When I woke up this morning I said to myself, do you know what the world needs more of? Engagement marketing, that’s what. Then I went back to sleep. But, seemingly, engagement marketing, where consumers are enticed to produce brand-related User-Generated Content, is the social media gift that keeps on giving. Enter: Pitch’d, a new UK startup that launches today with a platform to help brands get in on the engagement marketing action by running video competitions on Vine, Instagram, and MixBit.
Founded by Adam Stamper, who was perviously a brand builder at Procter & Gamble and has built various social apps on the side, Pitch’d is targeting brands and agencies who want to run video competitions that challenge users to shoot short videos on a specific topic and — surprise, surprise! — have them share those creations within their social network.
Functionality supported by the platform includes the ability to pre-moderate entries, and a live analytics dashboard that shows per-channel entries, reach and voting status while the contest is running.
In addition, a public-facing ‘leader-board’ is offered in the form of a web-based widget, a Facebook page tab, and a mobile-ready HTML5 version.
To enter a Pitch’d-powered contest, users can tweet their video @mentioning the brand with a specific #hashtag, and entries can be voted on by users via Facebook or retweets on Twitter.
Agencies can also skin the leader-board to fit the campaign’s ‘look and feel’, while an API lets them directly integrate the leader-board into their native mobile apps if desired.
Pitch’d founder Stamper says the catalyst for developing the platform was the launch of Twitter-owned Vine. “It’s a fantastic app which really inspires its users to express their creativity,” he says. “I felt this opened up a huge opportunity for brands to harness and reward that creativity, challenging their audience to create and share content on the brand’s behalf.”
More broadly, the inspiration for Pitch’d came from a disparity Stamper sees between expensive top-down marketing campaigns and bottom-up social (or, dare I say, engagement) marketing. “I saw on one side the huge media budgets spent by advertisers, and on the other side epic social-graph-driven traction with no marketing spend,” he says. “That duality was the inspiration for Pitch’d; the idea that advertisers would be better served by working with their audience rather than (expensively) yelling at them”.
Pricing-wise, Pitch’d says it’s offering a “limited number” of subscription packages for digital marketing agencies from £749 plus taxes per month, whilst standard pay-per-contest pricing begins at £1,795 plus taxes.
At the high end, something like the video competition platform MoFilm, which targets professional or semi-pro film makers and challenges them to create video content for advertisers, might be considered a competitor to Pitch’d. Or at the lower end, “there are sweepstakes providers like OfferPop or WooBox who offer simple photo competitions with the primary objective of keeping an advertiser’s fans vaguely engaged,” says Stamper. “We’re in the middle – we let brands solicit powerful creative content but from a wide variety of people thanks to the low-friction entry mechanic, easy integration, and multi-app support”.