• Mid-Stage
  • Marketing Tech
  • Cloud
  • Technology

Smartly.io: Driving Proactive Thought Leadership to a Targeted Audience

  • Marketing Tech
  • Cloud
  • Technology

Smartly.io: Driving Proactive Thought Leadership to a Targeted Audience


Building Media Momentum with a Vacant News Pipeline

Smartly.io is the leading social advertising automation platform for creative and performance marketers – automating every step of social advertising to unlock greater performance and creativity. The company combines creative production and ad buying automation with outstanding customer service to help 600+ brands scale their results on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. The fast-growing community of nearly 400 “Smartlies” with 17 offices around the world, manages over €2.5B in ad spend and is growing rapidly and profitably.

Partnering with our PAN team, we’ve been able to not just increase quantity of coverage, but also the quality. A strategic thought leadership approach to owned content has allowed us to position our brand on the topics that matter most to our business and in the publications that reach the right influential audiences.
Robert Rothschild | Vice President, Global Head of Marketing
The Challenge

On the heels of Smartly.io’s virtual event in May 2020 and a slew of product and partnership announcements in April and May, the company looked to continue its media momentum into Q3 – despite its now vacant news pipeline. At the same time, Smartly.io asked its PR team to ensure it not only got in front of a creative and performance marketing audience, but that it was more closely aligned with the retail sector, its #1 vertical audience for 2021.

The Approach

During the slower months and without any new campaigns, PAN knew there was a need to be proactive with thought leadership. While trend-jacking industry news and proposing a proactive consumer survey, the team emphasized an owned content strategy. This approach allowed Smartly.io:

  • ο  Control the message and narrative, ensuring message pull-through for important terms and topics
  • ο  Weave in data from an owned Smartly.io and PAN Communications global consumer survey research and analysis to demonstrate understanding of consumers and buyer behavior, as well as market expertise
  • ο  Comment on industry trends in a controlled manner – offering timely advice and insights to its target audience of marketers and advertisers
  • ο  Position a new, emerging spokesperson as we increased the company’s visibility in the retail space
The Impact

The top placement in Adweek was a win for a number of reasons.

One top placement in Adweek, a top tier outlet for Smartly.io, titled “A Little More Than Half of Consumers Are Buying From Social Ads.” ran online, and also appeared as the lead in its Target Marketing newsletter. The piece was a win for a number of reasons: it increased Smartly.io’s message pull-through on key marketing and retail terms, served as a platform for a new spokesperson for the company and helped maintain visibility and momentum among an influential marketing audience following its big splash the prior quarter.

Adweek shared the piece on its Twitter and LinkedIn channels, reaching 637.7K Twitter followers and 1.2M LinkedIn followers – spurring engagement of likes, shares and comments among a marketing and social advertising audience.

PAN and Smartly.io understood the importance of reaching a targeted, yet influential audience – which is why a placement in Adweek and its newsletter was a huge win. Reaching 7,729,776 unique monthly visitors and 100% reach to Fortune 500 CMOs, Adweek is considered to be the most trusted source of news and insights for the marketing and advertising community, reaching an elite audience of brand marketers as well as the agency leaders and decision-makers behind the industry’s biggest accounts. Additionally, Adweek’s newsletters reach an audience of 2M+ each week.

See PAN's NXT Stage approach to thought leadership
When developing PR plans, we work to ensure a consistent cadence of activity. Recognizing that results will naturally take a dip during those slower moments in the news cycle, having a proactive approach is key. This is precisely what we partnered with Smartly.io on – maintaining momentum following a major campaign with proactive research and owned content that drove high impact placements and strong message pull-through.
Ashley Wallace Jones, Vice President, Integrated Marketing & Analytics at PAN Communications, headshot
Ashley Wallace Jones
Vice President, Integrated Marketing & PR | Virtual Community
Next Project

The Security Foundation: Leveraging Creativity and Integration to Build Brand Awareness