On Launching A Video Communication Tool With 50K Users

Raghavan R
On Launching A Video Communication Tool With 50K Users
Vmaker
from California City, CA, USA
started
2
Founders
150
Employees
52.8K
alexa rank
86
followers
222
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On Launching A Video Communication Tool With 50K Users

Hello, I am Raghav, CEO of Vmaker. Vmaker is a screen and webcam recording tool empowering content creators to produce high-quality video on the go without any hassle.

Vmaker was launched in December 2020 and over the last 7 months, we have grown 30,000 users strong and received High performer recognition from the G2 crowd.

We were using Vmaker before launch as an internal communication tool. With the remote working culture being forced into by the pandemic, it was difficult to schedule meeting times and we developed Vmaker to record videos and use it as an asynchronous communication tool.

Later, when we started using this with our client, we saw a potential market opportunity to launch it as a tool.

Vmaker is from the family of Animaker - a DIY video animation platform. We currently have 4 products under our ecosystem.

  • Animaker to help with 2D video production
  • Vmaker to help record edit and share live webcam and screen
  • Picmaker to create image content
  • Show to host your videos online

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

We love building products, solutions, and solving problems. Businesses need to create videos to share their ideas, solutions and tell a story. To make this process easier we created Animaker which currently helps more than 10M users across the globe.

Focus on acquiring new users to test your platform and get more feedback in the initial days. Invest in long-term marketing activities that will pay dividends.

People were creating videos for product demos, customer support, proposals, and internal reviews. But to collaborate within the team and with our clients, we had to use a lot of third-party tools.

We have to use a screen recorder, a video hosting app that offers analytics, and an editor. Overall the cost for the same was around $400 per month and this increased our overheads. These tools have to be integrated and involve a lot of to and fro emails which cost us time and effort.

We decided to create a screen recording tool that comes in with an inbuilt editor that will enable even the non-design savvy people to record a video, edit it and share it in a matter of minutes. This led to Vmaker.

We built Vmaker that enabled recording a video, editing it, hosting it on a website, and sharing it with the team or external clients without any hassle in a matter of minutes.

We used it internally across all our business functions - from finance to account executives and it changed the way we operated.

With the pandemic forcing people to work in a remote environment, people relied on Email and Zoom for their online communications. Vmaker helped connect the best of both worlds easing the process of communication and documentation.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Once the idea was finalized, we started with a screen recorder, an editor, and a sharing platform.

The process took around 3 months and we decided to have 3 components.

The recording can happen through 3 components, the Mac application, a chrome extension, and a windows application.

While the editor and the hosting will completely be managed on cloud. Offering cloud solutions made it easy for people to operate it on the go via any device.

They can access their dashboard simply by logging into their account from any device and continue to edit or share the videos.

User experience is the key throughout the process. Today the market has no space for monopoly and people are willing to switch to stick to a product if they offer a great user experience.

We optimized the platform to be user-friendly using the feedback from our internal users and our most active clients through a beta rollout.

We launched the Mac application first and the chrome extension followed it up.

The speed of the application has to be matched with the speed of the rendering and the upload. If there is a lag, people won’t stick with you. So, we made sure people can record hours of videos and still get good upload speed and bitrate while streaming it later.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Mac App Launch

The soft launch of the business happened back in Oct-Nov 2020 to a closed beta group. The closed beta group is comprised of people from our internal team.

As a first step, we launched the product on the Product Hunt platform, and the response was great. It helped us get the first set of users from the open beta space to test the platform and its features.

Not everyone was satisfied with the product completely in the initial days. But, we were meant to satisfy a specific set of people - the content creators and it did help them on the scale.

After the launch, we went ahead with PR initiatives to announce the product in the global arena. We contacted a few blogging influencers and worked with them on PR articles to increase eyeballs.

Because Vmaker is a platform that prompts users to share videos, each user helped us reach 5-10 new users by sharing their video. This helped us to gain more reach with the product.

The simplicity of the product and the 'new factor' in seeing a screen record video explaining the context instead of just text attracted more users to give it a try.

Pricing is a crucial factor for the product we came up with the freemium model. So users can test the product and later upgrade to use the premium features. They can record up to 720px videos and there was no recording limit. Since the dashboard and storage are clouds, it further increased the product's adaptability.

on-launching-a-video-communication-tool-with-30k-users

Chrome Extension Launch

The Mac application launch was great, but when we analyzed it, almost 70% of our website visitors were Windows users and they felt disappointed about the compatibility.

Though we were working on a windows version, it is bound to take time and hence we moved up with the launch of the chrome extension.

3 months after the launch of the mac application, we went ahead with the launch of Vmaker's Chrome extension version.

We hosted a page for visitors who are from the windows version to subscribe for the product as early subscribers. By the time we launched, we had more than 1000 early subscribers to the product.

The best part about the Chrome extension launch is that it is suitable for both Windows users and mac users.

We introduced a launch day offer to help people upgrade to a paid plan at a discounted price.

The team needs to have a clear understanding of the metrics we need to target during the initial launch to achieve the same. If you are running after multiple KPIs you are setting yourself to fail.

We focused on getting more users to our platform from multiple cohorts to test the product's viability in different scenarios before we start going big.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

We have had a Product Led Growth culture in the past where we ensure the products play the forefront in attracting new customers. We had a product marketing team set up by the time we launched.

We had 3 main responsibilities in place

  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Success
  • Product Marketing

The Customer Acquisition team focused on top-of-the-funnel activities such as getting the eyeball to the product, driving more traffic to the website, etc.

The Product Marketing team focused on the conversions. They worked on converting the website visitors to free users and later the free users to paid users.

The Customer Success team focused on user activation, retention, and then referrals. This is achieved through delivering 24/7 support to all our users, personalized onboarding calls, and more.

We also categorized them to our pillars of Growth;

Content and SEO

The market had strong competition and was dominated by leaders concerning organic results. We cleared out a niche with our use cases such as content creators, youtube video recorders, etc. to make a mark in a short period.

We went ahead with writing on other platforms to get external links and improve the website's SEO presence to gain better visibility

Webinars and Community

Webinar is a great tool to interact directly with your users to answer their questions, understand their requirements, and get them converted from free users to paid users.

The Community on the other hand offers a short feedback loop. They help us to share new releases and maintain a strong relationship as a band with the users. This helped in reducing the churn rate.

Affiliates and Partnerships

A growth loop is complete when your users turn into your brand evangelists and start bringing in new users to the platform. This happens only when the platform is best in solving their requirements.

We are yet to mature on this front but this certainly adds a boost to your top-of-the-funnel activities.

We haven't gone with any outbound approach until today, since the same is not easy to scale. Our prime focus has been on building an inbound funnel that scales exponentially in the long run.

on-launching-a-video-communication-tool-with-30k-users

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Vmaker has grown to a platform with more than 30,000 users since the launch. This is decent growth considering we have been in the market for 7 months and started serving the windows users in March.

We are going for a million users by the end of this year. Though it is an ambitious goal, we have done the basics right to go big in the upcoming days.

We are also recognized as High performers in the G2 crowd’s latest report. This is a big feat for a new platform in a competitive industry.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

It is important to experiment with new things continuously. Though we had experience with SaaS marketing in the past, we formed the Vmaker marketing team to write a new playbook for the next million users.

The market evolves every day and so should be your marketing methods. To identify what works the best for your product and the target audience you need to experiment and experiment fast.

A Hypergrowth curve is only powered by teams who are willing to learn, adapt and experiment with new ideas and are doing it fast.

It should be accompanied by a strong feedback loop to measure the performance and make tweaks accordingly.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Website - Custom HTML and WordPress for the content pages

Support - Intercom

Emails - Intercom and Mailchimp

Management - Asana boards

Webinar - Zoom

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Book

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins.

Podcast

Marketing School by Neil & Eric.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

When you create a product, don't work hard to be just another product in the market. Instead, focus on solving a problem for one particular niche.

While many would argue the market is saturated and there is no scope for enhancements, disagree with them. There is always scope to be a better product if not for everyone certainly for one aspect of the audience.

Focus on acquiring new users to test your platform and get more feedback in the initial days. Invest in long-term marketing activities that will pay dividends.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes, you can check out the same anytime on this link.

Where can we go to learn more?

-  
Raghavan R   Founder of Vmaker
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