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. This waste amounted to nearly 20% of each individual’s day–just looking for great information to share!

The Real Problem with Content Discovery

Our small team took up the torch to “find a better way” and, through countless focus groups, conjoint surveys, user discussions, and expert interviews, came to the following core realizations about content discovery:

Related: 9 Ways Curated Content Helps You Meet Your S.M.A.R.T. Goals

UpContent’s First Love: Hootsuite

In early 2015, we assessed the current ecosystem of marketing technologies and determined the most expedient path to validating the greater value of UpContent was to become an engine for content discovery–rather than trying the be another full-service technology. We firmly believe that we should stick with what we’re good at and integrate UpContent within a larger, established, platform in which (1) our target customers already spend a large amount of their time, and (2) the issue of finding great content is most acute.

After evaluating a number of options, Hootsuite’s ecosystem, culture, and technology appeared to be a great fit. Working closely with the Hootsuite team, UpContent launched as a stream within the Hootsuite platform in March 2015.

UpContent Stream in Hootsuite

P.S. We recently sponsored Connect via Hootsuite, the world’s largest virtual social media conference! Check out the recap.

Our Work Was Far From Over

The ability to share something we built with “the world” for the first time was an experience we will never forget. We immediately saw traction in individuals utilizing UpContent but, more importantly, we were welcomed with immediate, and actionable, customer feedback.

While the content being found was valuable, the ability to effectively translate what an individual was looking for into an appropriately crafted topic was a challenge for many. Further, in order for a customer to read an article, they were required to click on the link and wait for it to open in a new tab. It was clear we needed to further reduce the time this task required.

To address these challenges, we gave UpContent its own home at my.upcontent.com in June 2015. This launch allowed our customers to minimize scrolling when reviewing results and view the full text of the content–minimizing time wasted switching tabs or waiting for pages to load.

Old Version of UpContent

The user experience was fully redesigned in January 2016 to provide a more pleasing experience and, with it, brought the ability to visualize recency and influence as well as the creation of user profiles and shareable links to exchange topics between users, or place in your favorite RSS reader.

New Version of UpContent

With Product/Market Fit, Time to Let People Know We Exist

Throughout this period of rapid iteration, we elected to invest in honing the technology rather than marketing its benefits. Yes, we are a marketing company and whether this was the best course of action is surely debatable, but the team shared a vision and wanted to ensure we had something that consistently, and reliably, addressed the core user problem.

After the January 2016 launch, there was certainly still work to be done, but the customer feedback was positive, prompting us to move into the next stage in the technology’s commercialization: repackaging ourselves as the engine to be inserted within a larger content marketing context.

UpContent as the Sole Content Discovery Technology in “Content Sources”

In early 2016, we were made aware of an initiative within Hootsuite called “Content Sources.” The objective of this feature was to reduce the frustration experienced by Hootsuite users in bringing visuals and third party content into the Hootsuite platform for sharing across their connected profiles. It was hypothesized that by making it easier to share great content within Hootsuite, the customer would be apt to share more and spend more of their time within Hootsuite–thus providing a greater opportunity to experience all the many other features Hootsuite can offer and present a more competitive platform as a whole.

We jumped on this opportunity, as it aligned almost entirely with our own hypothesis: UpContent is best served as an engine to deliver great content in an easy-to-navigate-and-consume manner, especially when it is integrated with a multitude of related technologies where the suggested content can be acted upon.

The product of the UpContent/Hootsuite joint-initiative brings the most valuable features of my.UpContent into the Hootsuite platform, including:

We are overjoyed to share the fruit of our labors with you and look forward to receiving your feedback. It has been a pleasure to work through this initiative with the Hootsuite team and we are excited to see what the future holds between these two technologies.

We would be remiss if we neglected to mention the hard work and dedication invested by our friends at Hootsuite over the past many months. Jody, Soro, Nicole, and Patience–we owe you a Primanti Bros. sammich. Thanks for making this journey with us. We look forward to the next adventure.

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