Earlier, Salesforce.com acquired a range of social listening and publishing tools like Radian6 and Buddy Media – both of which were instrumental in the formation of Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud.
From a practical standpoint, Granat said, PR agencies want to take organic or earned content and amplify it via paid media. “The challenge with traditional PR is you could get great earned media coverage, but you couldn’t historically dial that up to get broader audience reach and now with native advertising and paid reach, you can amplify that earned media through paid media,” he said.
Of course, the answer is not as simple as stitching five disparate pieces of technology together. And competition is fierce: Everyone from Adobe to Salesforce.com to Facebook is tackling the social marketing stack.
Then, on the content side, publishers like BuzzFeed and CBS Interactive, which just launched a custom content division dubbed Studio 61, are working directly with brands, turning marketing communications into one line item on a brief that includes native content like quizzes, lists or other integrated sponsorships.
Viralheat’s CEO, Jeff Revoy, said the company's focus went beyond social media listening and engagement. With ads API access to Facebook and Twitter, larger integrations into WordPress and Tumblr for content marketing and and hooks into marketing automation and CRM such as Marketo and Salesforce.com, ViralHeat sits at the intersection of various applications.
"We saw massive convergence between social marketing, content marketing and PR," Revoy added. "We felt, given the suite of products and global reach of our products, it made sense to integrate the two platforms."