With everyone from Ogilvy & Mather to Aegis Group going big in social, the category can no longer be considering niche. Yet, social’s institutionalization hasn’t slowed startups and independent shops from flooding the space.
Take BlogFrog, which earned a name for itself in 2009 by hatching a healthy network of female bloggers. Domestically, the network eventually grew to over 70,000 women and mom publishers -- or “mommy bloggers” -- according to BlogFrog.
Now, it is pushing a social activation platform, which helps brands from Lego to Random House engage “social influencers” among niche audiences.
“You might say we have automated influencer marketing through our platform,” said BlogFrog CEO and co-founder Rustin Banks. What’s more -- if betraying its name -- BlogFrog can span a variety of social channels including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.
“We understand that not all influencers are bloggers,” Banks said. “For example, you can have a large YouTube or Pinterest following without ever having a blog.”
That said, the company focuses on the largest influencers or "professional influencers" who still typically maintain a blog as their home base, according to Banks, adding: “Thus we are staying with the name BlogFrog for now.”
To help it expand, the company just raised $3.2 million series A financing led by Grotech Ventures, along with participation from existing investors including David Cohen, founder of TechStars. To date, additional clients have included Procter & Gamble, Oreo, Tyson Foods, and Horizon Organic, according to BlogFrog.
Along with encouraging advocate-driven content and conversations, the company takes the business of measuring performance metrics very seriously.
As Rustin explains, BlogFrog is also investing in its automated influencer database, which crawls the Web and constantly gathers data on the comings, goings and “followings” of social media influencers.
More broadly, social is literally reshaping agencies. For example, Ogilvy & Mather recently realigned its social assets into a single practice dubbed Social@Ogilvy, which aims to connect over 550 dedicated social media experts around the world, as well as strengthen ties with another 4,000 digital experts.