Posts Tagged ‘keek’

Can Keek Achieve Monetization Bliss?

keek

In many ways, Keek is the ideal case study of how social media success doesn’t always translate into financial success.

The service, which lets people share 36-second videos – called “Keeks” – has been wildly successful with more than 65 million users. The Toronto-based was billed as “Canada’s Instagram” and it enjoyed such strong growth that it was able to raise $30-million along the way.

Keek’s 64-year-old CEO, Issac Raichyk, was hailed as an example of an older entrepreneur who could enjoy success in a world dominated by 20-somethings.

In that respect, it was a huge success.

The problem, however, was Keek had a difficult time monetizing its traffic to capitalize on its popularity. In the six months that ended Aug. 31, 2013, Keek lost $13 million. That’s almost twice the burn rate the company had during the previous fiscal year, when it lost $15 million.

After a much-speculated $100-million financing failed to materialize last year, the company agreed to sell itself to Primary Petroleum Corp., a Calgary-based listed junior energy company. Raichyk was replaced as CEO by Primary’s Mike Marrandino.

That seemed to mark the end of a spectacular but short run as an upcoming and coming social media service.

But Keek is still around, and it looks like it may have discovered a way to make money.

According to MediaPost, Keek will begin hosting advertisements in the U.S.

Keek will partner with Twitter’s MoPub and Google DoubleClick AdExchange for Web-based inventory. “We project about 10% of revenue will come from the real-time marketplace offering real-time bidding and programmatic, and 70% through advertising networks,” said Keek senior vice-president Bill Blummer.

It is left to be seen whether Keek can financially successful but it does illustrate that being popular doesn’t necessarily equate to driving revenue.

One of Keek’s problem as it exploded was the lack of a strong business plan to reap the benefits of having lots of users. It was a classic example of a startup that figured it would eventually find a way to make money.

In that sense, Keek was behaving in the same way as many other social media networks who adopted a build-it-and-we-will-make-money-later approach. Case in point is Twitter, which is driving significant revenue growth through advertising, while e-commerce is on the horizon.

While the future is still uncertain for Keek, the upside is it has another chance to become a business rather than simply a popular service.

Is Short the New Long?

Social media is constantly changing, and you need to keep up (or ideally stay ahead) of the trends and fads to market and communicate effectively.

A new and interesting trend has emerged this year, which wil probably going to stick around for the long haul. It’s the short video, which has been gaining steam for quite some time.

This started with Keek (which we blogged about recently) and has reached a new level with Vine – a new Twitter app that lets you create six second videos

Vine is essentially a Twitter version of video messaging. Six seconds is its version of 140 characters and users are taking to it so far. It might have more legs than some of its predecessors when all is said and done.

Even if you don’t want to have a presence on Keek or use Vine, it’s not hard to see that short video is what audiences are demanding.

Some will call this another example of our attention span being reduced to nothing. The truth is, we’re embracing new modes and mediums and discovering exciting ways to tell stories.

All digital marketers need to explore and embrace Keek and Vine, and, most important, find the best way to integrate Vine into your Twitter strategy.

Keek: The Power of Social Video

KeekOne of the most fascinating things about social media is how new players can literally come out of nowhere.

Who, for example, could have predicted Pinterest would be embraced so enthusiastically in a marketplace dominated by large, ubiquitous brands such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn?

Another example of a social media service that has attracted a huge audience is Keek, a free and easy-to-use service that lets people create and share 36-second video updates.

The Toronto-based company’s monthly traffic is impressive: 15 million unique visits, 75 million visitors, 1 billion pageviews and four million user-generated videos.

As well, it now has users around the world, including fast-growing communities in South America and the Middle East.

So why has Keek, which announced an $18-million financing deal last week, been so successful? Why has it been able resonate with people who have no lack of options?

Keek CEO Isaac Raichyk said the service was designed from the beginning to focus on driving dialogue between users, rather than being an entertainment tool.

“We see video as a communications tool to speak to your friends using video,” he said. “It is not about entertaining or video productions. If you like to create musical productions, you can use YouTube. Keek is a more personal, authentic dialogue. It is truly social video, and I believe that is what is making us so successful. The engagement is created because the product lends itself very easily creating dialogue around things that interest you.”

If you try to boil down Keek’s appeal is may come to a a key issue: the ability to easily and quickly let people do something that connects them with friends and family.

For all the talk about social media being about engagement and conversations, it is easy to forget that social media is a social medium.

It is the place where people connect with other people, which explains why Facebook has more than one billion users.

As much as brands are leveraging social media to build relationships with potential and existing customers, social media is driven by personal connections – something Keek facilitates in 36-second spots.

As Keek moves forward, it will be interesting to see how it starts to make money. Raichyk said Keek has been approached by brands and media buyers looking to advertise on Keek, which is not a surprise given its large user base. The question will be how Keek embraces advertising without changing the user experience.

Should We Be Meek about Keek?

Sorry about the bad play on words in the title but Keek seems to be a social media forum that people are paying a bit more attention to, whether we should be or not.

What’s their deal, you ask? Well, Canadian startup Keek is hoping that micro video blogging will be the next big thing in social media.

Keek is targeted towards the under-30 crowd (maybe even under-20 by the looks of it), and all it asks is you turn on your webcam, and film and upload short video blogs. Apparently, it’s a service banking on short attention spans equaling social media paydirt.

Personally, I was intrigued enough to check out Keek after hearing about it. That said, my initial thoughts were based on not having many fond memories about other video blogging platforms that didn’t resonate with audiences.

Overall, Keek’s layout is clean and the service is easy but I found the appeal ends there.

Video content needs to be dynamic, interesting and engaging but what Keek does is make even a 36-second video mundane and rather vanilla. Keek will only go as far as the users and uploads take them, which right now that doesn’t seem so far. There are better ways in social media to spend 36 seconds.

The micro element isn’t the only similarity to Twitter as Keek is trying heavily to lure in stars and celebrities into their community. They even display the name on the top of the homepage as a means of enticement. After watching the ticker for close to 10 minutes, Keenan Cahill and the Canadian Football League are the biggest names that were displayed.

The video status update could take off but my guess is more people will flock to a more substantial and easy way to get updates. Of course, these already exist in the form of Facebook and Twitter (and to a lesser extent Google+), and users will also seek more substantial video content.