Perhaps you are one of the people in marketing, PR, or social media that attended Vocus' Demand Success 2014 conference the first week of June to learn how to generate more leads and build a stronger brand. If not, you missed a fun, competitive experience through gamification, thanks to Zoomph collages with leaderboards. Vocus' campaign was a success, tripling the engagement they generated last year.
I caught up on the phone with Ali Manouchehri, founder and CEO of Zoomph, and Amir Zonozi, Zoomph's chief strategy officer, on the heels of the event for a demo. I had to see and hear for myself how the influencer engagement platform works and how it came to be. Especially why small businesses, such as retail, restaurant, and professional services-and big brands like Mary Kay, the Baltimore Orioles, and the U.S. Department of State-are zooming to convert to it.
Manouchehri said he started Zoomph in 2010, mostly because that's when, "We took a step back and decided to solve our own problem for once. In 2012, the solution became the company." Today, Zoomph has spread to more than 3,000 organizations and businesses seeking ways to visually attract, engage, and convert customers and other members of their targeted audience.
Backtrack to 2010 when Manouchehri and some of his team were doing consulting at the Department of State. "We were testing various social media tools to listen, learn, and detect patterns when a VIP conducted a speech. When the Haiti earthquake hit, we used the same tools to provide real-time summary, analysis, and updates of the social media reaction to the earthquake, focusing specifically on capturing operational details and doing trending analysis."
Later the same year, Manouchehri's team supported another project collecting, moderating, and visualizing tweets for President Obama's speech in Indonesia. Then they continued consulting for another year, working to solve various challenges.
"Developing opportunities remained the same across the public and private sectors," said Manouchehri. "A comprehensive platform was needed to collect relevant content based on context and provide tools to quickly accomplish tasks. Many of the tools we were using were getting bought by Salesforce, Nielsen, and Oracle."
Like these other platforms, Zoomph offers a free trial. Once that ends, there are three pricing tiers starting at $15 a month, up to $295 a month. The difference: each payment plan includes unlimited users compared to the competition, which charges per user, per month. That can add up. The only differences with the higher-priced Zoomph plans are customization options.
Otherwise, Zoomph has all the bells and whistles you'd get from a comprehensive package with the competition, yet the price model is cost-effective so SMBs to enterprise-level customers can use it. It can monitor, publish, and measure campaign results, but its curation and visualization capabilities give brands full control to track conversations, rank influencers, power multi-tiered campaigns, and more. The company also just released "Zoomph Cast," which fuses ChromeCast with the Zoomph platform, providing real-time, customized display marketing from your mobile device. Just pick up a ChromeCast extension for $30 bucks.
"We eliminate barriers in collecting data, moderating and analyzing, ranking, and visualizing across platforms, all in one dashboard," said Manouchehri. "Certainly ZPoints is a key differentiator, however our ability to organize and visualize social chaos is an art. We don't add features for the sake of technology. We build everything in our platform with the focus of connecting and engaging an audience on a meaningful level. We believe everyone should have access to smarter social, and ZPoints is a great example of one of our differentiators in orchestrating collaborative visual storytelling."
The platform supports working groups using it on a large scale like the Oscars, Grammys, New York Marathon, and even the entire season for teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, and Washington Wizards. Yet it still provides an array of tools and options for the army of one, allowing one person to successfully manage their event or campaign.
Besides the size of organizations using Zoomph, users are also diverse, including marketers, content strategists, community managers, analysts, event coordinators, digital strategists, marketing specialists, CMOs, and you name 'em. In May for example, John Kerry hosted a Twitter chat when he was meeting with young African public figures, activists, and entrepreneurs to answer questions about American policy in the region during the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria. The chat with YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) used the platform to filter and stream the most relevant tweets being sent out in real time.
"Zoomph is heavily used to capture relevant and inspiring content to promote positive actions, which can be done through the platform's various visualizations for web, mobile, TV, and digital displays," Manouchehri said. Clients use it to promote engaging content; create impactful visual stories; identify influencers to engage as brand ambassadors; stream content from Zoomph to digital displays; and increase engagement at events.
Manouchehri believes Zoomph will become a tool that users and business will leverage like QuickBooks or Quicken, "where any individual or business can manage their content, analyze, and create visuals to promote their business, brand, and products."