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.
Looking back over this past calendar year, it is both humbling and awe-inspiring to see just how far we’ve come as a team and as a product. This time last year, we were preparing for the launch of UpContent 2.0 and navigating the foundation stage of a technology startup. The first enhancements of our core product were only just then being developed and refined, giving us a solid ground on which to stand. We hosted a special preview webinar to our VIP friends and users and launched at the end of January. While the launch didn’t yield magical results, it did teach us how to launch and work even better in the future.
Throughout the next couple of months, we decided to remove video and social posts from our content suggestions, participated in some podcast interviews, and solidified our arsenal of go-to tools to manage our content marketing startup. To add even more to the mix, we decided to completely scrap our sucky pricing model in favor of a simplified approach.
Behind the scenes, we were working on our most prominent project to date that finally launched in July 2016: UpContent for Hootsuite as a premiere content source. Thanks to this comprehensive integration, we could truly help to address the soul-sucking challenge that marketers face: discovering engaging and relevant content to take immediate action and drive more meaningful conversations–all within one easy-to-use platform, trusted by over 15 million users.
Working with another team had its own challenges–meeting deadlines, staying on the same page, adhering to other brand guidelines, creating a cohesive marketing plan, and making technical decisions–but as a team, we believe this experience was the biggest win for UpContent in 2016. Not only have we established a great relationship with a widely respected platform, but we also have been able to help more people discover the content they’ve been looking for–and we grew a ton individually and as a team as a result.
Speaking of integrations, we also integrated with Klipfolio, a dashboard software that gives you visibility into your most important data and metrics. With our UpContent bonus Klips, you can keep an active pulse on your industry (or any niche you’re interested in!).
After spending a good part of our year on integrations, we were anxious to get back to our core product and made some significant updates to the query builder and relevance graph and later introduced our Topic Gallery. On the back end of things, our Data Scientist started collecting important data to help inform future decisions about our product–a gift that we all can benefit from! He’s also in the process of implementing more machine learning into our product.
This was also a year of dipping our toes into events, conferences, and sponsorships. Locally, we participated in CREATE 2016 and the Thrival festival. Externally, I attended the Call to Action Conference in Vancouver, hosted by Unbounce, and we also sponsored #trending2016, a social media forum in Austin, TX. In October, we sponsored and presented at Connect via Hootsuite, the world’s largest virtual social media conference–an experience that contributed to our most successful month of the year and one we continue to enjoy the benefits from! While sponsorships and events can be expensive and time consuming, often times they can be one of the best investments you’ll make. But, be selective! After some trial and error, we learned to be cognizant of the attendees and significance of our role at these kind of events so that we can be more intentional about opportunities that arise in the future.
We’re closing out the year with an exciting project that we’ll announce in early 2017 (brought to us through purely listening to our customers), a fresh new look for our website, and, after some much needed time to rest, a renewed commitment to our users and partners.
Each of our team members were given the opportunity to write down a message we’d like to share with all of our users:
Scott: Thank You! Thank you for giving us a shot. Thank you for your willingness to provide feedback. Thank you for showing us what features are worth your money. Thank you for your support. There are many days of self-doubt in working to bring a technology to market and it is through seeing and hearing about the value you are receiving from UpContent that keeps us motivated to make the technology even better and to always be there to support you in all of the amazing things you do. Thank you!
Kevin: We want UpContent to work for you and give you all the information you need to make decisions - don’t hesitate to tell us how we can do that better!
Kyle: Thank you all for being a part of our early journey, and I appreciate everyone that has enjoyed the UpContent experience. I am thankful to have users that give us honest feedback to learn/grow from, and I want to say that there is a bigger product to come. Stay tuned.
Marissa: I want to extend a huge thank you to our users and supporters for all of their kindness, patience, feedback, and tough love over the past year. We’ve come a long way and have so much further to go, but knowing that you find value in what we are doing is a huge motivator. I’m the lucky one who gets to communicate with these hardworking individuals on a regular basis and it’s your enthusiasm that drives us every day.
Nick: Thank you for giving us a reason to keep driving UpContent forward. It is an honor to build a product that so many people find useful, and I consider it my duty to continue making your content discovery experience faster, easier and more enjoyable.
Adam: Don’t stop learning, don’t stop exploring.
Here’s to an exciting new year! See you in 2017!