For those who weren’t aware, Meteor Solutions was recently acquired by Rio SEO (parent company, Covario). As Rio SEO launches and rolls out our Social Media Suite all this week, be on the lookout for mentions of the product solutions across the web. To start, check out a writeup on Search Engine Watch!
Today we are announcing the acquisition of Meteor Solutions by Rio SEO, Covario Inc’s business unit focused on technology solutions for earned and owned digital media programs. Needless to say this is a proud moment for the team and we are very excited about the future as part Rio SEO. The convergence of search and social is just beginning and we’re psyched to play a major role in it as part of a leader in the space. Thank you to all of our current and former employees, Board members, advisers, customers, and partners for helping to make this happen
Here is a blurb from the press release.
SEATTLE, Nov. 14, 2012 – Meteor Solutions, provider of a proprietary social audience marketing platform, announced today that it has been acquired by San Diego-based Rio SEO, a leading provider of search engine optimization automation and reporting tools, which was launched earlier this year by Covario, Inc. as a dedicated software brand and business unit.
- Co-founded in 2009 by Seattle-based entrepreneur, Ben Straley, Meteor Solutions has developed an award-winning Social Audience Marketing Suite that enables brands like Microsoft, AT&T, NBC and other advertisers and publishers to increase social sharing and deliver targeted advertising. The company has won numerous awards including Seattle Business Monthly’s Top Tech Innovator, The Advertising Research Foundation’s David Ogilvy Award, Digiday’s Digital Publishing Award and was named a Techcrunch Disrupt Finalist in 2011.
- As a result of the acquisition, the three social media software products that combine to make up the Meteor Social Audience Marketing Suite of products for consumer engagement, advertising and analysis will be integrated into the Rio SEO platform of earned media tools for SEO, social media and content marketing automation.
- All of the Meteor employees have received employment offers with Rio SEO. Straley and the company will maintain their office presence in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.
Rio SEO was recently cited as “the only leader” in The Forrester Wave™: SEO Platforms, Q4 2012. In April, Rio SEO was launched as a distinct brand and business unit by Covario. One of the leading investors in privately-held Covario is the Seattle-based venture capital firm Voyager Capital.
An article came across my inbox the other day from poynter.org indicating that e-mail sharing was becoming obsolete: “Email remains a popular way to share news, but for how long?” The claim was that people are using email, ‘less and less to share stuff’. While that may be the case for some Publishers, like Buzzfeed’s network which was sampled for this article, Meteor’s vast and deep data set actually shows email is key for the sharing of brand content, and in many cases still ranks #1 for online retailers’ and brands’ sharing activity.
While Meteor’s data still shows that most visitors still share through copy-paste (98% as of October 1, 2012), those that share through the share widgets on sites still prefer email over all other methods about 23% of the time. What is most notable though is that while Twitter and Facebook still rank among the top three sharing methods, they are all effective at driving return visits.
Brand marketing is especially notable with 40% of share tool users favoring e-mail. E-mail is also the most effective rate of return from those clicks: Email ranks first at 2.27 clicks to one visit, Twitter second at 2.67 clicks to one visit and Facebook third at 3.53 clicks to one return visit to the brand content.
As well as an effective method of sharing, we often see well curated and managed e-mail lists rank among the top 5 sources for reaching a highly social audience as well as lifting the impact of the spend with shares by that audience.
While email may be less attractive and often less measurable for many retailers and publishers (Shameless Plug: check out our services to get deeper metrics around mail and sharing) it is still a powerful driver of sharing engagements and traffic and is vitally important to include in your social strategy.
We’re obsessed with the drivers and impact of sharing here at Meteor Solutions. Information and entertainment finds us through our friends, colleagues, and the strangers we follow on blogs, message boards, and on services like Twitter, LinkedIn. This trend is accelerating with the rapid adoption of smartphones. Everyone is consuming content and connected with their graphs at all times. Or close to it.
The opportunity for brands and publishers to reach billions of people throughout each and every day is unparalleled. The Internet, social networks, and mobile devices has created a platform of incredible scale. The catch is that access to the billions of connected consumers is mediated through their individual relationships. The way for brands and publishers to penetrate this filter is through consumer-to-consumer sharing and getting consumers to share with their friends is to combine useful, interesting, or entertaining content with simple and rewarding sharing features.
This article in today’s Harvard Business Review is a great case study of how a brand can fuel sharing and produce a phenomenal result. Oh yeah, and it costs a fraction of what a “traditional” advertising campaign would require to produce similar reach and impact.
You may have noticed some changes in the dashboard over the last few days. We are pleased to announce that we have segmented the calls in the dashboard to improve overall performance. You will notice on pages with multiple data sets, that they load at different rates to improve page load time.
We have also improved error messaging with the option of pulling a CSV in the event of a timeout to improve accessibility of data.
Joe Doran (@doran_joe) tweeted the link to this discussion between Brian Morrissey and Reggie Bradford, Vitrue CEO. They do a good job in my opinion of providing an overview of the state of social media within the enterprise.
We are seeing the same forces and trends at play. Social is extending well beyond marketing across the enterprise and becoming a significant and integrated part of the “IT Stack”.
We are pleased to report that Meteor is making improvements to our dashboard – enhancing current functionality and making our dashboard even faster.
While we make these important changes, our dashboard and API will be temporarily unavailable starting tonight. Data collection will not be affected. Once the dashboard is back up and running faster than ever, your data will be ready for you.
We look forward to showing off our speedy new dashboard!
Casey Hibbard, author of Stories That Sell, published a very useful and informative case study about Microsoft Office 365′s success with social media on the Social Media Examiner site yesterday. You can read that case study here. (Microsoft is a customer of ours. The Office365 team uses our analytics and advertising platform to increase sharing and measure its impact)
The post does a terrific job of laying out the Office 365 team’s strategy, plan, and execution. What becomes clear as you read through the piece is how effective they were at understanding their target audience (women business owners) and surfacing and curating a ton of really useful content that would appeal to that audience. We see this simple (notice I didn’t say “easy”) strategy work to activate sharing and word of mouth time and time again. A steady drumbeat of relevant, useful, and engaging content created and/or curated by authentic members of one’s target audience is the most time-tested strategy for grabbing and holding people’s attention long enough to get a message across.
Yesterday, Ariel Dos Santos (@agds) tweeted the following video:
It’s an “ad” for TNT which is a new TV channel in Belgium. I wrote “ad” because we don’t experience it like an ad. It’s entertainment. Not only that, but it’s entertainment that’s finding it’s way around the globe via word of mouth and sharing. You can see how it’s grown here:
A couple of things about this content that are truly awesome. First, look at how incredibly fast this video has spread. Yesterday when I saw it for the first time, there were 4M+ views of it. 24 hours later, it’s up to 11M+ and counting. Since it was posted for the first time three days ago on Facebook, it has generated 11M+ views. Second, it is awesome to see how the content attained truly global reach. In three days.
Obviously, TNT spent a considerable amount on creative and production. I have no idea how much but I’d guess it’s in the $1M USD ballpark: fees for the agency, actors, town, crew, editing, etc. I also have no idea if they’re running any advertising (paid media) to promote the video as well or if what we’re seeing in the #s is 100% organic. Assuming they are not, then the media cost to drive the distribution of and engagement with the content is $0.00.
Looking at this, we wondered what the “media value” of a viral video of this sort actually is. Using some of the data generated by the Meteor platform every second of every day, we know there is roughly a 3X increase in engagement and conversion rates among users that receive content from a friend or other trusted source. We’ll call that the “Earned Multiplier”. Now if you assume as we do that there is no paid promotion going on of the video ad itself, then the arithmetic required to estimate the value of this viral video over time is pretty straightforward. I’ve built a simple model complete with major assumptions to show how we convert viral video views into media value that enables apples-to-apples comparison with alternative forms of “paid for” media distribution (aka “Video Ads”). As you can see from this model, when the content gets discovered and sharing ensues at scale, the impact and ROI that results is phenomenal.
A few points on the above model. Since it’s 3 days and counting into the life of this video online, we do not have enough data to project what the spread of the content will look like going forward. I took a conservative view and said it would continue at it’s current rate of 7M per 24 hours for a few more days and then tail off. You can play with the model yourself by changing the assumptions in yellow so have at it.
Here’s a chart of showing the relationship between the costs (100% fixed and upfront) and the media value which is a function of sharing and essentially free. Another way of saying this is that there are significant fixed costs upfront and virtually no variable costs.
Cost of Production = HIGH
Cost of Distribution = LOW
In short, if you accept the validity of the assumptions I’ve built into the model then it appears the media value being generated by this viral video will exceed the production costs (total cost) sometime today and will continue to grow going forward.
This is a prototypical example of how social entertainment can be used to activate networks of consumers at massive scale. There is a clear and demonstrable ROI. The “art” in all of this is creating content that is entertaining AND easy to share.