Content Marketing: From B2B to C2C

This is a continuation of SiliconANGLE’s coverage on the growing sector of content marketing.  Yesterday, we looked at how content marketing providers are focusing on the B2B aspect of their products.

There’s been a bit of activity in this space.  XYDO launched an email marketing solution for businesses, LoopLogic announced a platform that found a new way to mix, share, and analyze real-time results of video, and other content to provide B2B marketers better insight into their content marketing performance, while thismoment announced their acquisition of Position2 Brand Monitor resulting in the mash-up technology thismoment Brand Monitor that enables companies to listen to product or service related conversations across social media, blogs, news and forums in real time.

From B2B to C2C

But other companies are focusing on the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) side of their business through social marketing.  Companies are leveraging the fact that people are largely using social networking sites more than other forms of communication.  According to a study from eVoc Insights, 87% of consumers in the U.S. access at least one social network regularly, and more than 50% use a smartphone or a tablet in doing so.

Vitrue, a social marketing platform, announced the release of major analytics enhancements to its Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform bringing brands deeper, real-time and more comprehensive engagement metrics by combining Vitrue’s propriety technology with Facebook’s complete measurement suite and web analytics integrations via Adobe Omniture, Webtrends, Google Analytics and Coremetrics. The resulting product now gives marketers the most robust and innovative analytics suite available within a full-service SMMS.

Vitrue now offers an analytics product that delivers more than 120 different metric types. With insights on engagement, global perspectives of fan demographics and metrics, time navigation abilities and visibility across the web, Vitrue’s latest release gives companies a complete view of all of their social activity—within Facebook and across the web—to help drive better customer loyalty through direct, relevant and targeted content.

“Providing our clients with the most superior social marketing platform is always our No. 1 priority, and this latest version of our analytics product delivers the most comprehensive and meaningful metrics suite available within a full-service social platform,” said Reggie Bradford, CEO and founder of Vitrue.

“With the continued importance placed on social, brands need powerful, real-time metrics to measure their social efforts and understand how it impacts their entire digital footprint. We look forward to continuing to enhance and upgrade our analytics suite to meet and exceed our partners’ social needs.”

And C2C is catching the attention of investors.  Extole announced it has closed a $10 million Series C round of funding led by Shasta Ventures, with participation from existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Trident Capital. The new round of funding brings the company’s total financing to $22 million.

Extole marks the first Shasta investment for Jim Barnett, who joined the firm as a partner in November 2011 and has served as Extole’s Chairman of the Board since 2009.

The new round of funding follows a year of explosive growth for Extole in 2011, including record revenue, new customer acquisition, product development, and team expansion. The company will use the new funding to fuel growth, scale operations, and accelerate product and platform investments. With a year-over-year revenue increase of 400 percent in 2011, coupled with a strong demand for Extole’s solutions, the company is on track to have another record-breaking year in 2012.

“Brands have a massive opportunity to tap into an entirely new, high-value marketing channel by harnessing the power and reach of their social advocates with C2C Social Marketing. At the same time, our platform also improves the performance of existing marketing channels, such as SEO and display,” said Brad Klaus, CEO of Extole. “The market opportunity is validated by our incredible growth trajectory. We’re thrilled by the vote of confidence from Shasta and our existing investors.”

Extole’s C2C Social Marketing Platform makes it easy for brands to power social referral programs, social promotions, social testimonials, and robust social analytics.  With Extole, brands drive highly qualified new customers and sales through social referrals, boost traffic and awareness with rich social content, and gain deep insight into customer behavior across their social graphs.  Extole’s more than 200 customers span retail, eCommerce, media, technology, entertainment, automotive, and more.  Customers include Shutterfly, Redbox, Zazzle, AAA, Kate Spade, and SkyMall.

Even the medical field is milking the benefits of social marketing.  Boehringer Ingelheim, makers of Dulcolax, Zantac, and an array of prescription medications, is developing a game called Syrum that lets players attack deadly diseases from their own virtual laboratories, discover new drugs, market them, and share and work with friends on Facebook.  The game is in beta since last year.  BI’s strategy is quite simple, as users play their online game, BI is able to impart their company’s knowledge on how drugs are made and what these drugs do to the body.  By being transparent, they’re gaining the trust of the consumers, so when people get sick, they turn to the brand that they know and trust, BI.  Other pharma companies are also open to this kind of marketing like Pfizer.