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Back in April, The Economist’s CEO said that Flipboard was a direct competitor to their print and digital strategy. Said Andrew Rashbass, “It’s not a creative re imagining in some way – it’s a head-on competitor.”

Rashbass’ concern was that Flipboard, the digital magazine aggregation app, would eat away The Economist’s potential future earnings on digital platforms. We all know that once you give something away for free, it’s near impossible to charge for it later.

I think he’s right. Content creators that have to sell their content or get enough clicks to turn a profit should be wary of aggregators. But what about the content marketing strategies for brands that are looking for new engaging ways to deliver their message?

What should their Flipboard (or Zite or any of the other aggregator apps) strategy be?

The value of these aggregation apps to your brand are two-fold:

  1. Their proposition is to whittle down the chatter of social feeds to only present the most relevant information, according to the interests of the audience. It’s promising to customize a news feed. So if you are producing content that is interesting to the audience, then it should be getting through the app filtering process.
  2. Beautiful and intuitive design. Flipboard and the others have designed a digital magazine that enhanced the content consumption experience. Your content is now in a shiny new designer package, so soak in that associative brand love.

These apps, while valuable, are still in relative infancy (though recent partnership with The New York Times suggests Flipboard is poised for an explosion of popularity). Over time, they’ll adjust and open up to allow more publishers to join and become active creators, and you should have a strategy to step in where The Economist can’t afford to tread. Whether you’re a B2C retailer, healthcare or professional services provider, or a B2B generating leads and notoriety, getting your message out through emerging platforms is key to avoiding audience loss to Facebook fatigue or Twitter overload.

That’s why Raidious has always been platform agnostic with our content. For more than two years, we have been encouraging our clients not to have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Flipboard strategy, but a content and social story strategy that can adapt and change to the ebbs and flows of algorithm tweaks and audience habits, like the move toward customized aggregators and content curators.

Aggregation begins with high-quality content creation; if you’re ignoring that step, then you’ll never get your story off of your own blog or feed. Just as Facebook’s EdgeRank determines what updates make it to your feed, the more improved aggregation apps make sure only compelling, relevant information is viewed.

Relevance generates views. Quality produces shares and breaks through filters.

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