Startup Radius interviewed PublicFast – a platform for fully automated influencer marketing (yeah, you can contact guys with huge audience now!). Learn how they hacked their viral growth before even launching a product, and now have 50 000 influencers with 650,000,000 users/followers across the globe. Also, discover why it’s important to teach your users from the very first day. Enjoy!

Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is PublicFast?

Publicfast — is fully automated influencer marketing platform. What does it mean? Here we help brands and influencers create awesome campaigns in social networks. The brand can find influencers anywhere in the world, sort them by the needed filters and launch the campaign. It only takes a few minutes. The brand does not need to worry about spending a lot of time and resources, finding the right influencers, engaging influencers in the campaign, agreeing on campaign conditions, monitoring the correctness of tasks, measuring ROI, analyze influencer’s performance or payment for influencers work — the platform does everything.

Influencer Marketing Platform - PublicFast

Why are you building this? Was there a particular source of inspiration or money-making idea?

Before the creation of Publicfast, I worked as a VP of Sales and Marketing in AdviceWallet, and one of my tasks was to find and work with influencers. This process was very lengthy, complicated and tedious. So I came up with the idea of a platform where you can launch the campaign in a couple of clicks.

Time for bragging! How big you are – traffic, users, anything else?

Publicfast has more than 350 brands and 50 000 influencers, covering 650 million users across the globe. We conducted more than 1000 campaigns, including world brands: M&M’s, Universal Music Group, PokerStars, Samsung, HP, Finlandia, Danone.

Who are your main competitors, and how good/bad they are?

  1. FameBit ( aqr. Youtube)
  2. TapInfluence (min budget 65K)
  3. Niche ( aqr. Twitter)
  4. Boostinsider  ( only CPA model)

Our competitor’s done a great job but mainly work with large brands and large budgets. Small and medium-sized businesses can not afford to use the services. Also, many of them only work only with one social network. Also, on the platforms of our competitors, it is almost impossible to find micro influencers, only digital celebrities. But trends of the future shows us that micro influencers are the future for Fortune 500 companies as well as for small and medium-sized businesses.

Influencer Marketing Platform's Interface - Influencers

Who uses your services/sites? What is your perfect buyer persona?

Our users, on the one hand, are brands or their representatives like marketers, PR specialists, social media managers, account managers at agencies that want to cooperate with influencers in social networks. On the other hand, they are influencers who are interested in writing posts for their favorite brands and monetize their influence. Our perfect client from the brand side is a person who understands how influence marketing works, knows his tasks and goals he wants to achieve, working with influencers.

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

Launching Publicfast, we simultaneously created a scoring platform that measured the influencer score of each person who signs in via Facebook and then suggested switching to Publicfast to cooperate with brands.

Users began to share their ratings in social networks and invite friends to do the same. This allowed us to get the viral effect before we launched the primary product.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

The main challenge while creating the product early was teaching both brands and influencers. We occupied a new niche, so there were not many people who understand how it works and what results to expect. We actively educated brands and influencers to launch successful campaigns on our blog, social networks, guest articles and at events. Thanks to our work, the brands realized the necessity and mechanics of cooperation with influencers.

Influencer Marketing for Brands

If you could give a marketing advice to other companies, what could it be based on your experience?

If you are entering the market with a new product, it is very critical to teach users from the very beginning what the purpose of the product is and how to use it right. It is necessary to convey what problems it solves and how it will help to generate income.

Which marketing channels you prefer and why?

We prefer to use content marketing channels (blog posts, articles in niche resources, guest posts, social networks posts), as they enable not only to promote our service, but also to give useful information and educate. Shortly, we plan to concentrate on video content to provide value to our consumers.

Influencer Marketing network

Why did you choose the current monetization method?

At Publicfats, any brand can start to work with influencers with the minimum budget $200, and we take commission 25% over the budget – such model help brands check service and see the results.

For more, we have subscription $149/month, and then we open more data and opportunities.

What are the top 5-10 products/services you use in your company (marketing, development, business) and why do you like them?

  • Instagram/Facebook/Youtube/Twitter – best channels to communicate with customers;
  • Intercom – helps contacting clients 24/7;
  • Slack, Basecamp – organizing team work, for short and long-term tasks;
  • Calendar – helps a lot with organizing calls with customers;
  • Pipedrive – perfect CRM for small teams, like us;
  • Google Analytics – you need to track everything to make decisions, so Google Analytics help us a lot
  • Mailchimp/SendGrid – we use both for sending varieties of emails to customers with updates and valuable information.