I helped Create!t design, plan and build a first-in-class Content Marketing engine used by consumer brands like Nike and Redbull. The team approached me after launching their initial product and struggling to find traction in a crowded market of marketing solutions providers.
2014 - Consulting product lead partnered with founding team
They needed a value prop and product functionality for customers motivated by advertising metrics
Package and sell a Content Marketing solution for brands to engage and build their social audience
Introduce Content Management tools and a custom API for publishing to social channels
How it Works
Brands use Create!t's platform to host an opportunity and seed their audience for content creation.
Create!t distributes the highest performing content to social channels for marketing and engagement
Paid media amplifies the top stories to maximize audience reach and branding impact
To maximize effectiveness and minimize cognitive overhead, we decided to focus our content output on one type of media: Link Share Stories
Link Share Stories are the largest "ad unit" on the most trafficked property on the Internet. I say "ad unit" because these are visually rich, clickable pieces of real estate in Facebook’s Newsfeed. Just how big are these things?
Let me break it down for you:
- 526x275 clickable image
- 526x100 for the clickable Title, Description and Source info at the bottom
- 526x375 of clickable space directing users to an offsite property
To support this new vision, we designed a custom API suite to connect the ingested content with the Facebook pages of the brands using our platform.
Our focus on the Link Share Page Post allowed us to isolate 4 tasks to solve for scheduling, publishing, and page post insights. A set of API calls was designed to automate these tasks for every brand's Facebook page.
This data transfer would allow a Create.it Campaign Manager to carry out these 4 functions on the frontend.
Designing for Trust
There is a significant element of Trust required for brands to allow 3rd party publishing tools access to their closely-guarded social media presence. This in mind, I believe it is maximally beneficial to provide publishing tools that promote clarity and transparency, and the best way to do that is to make your tools look exactly like the end product in mind.
This is known as a WYSIWYG (pronounced "wizēˌwiɡ"), or What You See Is What You Get editor.
By designing an editable Link Share post, we can allow admins to customize their media in a composer that looks exactly like how it will be displayed to their audience on Facebook.
Starting with rough sketches, we can play with various arrangements of necessary elements, focusing on content selection, curation, scheduling and performance data.
Fortunately, tens of millions has already been invested in developing 3rd party tools to publish content to Facebook. By drawing from the most successful tools in market today, we can get a good sense for validated design solutions in this space. Eventually, we would decide to focus on Publishing and Scheduling as the primary view state (similar to loved social publishing tools such as Buffer) and relegate Insights into a separate tab.
We continued testing our design hypothesis by wiring together prototypes and gathering feedback for further iterations before shipping specs and designs for development.
Here's an example of one such prototype (created with Invision) that allows us to walk through the post scheduling and curation flow.
Create.it is now in the market selling a content marketing solution to agencies and clients direct. They’ve inked deals with 10 different clients with revenue of $50k-150k each (depending on the quantity and length of campaigns). Live campaigns can be viewed on their landing page at Create.it.
Create!t has an opportunity to help nurture a vibrant consumer community for the thousands of brands yet to find their feet in the social ecosystem. By owning and managing these communities, Create!t can control and fine tune this process, but I believe there is great potential to expand this offering into a flexible consumer-generated CMS for any property on the web.