Creating content has been a part of Percolate since our founding in 2011, when Noah and James sought to address brands’ biggest challenge: figuring out what to say, and how to say it. From its early incarnations as a curation tool — “brew”-ing sources and interesting, newsworthy content for clients to share — Percolate has evolved into an advanced platform with technology that helps brands create and publish original content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Drupal and other marketing channels.

Over the past several years, marketing teams have begun to devote themselves more and more to longform content like blogs and whitepapers to establish thought leadership and drive inbound interest in their products and services. The proliferation of mobile devices has also let people to save and peruse longform content offline via apps like Pocket, Medium and Oyster. Marketing automation companies have helped companies drive and convert leads from their content marketing, but those platforms assume you’ve already created your content elsewhere.

Today we’re proud to announce the first release of the Percolate longform editor, which will allow Percolate clients to create in depth content for blogs, Tumblr pages, and websites.

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Alive Inside: An Integrated Marketing Workflow

Our Design Director Dom Goodrum was one of the first to recognize that clients wanted to create editorial content within Percolate. Through interviews with brands and agencies, the design team has seen marketers move from shortform tweets to “actually thinking about how they can create longer content. This in turn has made us rethink what posting to a platform or channel really entails.”

While approaching longform publishing as a design challenge, the team started to notice efficiencies from integrating longform and shortform publishing in the same software, rather than treating them as separate efforts. Often, a brand’s corporate blog might be managed by one team, its e-mail marketing by another, and social media by a third, each with different and distinct goals. But creating a seamless space allows teams – whether they are sitting at one pod or working across several different continents — to centralize their efforts and collaborate around shared resources like calendars, brand visuals and approval workflows.

“We’re continually adding new capabilities to ensure more and more of what marketing team’s need is inside Percolate. You never have to go outside of it,” says designer Jillian Bromley, who helped design the longform editor. Previously, brands had to use other tools to work on blogs and articles, but brands aren’t getting the most out of Percolate if they can’t create all of their various kinds of content in it. Now, “everything clients need to publish great content is contained within the tool.”

 

How it Works: Tools When You Need Them

The longform editor was designed to make the user experience as clean, simple and intuitive as possible. We’ve done away with a static toolbar, for example, in the interest of seeing as much open, clean space as possible. Instead, a toolbar emerges when a user needs it (i.e. when text is highlighted).

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It was also a conscious design decision not to use a frame for text input. As Jillian explained, “We wanted a more modern design, so we decided to do everything frameless. You’re not writing in a box – it looks better that way and its more open. It will grow as you type.” A media library is integrated inline, right where your text content is, so you no longer have to ask someone else for media when you need it. The editor tool prompts you for visuals in between paragraphs of content, and allows you to simply hover over the image to move it up or down between paragraph breaks.

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You can also edit and brand your images right there inline, without switching into a different application, selecting between numerous different versions of a file, downloading, pasting, inserting and the myriad of other steps typically associated with visual content.

The Road Ahead

We look forward to seeing the content our clients produce with our new longform editor. From a product point of view, Percolate’s engineering team is looking forward. “If you think about modern blogging features you look for in a quality longform editor — whether that’s WordPress, Medium, or elsewhere — that’s the type of experience we want to bring to marketers,” Dom said of the new tool. “Collaborative writing, version control — we’ll open the door to a lot of that in the future.”