Google supercharges social ads with Wildfire acquisition

Can Google set the world of social media marketing alight with its latest acquisition?

Google has acquired Wildfire Interactive, the New Zealand-based Web2.0 marketing startup, adding a much needed social element to the search giant’s digital advertising arsenal.

Wildfire employs around 400 people, running ads for at least 30 of the top 50 brands. It was acquired for a reported $350m.

The company’s marketing software allows brands to serve social marketing content and ad campaigns, mainly on Facebook, but also on Google+, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Until now Google has struggled to translate its dominance in internet advertising to the social media space. This acquisition will give it access to Wildfire’s advanced software that allows brands to run a variety of campaigns across the social media landscape.

Jason Miller, Google’s product management director explained in a blog post: “In a complex and changing landscape, businesses want to manage and measure these efforts in an integrated way.

“The ultimate goal is better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions. People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one).”

As ad spend continues to migrate to social media marketing, there has been significant consolidation in this space. This deal is the most recent in a string of acquisitions after Buddy Media was snatched from Google’s grasp by Salesforce and Vitrue and Involver were bought by Oracle.

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