Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Nathan Ruff, CEO of Hoozu.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea
Hoozu is a data driven content creation business that uses professional creators and authentic content to generate sales for our clients. We’ve noticed an increase in demand for the use of short form video as ad creative on social platforms. The trend for short form videos has been compounded by the fact audience attention spans are getting shorter.
Hoozu Connect was developed to allow brands to engage 100’s of authenticated creators who’ll produce dynamic on brand made for mobile, “scroll stopping” short form video ads. Once brands approve them they are fed directly into “live” Facebook and Instagram media campaigns and automatically refreshes old with new video ads when performance starts to decline.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We bootstrapped the development cost of Hoozu Connect with cash flow to get it to the commercial operational stage. Like all technology it will require some additional functionality, so we are looking at funding to turbo charge the platform and roll it out in different territories as well as integrate it with different platforms.
The platform is SAAS technology that we designed to grow quickly and efficiently across multiple markets using partners on both supply and demand sides.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Hoozu is often categorised as an influencer marketing, PR agency (which drives our executive team nuts). Our technology is enterprise grade software that works across multiple programmatic marketplaces and social platforms. Hoozu’s AI machine learning, automation, and media optimisation is unique and works towards creating the best video ad content in market, that just keeps getting better.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
The biggest challenges we face is convincing brands that social content works and drives sales. Negative “insta-babe” press has damaged some brands perspective. Hoozu works with many progressive acquisition based clients and consistently hits targets across all categories. The business spends half the time explaining to clients that if you have the right creator, are producing the right content, and targeting the right audience, you will convert the right customer.
On the positive side we have some fantastic progressive partnering clients who understand this, and it’s been great to be involved in seeing their businesses exponentially grow in such a short time.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Asana – it is a brilliant app for managing tasks to completion and my OCD kicks in when I get those green ticks (and then I use the Calm meditation app to manage my OCD)
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
“Listen to the market”.
Our business has had to continually evolve as we play in a sector that is ever changing with social platforms regularly updating and launching new products. Through osmosis our business has had to be more technical focused around automating and accelerating our service offering at scale.
We could not achieve success if we stayed in one lane, and did not deviate. This style of outlook is now integrated into our DNA of our management team, taking a very positive dynamic approach to change and adaptation.