Having marketed their own mobile apps through blog reviews, Pollen-8 co-founders Lisa Gordon and Kelly Nowlin know first-hand how time consuming it can be to market products to bloggers one by one. They also developed empathy for reviewers whose inboxes were filled with products that were of no interest to them. Through this process they saw a need for low cost PR.
The core Pollen-8 customer comes from the small to mid-size market. Each year, tens of thousands of new products are brought to market adding to the existing small to mid-sized businesses that can benefit from low cost PR. When businesses market products to bloggers they see an increase in SEO, enhanced brand awareness, increased social media following and allowance for pre-market testing.
Through Pollen-8’s automated system, marketers present their product or service via text with photo pitch or by video along with reviewer requirements as part of a three day campaign sent to reviewers in a daily email. Listings are displayed in one of thirteen categories including home & garden, food, eco-friendly, and of course, mobile apps. Additionally, Pollen-8 recognizes charitable organizations as a sector that can benefit from word-of-mouth marketing so there is aspecific non-profit category. Furthermore, Pollen-8 believes in the emerging youth market and has a dedicated listing category for “Youth Innovators” where entrepreneurs ages 13-17 can list their products. Full campaigns for both non-profits and youth innovators are offered for half price.
More than 500 reviewer members, who have joined either by invitation or through finding it on their own, evaluate the pitch and request to review the product. Marketers decide which interested reviewers meet their needs by evaluating the reviewer’s profiles which become accessible once a reviewer requests to review the marketer’s product. Product samples are provided to the reviewer in exchange for a review which is typically published on a blog, as well as multiple social media platforms.
“Through our beta our marketers found it easy to connect with bloggers. The reviews were honest and they learned a great deal from the reviewer feedback.” remarked Pollen-8’s COO Kelly Nowlin. “We developed a highly intuitive site that is straightforward allowing marketers to easily create a campaign and pitch on their own for a very low out of pocket cost.” Ms. Nowlin said further. But, users should not think they have to be left to their own devices. Pollen-8 staff is responsive and readily available to assist in all aspects of the process.
Both marketer and reviewer members have personal dashboards which allow them to manage campaigns and communicate directly. Additional organizational tools are also offered for customers who want more help.
Pollen-8’s Chief Strategy Officer Donna Star says “At a time when 70% of online shoppers consult reviews or ratings before making a purchase and SEO is determined by true and natural content, we know Pollen-8’s low cost PR can be of great service.”
Membership is free for both marketers and reviewers at http://www.pollen-8.com.
Pollen-8 is an online product review community based in Needham. MA. Pollen-8 provides a do-it-yourself solution whereby product marketers can pitch their products to an influential community of interested and engaged online product reviewers for the purpose of building brand awareness, improving SEO, social media following, and overall creating buzz. Pollen-8 allows its marketers to request reviewers by demographic criteria, showcase their product through multi-media options including photo and video, and communicate directly with reviewers on key aspects of the campaign. For more information please visit http://www.pollen-8.com.