Internet services and utilities will rely more on content as the industry matures. Shereta Williams, vice president of corporate development, Cox Media, sees a "tremendous market opportunity" and believes the company will see "explosive growth" as agencies, brand marketers and media companies increasingly look for ways to use quality and original content to reach and connect with consumers.
To that end, Skyword -- a Boston-based provider of online social marketing content -- has raised $6.7 million in venture capital funding, led by existing backer Cox Media Group. In total, the company has raised $21.1 million in VC funding from investors like Allen & Co., McGraw Hill Financial and American Public Media Group.
The Skyword platform automates critical steps in the content creation and publishing process. It assesses search engine optimization services using a scorecard to ensure that content earns high search rankings -- not only in search engines, but across social channels. It can track real-time search engine referral information, allowing marketers to map content creation strategies with trending topics.
Skyword also collects search and social performance data, allowing users to continually improve content offerings based on the customers' needs, and makes the editorial process transparent, giving marketers access to a network of thousands of freelance writers.
IBM's program, Midsize Insider, supported by more than 68 writers, created about 2,900 articles that generated some 204 million social impressions and 595,000 page views. Viewers shared about 16,000 pieces of program content, and generated approximately 7200 direct visits to IBM.com without paid media support, and generated about a 1.7% click-through rate.
The Skyword study was done on 78,000 pieces of content published from Jan. 1, 2011 through May 2012, found that articles containing at least one image saw an average of 70% more views, compared with articles lacking an image.
Skyword helps produce thousands of pieces of content per month on behalf of its clients. The company's team found that articles containing one image on average increased 70% in page views. When shared on social media, news articles rose 740% on average in page views.