Social media can play a pivotal role in the buying decisions of today’s consumers. Liquid Newsroom saw a chance to help its clients ensure their products are always part of the online conversation.
Liquid Newsroom uses IBM® Watson Analytics™ for Social Media to capture and analyze data from social media sources, and help clients push relevant content to consumers via any channel at all times.
Deliversrapid insight to help clients control the narrative around their products
Streamlinesanalysts’ workflows with seamless social media data capture and analysis
95% fasterexploration of new datasets—cutting time-to-insight from days to hours
Business challenge story
Embracing contextual storytelling
When it comes to launching an online campaign, today’s marketers are faced with a bewildering array of options, especially when it comes to social media platforms.
With so many ways of reaching customers, how can you find the best way to get your message across to the right audience at the right time in the right place, focusing on the subjects which really matter? And how can you control the narrative to make sure your brands and products are presented to potential customers in the right light, increasing the relevance of your messages?
Liquid Newsroom was founded to help its clients answer these questions using its own proprietary and web-based platform, which includes artificial intelligence, social graph analytics, machine learning, and cognitive computing for something known as contextual storytelling. Its web-based technology platform generates streams of content—news stories, articles, blog posts and so on—that are curated to appeal to specific markets, and which help to ensure that its clients’ products and brands are seen and heard in the right context—helping to build stronger brands, and potentially improve the chances of conversion.
Steffen Konrath, CEO of Liquid Newsroom, explains how the process works: “When a new client comes to us for advice about how to improve their presence in a particular market, the first step is to gain an understanding of what that market looks like from a conversational point of view. What themes are thriving? Who are the most important influencers? What conversations are hot, and how do they differ based on location, demographics, or time of day?
“Using traditional methods, surveying a new ‘information market’ would take us five or six days. We wanted to find a way to explore this data more quickly and efficiently, helping us understand the scope of a new project and provide initial advice for our clients in hours, rather than days.”
Uncovering new markets
As a technology company itself, Liquid Newsroom quickly realized that the answer to its market survey challenge also lay in technology—in particular, in the domain of social media analytics.
Steffen Konrath comments: “When we saw the IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media solution, we recognized its power. It offers us a single, integrated environment for social media data capture and analysis. We realized that this would help us understand the shape of a market much more quickly and intuitively, and that none of the existing tools out there came even close to what we needed at that point in our projects.”
Since the IBM solution is available as a cloud service, Liquid Newsroom was able to create an account and start experimenting with it immediately, with no up-front costs or infrastructure investments.
“As a cloud service, it fits perfectly into our working environment,” says Steffen Konrath. “Liquid Newsroom supports work-life balance, and we wanted to support our team members’ personal decisions to work wherever they want while having access to best-of-class tools.
“We picked up the basics very quickly, and we find it easy and fun to use. The workflow is simple: you define the topics, themes and keywords that you want to look for, and the Watson Analytics for Social Media solution shows how closely those themes align with the data it collects.
“You then iterate this process until you are confident that you have categorized the majority of the Tweets, posts or comments about a given topic effectively. Then you can combine it with other datasets—for example, we can upload data about the demographics or conversion rates of certain groups of customers, and find correlations with their social media behavior.”
Liquid Newsroom can then use these insights to guide the design of its news curation algorithms, and deliver streams of content that are truly engaging for consumers. It can also advise clients on how to align their product or brand messages with the rest of the content in the stream, and potentially increase their appeal for consumers.
Controlling the conversation
With advanced analytics at its fingertips, Liquid Newsroom has already been able to streamline its processes for surveying new information markets. By helping users follow suggestions and reach insights more quickly, the IBM solution helps to expand the company’s analytics horizons while saving significant amounts of time.
“Instead of spending a week or more on an initial market survey, we can cut through the chatter and get to the truly relevant data in just a few hours,” says Steffen Konrath. “That’s a time-saving of up to 95 percent for our analysts, and it means that we can start delivering insight to our clients in days, not weeks.”
He adds: “It’s quite beautiful that you can pull in social media data, upload your own data, and analyze everything all in one place. That’s a real breakthrough for usability.”
Communicating the findings to clients has also become considerably easier. The IBM solution automatically suggests appropriate ways to present each set of results, and generates visualizations within seconds.
“We particularly like the decision tree visualizations, which offer great clarity,” comments Steffen Konrath. “And it’s very simple to export them as presentations, so we can easily walk our clients through our findings and explain what we’ve discovered about their products and markets.”
Building on these early successes, the company has already started to expand its use of both Watson Analytics for Social Media and other cognitive technologies from IBM.
“The long-term vision is even more ambitious,” says Steffen Konrath. “We are already starting to use some of the IBM Watson™ APIs to support better targeting. For example, we can use the Watson Personality Insights API to better understand individual information needs and see if our clients’ marketing content matches those requirements.”
Another intriguing possibility is to use IBM Watson Knowledge Studio and IBM Campaign software to automate the curation process by using machine learning techniques to “read” content, classify its themes, and push it automatically to appropriate channels—a process which is currently handled by Liquid Newsroom’s expert content analysts.
“There is always going to be a human element to content curation and targeting, but there is huge potential for cognitive computing to augment and accelerate our human capabilities,” concludes Steffen Konrath. “We see these IBM solutions as a key tool to help us deliver the most relevant, engaging content at an unprecedented scale—empowering brands to control their online narratives and reach new markets.”
Liquid Newsroom aims to be the leading platform for real-time communication and contextual storytelling. The company helps clients manage their narratives by providing solid data about the structure and patterns of information markets, and by distributing news to consumers via the most appropriate platforms, both online and offline, in real time.
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