Social media marketing has fast emerged as the new advertising channel for marketers. Social networking on a range of different sites from news, music, videos and others had created an unprecedented channel for word of mouth and viral spread of stories of all sorts. Marketers and advertisers are still exploring the best ways of exploiting this new channel where the signal to noise ratio is better than most other channels right now. Publishers and application developers that have built these social destinations are also working hard to figure out the best ways to monetize their creations.
There is a big gap in the space right now, though. Traditional marketers don't understand social interaction and how to market it without being intrusive. Publishers and application developers, on the other hand, lack the sales experience to build ad models and bring in large advertisers. A quick look at the Facebook application landscape is a great proof of this situation. This gap has let to the emergence of companies like Appsavvy which claims to closely understand social media marketing and has relationships and experience in advertising sales. They are now acting as an outsourced ad sales team for social application companies. This is just the beginning though and we will see a lot more happening in this space which is poised for a lot of growth in the coming years.
Companies like Votigo are also bridging this same gap by way of providing the social media technology know-how to traditional advertisers who don't understand this new social trend as well, at least right now. There will be a fundamental change in the way advertising will be bought and sold in the social media world. Social media publishers and application developers will soon be forced to build their own sales teams for selling directly to brands as well as ad agencies who manage ad budgets for large brands and this will extend to smaller companies and brands as well.
And in this scenario, I see a big opportunity for B2B marketers to jump in and help build a social media ad sales machine taking lessons for B2B enterprise software and hardware sales. Lists of ad agencies, lists of brand managers, lists of advertising managers and lists of online marketing managers will become central to social media companies who are looking to build their direct sales teams which will drive better deals and more importantly allow them to work directly with their customers to figure out social media marketing ideas and concepts, rather than have to work with ad sales middlemen who are focused on selling inventory only.
Social media marketing is not about ad inventory sales at all. It is about creatively figuring out a campaign that may work the best for a brand in the context of a social interaction amongst its customers. The early adopters who get this will have a lot on their plates. At ReadyContacts, we are definitely big believers in this opportunity and are starting to work with social media companies to build lists of advertising managers and stakeholders as well as to create profiles of advertisers which might fit a particular social media application. Its a new world out there and I'd love to know what you think.
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