Solving the fragmentation problem by bringing fans the content they want

This is a sponsored guest post by Simon Ryley, Founder RightNow Digital.

Very few digital platforms can satisfy a passionate fan’s thirst for content when it comes to the things they love.

Manchester United fans, for example, are unlikely to find all the news and views they want on the BBC, Twitter or the club’s own app. They have to look broader. Search engines, social platforms and aggregation apps force fans – whether they are hunting for content on fashion, food, music or sport – to do too much work. Fragmentation requires fans to become skilled users of too many platforms, simply because the depth of content in each is insufficient. As a result, long lists of bookmarks on desktops and web browsers are all too common, and there is also a multitude of apps to dip into as well.

This presents brands with an intriguing opportunity – are they able to create mobile media channels that bring real utility to these fans, as well as providing a direct communication channel for the brand itself?

One-stop shop apps that combine news, social media and relevant services for a fan all in one place are the logical next stage in digital marketing, solving many of the problems that currently frustrate senior digital marketers. But how can they take advantage?

At RightNow Digital, we have attempted to create a solution by curating relevant, authoritative and trustworthy news and social media sources that create the content fans desire. Automated software provides fans with a real-time stream of content from their favourite websites, social media, blogs, video sites and vlogs, the result of which is the key to any frequently-used mobile app – a never-ending stream of relevant and engaging content.

There are massive advantages for brands creating their own mobile media channels rather than relying solely on social platforms as part of their activation strategy. Take data, for example: Facebook may provide a channel for hosting brand content, but when it comes to data, the brand is providing the social media site with all the benefits. So, is it the brand’s channel or is it Facebook’s?

By far the most compelling reason is improved consumer reach; a staggering – yet these days unsurprising – 95% of a brand’s audience will have a smartphone with them at all times, and a company which curates its messaging cleverly stands to create a truly engaged user. Additionally, whilst traditional apps are used only sporadically, or intensely for a short period of time, mobile media channels provide users with year-round content – and provide brands with the regular opportunity to engage the content they crave.

By flipping the traditional media model on its head so that consumers can view the web based on their passions rather than by content source, the brands that RightNow Digital works with can curate the news and information pertaining to a subject they like, then provide its user-base with a feed of almost unlimited information on the team or league they love. Why then would their audiences go anywhere else?

There are also a myriad of opportunities afforded by mobile media platforms which offer the ability for brands to communicate directly with consumers. By owning the wider stream of information, they can insert their own selected content pieces: promotions, offers and brand-specific information can all be pinned to the top of the feed to boost visibility, or even timed to appear when they would have the most impact. Channel marketers can capture data on every item viewed by users to measure their engagement, and can give a new lease of life to successful social updates that are visible on one platform but lack visibility elsewhere.

Ever-closer levels of scrutiny mean that marketing, digital and sponsorship departments are justifying spend like never before, so this new approach means that apps which aren’t used almost-daily will soon be history, and mobile media channels will be the future.

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