10 Marketing Startups to Pay Attention to in 2016
Need an advocate to support your next campaign? A freelancer to write the copy? These sites can help.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Marketing agencies and startups come and go, but even the good ones don't necessarily stick around. Instead, successful marketing startups are those which evolve with the ever-growing demands of marketing, whether they be in the digital or off-line categories, or in the rapidly growing area of content marketing.
Related: 3 Ways to Optimize Your Startup's Content Marketing
Successful marketing looks toward current and shifting trends to figure out where the demand is headed and how to best connect companies and target markets in a meaningful way.
Even given those best efforts, though, it's difficult to predict which marketing startups will thrive and which will fizzle out. But some stand out in a crowded marketplace vying for marketing dollars. Take a look at these 10 marketing startups you should pay attention to in 2016 and beyond.
Figuring out how to stand out on social media, let alone how to convert a following into paying customers, has spawned a new era of complex content marketing. Quuu helps take the guesswork out of social media marketing and provides hand-curated content suggestions.
Thankfully, there are no machines here automating the process with a bunch of efforts at keyword search and Twitter-pilfering. Instead, actual humans, or "Quuurators," are behind the scenes, carefully picking the content you're looking for to engage your target audience.
Contently combines a talent network of content marketers, customized marketing services and enterprise technology to manage corporate content, all in one place. With a freelance network of writers across 60 countries, Contently counts Google and American Express Open as clients.
In all, Contently manages a base of 55,000 journalists, videographers, researchers and other content marketing pros to cover just about every angle of content marketing.
Slash the hours you spend creating and optimizing cross-promotional campaigns across Facebook, Twitter and Adwords. Accomplice counts Viacom and IMG as some of its happy clients, which automate their campaigns and boost revenues. Accomplice promises impressive returns on ad spending in the 5-to-25-times range, and in 10 minutes or less.
It makes good on those promises by managing campaign bids, adjusting budgets and looking for the highest return on every dollar you spend.
Finding advocates to support your campaigns in B2B marketing is a complicated task, at best. Influitive takes the guesswork out of recruiting, mobilizing and recognizing advocates. Its advocate marketing software can be used to engage loyal advocates, to refer new clients and close deals.
Relying on the concept of advocate marketing, Influitive knows that incentivizing happy customers to spread the word about your company is one of the most effective ways to skyrocket your business to success.
Related: The Holy Grail of Startup Marketing: Search, Social and Content
5. Scribble Live
Scribble Live digs deep into the pain points of any content marketer and works to transform that marketer's effectiveness and productivity. Scribble's philosophy revolves around the concept that digital and non-digital marketing is usually a waste of time and doesn't deliver quality results.
Instead, ScribbleLive uses data science and content to figure out exactly how to deliver the business outcomes you want while eliminating the need for excess marketing resources.
6. Influence & Co.
Influence & Co. works with brands, including Fortune 500 companies, using tools that range from its influencer positioning to its content marketing strategy. Unlike many of the marketing startups making a splash, Influencer is all about hands-on, personal relationship-building.
This means that instead of relying on an automated process of software-studying algorithms and data, Influence & Co. works on forming connections and relationships with 800 publications, regardless of how "niche-y" a client's industry is.
One of the few marketing startups focusing on mobile, Kahuna creates personalized communications at scale by helping its clients better understand their customers. This leads to stronger engagement and more opportunity for revenue through its mobile-marketing automation tools and reporting.
Kahuna users can develop hyper-targeted customer segments, complete with real-time, dynamic segments and automated life-cycle campaigns.
NewsCred turns brands into publishers by turning marketing objectives into complete editorial experiences. While NewsCred does create traditional content marketing assets like white papers, it strategizes the entire process through a mashup of publishing-meets-marketing.
Editors go beyond creating brand-focused content, and curate articles and images. Each piece of content necessitates custom content brainstorms, story development and careful writer selection.
For some content marketers, creating an epic white paper is the easy part. Finding the right audience to read it, promote it and rave about it is the real challenge. Socedo automates your social media lead generation and starts engaging its members with one click.
The process helps you find influencers and prospects according to the custom criteria you set. From there, you can even qualify them by creating a predefined engagement workflow.
Losing customers to unnecessarily high bounce rates? Picreel lets you recover those wandering visitors and actually turn them into paying customers. With Picreel, you can create an overlay and show a customized and highly targeted pop-up to visitors about to leave your site.
You can also design a survey to solicit feedback, instead of guessing why potential customers might be leaving your page. This way, you can find out what they want to see instead -- and give it to them.
Do you have a marketing startup on your list to watch? Share it by leaving a comment below.
Related: How a Ghostwriter Can Breathe Life Into Your Startup's Content Strategy