Gannett has made another major acquisition in the world of social media advertising. Today the traditional media player confirmed it has acquired Blinq Media, a long-time advertising partner with Facebook.
The Blinq Media buy is just one of many social media acquisitions this year, and in the case of Gannett it is one of several digital advertising and marketing firms it has grabbed in recent years. Blinq Media manages social media campaigns for more than 600 advertisers and it will now find a new home under Gannett’s digital marketing services division.
Gannett, owner of USA Today, several newspapers and broadcasters, is still primarily viewed as a traditional media player; however, it has been seven years since the company broke into the digital marketing space when it bought PointRoll.
Blinq Media caught the attention of Gannett for its ability to deliver social media marketing campaigns across various platforms, especially at the local level. “With demand for social media marketing solutions continuing to grow at a rapid pace, this acquisition is part of our ongoing transformation at Gannett and positions us to be a leader in both local and global social media marketing,” noted Gracia Martore, Gannett’s CEO and president in a press statement.
Gannett’s marketing services division was formed and enhanced through numerous acquisitions. Over time the company has combined its digital ad holdings and merged its social media firm, Ripple6, into PointRoll. In 2008, it acquired full ownership of ShopLocal, an online circular formed by a trio of newspaper publishers. Gannett said in February it expected the group of properties, which now comprise its digital marketing services division, to reach $75 million to $100 million in revenue this year.
Social media marketing and advertising has been an incredibly active area, with numerous large-scale investments and big-figure acquisitions coming to the surface over a matter of months.
Gannett’s Blinq Media buy comes just one day after Condé Nast bought an 11 percent stake in cloud-based ad technology firm, Flite. Google made a move three weeks ago with its acquisition of social media campaign management firm Wildfire. Another Facebook-centric marketing vendor, Buddy Media, was acquired by Salesforce.com for a whopping $745 million in June.
Financial terms of the Blinq Media acquisition were not disclosed.
GroupM predicts that global ad spend will top $547 billion next year, up from $524 billion this year. While television will still capture the biggest share of that 12-figure pie (41%), digital's share will grow from 31% to 33%.
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