Goodbuzz is social marketing platform launched earlier this year with the intention to change the way advertisers spend their money.
The basic idea behind Goodbuzz is to ask advertisers not to spend their money in the traditional way, but to crowdsource their marketing by giving their budget directly to their fans, followers and clients to do the promotion work for them.
Where did the idea comes from?
In 1999, I was recruited by a European Union program in Togo (West Africa) to help the local entertainment industry produce and eventually export more cultural goods. The program was based on a research paper done by a consulting firm which discovered that cultural goods were one of the most successful products african countries produce and export.
Working on this program was very exciting, however I quickly discovered that producing goods is one thing, but marketing them is a much bigger challenge, specially in the entertainment business. Interestingly, the program didn’t allow us to use any money for advertising purposes, where most of the musicians, artists and entrepreneurs I was working with had no clue about marketing.
I came out of this program one year later with the conclusion that production of goods is not the biggest challenge small entrepreneurs face, but how to advertise effectively and profitably.
In 2008, I started a project called “linkcrafter” with the purpose to solve the above problem. I hired an animator to create a video, and what came out his work was one of the most engaging and moving animation I’ve ever been involved into. Here is it:
Despite my best intention, this product was not a success. The basic idea was to use a question-and-answer platform to provide free leads to small businesses. We built a tool that intelligently turns people questions from a Q&A portal into leads source for professional in our network. The typical example is a user question related to divorce or loans which will be converted into potential leads for a lawyer or a finance advisor.
In 2010 we pivot to a new idea, again based on free leads generation for small businesses, but this time focused on event organizers and entertainment industry. I felt I needed to be back to the root of my motivation.
The unfolding project from this pivot was a peer to peer network where events organizers support each other by sharing their peers’s events with their contacts and followers. The typical example is a network of local musicians and bands who will use the platform to promote each other gigs.
This product was far more successful and attracted lot of attention and following. More than 1500 event professionals joined the network and thousands of leads were exchanged through the system. However, after 9 months of operations, we started getting feedback from our members saying that many event professionals circles of friends and contacts were not big enough to guarantee successful promotions even when they recommend each other. Their request was to find ways to reach out to more people outside of their circles.
Slowly, it dawns on us the idea of using the most widespread social incentive system (tipping) to leverage the most widespread social behavior on the web: sharing, to help our members succeed their event promotion.
From last September (2011), we went on to completely redesign the application.
Is Goodbuzz something unique?
There are many launched platforms in recent years with the same purpose of leveraging the power of the crowd for marketing. They are mostly “pay per click”, “pay per action”, or “sponsored tweets” platforms.
Our main difference is that GoodBuzz is built ground up as a social game, using the most widespread social incentive system (tipping) to leverage the most widespread social behavior on the web: sharing.
In “pay per post”, “pay per click” or “sponsored tweet” systems, advertisers results depend on how much money they have. In GoodBuzz model, Advertiser’s result doesn’t depend on how much money he or she has. For example, one advertiser can offer $50 tip and receive 300 leads, and another advertiser will leave the same amount of tip and receive 2000 leads, simply because more people like what he or she is doing.
Goodbuzz comes from our unique insight into human nature, and our stance that social marketing has its own dynamics, and should not be wrapped in the old marketing clothes.
Where do we stand now?
Goodbuzz has now paying customers and raving users. We are working hard to fine tune the product, and adapt it to our customers requests and feedbacks.
In few months we will try to expand to more markets and create momentum for the application to become a category leader.
Spamming could be a problem, specially from people seeking only to gain money from the system.
Now we control spam at 3 levels:
1. the tip a sharer receive depends on how his friends like the content he has shared. If his friends don’t like what he shared, he will receive no tip, and he will be discouraged or will be more aware about the kind of content to share.
We don’t give tips because a user simply shares a promotion. Tips depend on the leads generated for the advertisers.
2. we provide education to our sharers about what kind of content they might share and what are the best ways to find and share valuable content with their friends
3. we educate our advertisers and brands about what kind of content people share on social medias and how they should frame their promotions to align themselves with the best practices.
The future is to go mobile, and integrate more offline activities into our platform.
Before doing that we will focus intensively on our market validation.
What surprised us?
Goodbuzz is operating in an uncharted territory and lot challenges we face. Marketplace business is tough, however we have been blessed with some loving fans. Daniel from UK created with his puppets this amazing illustration videos for Goodbuzz. Thanks Daniel, and Thanks to all our supporters.