A Different Kind of ‘Snow’ Fall: WSJ Assesses Contently

As depressing as it can sometimes be, in journalism and elsewhere, the old adage – ‘Follow the money’ – still holds true.

ShaneSnowThumbIn this case, we’re talking about $9 million in Series B funding for Contently, a company founded by Shane Snow (pictured), Joe Coleman and Dave Goldberg. Per Wall Street Journal startups, tech and venture capital reporter Lora Kolodny, the company is looking to stake its claim of the ever-expanding realm of Houdini journalism (our term, not hers). From her article:

In typical content marketing, companies ask writers, designers and photographers to employ journalistic skills to create commissioned blog posts, infographics and multimedia stories. The stories help their businesses persuade prospects or customers to follow them online, buzz about their brands, and hopefully buy what they’re selling.

What content marketers produce is not news but tries to look exactly like news, while serving an organization’s strategic goals. Content marketing is gaining a share of dollars spent by companies on marketing overall, as they look to take advantage of free online publishing and media distribution platforms…

Contently is not quite at the content marketing stage yet. As you may have seen, writers are currently using the website mostly as a means of slickly showcasing their talent and URL clips. Snow tells Kolodny the company hopes to build out analytics tools designed to demonstrate to clients just how much bang they are getting for their content-marketing buck. Read the rest of her piece here.

P.S. On a separate note, we have to hand it to Snow. The list of mostly crossed-off “To-Do” things on the home page of his personal website is very funny. Not too many people we know have eaten at 50 New York pizza joints and competed in a breakdance competition.

[Image courtesy: shanesnow.contently.com]