Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Detch Singh and Nikhil Madhok, co-founders of Hypetap.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
There is an authenticity problem in the Australian influencer marketing industry at present. Audiences have reached a tipping point in their appetites for sponsored campaigns, due to brands treating influencer marketing like a media buy, and Hypetap is setting out to fix this.
Hypetap is an influencer marketing tech platform and agency that enables brands and influencers to build relationships by creating content together on the platform, as opposed to purchasing pre-prepared content based on a brief. The technology streamlines each step of the influencer management process from negotiations and logistics to post management, metrics and reporting.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Hypetap is fully bootstrapped with no external funding and we are proud of the growth we have achieved to date without relying on investment. We’re big advocates of not raising money unless you need to, and we’ve been able to do this based on how we set up the business to operate. We have reinvested all our earnings back into the business, with both of us forgoing a salary to this point.
As the first player in the Australian market, we’re looking at expanding into Asia in the near future. Already, we work with a few brands in Singapore and Indonesia and we’d look to those geographies in the next six months or so. We have also just launched our creative agency model and we see a big growth opportunity as agencies and brands start to explore this new way of content marketing campaign management and the importance of authentic and valuable content.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
The biggest challenge for us is that influencer marketing itself, while growing exponentially, is still an infant category, and many brands are still testing the water when it comes to utilising it as a major marketing strategy. Having watched the industry grow over the last few years, we’re using our expertise and experience to advise brands and agencies and ensure their campaigns are successful. The ultimate goal for us is to validate to brands and agencies why influencer marketing should transition to be a core part of the marketing mix.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
The influencer marketing space has matured rapidly and there are a number of players all looking to take a piece of the pie. Hypetap streamlines the process, allowing brands and agencies to focus on creativity and working with influencers to create genuine, authentic content in a vastly different way to our competitors.
While other providers are only compatible with some social platforms, Hypetap is cross social platform, covering Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and blogs, with the largest influencer network by reach (160 million) in the Asia Pacific region. Hypetap’s model allows brands and agencies of all sizes and budgets to engage equally on the platform and gain benefits from influencer marketing.
Unlike other platforms that use a contest or marketplace approach, where influencers produce content with the hope of having it selected, often without return, Hypetap enables brands to work with influencers to ensure a higher quality of content. Additionally, the platform gives users full approval of the process and access to reporting in real-time, enabling brands to have a more genuine and predictable set of KPIs.
Hypetap has helped execute best in class influencer marketing campaigns for major Australian and global brands including LG, Nestle, Nine West, Holden, Tripadvisor, Shoes of Prey and Disney.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Asana is a must have for us at Hypetap HQ. Our team of 11 includes our in-house development team and we’re constantly across multiple projects. As we’ve grown, Asana has been essential for helping us manage sprints, assign responsibilities, keep track of upcoming deadlines and ensure that we get the best results as a team.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
No matter how much work you have on your plate, always carve out time dedicated to working on the business rather than in the business. Taking a step back regularly, provides clarity when it comes to figuring out whether the work you are doing actually aligns with your long term strategy or whether you should be focusing on other things.
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