so much better for it.

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Utilizing Twitter to Increase Organic Growth and Boost Engagement

Though every social media platform offers a unique opportunity for brands and individuals to interact with specific audiences, Twitter is a front-runner when it comes to engaging with a targeted audience in real-time, establishing your credibility as an industry influencer, and participating in social listening. Because most of UpContent’s users live on Twitter, we knew that we needed to have an active presence on the platform. In the last few months, we decided to invest in building an intentional Twitter strategy to grow our audience–and consequently our user base–and to identify and build relationships with potential integration partners.

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Something's Missing: Our Decision to Remove Video and Social Posts from Suggestions

As we near the release of our newest iteration of UpContent, you will notice a prominent omission from the content set – social media and video content. The root of this decision traces back to the reason we created the product – to find the best content to enter into the conversations you want to have, faster. We have spent much of 2015 listening and analyzing the behavior of our current customer base to better understand how UpContent can be valuable to you, both as a professional tool and a method for personal consumption.

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Everyone has Influence: How to Stand Out in a Social Media World

Does this sound familiar? Your alarm goes off and you immediately reach for your phone. First, to silence that awful sound; second, to check for notifications and scroll mindlessly through your social media feeds until you convince yourself to get up (or you’re going to be late). Sure enough, you come across one of your favorite bloggers and click on a link they shared about their favorite iPhone apps. Before you know it, you’re downloading three new apps and excited about the possibility of boosting your productivity.

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Behind-the-Scenes: Navigating Through the Foundation Stage of a Technology Startup

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the UpContent team. In the last month, the team has doubled in size and the momentum has tripled as we’re nearing the end of the year. Though the product has been in development since May 2012, UpContent has really only been “on the market” since mid-year. We’re thrilled to say we’ve graduated from the “beta stage” and are transitioning through what we call the “foundation stage.

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How to Create an Effective UpContent Topic

Tools are only as effective as the user’s knowledge of using them. By learning how to best use our search tool, you will get the most out of your content discovery experience and eliminate the barriers to finding the stuff that matters most. Why You Should Invest in Strong Topic Creation One of our UpContent users, Sadie, was having trouble receiving the content suggestions she needed. Sadie was very interested in learning more about women in science, but because one of her search queries was simply the word “women,” she was receiving numerous results that lacked the specificity she needed.

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5 Reasons You Need Content Curation

Writing is hard work. Researching content to inform your writing takes a lot of time. Every aspect of content marketing takes patience, resolve and focus. Who has time for that? Anything that makes the content marketing process just a little bit easier is worth its weight in gold (unless it’s intangible and weighs nothing, then you can just assume it’s worth a lot). Content curation seems to be a big buzz-phrase in 2015 – and if you ask us, it certainly should be.

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4 Steps to Fuel Your Influencer Strategy Using Content Curation

Why do you have a content marketing strategy? One reason is likely so you can boost your website’s SEO. Another could be to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. You could also just really love writing. There are multitudes of reasons for having a content marketing strategy, but a lesser known and used goal is to get on the radar of industry influencers. When you write content for your brand, you are likely citing other articles to support your points.

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Do You Know These Marketing Principles? The 80/20 Rule vs. Rule of Thirds

Face it, your life is governed by rules, written and unwritten. What influenced you when you got dressed for work this morning? Did you choose clothes based on a written uniform code or cultural norms? Did you brush your teeth this morning because you wanted to, or because it’d be unacceptable to have bad breath all day? Even the most basic things you do in life are influenced by some kind of rule.

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trendspottr vs. UpContent

UpContent and trendspottr both offer a similar service, but vary in the execution. Both tools say that they deliver the right content at the right time – and they both do, depending on the type of content you are looking for. Both tools allow you to create a topic, as you would in a search engine, and both provide relevant results. The difference lies in how the results are delivered and filtered: UpContent is a content discovery tool.

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2 Ways to Curate Without Being Dull

When you hear stats like ‘82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content’1 – a few thoughts may come to mind: “Wow, I really need to do more content marketing” “Well, curation is off the table if I need custom content” “How am I going to create so much content??!!” “Maybe that stat doesn’t apply to my company… I hope!”

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Don't Let Your Content Be Useless: SEO the Hell Out of It

As a child, hide-and-seek was probably one of your go-to games. There’s something about the thrill and suspense of finding somewhere in the shadows to hide, and then waiting impatiently to see if you’ll be discovered. Take a second and think about where you would hide, right now, in the location you’re in, if you were playing hide-and-seek. Got a place? Now, fast-forward back to reality and stop day dreaming :).

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Is Your Content Getting Any Play?

Your ambitions are noble. Your content is out-of-this-world fantastic. Everything’s perfect, right? It might be. But, are people reading your content? Can they find it? Your Content Strategy Answer this question. Your purpose for putting out a bunch of content is so you can… what? Make it look like you’re working hard (you are, right?) Make your site more visible Be useful to your audience Establish your brand as a thought leader I’m willing to bet that you answered at least B, C or D, if not all of them.

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Why Content Marketing is a Necessary Evil

The Evil Let’s dive right in. Content marketing can be viewed as evil. Yes, I said evil. Why? Well, to do content marketing right, you have to put out a lot of content in the form of blog articles, white papers, ebooks, case studies, reports, infographics, etc. Creating all of this content often requires more time than you have, leaving little room for implementing the rest of your marketing strategy (of course, using a content discovery tool to help curate some of this content can free up some of your time!

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Google vs. UpContent

Search engines make everyone’s lives easier. For instance, they can help you self-diagnose that the rash on your arm means you have cancer. They can help you find the best place to buy an antique chair you’ll never sit in, and of course, they will readily tell you the last person Taylor Swift wrote a song about. In fact, there is very little Google cannot help you find. But search engines, like Google, do have a few major flaws.

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What is Content Curation & How Can it Benefit You?

Why is content marketing important? Knowledge is power. And what is one thing that most consumers want besides money? Power. Over 73% of US consumers research items online before making a purchase. (http://www.godigitalmarketing.com/shopper-research-state-consumer-buying-habits-national-blog/). Many start the self-education cycle before even knowing they are going to make a purchase. For this very reason, it is imperative for brands to provide a constant source of informational, educational and enlightening content for their audience.

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Filtr8 vs. UpContent

UpContent and Filtr8 each offer the ability to aggregate content from the web, but they focus on distinct use cases for deriving maximum value from each. UpContent is focused on the marketer who needs the right content, at the right time to effectively interest and engage their audience. It also caters to the knowledge leader who needs an efficient way to stay up-to-date with their industry and have discussion topics readily available.

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Content Gems vs. UpContent

UpContent and Content Gems each offer a similar service: they provide content to users who are looking for information or who need content to curate. But each company approaches the issue a little differently. Both solutions focus on the marketer who needs the right content, at the right time to effectively interest and engage their audience. They can also cater to the knowledge leader who needs an efficient way to stay up-to-date with their industry and have discussion topics readily available.

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