Google Loves Wildfire

Google has recently announced its intention to acquire Wildfire, a company that runs targeted marketing campaigns for firms via the full range of social media platforms. Although the exact details have not been released, analysts have estimated the price at $250 million [£160m] plus performance incentives.

The acquisition of Wildfire is in line with Google’s ethos, which is based on providing customers with relevant, targeted search results and builds on previous acquisitions, such as DoubleClick, Admeld, Invite Media and Teracent. According to commentators, the purchase of Wildfire will provide social media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ with increased advertising income.

Wildfire provides a platform for companies to manage their social media in one place, incorporating pages, tweets, apps, videos, advertising, promotions and sponsorship. According to the company it enables organisations and agencies to increase, engage and monetise its audience – “helping brands run and measure their social engagement and ad campaigns across the entire web and across all social services – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more – and to deliver rich and satisfying experiences for their consumers.”

Wildfire was formed in 2008 and has around 16,000 customers, including 30 of the world’s top 50 brands, among which are Sony, Amazon and Virgin Atlantic. The company has also launched social media marketing UK campaigns for clients such as Clarks and Yorkshire Tea. The company’s co-founders, New Zealanders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, will join Google.

Google’s Product Management Director, Jason Miller said in his blog that the acquisition would allow businesses to use social media more effectively to engage with customers. “People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one).”

Miller further added: “With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.”

Google is expected to use Wildfire to strengthen its Google+ social media offering. Earlier this year the company launched social search, which married the social media platform with its Google search engine. This utilised the recommendations of people’s circle of connections, so that when a person’s connections highlighted a search result by +1’ing it, it would appear as a top result in new searches for the person. The reasoning was that users would be interested in searches that their own connections had recommended. For Google it also allows the company to target advertising effectively.

As an example of how this works in practice, if a user were to google pubs in a city and one of their circle had +1’ed a particular one, then an advertisement would appear at the top of their search results, with an indication that the particular bar has been recommended by one of their connections. The strength of this for Google is that people are more likely to click on such results and this in turn will allow the search engine to charge companies a premium Cost per Click (CPC).

About The Author

Jag Ture, Cayenne Red.

Jag is a member of the digital marketing agency team at London based PPC Agency Cayenne Red. She has been writing for over five years, and is a regular contributor to the media on how companies market themselves in the digital age.

Matthew Marley

Matthew Marley is a SEO specialist from Glasgow Scotland with a passion for the web and emerging technologies. With over 9 years experience Matthew specialises in SEO and has worked with some of the worlds biggest brands.

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