When I started my social media agency in 2007 I knew the emerging new media industry needed to streamline and fill a growing void between public relations and advertising. Born was WeReward earlier this year and the advent of Social Media Sponsorships.
A social media sponsorship is a rapidly emerging word of mouth strategy that enables brands to provide material compensation, such as cash, coupons, products, points, trips, etc. to social media publishers to promote and/or review their products and services through blog posts, status updates, checkins, or other unique experiences.
“It not only validates that social media sponsorships are becoming an increasing important tool for marketers, but the projected rate of growth indicates that brand marketers will continue to become part of the conversation and build relationships with consumers through their social networks, whether that be on their computer or mobile device.” Said Ted Murphy, Founder and CEO of IZEA.
“The cascade of new media platforms and technologies have led to significant changes in consumer media use, which has forced brands to rethink long-held beliefs about effective strategies to reach target audiences,” said Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media. “The availability of content through the internet, mobile devices and social networks, the difficulty of reaching more elusive target consumers, and the transformation of personal communications due to these developments have made it more important than ever for brands to invest in strategies to engage target consumers in captive locations for extended periods of time through the power of emotional connections.”
A recent Social Media Sponsorship Forecast spotlights on a clear consumer brand marketing trend toward increased adoption of Digital Sponsored Conversations, Digital Brand Ambassador Programs, Digital Seed/Viral Campaigns and Digital Marketing Agencies.
Social media sponsorship spending is expected to jump 23.6% in 2010, reaching $56.8 million, propelled by an improving advertising and marketing environment, increased social media usage as a share of time spent online, and more brands requiring WoMM campaigns to include a social media proponent. Non-cash sponsored social media will continue to demand the lion’s share of spending, but cash-sponsored social media will exhibit faster growth, driven by new services, particularly those linked to mobile phone applications. Similar to the 2009 results, social media sponsorship will significantly outperform the single-digit growth expected for the overall advertising and marketing industry, as non-digital media segments continue to struggle.