Ogilvy PR is consolidating its paid social media resources in EMEA under a new unit that aims to build on the €14m per year that the agency already buys across such platforms as Facebook and Twitter.
Called Conversation Fuel, the new unit brings together the technology acquired via Social Lab, the Belgian digital agency that Ogilvy bought last year. Led by Social@Ogilvy, Conversation Fuel will also tap into resources from digital buying outfit Neo.
“We believe that content & paid have to sit together,” explained Social@Ogilvy EMEA MD Marshall Manson. “We also recognise we have to use editorial content to make the paid work. So this sits with our social content offering.”
Ogilvy joins a growing number of PR agencies that have launched dedicated paid social units (including Edelman and We Are Social) but it is difficult to think of another that spends as much on social media in the EMEA region.
Manson confirmed that the EMEA launch would be followed by a global rollout. “Social Lab already has the mechanics in place, the intellectual expertise, the cases, the benchmarking to deliver outcomes and the real time mindset.”
In addition to a range of digital tools, Conversation Fuel’s offering will include training for Social@Ogilvy specialists across EMEA and analytics products.
“Earned media is increasingly important to CMOs as a generator of conversations for their brands both with and between consumers,” says Ogilvy PR EMEA CEO Stuart Smith. “And nowhere is the nexus between paid and earned more crucial than in social media. We have formalised our approach to offering ‘paid-for-social’ because demand is increasing exponentially.”
Manson pointed out that the drive towards the new unit began with the firm’s Facebook Zero research, which revealed that brands “cannot drive content without paid social.”
He added that efforts will focus on consumer platforms such as Facebook and Twitter before expanding to include LinkedIn and Instagram.