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April 20 2012

Brand-To-Fan Platform Crowdtap Expands To Facebook & Mobile, Sees Revenue Soar
Crowdtap, a web-based network that allows brands to connect with their most engaged fans and customers through social media, has just expanded to two more platforms: Facebook and mobile. The mobile application comes in the form of an iPhone app which allows fans to participate in the brand's "challenges" (games and contests) in order to earn rewards. Meanwhile, the new Facebook tab sets up a special "VIP" section right on the brand's own Facebook page, to allow for interactions with its top fans.

July 27 2011


Crowdtap Raises $7 Million To Help Brands Connect With Their Influential Customers

Crowdtap, a service that allows marketers to easily collaborate with and mobilize targeted crowds of influential consumers, announced today that it has raised $7 million in series A funding. The round was led by Foundry Group, with participation from GSA Venture Partners and social media agency Mr. Youth.

Mr. Youth invested $3 million of seed funding in Crowdtap back in 2009 (and served as an incubator for the company during its early stages), which brings the startup’s total current investment to $10 million. Crowdtap said that it will use its infusion of capital to ramp up hiring in both its sales and engineering teams.

With an ever-widening gulf between consumers and brands, Crowdtap is attempting to retool marketing to make it a more collaborative and participatory process. It’s certainly an ambitious goal, which the startup hopes to catalyze by allowing brands and marketing agencies to access its growing member base of 150,000 Crowdtappers. The startup wants to become a network “for Brand Influencer Communities”, or, in other words, a resource that aggregates groups of influential consumers that can be tapped for realtime research, collaboration, or word-of-mouth marketing.

Leveraging existing customer bases, along with locating potential new customers, is no easy feat for brands. Crowdtap hopes to enable brands to identify, centralize, and activate key consumers by more easily tapping into their Facebook, Twitter, and CRM channels. Crowdtap offers brands the ability to poll their top customers, view profiles of these customers, and receive breakdowns and analysis of the polls, which can then be retargeted based on answers provided. Brands can also form panels of consumer to quickly start discussions, posing questions to which consumers can then respond, comment on, and vote.

For its community of Crowdtappers, the startup attempts to increase brand engagement by offering a game-ified experience, allowing these members to level-up, gaining status among their favorite brands, earn perks, get access to the latest products, and make donations to charities of their choice.

Since launching its beta platform in August of 2010, Crowdtappers have completed 4.6 million brand actions, which include polling, online panels, social sampling, etc., and the startup’s communities are now averaging nearly 400,000 actions per week. Crowdtap launched officially at SxSW in March and has since added another 100,000 members in the U.S.

Brands currently working with Crowdtap include Old Navy, AMEX, Pinkberry, MSN, Diageo and Bing, and the startup has also forged partnerships with PR, creative, and digital agencies like Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal, and Mullen.

For more on Crowdtap, check out the video below:

June 17 2011


Brand-To-Fan Connector, Crowdtap, Hits $1 Million Revenue With 115,000 Members

A New York City startup that helps brands connect with and reward their fans via Facebook, Crowdtap, recently crossed the $1 million revenue mark for 2011, with 115,000 active members and about 50 major brand clients, chief executive officer Brandon Evans reported today.

Crowdtap members earn redeemable points for taking “brand actions” like: completing “quick hit” surveys, voting in a poll, participating in a live-online discussions or sharing brand-related content with a few friends via social media and the Crowdtap platform. The points that Crowdtap gives its members can be redeemed for an array of real world incentives, among them: an gift card, or a cash donation to a charity chosen from the company’s list of approved organizations. These range from environmental non-profits like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy to The American Red Cross, Autism Speaks and Invisible Children.

Crowdtap requires that users donate five percent of their points to a charity of their choice. They can give more if they choose. Since launch, users have racked up $20,000 worth of points in donations to these charities (not all of that has been paid out, yet). Evans said his company aims to give users more and more choices over time; he is constantly adding causes and charities to the list.

To prevent Crowdtap members, who are brand fanatics, from turning into spammers the site only rewards points to users for sharing brand-related content that they “like” with up to four friends online. The points are doled out to the sharer once the recipient rates the content they’ve received.

Users who agree to either create content about a brand — like a video they made about their latest shopping trip to Old Navy— or who volunteer to host a party where they’ll pass around sample products provided by the brand, can gain a stronger reputation (and badges) within Crowdtap. Users with a higher reputation score become eligible for product freebies and other incentives that new or lighter users won’t get.

Marketers and media planners are embracing Crowdtap, Evans explained, because:

“The motivation we provide is not to get someone to simply post something. We motivate members to participate in a [brand's] community and with our site in a way that’s as authentic as it can be. We can provide measurement that’s granular. We factor in proximity, intensity, engagement, and memory— time users spent with a brand in addition to [how many users the brand] reaches.”

[Ed's note: See the screenshot below for a look at the marketer-side of Crowdtap.]

More than 75,000 of Crowdtap’s users signed up after the company launched its site in March at SxSWi, Evans said. The company charges its clients per interaction— if a user agrees to share a brand’s content, or take other actions, that generates a fee for Crowdtap. The number of brand-sponsored actions that Crowdtap members have completed in May 2011 totaled 385,000 Evans said. About 50 major brands and agencies are currently using Crowdtap, ranging from AOL (which owns TechCrunch) to Diesel, GolinHarris public relations, Pinkberry, Entenmanns and the ad agency Mullen.

Crowdtap ran a poll in May 2011— of the type it would run on behalf of an automotive brand or environmental group— for TechCrunch Greentech. We asked the site’s users who are parents: when would you buy an electric vehicle (if ever)?

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