***DISCLAIMER – Bedloo is a current client of Cyber PR***
The foundation for any successful business is knowing the needs of their market. A thriving business has identified a target market, knows its needs, and has the bandwidth to accommodate their demands. Sometimes this isn’t so easy to pinpoint, or find the answers to. For instance, maybe a musician has a couple of ideas for his next T-shirt design, but can’t come to a decision. Maybe he’s been working on some new tracks for his upcoming album, but is having trouble on committing to a guitar tone that works for him. This is a perfect opportunity to let the fans into the creative process.
Bedloo is a new web and iOS app that allows musicians, or anyone for that matter, to ask a question within their network, and learn from their responses.
Now I know what you’re thinking… we’ve seen this concept before, and nobody paid any attention. Even Facebook tried it, and their plug-in was scrapped after just two years! Bedloo is different for three key reasons:
- You are limited to two options to vote from, with no option to add your own answer. This gives the host more control over their poll and allows for much more focused data.
- Bedloo allows you to add multimedia into the app in order to view your choice before you vote. A platform like Facebook is much more conducive to visual content, which means that these polls are more interactive and inviting.
- These polls can be embedded, meaning that one Bedloo poll can be posted on multiple sites or blogs, and the data will be consolidated into one place.
HOW IT WORKS
Bedloo is a very intuitive app with a great user interface. When you create your poll, you pose the question that you want to ask your community, and you provide your two choices. Here’s the fun part: you get to contextualize your poll by adding in relative multimedia to each answer.
- Thinking about a new exclusive T-shirt design for your 2014 tour? Whip up two separate designs, and add these mock-up images to your Bedloo.
- Working on your next track? Post SoundCloud clips from your studio session and ask them which MIDI instrument you like better for that lead synth sound.
- Playing pranks on your bandmates on the tour bus? Post YouTube or Vimeo links to your top two pranks, and let your fans duke it out in the polls!
The app interface accommodates active and passive discovery methods. The current social networks incorporated into the app for sign-in and sharing are Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and they also provide you an embed code to post your poll on your blog or website. For SEO purposes, they also allow you to meta tag your poll to accommodate passive discovery among people who may find your Justin Bieber-related poll when they search his name in Google.
SERVE YOUR OWN PURPOSE
You can customize the time limit on your Bedloo, or you can keep your poll open indefinitely. This is great if you want to run a contest with your fans and offer up a grand prize to a lucky voter once the entry period expires. What’s the incentive for the host? The platform collects user analytics to break down your fan base’s age brackets, gender, and geographic location. Want to figure out where to tour next, and which demographics to market to? This could prove valuable!
AS A SOCIAL NETWORK
While it’s a great tool for brands to study up on their target market, it also acts as a social network, where you can follow your friends, brands, and other influencers on the platform. Just like any social platform, Bedloo displays a feed on your homepage that displays the polls that your network have posted recently. You can also sort your feed by category, and what’s trending worldwide. This feed can be accessed from both the web app and on iOS.
THE ROAD AHEAD
Like most online platforms, the wheels start to gain real traction once the user base has reached a point where businesses can attain significant data from their audience. If you are a musician (and yes, you are a business), here’s my advice to you: if you want significant data which you can extrapolate, do an AWESOME contest as a way to give your fans an incentive to vote. Picking a T-shirt design for a chance to win that T-shirt is a nice thought, but creativity is the musician’s forte! There are tons of things you can do to incentivize your fans.
The other factor that will help determine the app’s future is their ability to increase sign-ups. As it currently stands, users are allowed to vote as a visitor without having to create an account. Part of the reason why so many apps require you to sign in via a social network is to gain the ability to access your basic information (ie. age, gender, location). Once the app has figured out how to encourage social media or email sign-ups, I have a feeling that you will be seeing a lot more artists and companies using Bedloo.