Another interesting project that Selectel hosts is the blog advertising platform GetBlogger. We sat down with the company’s CMO, Mikhail Karpushin, and learned how the platform sets itself apart from agencies, about the unusual requests they sometimes get from advertisers, and what role our servers play in their success.
Mikhail, tell us about the project.
GetBlogger is a platform that brings advertisers and bloggers together to promote products and services on Instagram and Youtube. It was launched by the founders of Delivery Club, Anna Shkirina and Levon Oganesyan. Since they already had experience creating a marketplace, the team knew what they had to do. They wanted to structure the market and occupy a significant part of it.
The market was not already in place?
When we launched, the market had just taken shape. There were no clearly defined rules for context or targeted ads, where users knew how much and what they were paying for. A year and a half to two years ago, blog ads were a black box. A single post would cost something like 10k roubles today and 20k tomorrow, but 50k for Coca-Cola.
So why bother developing an unpredictable sector?
This was just in Russia; marketing specialists abroad had learned how to calculate profits from blog ads a long time ago. We figured we could, too. If there is traffic, it can be monetized. Sooner or later, advertisers will show up.
And did you?
Yes, but we did not just monetize; we introduced blogs to paid reach ads. Advertisers pay just for the blog’s quality audience.
Some agencies work with bloggers. Do advertisers use them?
They choose GetBlogger because advertisers can set up and launch an advertising campaign in little time. The Agusha campaign, for example, included 1,000 bloggers. If an agency had gotten their hands on this, the campaign would have taken months. By automating within the team and within the platform, both we and the advertiser save. There are times when major companies work with us and agencies. GetBlogger is smart software. When a blogger registers, he or she connects their Instagram and/or Youtube account to our platform. We get data on their account right from the social network, then analyze it and present the statistics to advertisers in an easy-to-view format. This is something you do not normally get function with agencies or marketplaces.
Exactly what data do you get from a blogger’s account?
The platform automatically analyzes engagement, audience quality, reach, the number of fake hits, audience age and sex breakdown, audience geography, and a lot of other parameters. There number of bloggers is continuously growing, as is the amount of data to be analyzed. To process all of this, we need serious computing power, which is what Selectel provides. We propose bloggers a price for hosting ads based on the analyzed data. Advertisers do not pay for the 10k subscribers, but for the 5k visitors who see the ad, live in Russia, and are not bots.
And how does this benefit the blogger?
Unlike agencies, we do not take a commission. We provide a lot of orders from high-quality advertisers. That being said, we still guarantee that both parties comply with the terms of the deal.
How does GetBlogger handle unusual requests? For example, if someone was looking for bloggers specializing in IT, could they find what they were looking for?
GetBlogger is a friendly aggregator. We have a department that works directly with advertisers. By keeping in close communication with bloggers, our managers can direct these unusual requests to them.
Did you ever not have to look for bloggers because the advertiser gave you a prepared list?
More times than not, larger brands and medium-sized businesses provide a list of bloggers they want to work with. It is not unusual that 50% of these bloggers’ subscribers, hits, likes, and comments are fake. When this happens, the advertiser just nixes them.
Can they assess the audience quality themselves?
It is impossible to manually check if a blogger “cheats” or not. Obvious fraud is easy to spot, but a lot of bloggers balance their number of likes with subscribers and use targeted ads to get likes from real people in cheaper areas, like Pakistan, India, and Malaysia.
Thank you, Mikhail, for this inside look at your platform. I still have a few questions about the technical aspects. Why did you choose Selectel?
When we first launched the platform in 2017, we launched with you. We chose Selectel because we knew that you were a reliable provider; people were talking, and they were saying Selectel.
What services do you use?
Custom Servers. If you can get a configuration built for your specific project, why not take it? With custom configurations, we do not have to pay for computing power we do not need.
What tasks did you have in mind when choosing your servers?
There were a few tasks, but the main goal we had in mind was to have a functioning platform.
Would you say your server handles the job?
Yes, our project (the site and all of the data/statistics gathering and processing services) is in-production on the server.
Why not choose cloud service?
This is just how we traditionally work. Even Delivery Club has always used metal servers.
Is there anything in particular that you like about Selectel?
As a marketing specialist, I like the special projects with VC, where you clearly and plainly explain the services you offer. You also have a very intuitive site. I know for a fact that our CTO likes the timeliness and professionalism of your tech support as well as the easy-to-use control panel. I would mention stability, but I do not want to jinx anything.