Interview with Josh Decker, Chief Executive Officer, Tagboard

Josh Decker
Josh Decker

“One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is finding a way to break through the noise and drive meaningful engagement.”

Tell us about your role at Tagboard. What inspired you to establish the company?

Tagboard was founded in 2011 as a social search and display platform, allowing communities to search for content using hashtags across social networks, and then display that content online via web or mobile properties, on broadcast TV or in a stadium. My vision in founding Tagboard was to bring communities together and foster new opportunities for connection, regardless of where the conversation was happening. As we grew, brands across categories and community leaders adopted Tagboard to engage their audience across social channels in a more impactful way, while also integrating and displaying live social content beyond the app.

Can you share an overview of how Tagboard works and the benefits for brands and marketers?

Today, Tagboard is a trusted, real-time social media content syndication partner for major brands across industries. We support companies in broadcast, sports and events — giving them the tools to discover and curate social media content, and then instantly share that content with audiences across every screen. The top brands we work with include Adidas, Nike, Amazon, Comcast, Hershey’s, Pabst, Microsoft, Samsung, and Starbucks.

In addition, we support hundreds of broadcast networks such as NBC Universal, Telemundo and Weather Channel, as well as professional sports teams around the world. This season, we’ll be working with 15 NFL teams, as well as ongoing partnerships with teams across MLB, NBA, NHL and other pro sports leagues internationally.

Brands and marketers can leverage Tagboard to discover live content and conversations across social channels (using a hashtag or advanced search) and then license and display that content across their properties, including broadcast TV, digital marketing channels, big screens, and ad campaigns.

When someone publicly posts or shares live content anywhere on social, Tagboard pulls that content into a centralized online location. By displaying content beyond the app, Tagboard helps brands and marketers break down silos, bring communities together, and turn up the conversational volume.

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers today in your opinion?

Digital and social media is incredibly saturated. One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is finding a way to break through the noise and drive meaningful engagement. If you’re a forward-thinking brand, you’re probably already considering how to make your content strategy more compelling, concise and addictive. If the trends are telling us anything, it’s that demand for video and live content isn’t slowing down. Being able to tell your story in micro-moments, across all properties, has never been more important.

In the coming years, we’ll continue to see increased investment by brands in live, ephemeral and hyper-local content across platforms. As an example, TEGNA recently partnered with Tagboard and Snapchat to bring public stories from Snapchat Maps to local broadcasts around the US.

What are the biggest opportunities for brands today with live content across platforms, and display of that content beyond the app?

With live content now driving stronger engagement with audiences than any other media type, brands are increasingly shifting their marketing dollars to live social platforms (and display types) ahead of traditional channels.

We’re living in an omni-screen world with social content increasingly living outside of their respective apps; they’re being displayed online, on mobile apps, on live TV, at events and more. Brands that capitalize on this trend can generate impressive social growth and retention.

In fact, Tagboard sports clients are seeing engagement increase by 20% or more within the hour when live-story content is displayed on-screen and in-stadium on game days.

You recently launched Tagboard Producer to help content producers elevate their social storytelling during live TV and events. Can you talk more about what the tool offers and some of the key benefits?

We’re seeing incredible momentum with broadcast partners for Tagboard Producer. Social storytelling is a critical part of live broadcasts today. Until now, there weren’t a lot of options for producers to be able to seamlessly integrate live social content on-air.

Tagboard Producer solves this problem, allowing producers to create stunning displays and stories from any social content. They get to control that content in real-time and edit the story on the fly. It works like the video editing tools production teams already use on a daily basis and has a simple control interface for both on-air talent and the team in the booth.

Most importantly, all our clients who use Tagboard Producer say it’s easy. Many networks have already found success with it. Turner Sports leveraged Tagboard earlier this year to engage with fans’ live social content during March Madness and the NBA Playoffs while the Latin Billboards turned to Tagboard to produce live social content on-air during their awards show.

In short, Tagboard Producer allows you to access any of your Tagboards and the content you’ve featured across Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and bring it into your live broadcast story.

Tapping into the power of user-generated content (UGC) is more important than ever for brands. Can you talk more about the opportunity for brands with UGC on live platforms?

Customers today are more inclined to trust a brand that shares UGC than their own branded content. Sponsorship and creation of live social content by brands is not only driving growth in terms of reach, but also through valuable organic engagement as fans share their own UGC live in the moment.

As brands look to do more with live UGC, one of the biggest challenges is being able to move quickly to secure rights and display it when and where it’s going to have the most impact. Tagboard helps solve this problem with our Content Rights & Consent Product, which offers brands a much simpler workflow to request use rights for UGC.

By using Tagboard to discover relevant content, engage with the creator, and display that content, marketers are able to inspire evangelism and increase their overall reach while connecting with third-party validation, which ultimately builds credibility.

How do you see marketers, sports teams and broadcast networks evolving their approach to live content?

Live social content across platforms has completely changed the way we stay connected, entertained, and how we interact with live TV broadcasts and events in the moment. In 30 days, more video content is uploaded to social media than the top US television networks have broadcast in the past 30 years.

As more families cut the cord and people alter their consumption patterns, broadcast networks, brands and sports teams are jumping on the trend in a big way — with reactions from fans around the world now interwoven as a part of their storytelling.

This summer, Snapchat announced a direct integration partnership with Tagboard and several other companies to make publicly shared Snap content available to news organizations. In June, Instagram also launched IGTV, allowing content creators to share videos up to one hour in length. In the future, we’re only going to see this trend accelerate as brands continue to tap into live, ephemeral and hyper-local content across platforms.

For networks and brands today, success demands weaving together the best social content, stories and conversations into live events they air and the stories they tell. By partnering with Tagboard, brands have the ability to search and curate the best content for their story and distribute to any connected screen (broadcast, live stream, digital out of home, websites, and mobile properties).

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

That’s a tough one, but I definitely can’t live without Slack. I still use Snapchat and Twitter daily. Reddit is one I find myself utilizing more and more.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

As a leader, delegate responsibility and authority to your team and then get out of their way. It will mean fewer meetings for you and more growth for them.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

My most recent read was Lost and Founder by fellow Seattlite and founder of MOZ, Rand Fishkin. My more casual content consumption comes via Reddit and Twitter.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Focus is like a cheat code. The more focused you can be as a company, the harder it will be for others to compete with you in that area. It is better to be the very best at one thing than a master of nothing.

Thank you, Josh! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Josh Decker is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tagboard, a trusted Social Media display partner for sports, entertainment, and broadcast media companies. He’s also the company’s lead evangelist. With a vision of a platform that would connect people and ideas from multiple social communities using hashtags, Josh’s dream became a reality in 2011 when Tagboard officially launched. Josh is a lifelong entrepreneur with several ventures in the technology and automotive spaces, including QuattroWorld.com, the world’s largest Audi discussion community. His passions include cars and motorsports, football, golf, and his family.

TagboardTagboard is the easiest way to discover social media and quickly share it with your audience, no matter the size. Tagboards are used by thousands of brands, sporting teams, and media companies to create billions of impressions. You can see them embedded on websites, integrated into mobile apps, shown on large displays and live broadcast worldwide.

We’re all about community. Tagboard was founded in 2011 to help strengthen community. Our headquarters are located in Redmond, Washington, USA, and we have offices around the globe.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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