Today we have an interview with Paul May of the popular link building tool BuzzStream. So once again without further ado, here it is...Enjoy! (Thanks again to Paul for taking the time out to do this interview, if anyone has any questions leave them in the comments below!)
Hey Paul, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your company, BuzzsStream?
Hey Craig. Sure, I'm Paul May and I'm one of the co-founders of BuzzStream. BuzzStream provides software to help marketers more effectively promote their products, services and content so that they get more links and generate more buzz. BuzzStream does this by centralizing all of the information about the organization's content promotion efforts, keeping track of their communications with influencers and publishers, and eliminating the manual steps involved with prospecting, research, and reporting.
What were your reasons for starting the company?
So the original idea came out of a problem that my co-founder, Jeremy Bencken, had with his last company. He built an apartment hunting site called ApartmentRatings.com and, through organic search, grew it to a pretty high traffic site. His biggest challenge was always scaling his link building without sacrificing personalized approaches to outreach. His team knew that links were the key to rankings and content promotion was what they found to be the most effective means to acquiring links, but there weren't good ways to scale this without using spammy approaches.
The problem, in his mind, was that there weren't purpose-built tools that would eliminate the manual, low value tasks and there weren't tools to manage the entire process. They ended up using a mish-mash of loosely tied together tools, including a general CRM, assorted spreadsheets and a set of scripts. This was really ineffective, so when Jeremy sold his business, he zeroed in on this as a problem that needed to be solved.
At that point Jeremy approached me and we started interviewing people to validate the market opportunity. That gave us the confidence to move forward and it also convinced us that this was going to fit into a bigger trend in the market. We came to the conclusion that, over time, there was going to be more and more overlap between the work of PR pros, SEOs and social media marketers. With this, there would be a need for tools to help coordinate and control the efforts among them. So we saw both an immediate need and a long-term opportunity.
I personally have only used the link building side of Buzzstream so sticking with that I can only really think of one gripe, which is the link prospector (I didn't find it to be very good) but with the ability to import your own data there is no real issue. Where do you personally think your strengths and weaknesses are with the tool and what sets you apart from the competition? Yeah, I think the prospecting tool is an area where there's a lot of room for improvement. We'll likely make improvements throughout the year but, frankly, it's not our top priority, for the reason you mentioned. There are a lot of great, low cost prospecting tools out there already and we make it really easy to pull the data into BuzzStream.
As far as our strengths, I think that our tools for conducting outreach with publishers and influencers and managing your relationships with them is by far the best in the industry. This is particularly the case if you work amongst a team.
Do you have any updates that you can tell us about?
We'll focus on three areas throughout the rest of the year:
- Reporting and integration
- Continued improvements to our outreach capabilitiesn
- Continued focus on usability improvementsn
How has your marketing strategy changed, if at all?
Over the last twelve months we've ramped up our content marketing efforts and we've started to attend more conferences.
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