Mashable’s Bet on Real-Time Marketing

The real-time marketing era is upon us and Mashable wants to cash in.

At March’s SXSW, the social publication rolled out a unit that takes a brand’s social assets — tweets, vines, Instagram photos, etc — and puts them in an ad unit that runs on Mashable. They look just like Mashable editorial content, and in some cases, written by Mashable editors, like this BMW-sponsored story about riding around town on an electric skateboard. Today, Mashable introduced a new product that gives agencies and brands a self-service interface where they can log-in and self-publish the assets on Mashable. In some cases, Mashable will even help the brands create the content.

Brands and agencies now have the ability to promote their social presence and set all the targeting opportunities with it with a less than two-hour approval process. This puts agencies in control of social lift and promoting their clients’ social assets in close to real time.

The unit that began at SWSW, called Social Lift, was built as a response to Mashable seeing more brand dollars being put into real-time marketing. The new self-service unit, clunkily called “Mashable Lift for Brand Partners,” is meant to capture that.

“With money shifting to real time marketing, Facebook and Twitter, we see more brands moving dollars there,” said Adam Ostrow, chief strategy officer of Mashable. “For us, it’s our way to get a piece of that pie, and brands get to promote social assets to Mashable’s audience.”

The new unit is being rolled out with DigitasLBi and Vaynermedia.

Ostrow wouldn’t spill the beans on how much this would cost brands or agencies. He did, however, mention that it’s “changing the model of how they work with us.” Instead of having a hard figure, agencies will have an on-demand budget and can use the budget to promote social assets in any way or size they like. For example, an agency can earmark 100,000 impressions in Vine or 200,000 impressions in Youtube and can manage that themselves.

Ultimately, these units are display units but look and feel like Mashable content. They’re ad served through DFP and have all the tracking and targeting capabilities, but shown through social content.

As brands seek to take advantage of the high metabolism Web, where they can tap into a cultural moment, publishers will need to set up not just processes, but tools, to help brands distribute their social messages. Mashable is betting that their large footprint in the social publishing universe will be a conduit for brands wanting to reach a highly social audience.

Image via Shutterstock
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