Google has acquired Wildfire Interactive, a startup that helps companies manage their marketing and advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
Adding Wildfire will enable Google to offer companies a way to market across a variety of social sites alongside other ad products. The search giant already has its Google Analytics service, which measures traffic to websites, as well as its DoubleClick service for advertisers to run campaigns. Wildfire enables companies to manage status messages, pages, advertising, promotions and analytics on a variety of social platforms.
Wildfire’s clients include Virgin, Cirque du Soleil, Gilt Group and Spotify. Google can now offer marketers traditional display ads as well as social ads across different sites. Large companies have recently been snapping up social media marketing startups. Salesforce recently bought Buddy Media for $689 million in cash and stock. Oracle also recently acquired Vitrue for a reported $300 million.
Wildfire CEO Victoria Ransom recently said in an interview that the Wildfire has a vast amount of data about user behavior and demographics. The company can use this data to target campaigns to very specific sets of users as well as the most “influential” users on social sites. “We can identify who these people are and provide rich insights,” she said. “Brands can provide the right content to the most engaged users.”
So is this a reason not to jump on board with Google+? Actually no, because most brands are now on Google+ even though their fans aren’t yet, and a k key reason is that merely being there appears to help brands show up more prominently in search results. BrightEdge says 30% of brands with Google+ pages show up on search results when people type in their brand name, so it’s obviously clear that brand managers feel they must have a presence on Google+ if they want to show up more often in search results.
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