Measuring the effectiveness of native advertising looks set to get more efficient as analytics startup SimpleReach bags a huge Series A round.
Analysis and prediction
Jobbing business development managers will know that for most clients, an ad’s capacity to drive online advertising sales is the bottom line. The creative team’s native advertising may be beautifully subtle, the displays pithy and snazzy, but agencies still need to be able to bring something to the table these days to show how effective they’ve been. That’s where NYC-based startup SimpleReach comes in.
Founded in 2010, it raised $1.6 million in seed funding in 2012 and has just closed a Series A round totaling $9 million. Its technology not only tells clients how successfully their content is going down on social media and publisher websites; it predicts which native advertising will really take off, too. Every article gets a score ranging between 0 and 99 – an indicator of how much social traffic it’ll bring to a client’s site. Agencies and marketers can then promote those articles through ads on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Nativo, StumbleUpon, TripleLift and Outbrain.
If our jobbing business development manager remains skeptical about SimpleReach’s capabilities, plenty of others aren’t. The platform is used by The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic and the Huffington Post to measure their native ad programs, while brands like Xerox and Intel use it to promote and analyze their content marketing.
A technology whose day has come
But in the early days, before native advertising had really caught on, investors weren’t especially convinced there was a need for a company like SimpleReach. It’s co-founder and CEO Edward Kim concedes that it may have been “a little early to market.” Now, however, the picture looks very different; before native took off, there was nothing to distribute because it hadn’t yet been created, Kim says. Today it’s a totally different ball game.
Kim asked TechCrunch journalist Anthony Ha, “How many companies today, and how many marketers today, have a blog?” Ha didn’t need to answer because Kim got in first: “hundreds of thousands.” What most of them lack, however, is a distribution strategy and any means of showing the return on their investment.
As SimpleReach does both, and very effectively at that, it’s proving pretty indispensable four years after launch.