Votigo Bows Self-Service Platform

Recognizing growing demand from a “long tail” of small businesses, more and more established social media marketing and advertising platforms are adding self-service capabilities suitable for clients with small advertising budgets. The list just got longer with the addition of Votigo, a video contest platform specializing in viral video contests, photo contests, sweepstakes, and online promotions has begun introducing self-service access to a suite of its “essential” promotions applications.

Votigo (founded in 2006 by Mike La Rotonda, formerly a senior product manager for Yahoo, and Jim Risner, formerly vice president for interactive at United Online, Inc.) has worked with its share of major brands, including Ford, Toyota, Starwood, Intel, AOL, Jeep, Fisher Price, and Simmons, as well as big agencies like DraftFCB, CP+B, Big Fuel, and Weber Shandwick. But the company also received expressions of interest from smaller advertisers with budgets beneath the $5,000 minimum for big campaigns, including start-ups and non-profits -- prompting the roll-out of the self-service operation, beginning with photo contests, video contests, and sweepstakes.

The self-service component allow brands to launch promotions on any social channel, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, mobile, as well as Web-based microsites, widgets, and the like.

The apps are templated to allow customization with graphic uploads, all managed through a straightforward interface and campaign dashboard. If self-service customers feel they need professional consultation, they can still tap Votigo’s development team as well as design, legal and contest management services.

The surge in self-service social media advertising platforms comes as local advertisers -- many of them small retailers or services -- show growing interest in social media as a channel for reaching consumers in their communities. In March of this year BIA/Kelsey forecast that local online ad revenues will reach $42 billion by 2015, up from $21.7 billion in 2010. BIA/Kelsey cited social media and mobile marketing as two main drivers of the predicted increase in local advertising spending.

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