Sequoia-Backed Taykey Mines Trends in Real-Time to Power Cost Per Action Ad Targeting

Cost-per-action social media and search advertising service Taykey has just closed a $9 million second round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.

The company tracks social media mention and search trends in real-time to take advantage of urgent advertising opportunities and interest-based targeting parameters to power Facebook, Twitter, and search campaigns. Here’s a closer look at what it provides to advertisers on and off Facebook.

How Taykey Works

Let’s take a look at an example of an advertising campaign powered by Taykey. A singing contest television show such as X-Factor could hire Taykey for a month-long campaign on what amounts to cost per Facebook Like model, where the client pays a price per Like and sets a goal of the total Likes they want. Taykey would then monitor social networks, news, blogs, and searches for trends in the behavior and interests of the show’s target age and location demographic. It could determine what other TV shows or musical artists the audience Likes, and then run a series Facebook ad campaigns for the X-Factor Page targeted at people with those Likes.

Taykey co-founder and CEO Amit Avner tells us that “if X-Factor judge Paula Abdul falls off the stage, we’ll know in five seconds and go buy ‘Paula Abdul’ Google search keyword ads” to preempt the oncoming rush of searches for that keyword. Taykey might also purchase Twitter trending topics, or ads on Bing, Myspace, Digg in an effort to drive its own cost per Facebook fan as low as possible to make the maximum margin on the deal with X-Factor. Otherwise, X-Factor might just target 18-35 year old women, whereas Taykey would target those with interests related to the show, such as those who Like competing show American Idol.

Taykey says its patent-pending algorithm mines data from across the web, deduces keywords and sentiment, and maps the data to demographic and psychographic profiles. It then specifically targets those with the right profile, relieving brands from having to constantly discover new targets. Without using cookies or tracking of individuals, it shifts spend from one trend to the next attain the optimal CPA.

Avner explains to us that brands advertising on Facebook often target an age, gender, and location demographic that is too wide and unfocused, leading to lower conversion and rapid burnout. Taykey pinpoints the interests of these audiences to run a series of campaigns that keep conversion rates higher over time than more general campaigns. For instance, instead of targeting 18-24 year old males in New York City that Like ‘hip hop’, Taykey would determine specific artists such as “Jay-Z”, or television shows such as ’106th & Park’ to target the fans of.

Taykey and Real-Time Facebook Advertising

The 19-employee Tel Aviv-based company was founded by three former members of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s intelligence arm, and has now secured a total of $12 million in funding. Several Fortune 100 companies have already run campaigns targeted by Taykey’s algorithm, including Pepsi, for which it attained 46,000 Likes in two days at half the projected spend.

It will use use the new round of funding, joined by Softbank Capital and Crescent Point, to hire engineers in Tel Aviv, Israel and to build out a New York sales office.

The “Related Adverts” real-time advertising system Facebook is testing that displays ads related to the content of a user’s most recent status update or wall post could be very useful to Taykey’s business. “We’d love to get in on it as soon as possible” says Avner of the beta product that doesn’t allow advertisers to choose if or which traditional interest-targeted Facebook ads are displayed in real-time.

As more brands realize the concrete value of Facebook fans, CPA ad services such as Taykey will become crucial to attaining large volumes of fans at the lowest possible price. While more well established Ads API tools and services will likely continue to manage much of the Facebook spend of the world’s biggest brands, real-time focused advertising services can complement a marketing mix by exploiting fleeting low-cost pockets of conversions.

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