Cision's Content Marketing Suite provides tools to create, publish, drive, and analyze branded content. Users can establish a social newsroom from which they can create, host, optimize, and share content. The suite also provides the ability to drive traffic to content on external sites – earned or owned – and links content to a network of premium publishers (such as Reuters, Time, CNN, BBC, and more) that reach more than 200 million unique monthly visitors.
Monthly pricing starts at $900 and scales up based on the number of clicks a client wants per month.
Lauren Riley, media relations manager at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, began a three-month trial of Cision's Content Marketing Suite in August 2013. The organization has been using other Cision products for about three years.
How do you use it?
We really liked the concept of being able to package our material and get it out using Cision's contacts. We wanted to give it a try without a long-term commitment, so we paid for 1,500 clicks per month during a three-month trial.
It's easy to use. To get to your content marketing portal, you just log on to Cision's platform, go to the connect tab and click on content marketing.
From there, you have two options. You can create an original story that you house on Cision's social newsroom or you can amplify an existing story that already lives on your website. We only use the amplifying feature.
In the amplifying tab you select amplify and then click applicable boxes. We use the box for an external story and then enter the URL of the website we want to amplify. You can choose to keep the headline as it stands on your website or create a new headline. Cision will help you write a headline if you're out of ideas and need help.
Then you enter where you want to target (either US or international) and your contact information and click amplify.
October was our third month using the Content Marketing Suite and we didn't have any problems or issues that required me to contact Cision.
Your Cision account manager keeps tabs on the stories you're amplifying. If one isn't working, it's up to Cision to either rework the headline or go to another content partner and put it on another website to make sure you get the clicks you paid for.
This happened to us for the first time with a recent story we amplified. It wasn't performing as well in the first two weeks as Cision had hoped, so our representative emailed me to let me know they tweaked the headline and changed content partners.
How does it serve your business needs?
We launched our A Nation in Motion campaign in 2012. The campaign tells the story of the value of orthopedic medicine and the positive impact orthopedic surgeons make in patients' lives. It centers around ANationInMotion.org.
This year we rolled out a new feature of the campaign called Ortho-pinions, where orthopedic surgeons write weekly editorial pieces for patients and general consumers. We really want to drive people to our content, and one way to do that is through the Content Marketing Suite.
An Ortho-pinion piece on knee arthritis that we uploaded and amplified In October was the most visited page on the website as a whole, according to Google Analytics. So it's clearly working to drive traffic to our site.
What are the main benefits?
It's a new PR tactic to try for a relatively low cost and is a perfect tool to try if your goal is to drive traffic to a certain website.
It's done based on trial and error, so if something is not working Cision will change it for you and make sure it works.
You don't have to make a long-term commitment and it's easy to use.
What are the main drawbacks?
The analytics data I get is not that qualitative – I just get the number of monthly clicks and impressions.
[Note: Google Analytics was integrated into Cision's Content Marketing Suite on October 25, 2013.]
What would you like to see improved/added?
I'd like to see additional metrics, such as the length of time someone who saw our content stayed on our site and what other sections they viewed.
Our board of directors believes in detailed reporting, so in addition to seeing clicks and impressions, I'd like to see screenshots of our headline on consumer websites such as Sports Illustrated and ESPN so we can better show our leadership just how the Content Marketing Suite works visually and what we're getting for our money.
Right now, Cision just gives me a list of links where our amplified content appeared. That's great, but sometimes there's a bit more proof in the image and we want to give our board as much information as we can.
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