How We Built Matcha into a Comprehensive Content Solution
The story of Matcha is steeped in experience with content and harkens back to the summer of 2011.
That summer, inspired to uncover the degree to which outdoor recreation played a role in the lives of millennials, I drove 16,000 miles around the U.S. and Canada interviewing hundreds of college students. Along the way, I realized that information online about where to go to enjoy the outdoors, from a simple hike, to a more epic trail run or backpacking experience, was fragmented and often poor in quality.
Our beginnings as RootsRated
Between 2012 and 2016, RootsRated assembled an expert editorial team and network of top freelance writers and photographers. Along the way, we became experts in content creation, distribution, and measurement—creating more than 8,000 original articles, experimenting constantly with email marketing, paid social, SEO, and at every step, investing in technology and data analysis to understand both great performance and less than successful performance.
In late 2014, the RootsRated team had begun to notice and think deeply about two trends in marketing, advertising, and publishing.
- Digital advertising was aggressively shifting from publishers to content aggregators (namely Facebook and Google), forcing marketers to think and function increasingly as publishers—something that most small marketing teams struggled to do.
- Personalization was becoming the battle ground for digital marketers, and content was increasingly the fuel of the buyer’s journey—driving customer behavior throughout the funnel.
Built Content Software
In light of these trends, we made the decision in early 2015 to begin developing content marketing software and services to help lean marketing teams achieve success with content marketing by overcoming common challenges around content production, distribution, and measurement.
In 2016, we launched this technology to help marketers in the outdoor and travel industries scale content production and measure the results. Paired with the platform, we provided content services to our customers in the form of original content production, distribution management, and data analysis.
The collective experience derived from RootsRated has informed much of the Matcha product philosophy, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide lean marketing teams with software and services that help them marry the art and the science of storytelling to grow their businesses.
Guiding our product philosophy are 3 core beliefs:
- The power of content to engage an audience, create brand engagement and loyalty, and to drive sustainable growth
- Scientific storytelling that leverages data to provide insight about target audiences, show how content is influencing revenue, and driving marketing performance
- The lean marketing team should be able to punch-above their weight, even with a marketing team of one and limited budget
We believe in the power of stories, and we believe that when storytelling is both artful and scientific, lean marketing teams deliver more meaningful customer experiences.
2012 — RootsRated.com founded to answer the question, “where to go outdoors?”
2013-2016 — RootsRated.com grows into one of the largest outdoor discovery platforms, along the way, building editorial expertise, publishing more than 8,000 articles, building website traffic to more than 500,000 visitors/month, and learning how to measure and analyze content data
2015 — Two trends influence RootsRated to transition from publishing business to content marketing SaaS:
- First, digital advertising was aggressively shifting from publishers to content aggregators (namely Facebook and Google), forcing brand marketers to think and function increasingly as publishers
- Second, personalization was becoming the battle ground for digital marketers, and content was increasingly the fuel of the buyer’s journey — driving customer behavior throughout the funnel
2016 — The company launches Compass, a proprietary content marketing platform, to help marketers in the outdoor and travel industries scale content production and measure the results.
2018 — RootsRated raises Series A from TechOperators, relocates company from Chattanooga, TN to Atlanta, GA, and rebrands as Matcha.