If an advertiser wants to jump on this whole "brands as publishers" trend, they would seem to have two choices. They can hire editors and writers and start producing lots of their own content, like GE. Or they can have junior staffers or interns spend half the day trolling the Web to find articles, videos, photos, Tumblrs, etc. that fit their brand, and then start posting them to Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.
A New York startup called Rallyverse says it can automate that discovery and curation process, letting the interns get back to filing.
For example, many advertisers—particularly any CPG brand with the slightest tie to the kitchen or dinner table—like to glom onto Thanksgiving. But unless you’re the Food Network, most brands don’t have a ready-made library of pie recipes and turkey brining videos. Rallyverse, founded in 2010, can offer that brand access to a nifty dashboard populated with all sorts of Turkey/stuffing-related videos and articles from all over the Internet. And it can tell that brand’s social media manager which content is getting talked about, reblogged or tweeted a lot at a given moment in time.
So instead of hiring a bunch of food bloggers, the marketer that wants to attach its brand to simple Thanksgiving solutions can grab an article from say Food & Wine or Real Simple using Rallyverse’s dashboard, and quickly turn it into a Facebook post or a tweet. And presumably, the magazines happy for the endorsement and the traffic referral.
There are non-Thanksgiving examples, as well. A luxury hotel looking to post local weather information to business travelers on Linkedin, or a financial services company might want to figure out the best time to post its own content on retirement tips.
“This is a core problem many brands face,” said CEO and co-founder Joe Doran, a digital media veteran. “Often you hear brands say things like, ‘I have a Facebook page. I bought some likes. What do I do?’ This makes things easier as they try and become a publisher, something many companies are bad at, especially if they don’t already have a portfolio of content.”
Doran was quick to emphasize that Rallyverse’s technology provides brands with automation—to a point. The company urges clients to maintain a human touch, to avoid spamming their fan networks.
Doran said Rallyverse, which only entered the market in full swing earlier this year, has had particular success with financial services and auto brands. He wasn’t able to name any clients just yet, other than the Chinese sports brand Li-Ning, which Rallyverse says it helped go from zero to 115,000 Facebook fans in five months.
Rallyverse also enables brands to turn content into ads using its tools. For example, the aforementioned packaged goods brand could turn that Food & Wine piece into a Facebook Sponsored Story, and hopefully amplify its reach.
In addition to helping brands build out robust external social presences, Rallyverse can also help companies aggregate internal content, said Doran. Take a conglomerate like IBM, for example. “A company like that may have 40 different executives using Twitter. It may have multiple divisions producing YouTube videos, and neither group knows what the other is doing.”
In that case, companies like IBM could use Rallynet, an enterprise product aimed at helping companies curate their own content and distribute to other parts of an organizations, without bombarding everyone with dozens of company-wide emails.
“We’re truly building what we think is the next generation social marketing platform,” said Doran. “This is for brands that want to embrace active sharing.”