UpContent: Curating Deeper and More Detailed Content in Pittsburgh

For Scott Rogerson, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to content marketing.

“We’ve realized that customers don't just want more stuff,” he says. “They want the right stuff that helps them make a decision and learn about what's going on.”

Rogerson is the founder and CEO of UpContent, a local startup that uses machine learning to streamline content curation, making it easier to find deeper and more detailed material to share online.

UpContent began as an internal tool inside Community Elf—now Cosmitto, a local digital marketing agency—to improve workflow.

Rogerson—who was CEO of the company at the time— noticed that between alerts, checking relevant websites and web search keywords, the Community Elf team was spending almost one day a week looking for information with little consistency in the research process.

After failing to find a service that met all of their needs, Community Elf created its own through HootSuite, a social media management platform, with one stipulation: that the tool had to be open for others to sign up for it. After six months and many outside sign-ups, HootSuite contacted the company and asked UpContent to be a content source, allowing other companies to access UpContent via HootSuite.

After saying yes, UpContent started to grow, according to Rogerson.

CEO of UpContent, Scott Rogerson.  (Photo provided by UpContent)

CEO of UpContent, Scott Rogerson. (Photo provided by UpContent)

“We started to realize, ‘maybe there is something here and it's not just our problem,’” He says. “There's marketing teams and sales teams around the country or the world that are having these challenges as well, and we may have a unique solution here.”

Rogerson decided to focus solely on UpContent two years ago after realizing he couldn’t focus on both companies fairly.

“These were two different organizations that were growing at two different rates on two different slopes, starting at two different stages and having one person try to run both wasn't the best for either company or the employees within,” he says.

UpContent currently consists of two employees: Rogerson and Matthew Beatty, director of engineering. Despite its small size, UpContent has users in 20 different countries and delivers more than a million articles per month to its users, creating revenue on a tiered subscription basis.  

“We've really tried to focus upon being very objective and strategic in what we prioritize not just trying to do everything,” he says.

To use UpContent, users enter their search criteria into Topics to find the articles and blogs relevant to their company. From there, the user can place articles into Collections—which is a staging area where they can decide where they’d like to push the article; to a social media account, place it in an email newsletter, or post it directly on their website.

Unlike other platforms, UpContent considers how relevant the article is to the search topic, the article type and the article’s recency. UpContent also integrates with many tools like Buffer, Wix and Lately to improve workflow. Lastly, users can favorite, add notes and share articles that UpContent’s article scraper finds.

Rogerson says that this kind of detailed content curation helps fill the gaps while still maintaining a brand focus.

“They recognize that they cannot be the expert at everything, but they want to be your destination,” he says.

Thanks to this prioritization, Rogerson says UpContent acts as an “air traffic controller,” allowing employees to spend less time looking online and more time on creating meaningful relationships with customers.

“We're helping you find articles, we're the place that your team can go to share their thoughts and their expertise internally, and now the marketing and sales teams armed with the best information that truly reflects the perspective of the organization,” he says.

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AMANDA REED - Contributing Writer

Amanda is a Pittsburgh-based journalist. Her work has appeared in Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh City Paper, the Riveter Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings and the Pittsburgh Current.

Originally published on Thursday, April 4th, 2019