MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of leading social media marketing technology companies, Frost & Sullivan has selected IZEA (OTCQB: IZEA,OTCQB: IZEAD) as the 2015 North America Frost & Sullivan Award recipient for Customer Value Leadership. IZEA was one of the first companies that recognized the potential of Sponsored Social as an effective and efficient marketing vehicle. It develops and refines platforms that enable popular content creators to generate and deliver multimedia content marketing to brands and agencies around the world.
IZEA is credited with introducing Sponsored Social to the broader marketing and advertising industry upon its founding in 2006 by Ted Murphy. Through a proprietary online exchange, known as IZEAx, the company connects content creators, publishers and marketers, and provides them with a global technology platform that can be used to create and disseminate branded content. IZEAx provides desktop and mobile access to influencers on the 10 leading social platforms, helping them monetize their passion, knowledge and social cachet, which, in turn, enhances their brand credibility.
IZEA also offers Virtual Newsroom, a content creation and distribution marketplace offering for brands that employ professional journalists, expert writers, photographers, videographers, and illustrators. Client companies can post the professionally developed material on their brand-owned social media channels, websites or blogs, and leverage the assets to power paid native advertising.
"IZEA is experiencing increased cross-selling, earning repeat business and establishing long-term relations with high-value customers," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Brendan Read. "This is due to the efficiency of its products and growing customer acceptance of the value of Sponsored Social as a critical part of the marketing ecosystem."
IZEA leverages a roster of over 650,000 content creators who reach nearly 3.2 billion aggregate friends and followers. The company's revenues rose 182 percent from $1.93 million in Q3 2014 to a record $5.4 million in Q3 2015. Bookings grew 230 percent year over year to $6.7 million in Q3 2015, up from $2 million in Q3 2014.
IZEA has ambitious plans for the influencer and content marketing category and is looking to exceed $100 million in annual sales by 2018 by directly addressing untapped market segments. It hopes to attract new Creators, online influencers who develop and publish content, through multiple product innovations, including an expanded mobile offering to support more users and analytics offerings for Creators and advertisers alike.
"Meanwhile, IZEA is also growing inorganically through acquisitions and partnerships, which are primarily aimed at expanding its marketing, public relations, and sales programs to enhance overall brand and agency awareness," said Read. "The company acquired online publishing marketplace Ebyline, launched an affiliate program with eBay through its SocialLinks initiative, partnered with the Percolate content marketplace, and entered the Canadian market."
For its dedication to ensuring the success of its customers and delivering innovative services, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present IZEA with the 2015 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on enhancing the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes the company's inordinate focus on augmenting the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and, ultimately, customer base expansion.
"The key to the long-term success of any company is its ability to continuously nurture and enhance the value of its products and/or services to its customers. As such, Frost & Sullivan is excited to recognize IZEA for its industry-leading focus on improving customer experience and customer ROI for its services in the social media marketing industry," said Frost & Sullivan's Global President and Managing Partner Krishna Srinivasan.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
IZEA operates the premiere online marketplace that connects brands with influential content creators. IZEA creators range from leading bloggers and social media personalities to A-List celebrities and professional journalists. Creators are compensated for developing and distributing unique content on behalf of brands, including long form text, videos, photos and status updates. Brands receive influential consumer content and engaging, shareable stories that drive awareness. For more information about IZEA, visit http://corp.izea.com
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