One million authors!
Or a thousand. Or zero.
Every potential client we meet ultimately asks us this question.
This is, of course, the logical tire-kicking question for anyone looking to create content at scale. And these are all, in a way, accurate answers.
Even though realistically any brand probably only needs ten to twenty good content creators.
If you want to just create content, that is.
If you want to to bring a targeted and engaged audience to your brand through influencers, you might need to find a very specific group, and recruit those persons directly. And identifying appropriate influencers has never been easier, with a dazzling array of helpful databases and tools available with data on nearly a million influencers.
So we are taking a “just-in-time” approach to influencer supply; we attract, vet, onboard, and manage influencers in real-time (well in reality, a few weeks) directly in response to a client’s needs. That explains our thousand number — we have custom recruited nearly a thousand influencers to create content for brands.
But we would probably start from scratch, ie. zero for you.
That is probably all you need to know about the size of our author network, so thanks for clicking in.
One last thing…
I don’t like reaching out to those who haven’t opted in, so if you signed up for Movable Media’s email newsletter, I would be incredibly honored and touched.
I would only reach out every once in a very rare while, with my very best efforts.
Up to you.
It would mean a lot. (But no pressure.)
Did you sign up?
If so, hey, thats amazing!
If you are still here, I thought I’d answer the second most common question we get…
“How are you different from your competition?”
Yeah, that one.
We don’t try to pre-recruit our author pool — we bring them in as we need them, because that is how you find the right expertise and resonance. We have built deep relationships within the blogging world, and an impressive track record of blue chip authors and brands that gives us major credibility. Getting a call from us is like getting a call from a headhunter.
Whereas Author marketplaces (Contently, Newscred, Scripted) connect marketers and brands with authors or freelance journalists who apply for gigs. These writers then interview, research and write on a given topic, frequently using the marketplace’s editorial workflow tools.
Influencers, unlike journalists, are often unavailable on author marketplaces. One possible reason is that those networks pay by the word, which commoditizes the value of an Influencer’s audience.
So while a few large categories of influencers (like Mom bloggers) will congregate in influencer marketplaces like TapInfluence, most of the time you won’t be able to find the experts who reach your target audience. In order to support every B2B or niche topic, you would have to boil the ocean. So we recruit directly, in real time, to find expertise and resonance.
We believe something unusual for the digital space: that audience is part and parcel of the value of the content. Author networks and marketplaces typically pay their writers by the piece for work-for-hire content. Any additional distribution or amplification services is generally a separate component of the transaction.
We compensate the content creators we work with at a market rate for their content, but we then focus on getting the author/influencer invested in the sustained success of the branded site and their content.
Since different writers have different levels of influence and audience, we pay for audience variably, with performance royalties, similarly to the way successful musicians or book authors are compensated.
But we also spend time on the often-neglected intangible components that help authors feel aligned with our clients. (Once influencers are paid, brands tend to treat them as mere hired guns.)
Alignment gives our author a higher degree of investment in the outcomes that the content produces; on average our influencers drive around 3000-5000 additional users per article. For clients who are starting from almost nothing, that can be a lot.
Unlike many marketplaces, we provide editorial and content strategy consulting services. Not all of our clients need these services; in fact, some of our clients have extensive editorial teams. But our editorial team has a tremendous depth of expertise at developing and executive influencer-based content programs.
It turns out this can be quite helpful. Most people who want to work with influencers get it backward, and choose their influencers before they really know what they want the influencers to do.
Increasingly, we have been guiding our clients on the hardest part of content marketing: how to create mid-funnel content that connects the brands content marketing efforts to sales. That is the subject of our next article, (which if you subscribed, you should get.)
Last, we don’t charge for a license fee for our platform. We hope to continue to keep Movable Media’s platform free.
Many author networks are providing Software as a Service (SAAS) platforms, charging $3,000-$10,000 a month for a subscription or license so marketers and brands can access a network of writers. We provide the same services, but get paid on performance. We are more like Content And Audience as a service. CAAAAS. (Catchy!)
If you are going to create massive amounts of content, you may need to invest in a platform. But most do not need that kind of scale and can make do with Basecamp or even Google Docs. At the high end, stand-alone platforms like Kapost and Compendium can be more fully featured than the marketplaces.
To sum up, if the reason you are creating content is to build and own a targeted audience, then we think you ought to pay for that, not for software.
That said, we don’t have any thing against our competition, the author networks. In fact, we are proud to be integrated into NewsCred’s Newsroom offering.
But If you’ve got questions about how to integrate influencers into your content program, whether or not you’re working with an existing author network, please contact us. And here is a good list of author networks*:
*with gratitude to Luma Partners’ Content Marketing Lumascape