It used to be enough to have a company blog and some paid content that was the focus of the marketing department’s content efforts. But with big players like Salesforce and HubSpot launching their own full-fledged media divisions, it might be time to rethink your content strategy.
audience plus, a new media platform with a long-time marketing executive, hopes to provide the media capabilities of these large companies to much smaller companies. Today, the company announced a $5.4 million seed round.
“We call it a owned media platform, but think of it as an evolution of a blog or a resource center, or it could be a standalone media property for a brand,” company founder and CEO Anthony Kenada told TechCrunch.
The idea is to give you control over your own user base, which is a big reason HubSpot bought The Hustle, for example. They want to reach engaged users who are interested in the products that HubSpot sells.
Kenada hopes his platform will bring the same kind of leverage to every company. This involves four main parts. For starters, you can use AudiencePlus to build media platforms without writing a single line of code. This could involve producing videos, podcasts, blogs or even live events.
“So it could be a webinar or a virtual event or something else for that purpose, all on your own domain. So instead of sending the traffic to YouTube now, it’s sending it to your own property, in the There you can build a direct relationship,” he said.
What’s more, you can get people to subscribe to your various products so they can stay updated with the latest news and also give you more direct access to people who are interested in your company and what you’re doing. The platform also includes an analytics section, which he sees as an important value proposition for the company, giving clients insight into their audience and what they’re consuming.
Finally, says Kenada, who has served as chief marketing officer at various companies including Gainsight and Hopin, you have to justify investing in media platforms to the top management. AudiencePlus includes the ability to link to marketing automation and CRM software to see how content drives a company’s business, which is especially important as CIOs scrutinize every dollar spent for business value.
“It’s fundamentally about demand generation and revenue. It’s great for brand teams that want to use it…but it’s really mostly focused on helping companies generate demand in a more efficient way,” he said.
The important thing to remember is that building the infrastructure is one thing, but attracting an audience to the platform is much more difficult. The company already has dozens of paying customers using the platform, including Zuora, Five9 and Crossbeam. His early customers were primarily SaaS companies, but the product could be useful to any marketing department looking for new ways to build audiences and access new supplies of first-party data, which will become increasingly important as the phase-out on the website cookie.
The company currently has 10 employees and has some open records. He said he hopes to build a diverse workforce as he expands the company. “This is very critical and very important. As a brand, we have a responsibility to be at the forefront of this,” he said.
Today’s $5.3 million round was led by Emergence Capital, with participation from Forum Ventures, Worklife Ventures and GTMfund. It also includes angel investors from several tech CEOs, including Nick Mehta of his former company Gainsight.