Ion, by Rock Content vs. Shorthand

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Ion, by Rock Content
Score 8.3 out of 10
Enterprise companies (1,001+ employees)
Ion is an enterprise-grade content experience platform that empowers modern marketers and designers to create no-code interactive content experiences integrated with their CRM or marketing automation tools. Ion helps enterprises to build brand awareness and increase conversions and lead generation enriching their contact database with declared, high intent data. Ion helps brands launch quizzes, ROI calculators, assessments, interactive infographics, and other interactive formats in…N/A
Shorthand
Score 8.0 out of 10
N/A
Shorthand enables the user to create interactive multimedia stories for any online audience — all with no code. The vendor boasts that Shorthand is used by hundreds of publishers, brands, non-profits, and more — including the BBC, Honda, Business Insider, and Doctors Without Borders.N/A
Pricing
Ion, by Rock ContentShorthand
Editions & Modules
Managed Services + SaaS
Custom
per year
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Ion, by Rock ContentShorthand
Free Trial
NoYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup Fee$5,500 per customerNo setup fee
Additional Detailsion’s Build Anything SaaS platform provides organizations with an entirely new and agile interactive content marketing capability. It enables non-technical marketers and designers to create, test and measure an unlimited number of all types of interactive content marketing experiences. It includes unlimited seats, experiences, tests, customization, phone and email support, analytics and more.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Ion, by Rock ContentShorthand
Top Pros

No answers on this topic

Top Cons

No answers on this topic

Features
Ion, by Rock ContentShorthand
Content Creation
Comparison of Content Creation features of Product A and Product B
Ion, by Rock Content
7.5
105 Ratings
Shorthand
9.0
1 Ratings
Ideation10.099 Ratings00 Ratings
Content collaboration5.094 Ratings9.01 Ratings
Content Publishing
Comparison of Content Publishing features of Product A and Product B
Ion, by Rock Content
8.7
120 Ratings
Shorthand
6.8
1 Ratings
Content hub10.0104 Ratings9.01 Ratings
Forms / Gated content10.0107 Ratings00 Ratings
Embedded CTAs10.0108 Ratings7.01 Ratings
Content distribution8.093 Ratings6.01 Ratings
Content promotion8.086 Ratings5.01 Ratings
Content automation6.090 Ratings00 Ratings
Content Reporting & Analytics
Comparison of Content Reporting & Analytics features of Product A and Product B
Ion, by Rock Content
8.5
118 Ratings
Shorthand
-
Ratings
Audience profiling and targeting6.091 Ratings00 Ratings
Closed-loop tracking and reporting8.095 Ratings00 Ratings
Content performance analytics10.0116 Ratings00 Ratings
Campaign optimization dashboard10.0107 Ratings00 Ratings
User Ratings
Ion, by Rock ContentShorthand
Likelihood to Recommend
10.0
(135 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
7.0
(22 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
7.4
(17 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
10.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
9.0
(1 ratings)
6.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
10.0
(36 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(12 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
10.0
(2 ratings)
8.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Ion, by Rock ContentShorthand
Likelihood to Recommend
Rock Content
If you want to choose a quick start template and fill in the fields with your content, Ion will be fantastic for you. We've done this with whitepapers and quizzes and it's been great and extremely easy to use. If you have an exact idea of what you want, and a background in web development, you may get frustrated. Ion has some quirks that make it tricky to fully customize - everyone once in a while I really just want to go into the HTML and make some changes, but can't. If you are looking to reuse a piece of content for specific targeting (industry or account-specific), Ion is great. The dynamic substitutions are great and very helpful.
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Shorthand
Shorthand is ideally suited to visual stories where you have a good number of images and/or embeds or video to include. It is well-suited to long-form stories, where you wish to keep the readers' attention longer than usual. It can help to differentiate particularly important or intriguing stories from others on your website - and for this reason, it could be used as a premium content tool, perhaps for subscribers. It can also be used to showcase stories about awards you've organised, giving them special treatment. It is less suited to breaking news, or very time-sensitive news stories, as it can take some time to prepare, post or update shorthand stories. And it doesn't work well for stories with strong accompanying imagery
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Pros
Rock Content
  • Quick Starts make it so easy to get started.
  • Real-time updates are awesome and save a ton of wasteful process.
  • The combination of user friendliness for simple things and the flexibility to do more complex things is great.
  • Chat support is excellent and deeper-dive support has been super helpful.
  • The ability to use these tools in the cloud or embedded has given us tactic flexibility.
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Shorthand
  • Enabling visual storytelling with multiple pictures
  • Embedding rich media within a story, including video
  • Engaging readers for longer than average dwell times
  • Making it easy to create striking article design without coding experience
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Cons
Rock Content
  • Ion University, while stacked with a wealth of information, is difficult to navigate from a troubleshooting perspective. The tutorial videos are all very helpful, but they are also very long. Sometimes I would want to search for how to address a particular issue I was struggling with and it would be a two-minute segment buried in a 45-minute video.
  • Again, getting back the self-guidance side of things. I think a lot of the tutorials are set up in a way that makes sense to Ion, but not as much to the end user.
  • I think the controls admins use when creating new users could be a bit more straightforward.
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Shorthand
  • Additional flexibility in how text is overlaid on pictures would be welcome so that there are more choices on what images to use with particular layouts
  • Enabling users to control the path of text - for example, enabling runaround - could enable some excellent designs
  • Adding additional section templates could speed up design
  • More flexibility in caption placement would be helpful
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Likelihood to Renew
Rock Content
We use it for every landing page and we plan on only doing more dynamic content creation. We dont see that option coming in-house any time ever in the future. ION has a very robust platform for us to work with that really allows us to do more for our customers in regards to having the one-to-one conversation.
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Shorthand
No answers on this topic
Usability
Rock Content
Usability is straightforward, with extensive documentation and tutorials provided to ensure landing pages are built to specifications and can be optimized for performance. Built-in platform funnels give insight into customer dropoff, success/failures, and conversions (at a glance). Setting up a landing page can be done quickly and easily, with numerous integrations (CRMs like SalesForce, for instance) supported
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Shorthand
No answers on this topic
Reliability and Availability
Rock Content
No answers on this topic
Shorthand
I have never known it to be down during my use of it. All you require is an internet connection to log in and you can use it on multiple devices. Adding ease of accessibility, there are simple ways to log in. I've also never known a Shorthand story to go down once live on our site.
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Performance
Rock Content
Sometimes the editor can be a little slow.
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Shorthand
Due to the integration with our content management software, there is a short delay on our site while it loads, which may cause some readers to drift away. However, I've seen other sites where it instantly loads articles, so I believe this to be down to the content management software behind our site more than Shorthand itself. Once that brief initial period is over, it doesn't require additional loading time.
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Support Rating
Rock Content
The ION support team is amazing. There has not been a single issue they they could not solve for me. If there is a feature or request that they do not have, they have even, on occasion, created custom scripts for our team. *Update 6/5/17 - ION has continued to delight on multiple occasions. I appreciate their attention to detail and ability to solve whatever issue I have. After 3+ years of use and support, ION still has my full endorsement.
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Shorthand
No answers on this topic
Online Training
Rock Content
They offer a great amount of online training, videos, articles, etc. There is usually an answer available if you run into an issue. I would recommend taking advantage of the online training they offer. I wish I would have done it sooner.
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Shorthand
No answers on this topic
Implementation Rating
Rock Content
There were a lot of things we learned about the tool once we really got in and got our hands dirty. Being hands-on was essential for our team to be able to utilize ION in the most effective manner.
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Shorthand
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Rock Content
I was not the decision maker to choose this over Uberflip, but the UI is much more appealing to me. It's incredibly easy to use, clean, and from a backend standpoint, it requires little to no tech savvy'ness. Our team has really enjoyed using it and has required no training what-so-ever.
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Shorthand
No answers on this topic
Scalability
Rock Content
Separate client portfolios enable scalability, however, some elements are still grouped for all accounts so it's difficult to scale for an ad agency with multiple clients. Would prefer totally separate sections of the platform for all clients with each element housed separately.
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Shorthand
As a web-based service, it is easy for users to log into from anywhere. Content can easily be shared, as you can set up teams that enable access to each other's work as required. And content can be reviewed by others before publication using the sharing function. You can also view how an article will look on different devices.
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Return on Investment
Rock Content
  • Though we have not had the service long enough to see any measurable outcomes, we've been able to create interactive web content faster than ever before
  • The speed with which we can build interactive pages and re-use assets has been critical as projects we've done with Ion have made their way around and more and more internal clients have said "me too" for their own projects
  • It is very pricey at $28K for the base annual subscription (dropping to $24k after the first year), so depending on your budgetary situation, that may make no sense for your team--but we had contract money set aside for a company to build us a microsite for around the amount, so we just used it for Ion instead and will now be building the microsite ourselves using it
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Shorthand
  • Helped us create one of our top 10 most-read and most-shared stories in the last year
  • Enabled us to elevate key pieces of content, boosting dwell time on our site
  • But can also be time-consuming to adopt for some stories, meaning you need to choose well what stories really deserve the investment in time
  • Boosted collaboration between teams via its ability to share, including offering the chance for others to preview content prior to publication
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