Startup Radius interviewed guys from PromoRepublic – a visual content builder with 100,000 templates & ideas for social media marketing campaigns. Discover why they are building a quite unique tool, how well they did on ProductHunt and Appsumo, and how they are integrated with such giants as Buffer, HubSpot and Hootsuite. Enjoy!
Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is PromoRepublic?
PromoRepublic is a content builder and a posting tool for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. It provides users with 100,000 post ideas and visual templates, including more than 6000 templates created by a team of professional designers and copywriters.
With PromoRepublic, users can easily create a professional-looking social media post and publish it to all social accounts. The key idea is content – the library of customizable templates. We offer templates for holidays, special occasions, daily trends and more than 20 business categories.
Why are you building this? (Was there a particular source of inspiration) What problem are you trying to solve?
The main problem is content. Modern marketing is all about inbound strategies that are based on curated content. To achieve high-quality content, it requires expertise in design and copywriting which can be costly for many companies. Our goal is to provide users with social media content 365 days a year – every day boasts fresh, new content.
There are many effective social media management tools out there, but before managing something you need to build it – build a library of content, build an audience. We aim to solve this problem by providing professional-looking content that will grow your target audience. PromoRepublic is a tool that eliminates the need for designers and copywriters – with a drag-and-drop editor, all the post templates can be customized or built at the click of a mouse.
Who are your top competitors & how is PromoRepublic different from what already exists in the market?
There are both bigger and smaller competitors, but both of these groups are indirect competitors. The answer is simple – the “top dogs” like Buffer and Hootsuite are useful social media management and posting tools, but they offer no content. Buffer even closed their Brewery – a content suggestion tool. Speaking of content, an awesome tool like Canva allows you to build visual content and posts, but there is no focus on pre-designed Holiday & Trend templates, nor does it have templates custom-made for businesses.
What’s unique about what you are building & why do you think companies should use PromoRepublic?
The unique experience with PromoRepublic is that a user gets a calendar filled with content ideas, trends, and designed templates for every single day of the year. If there is an event or a holiday – we have templates to edit and post. If a user runs a Pet Shop – we have templates for them. It’s that simple. All that is left to do: click, customize it with your logo, change a text if you want and schedule it to all social media channels.
Who uses PromoRepublic? Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using PromoRepublic?
We divide our users into 4 groups – the two most substantial groups are Small Businesses and In-house Marketers. Small business owners solve the problem of lack of content that fits their business best, and eliminate the need of hiring designers and copywriters, while in-house marketers save time and corporate resources by automating social media content creation and posting.
Two smaller groups of users are Freelancers and Agencies. For freelancers our product basically opens a new business channel – with PromoRepublic they can offer their clients a new service of all-in-one social media marketing, because now they are able to create content and post it with one single tool. Agencies are using PromoRepublic in a similar way – they either automate upselling of social media services to their clients, or offer a new service under their own brand.
While SMB owners, marketers and freelancers prefer single-user plans, agencies are the ones using team plans.
How are your customers using PromoRepublic? Could you share a few different user cases?
Although PromoRepublic is fairly new on the scene, we have amassed quite a few different user experiences among our varied client base. Aside from the active user who takes advantage of all the available tools: content creation, posting, scheduling and measuring (ohyeah, we also have an Analytics module that shows how posted content performs); here are two cases that seem to be popular scenarios.
The first user, let’s call her Linda, is probably an SMB owner. She is focused on content creation – her main goal is to create a post when she needs it, and to publish it right away. Usually Linda creates one to three posts a week and publishes them instantly. Linda doesn’t use scheduling, nor does she create a content plan weeks or months in advance. Also, Linda doesn’t pay much attention to measuring the performance – as an SMB owner she is too busy with her small business (a flower shop, or maybe a small gym or yoga studio).
The second user, let’s call him Daniel, is an in-house marketer. He is focused on optimising all processes related to social media marketing. He is the one who spends hours on PromoRepublic to save weeks of time and proudly saves his boss loads of money on designers and copywriters. Daniel is following a content plan – he creates and schedules at least 5 posts per week. Usually he plans and creates content a few weeks ahead. Daniel is a smart guy, and he knows that some content performs better than the other, so he always keeps an eye on the Analytics tab, and will adjust his content next time.
Have there been unique user cases for PromoRepublic that you hadn’t thought of or expected?
Actually yes, sometimes we notice that a user is creating a post, then downloads it (we allow that) or even takes a screenshot to use it in a blog post, or banner on their website, or in a mailing. We did not build PromoRepublic with that in mind. Every day we are learning new ways to satisfy our clients so in addition to posting on FB, TW, IG, and LIn, we are currently looking to extend our services to WordPress and other blogging platforms.
Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?
Magic didn’t play a role here! There was no magic wand guiding us throughout the process. What worked best for us was partnerships – we always try to partner or run co-marketing campaigns with platforms that solve other problems with a similar audience. I always underestimated partnership channels, but now I can say maximum effort is what we believe in.
Also the traditional channel such as Adwords PPC works great for us. We focus on search-only type of campaigns and keep them pretty narrow – we have separate landing pages for every campaign, that is focused on just 2-5 keywords. That way we have a lot of focused campaigns and a lot of targeted landing pages.
You are probably curious about one-time campaigns or experiments, here we are proud of our AppSumo campaign that generated us 4000 sales. Also we had 2 successful campaigns on ProductHunt that got us more than 10,000 visitors, around 1300 registrations.
What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?
The biggest challenge is definitely the audience-fit. It looks like all of our four types of users (SMB, Marketers, Freelancers and Agencies) are interested in the same thing, social media marketing, however they have slightly different needs and depend on different acquisition methods. Also audience effects the product – SMBs need content more than posting, and Marketers’ number 1 is posting and planning. So the biggest challenges are to adjust the product for the best-conversion rate and attract a loyal audience. We are still in a process of experiments, but we definitely improve with every iteration.
The second biggest challenge is the expansion to other markets. As you understand, all of our custom templates are built by a team of professional designers and copywriters, same with the post ideas – holidays, events, trends and special occasions are crawled manually. That’s why we need to grow our team to generate more content for specific countries. For now, our focus is in english-speaking countries.
What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?
PromoRepublic has integrations with Buffer, Hootsuite and HubSpot. The best thing is that these companies understand that it’s more of a cooperation rather than competition, because our plugins allow their user to get more content and thus post more. Our integrations transfer holiday, event and trend templates straight to the calendar in Buffer, Hootsuite and HubSpot, providing users with fresh content for weeks ahead.
But the most important integration with the biggest impact for the product is integration with 2 photostocks – Unsplash and Pexels. This integration allowed us to add 100,000 visuals and images to customize existing templates and build tons of new ones. This took our product up to another level adding value to our 6000+ pre-designed templates.
What are the top 5-10 products that you depend on to run the company & how do you use them?
Awesome questiont! I’m a big fan of the products and service we use in PromoRepublic, and I can honestly recommend them as a very active user.
- Unbounce – that’s one of my favourite tools. We have over 150 active landing pages built with Unbounce. We use it for PPC campaigns, for affiliates, webinars, events, partnerships and more. I believe this is the best landing page builder ever made. I also like how they improve it constantly. They added Convertibles for pop-up building – awesome feature!
- Intercom – a great tool for customer support, customer success and mailings. We use it not only in Support & Success departments, but also in Marketing and Sales.
- Mixpanel & Google Analytics – two instruments we use for analysis. While GA is used for overviews and some quick lookups, Mixpanel is our eyes for traffic source tracking, funnel building and registration tracking. We customized it a bit for traffic source tracking, and now it provides us with 99.9% accurate data.
- MailChimp, MailerLite & SendPulse – three tools we use for email campaigns. MailChimp is used for triggered campaigns, reminders, and as an integration with Unbounce, while MailerLite and SendPulse are used for marketing mailings and cold emails.
- ClickMeeting – our webinar platform. It is very easy-to-use, customizable and well-designed solution that allows us to run our webinars, send appealing reminders and easily manage our attendees. I prefer ClickMeeting over other webinar tools on the market.
- NinjaOutreach – for discovering influencers and managing influence-marketing processes. Not the only one, but one of the best tools to reach the right people.
- Trello & BaseCamp – our task management and collaboration tools. We use Trello to plan and follow marketing projects, and BaseCamp is used by all team leaders to synchronize and plan strategically.
This is not a complete list of tools we use, but these ones are really important for our company. Of course, there are tons of tools used by the development department, designers and sales guys, but this list impacts our processes the most.