MuseFind Helps Brands Leverage the Power of Influencers
An estimated 1.96 billion people worldwide use social media. You’ve been directed to find the relevant and influential social media users that will connect your brand with their audiences. Talk about finding needles in a haystack. Tech startup MuseFind has engineered a solution designed to help enterprises find those needles.
Influencer marketing is increasingly becoming part of brand-consumer interactions. In a Tomoson survey of marketing professionals, 51 percent said they got better quality customers through influencer marketing, and 59 percent said they planned to increase influencer marketing budgets over the next year.
However, businesses have struggled to find an effective end-to-end solution that would connect them with influencers. MuseFind CEO Jennifer Li, who co-founded the startup with CTO Stephen Shen and COO/CFO Andry Tanusdjaja, says, “You have an intern who sits there and has a spreadsheet. He or she is putting in the influencer’s name, the last time they emailed, what status they’re in. A lot of information gets missed, and it’s an inefficient way of doing it.”
MuseFind, which is based in Vancouver and has offices in New York City, allows brands to track and manage all aspects of influencer marketing campaigns, from finding relevant social media users to tracking key performance indicators. Likewise, influencers can use the platform to connect with relevant brands, start collaborations, and receive compensation.
The startup employs a machine learning algorithm to match a brand with appropriate influencers based on factors like demographics, style, and relevance. It also keeps track of influencers’ social media pages as well as the posts they share for a brand’s campaign. As a result, businesses are better able to leverage influencers to reach consumers at scale — and do it without the disruption of ads or other intrusive marketing.
While other marketing platforms identify influencers, MuseFind differentiates itself with an additional feature: it uses a proprietary formula that standardizes how much influencers can charge for a sponsorship fee. Li says, “For example, if an influencer has 1,000 followers and is approached by a global brand, more than likely [the influencer] won’t be charging that brand anything because the opportunity to represent such a giant brand outweighs their sponsorship fee. We call it leveraging your brand equity. We’re the only platform in the industry that does that.”
“[MuseFind] really saves these big brands a ton of time, a ton of headache, and, most importantly, the value of influencer marketing is not lost — it’s amplified.”
She continues, “We streamline that process into a beautiful interface that automates a lot of those things for you. It really saves these big brands a ton of time, a ton of headache, and, most importantly, the value of influencer marketing is not lost — it’s amplified.”
Innovation Powered by Partnership
Before MuseFind’s partnership with Microsoft, CTO Shen says the company’s developers were stymied by limited technology resources. “They weren’t able to do some things they wanted to do or they were limited by how fast a computer can finish those tasks.” He notes the team’s developers are “happier” now that they use Microsoft technology. “[Azure] gives you the ability to scale without having to worry about the hardware limitations you’d have if you were to run your own server.”
Shen also says MuseFind’s work with Microsoft has helped it work past a significant barrier for many startups: cost. “The Microsoft Azure sponsorship allows us to be innovative and push the boundaries of what we can do without having to worry about the financial constraints.”
CEO Li says the startup received a significant boost from its participation with Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA). The accelerator’s ability to plug MuseFind into a powerful network gave the startup a huge advantage. She notes that the real power of the ERA network is its emphasis on the quality of the connections rather than the quantity. “The introductions [ERA] made for us specifically to customers, to partners, to investors have actually been tangible. They’ve been very intelligent matches. They don’t introduce you to just anybody; they want to make sure there’s a really good fit.”
“Your measure of success is the value of what you’re bringing to the market, and the market will never ever lie to you.”
Li says MuseFind has evolved into a 12-person team that will continue to add value to the product. “One thing I really emphasize to my team is don’t be distracted by how much money people raise…Your measure of success is the value of what you’re bringing to the market, and the market will never ever lie to you. If it likes [the product], it will use it; if it doesn’t, you’ll have to keep raising money until you blow up or burn the cash.”
MuseFind has also started tapping the next generation to help build the technology of the future. In the summer of 2016, the startup “adopted” a 13-year-old boy, who is officially known as the Chief Boy of MuseFind. Li says his experiences as a member of Generation Z have added valuable perspective to the team’s work. Over previous generations, the CEO notes, the emphasis was on the brand as the thought leader. “Now people are putting themselves and their peers — or people who seem like their peers — as that reflection of who they want to be.”