Adobe announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Livefyre. Known for tools to collect, manage and publish user generated content, Livefyre has to date been used primarily by social and content marketing teams. As all marketing channels become more content hungry, this deal signals a recognition that feeding the content beast with relevant, timely content is increasingly challenging for all marketers.
A healthy content marketing program should include three main content sources: created, cultivated and curated content. This extends beyond just content marketing programs and into the broader marketing practice of developing content – be it for your website, ecommerce store, social channels or programmatic advertising. Without leveraging all the potential content sources, it is nearly impossible for any brand to scale production to meet the needs of real-time, personalized content.
How does Adobe’s acquisition position them in terms of meeting a marketing teams’ total content needs?
- Creation — Original rendering of text, videos, images, infographics and e-books, for example. Creative Cloud is Adobe’s solution to this core marketing problem and has afforded them historical access to the design-minded marketer. Growing linkages between the creative and marketing cloud bode well for a unified approach to creation.
- Curation — Discovery, acquisition, organization and annotation of third-party content. The Livefyre acquisition adds these capabilities to the company’s arsenal from a UGC standpoint – but leaves room for the addition of common freelancer or vendor sourced content workflow features. The stated intention to integrate Livefyre into Adobe Experience Manager should provide marketers a seamless way to onboard UGC into a variety of publishing outlets and marketing channels.
- Cultivation — Invitation to the community to contribute content on your behalf. Lack of direct community management capability could be a gap, however many marketers use social tools to engage and invite their communities to participate on each respective channel, then using tools like Livefyre to aggregate and publish derivative works (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest).
I’ve been watching the content marketing space for years and have been (im)patiently awaiting what I suspect will be the first in a series of acquisitions, mergers and general consolidation that is bound to happen in the fragmented space. Our Market Guide for Content Marketing (login required), which includes Livefyre, has no less than seven major categories for content marketing vendor types – ripe for rationalization with an inconsistent match up of capabilities across the board. Most of the larger marketing platform vendors have yet to delve into this area (with the exception of Oracle’s 2013 Compendium acquisition), but I am hopeful that they will.
The domain of editorial planning, workflow, curation and measurement that was once the domain of the discrete content marketing team is now a major topic for marketing leaders across the company. Any marketing cloud that doesn’t recognize this is missing a key opportunity to help marketers hone their craft, increase their relevance and improve their results.