Echo Gets Stronger for Viacom Vantage

New data tools work before, during and after social media campaigns
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Viacom's data-driven ad sales unit Vantage is upping the volume on its Echo social media product.

Now, with version 3.0 of Echo, the company is offering marketing clients what it is calling an entire "Echosystem" of tools. Those tools will help create social media campaigns, predict how many people they will reach, optimize them while they are in the market, and provide a thorough analysis when they're over.

Most Viacom clients have a social media component to their campaigns. With the new Echosystem, Viacom is offering to execute and sell stand-alone social media campaigns for clients, working with Viacom's Velocity Content Network. And Viacom Velocity will guarantee that the campaign will reach the right number of consumers in the target audience.

For Viacom, with its young skewing networks, being on top of what's happening in social media is a priority. The company also has a massive social media footprint, so it makes sense for it to try to monetize it using the data capabilities it has been among the leaders in building.

"We are working really hard on always making sure that we are evolving and staying ahead of the curve," said Lydia Daly, senior VP of social media at Viacom Velocity.

Two year ago they created products like the Echo Social Graph, a proprietary tool that measures the virality and impact of social media campaigns.

"Now we're really focusing on moving that further forward and starting to build things in house and creating a suite of proprietary research tools," she said.

Some tools will be used to help clients identify talent that can be used in social campaigns, others will inform creative strategy.

For one client looking to launch a new female-targeted video game, Viacom Vantage used the Echosystem to work with Comedy Central to create a social media campaign. They used their Viewprint product, which use data to create a map matching the shows and talent to the target audiences. That helped pick the stars of Broad City, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, as the most appropriate people to appear in branded content. Echo also identified YouTube and Facebook as where to place the campaign for maximum impact.

For another client, the Echosystem helped identify appropriates social influencers to use to amplify a campaign. "There are millions of them at this stage and it's ever growing. We use our social listening capabilities to find particular social tent that fits that exact target audience to choose [that] is going to work for that particular client," Daly said.

"That's what we're doing at the start of a campaign, but it doesn't stop there. We're still using data once that campaign launches," she said.

"We're using it before it launches to predict performance, and transact on guaranteed impressions. We sell against that for our clients because we're so confident in our distribution strategies. We do that again using data because we need to predict the performance of how many impressions or views we're going to get, so during campaigns we're analyzing that, and we're optimizing in real time to make sure that we're hitting those guarantees," Daly said. "We're adding paid media to that now, again using a data-heavy approach, and then of course campaign reporting back with our social analytics report."

The Echosystem's social listening function can also give clients an indication about how well the linear TV portion of their campaign is performing.