rallyverse3What is Rallyverse, and how did you and your team get started in this field?

Rallyverse is software that helps people discover and share great content in both owned and paid media. Using Rallyverse, social media managers can scale up their communications easily, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Rallyverse is the brainchild of Gabe Bevilacqua, Guy Dassa and myself — three former ad tech executives from Microsoft who reconnected here in New York City. Each of us had been very active in digital media building ad platforms and technologies across search, display and social for over a decade.

In 2010, we saw a huge opportunity to bring a truly next generational technology platform to the marketplace that combines all the lessons we learned building platforms such as Microsoft adCenter and Atlas Digital Marketing Tool Suite for social media. As we looked at the market, we realized there was a need for a technology-based solution that addressed the hardest problem facing marketers in dealing with social media: finding the right content to share from the thousands — if not millions — of sources on the Internet 10 to 20 times a day across multiple social networks. It echoes the old adage of the fundamental definition of marketing: “delivering the right message to the right person at the right time to get them to take the desired action.”

Rallyverse is solving this problem today by helping the people handling social media for brands figure out what to say and when to say it on Facebook, Twitter and in their social ads. We monitor trending conversations across the social web to make it easy to discover, curate and recommend the most relevant content for your brand — creating ready-to-publish status updates, tweets and ads, all ranked in real time. You can find out more about our solution by watching a short video here or checking out our site's details on how it works.

How should the marketing/advertising industry utilize Rallyverse to create better end-results for its clients’ social content and marketing strategies?

At Rallyverse, we center on the goals of the marketer and brands. Most of our brands are focused on being more relevant in a market measured by increased organic community growth and engagement rates or acquisition goals centered around e-commerce site traffic or conversions. We focus on customizing programs to meet these kinds of needs.

Marketers use Rallyverse to develop a social media profile that supports and extends their brand message consistently and at the right frequency. It’s tough to staff a 24-hour, always-on-call social media team to scour all the sources; Rallydeck does the mundane work of discovering and curating the best content to your brand’s specifications and matches it with what people want to engage with right now. And this delivers measurable returns. Our clients have seen their community growth rates increase by 4x and their engagements per post increase by 10x — all while dramatically decreasing the time and effort required to publish fresh content every day.

Some brands want to further amplify their social media message with paid options, and we supply that with Rallyads. Rallyads is a managed service for paid media in Facebook and Twitter delivering native advertising. We work with the brand to input the ad creative elements and target criteria into Rallyads. Using the same content recommendation technology that powers Rallydeck, the Rallyads platform automates ad creation and predicts targeting segments based on the interests of your fans, then optimizes delivery based upon your goals. Clients running Rallyads and Rallydeck together see an increase in earned media up to 21x! It pays to go both owned and paid social together.

Some of our clients have large social footprints with hundreds or even thousands of socially active staff members in the organization – think auto dealerships, franchises and sales teams. That’s a tremendous challenge to maintain consistent messages for all these users’ social communications and provide an easy-to-use interface that their teams will actually embrace.

For these clients, we deliver an enterprise-class solution called Rallynet that helps marketers coordinate social media across their entire organization. Rallynet gives brands the ability to centrally curate and distribute ready-to-publish content to different departments, satellite offices or teams working in the field. Those teams can also be granted the ability to augment the brand’s content with additional items of local or personal interest, keeping the all-important human element in social media.

What trends and changes in the market led you to realize that Rallyverse would fill a void? Describe the void.

The first generation of social marketing technologies was around getting marketers “on social” — helping them set up a presence (Facebook pages, promotions, tabs and such) or analytics (“listening” to what people were saying on social media channels). Most of that technology was about workflow tools and did not address the most fundamental need of social, which is what to say and what content to share. Once marketers moved on from the basic and familiar world of advertising, they realized they needed to truly engage and delight their fans. The problem of sharing content is a new endeavor for almost all of them.

How does Rallydeck find and recommend content for marketers to share on social media?

We partner with the brand to help them find and refine their voice in social. We start with asking them to tell us about their brand and product, what they want to talk about and the goals they want to achieve. Our system will then programmatically bring in all their first-party and approved third-party content that is related to what they want to share on social and relevant to the real-time web. Since we programmatically connect to the distributed publishing of content, we always deliver the freshest items to their dashboard where they can appropriately schedule the day’s communications.

What channels does Rallydeck patrol for content? How should marketers adjust their strategy to account for visual content, such as pins on Pinterest?

Social is a very visual medium, so our technology is very visual. We know that people consume with their eyes, and marketers need to consider this when deciding what they deliver to their followers. With every story on their Rallydeck, we will recommend a great image or video to share along with that story that best represents it. Here is a screen shot of the Rallydeck:

Rallydeck

Which social network a brand focuses on depends on the brand’s objectives and where their audience is. Each social network is different and can deliver different results for brands.

If content is king, will content curation become less valuable if everyone is doing it? Won’t we see a higher value placed on completely original content?

Original content is great, and most brands have more original content than they think they do — They just have to unlock it and share it. And the brands that do have a lot of original content still need to deliver it across the organization so their teams can efficiently share it with customers, influencers and partners. Rallyverse brings all of the organization’s original first-party content together in one place and makes it easy to share.

Also note that, unlike most publishing entities, there is some original content for brands that has a long shelf life. This “evergreen content” can still be valuable months or even years later, and it should be redistributed out to your fans and followers if the context is right. Rallyverse helps find the right context and helps you get more mileage from your content archives.

How does earned media fit into how Rallyverse curates paid and owned media?

Earned media is the gift that keeps on giving. We help brands start with owned media by helping them share great content on their social streams. If the brand wants to amplify the message with paid distribution, we can accelerate it through paid media. Our clients that combine paid and owned media together with us see — on average — acceleration growth rates of 4x in their organic community, 10x in engagement, 14x in earned media reach and 21x in earned media engagement.

How do you see social media and content curation evolving in the next three to five years?

We are at the very beginning of social media marketing. Marketing organizations are still figuring out how best to manage this work and how it can deliver meaningful ROI. Social is going to anchor on the event of shared content, and brands will need robust technologies to help them drive these “sharing events” across paid and owned media. Social will be the next marketing service that will have an in-house emphasis, and so will require a new kind of orchestration with the agency partners in strategy and execution on a day-to-day basis. Social content will also continue to evolve into smaller, snackable media snippets that are easy for brands to produce and share.

Joe Doran, the CEO and co-founder of RallyverseJoe Doran, the CEO and co-founder of Rallyverse, is a seasoned and accomplished senior executive with 15 years of experience managing digital media, advertising and social media solutions in high growth companies such as Microsoft, General Mills and Media6Degrees. Joe is a sought-after expert in interactive advertising, advertising technology and social media and is an active investor and advisor to a number of social and advertising companies.

He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelors of science in chemistry from United States Military Academy. Most importantly, he loves his family and is devoted to wine. But his most important credential is as husband and father to four children. Joe is also a dedicated oeneophile tweeting about wine @joedrinkswine. You can connect with Joe on LinkedIn, or if you want to read about what he is drinking or what’s in his cellar, check it out on cellartracker.

Originally published Jan 17, 2013 12:00:30 AM, updated December 02 2014

Topics:

Social Media Content Marketing