Sometimes you come across an idea that is so simple you wonder why you didn't think of it first. That was what crossed my mind when talking to Paul Berry this week and reviewing the RebelMouse platform for enterprises. The publishing platform allows you to create content hubs or campaign sites very quickly and cost-effectively by bringing together your owned content, social content and advertising content. The idea is simple, powerful and well executed.
Paul was previously the CTO of Huffington Post, where he developed the intuitive publishing platform that helped the site become a viral phenomenon. Paul saw the opportunity to create an easy to use publishing platform that pulled together social content and other content, including advertising, into a single place. He also recognized it had to be a platform that worked everywhere including mobile. This led to the first RebelMouse platform which is a free personal publishing platform.
I had previously played with this free version of RebelMouse and saw it mainly as another aggregator publishing platform. I set up my own page and bought in images and content from my social feeds in much the same way as say Flipboard or Hypemarks.
The platform worked well and enabled me to pull together content quickly and easily but I wasn't sure if people would come to my RebelMouse page or follow me on RebelMouse. In short whilst I liked the way it worked, it was clever and intuitive, I wasn't convinced by the potential for it to be everyone's social frontpage.
Enter Rebel Enterprise
Last year the team launched a new product Rebel Enterprise, a SaaS publishing platform for enterprises. Once I began to look at how companies could use the enterprise publishing platform, I immediately saw the potential and wondered why I hadn't seen it before. Campaign sites and content hubs can be created remarkably quickly and easily using the publishing approach developed by the RebelMouse team.
In essence with Rebel Enterprise you can use similar features to the free RebelMouse platform but create beautifully crafted websites that integrate content such as blog posts, social content and advertising. There are three things about the enterprise platform that really stand out for me:
embedded content with editorial control
efficiency and speed of set up
the focus on amplifying your content
1. Embedded Content with Controls
What is clever about the platform is the editorial control you have over what is aggregated and displayed on your web page. It doesn't simply pull in everything but gives you control over what is displayed. The idea is very simple, embedded content with controls.
For example, you can feature your user advocates by setting Favorited tweets to post to your RebelMouse page. This means your team members can effectively publish community tweets from any device simply by 'favoriting' them.
You can set a range of rules for publishing content to control what is displayed, for example social content containing certain hashtags. You can also generate engagement with Twitter shoutouts by notifying a social media user that their tweet, image or article has been included on your brand's web page. This can generate a positive reaction and more sharing.
The notion of social content has been gaining ground even if the definition is still not precise. Some tweets though clearly deserve more than the very short life they live on Twitter. The RebelMouse platform is designed to support and utilize this social content by bringing it together into a single place.
2. Speed of Set Up
The key for me is the speed at which you can create campaign sites or content hubs that reuse existing content. Effectively Rebel Enterprise provides you with a turnkey solution to create a dynamic campaign site in a matter of minutes.
The set up is so fast you can even respond in real time, thus if you see a big spike in Twitter activity around a topic you can create a RebelMouse web page within minutes bringing together the best social media content and other content for that topic.
The nature of the platform means that you can also build landing pages on the fly for new ideas and test them out.
The focus is on developing a fast, quick and robust product. As you might expect from a team previously involved with HuffPo they are obsessive about scalability and performance of the platform.
3. Amplifying your Content
The focus of RebelMouse is on content and specifically on social content marketing. The platform is designed to unite disparate content and to make the maximum use of your existing content. In essence to amplify your content through reuse and aggregation. The aggregation approach means you don't have to leave your current CMS or switch technology, however, you can use the platform as a social CMS to create brand new sites if you want.
GE started using RebelMouse as an aggregation platform as it helped them bring together fragmented content from social sites, owned sites and from advertising content. The platform though can do far more than content aggregation with built in design features that allow enterprises to create new attractive sites. Design is an important element and Paul was keen to ensure the platform could create beautiful designs for a permanent web presence as well as a time limited campaign site. Below are two distinct sites. Thedodo.com is an example of a permanent web presence powered by RebelMouse whereas Catching Fire is a time limited campaign site.
This focus on design and wider applicability persuaded GE to move beyond using the platform as an aggregation site and RebelMouse now powers part of their permanent website presence.
It is easy to see why the platform is used by big TV shows; and why enterprises and individuals with large followings would adopt it. You can launch specific pages or campaigns that bring together existing content quickly and very efficiently.
A Transformational Publishing Platform?
The team at RebelMouse helped reinvent publishing at Huffington Post and they are now aiming to reinvent how brands operate as publishers with Rebel Enterprise. The platform integrates owned, earned and paid media as it brings together blog content, social content and adverts. You can also create real time ads with Rebel Enterprise which update dynamically based on rules you set.
It is easy to see how Rebel Enterprise could transform brand publishing, particuarly for campaign style sites or content hubs, through:
- using embedded and aggregated content based on clear rules
- bringing together owned content, social content and advertising
- the quick and efficient creation of web sites leading to lower costs
Simple ideas, well executed, with clear benefits make great products. It is no surprise to see an increasing number of big brands such as Time, Burger King and Samsung now using the Rebel Enterprise publishing platform.
To find out more about Rebel Enterprise, go to https://www.rebelmouse.com/static/welcome/marketers-and-agencies.html