I Make $8K/Month With A Tool To Create Better Youtube Ads Campaigns
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hey guys, I’m Henrique Chappuis and I'm co-founder of Biteplay.
To sum up, Biteplay is a SaaS that allows Brands to find the perfect audience to promote their products on YouTube, by placing ads in relevant video content and creating co-labs with Youtube influencers.
We’re an early-stage startup with a 1-year old business that generates 5-10k each month and is growing by 30% a month in revenue because we’re in the hot spot of the video era. Moreover, Biteplay is used in 56 countries around the world and we got to be featured in Product Hung as a top 2 product of the day and week competing with the most innovative product and tech in the world.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I started doing YT ads in 2016 and I got some really good experience doing it since just a few guys were doing it at the time. I was able to generate more than 1M in global revenue, and it’s still a blue ocean now in 2021, to be honest.
But let's back up a little bit.
I'm a college quiter.
Back to 2014 (uff it's a long time ago, right?) I was studying advertising but as soon as I realized that marketing classes were so outdated and all the knowledge that I could get was already free and fresh (cuz you know, things change faster than ever) I decided to quit and start doing my own business.
My wife and I started offering advertiser services for locals (such as Google ads, Facebook ads, social media, websites, etc.) but this rapidly changed to affiliate business. When we figured out that we could make sales all over the world just by creating some ads and getting a good commission for doing that, we focused 100% on this business model.
If you're just starting and want to know how to learn things quickly and inside the battlefield, I'd recommend it for everyone. Yes, it's getting more competitive over the years, but come on! You can get ahead of the competition using Biteplay =D (and we also have a great affiliate system btw).
To summarize a bit: After working with tons of niches I came up with an idea to automate the process of doing YT ads and not wasting money on irrelevant video placements.
The #1 tip to make a successful campaign on any platform is to show your products to people who care about what you have to say.
Youtube is the perfect place to do it.
No other video platform gives you the ability to choose exactly where your ad will show up, but the catch is: Youtube's algorithm is not good at doing that.
Please, don’t get me wrong. YT is owned by Google and they have the best engineers working hard with AI and tons of crazy tech and well, we don’t, but the thing is: Big tech wants you to spend your money on their platforms.
We saw this huge gap and a great opportunity to build software on top of that and automate this boring and inaccurate process.
That's when my co-founder, Leonardo Chappuis, got into the project. Look, I don't know how to write a single line of code, I just know how to sell things. So, I sold the idea to my cousin who was studying game dev. at the time.
Yeah, Games and SaaS were not closely related.
But as a good developer that wants to challenge himself, he agreed to learn new things and hop on this and try to build a simple process to automate the work for us. At the time we're not so sure that it would be a whole business. (Today he's a game developer and a full-stack developer for the web as well haha).
BP is simple up to these days but gives a powerful way to get together all the data you need and allow you to get in front of the right content that your perfect audience is watching.
After a few weeks of developing the product (a kinda different product that is now), we put it into the market to see if more people were facing the same problems.
We were surprised because these people were not even aware of the issues, but they were amazed at how we fixed it in such an easy way and that it spread fast to more than 2 thousand users with lots of feedback and with a unique view of our product that we were not even thinking about at the time.
That was a game-changer.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The first draft of the product was only a tool for internal usage, so we didn’t plan to have a good UX since we are the only ones using it. Back at the time, it was not a product, just a tool.
The MVP was useful but very glitchy. Adjusting the product to get the first users was extremely necessary, but it worked. We gave our tool to some key users to test it out and give feedback, and in this phase, we didn’t make any money at all, but the goal was to collect as much data as we could to develop a better product for the users.
How we approached beta-testers:
I decided to post about Biteplay everywhere and get feedback, mainly in Facebook groups.
Who still uses Facebook?! - you ask me.
Well, plenty of Facebook groups are filled with founders like me and you. The best place to find it is around your niche.
For me, Clickbank groups, Thrivecart, SaaS growth Hacker,s and many others were great places to post around the problem I was trying to solve.
Do not post it as a promotional thing. I've tried to trigger benevolence such as asking if the landing page looks good if the message was clear if the price makes sense etc.
Also, many people were not aware of how great YT ads are, so I've made some posts to educate them around the solution, show them the new opportunity, and then invite them to test it as beta users. Some of them are clients until now, but the main goal there was to collect feedback and create small networking to make sure that we were on the right path.
After looking for tons of Facebook groups, forums and blogs we were able to make the changes that the users were sharing, but it was not an easy step tho, since the developer had a gaming background and my background was in the marketing side. Of course, it helped us a lot, but being a founder and leading a SaaS required us to understand the industry and study in depth all the processes at this position.
Our process to collect feedback was painful because I did some 1-1 interviews (trying to collect some video testimonials as well).
Back in the day, we didn't get the vision to install a simple form such as Typeform to get instant feedback - a big mistake that cost us a lot of time doing conversational research (but again, needed in that current situation.)
Describe the process of launching the business.
It’s launch time!!! But the bad news is that our product is not mature yet.
Also, we’re facing a huge issue: users don’t see why our tool is important.
Our goal was to fix YouTube ads, but most people were not doing it, so we have an idea: Educate them! This is a problem and with a problem always comes an opportunity.
Many mistakes were made. I didn’t make an email list nor tag the visitor to display some retargeting. As a marketer myself that was a big one.
We had to craft a YouTube ads training course from zero, and then we were able to design a funnel that educates our leads into the process so that they understand why Biteplay is a must-have tool on their hands.
Inverting the logic was the perfect adjustment to our message.
Building an educational product around Biteplay was the key to acquiring new users while we mitigated the acquisition costs with a training course, which is until now our main funnel model.
To show the problem and solution opportunity, we've made a simple VSL (video sales letter) that you can find here (not using this format anymore tho).
The strategy was to create and sell the training course with the software bundle. In that way, people would have the path to success and the tool to achieve their goals. Win-win situation.
Now we changed to a simple free trial that leads the users to a new format of VSL that shows them a full walkthrough of the platform with a highly discounted price if they take action before the special offer ends - not fake scarcity.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
After getting some traction, we decided to play the game. We created a great explainer video and rebranded our website to plan a Product Hunt launching. Our goal was to keep the community active and PH was the perfect motivation to do that.
Hundreds of messages, posts, videos, and education were spread out to make the buzz. We got featured in the top 2 products of the day and this made us get some highlight spots for an entire day which brought us lots of new visitors
(not so many clients tho) and some nice partnerships.
That led us to take lots of calls (most of them were not a good fit), and we realized that our product was not ready yet for such exposure at that time.
Many mistakes were made. I didn’t make an email list nor tag the visitor to display some retargeting. As a marketer myself that was a big one.
Not all the meetings were in vain, one of them was to invite BP to make a lifetime deal to boost our traffic, so we did it! It was amazing because we were able to acquire a big number of paid users.
After an LTD launch, we ended up with more than 2k users and a strong community.
Now, most of the early adopters are also affiliates of our product, a currently new channel that we have lots of opportunities to explore.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Bitplay is just beginning its journey and we are still exploring the market in open beta. Every budget so far has gone back to product and structure development. Throughout this year we have focused on establishing the brand and finding the right audience for the problems Biteplay is trying to solve.
Now that we've collected enough feedback, we're pivoting into a new market: Influencer marketing. We are focusing on innovation in a booming and underexploited market.
To speed up the entire process, we are looking for seed investment (hello angel investors!) and creating specific customer acquisition funnels to dilute the investment from our budget.
We will be following the free trial model for the first time, a new strategy that we are very excited about to gain scalability. This was only possible to implement now that we found the right audience that fits, to offer this possibility with a more mature product.
This is how it will look: To show them the opportunity, as soon as the user register for the free trial they will see a special invitation to an exclusive offer where they will be learning about Biteplay meanwhile getting a ton of value from the training.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I would do (almost) everything differently today. The main lesson learned is: your product is never ready.
A business is a business when it is constantly changing and adapting, otherwise, it is just a product.
some unavoidable problems just catapult you to the expected result, don't run away from them, learn to like the problems.
Going to market and understanding demand to price your value is the most important step, and it needs to be done quickly. Also, you won't be able to do everything, even though it looks like you can.
Even having a lot of experience with the digital market, there is no possibility of implementing everything with your own hands.
Developing and automating the hiring process into a learning blueprint is necessary from day one, it will make the scale much smoother.
Some unavoidable problems just catapult you to the expected result, don't run away from them, learn to like the problems, and keep in mind that they need to be resolved as soon as possible so as not to lock in the whole growth process.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Every business demands structure and we have some favorites:
ActiveCampaign keeps our funnel active and customers close, a necessary tool to keep the flow going.
Also, we’ve adopted Discord as an official means of communication due to the agility of the organization.
Clickup is where we go when we document all processes or even plan the next steps with Kanban-style project management and goals, definitely a complete tool.
Zendesk manages everything related to customer success such as a direct contact channel to build a knowledge base for the new users.
Kompassify helped us to build a fast onboarding experience.
Many others are part of our entire structure, but these are vital and crucial to keep the business going, besides the obvious ones: AWS, Google Ads, Vimeo, etc.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The first place to find high-level knowledge: YouTube.
Some channels that provide knowledge for free to founders: SaaStock, Ycombinator, Dan Martell, TK Kader, Slide Bean, and many others that solve specific problems that you'll face on the journey such as financial, funnels, marketing, etc.
Podcaster: Omer Khan and IndieHackers
Classic essential books that have changed the way I think business:
Scrum: A new way to organize and guess new strategies faster.
Zero to One: Perspective for innovators.
Hooked: Great way to understand user behaviors.
The Lean Startup: How to play and go-to strategies.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
We do not build anything alone.
The best thing you could do is be surrounded by intelligent and creative people, with transforming purposes and with abilities that stand out from ours.
Think long term, understand the potential and size of your audience, and be active in your community. People invest in people and not in business and to gain that trust you need to be there.
If I could go back in time I'll tell something around this line for the past, because the path would be a lot easier with the right direction with faster adjustments that building a product requires.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We’re always looking to meet talented people. At the moment, the priority is meeting with marketeers and creators interested in partnering on either a sponsorship or affiliate basis. If you have an audience on the marketing side and want to make additional income, you can apply here!
Where can we go to learn more?
You can find out more here:
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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