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What problem does your solution solve?
The problems many have with news these days are it's uninteresting, untrustworthy and it takes too much time. By creating a custom-built news feed, we combat issue number one, as we are ensuring the news reaching you is solely what you want to read. Additionally, by creating the option of following movements and topics, we keep you up to date on the current issues important to you. We solve problem number two by introducing "experts." Experts are users that have passed our vetting process (similar to becoming verified on Instagram, but with credentials). Additionally, we've created a process of removing inaccurate articles from our site by using user feedback and up-to-date facts. Finally, we address the third issue by integrating news into a social media platform. It is estimated that the average person will spend over 5 years of their life on social media. As such, we have created an atmosphere where the user connects to their friends while learning about current world issues.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
Given our target users are millennials, and we are a social media app, the potential for market growth is great. Millennials are considered the most involved generation to date, thus meaning if we can "hook" our users, it is more likely than ever that they will keep coming back. It is estimated that by 2018, over 2.5 Billion Americans will use social media, an increase of 400 Million in the coming year. However, what makes our app marketable is simple, millennials want more, trustworthy news. 68% of millennials report using social media to access their news, but only 11% say the news they receive is close to their interests, as such why we are creating a custom news feed. Additionally, only 7% say they receive information from a combination of their friends and news outlets, with only 4% stating they trust the news they receive from social media. The creation of an app that allows users to interact with their friends that has been screened for accuracy solves such issues.
Who are your customers?
Our target users are millennials, specifically those interested in current events. We will begin launching in the United States, targeting ads at those residing New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. We hope to target those from both political parties by providing news for extreme liberals and conservatives, however we do anticipate leaning more right. It is our hope that by maintaining a commitment to the truth we will draw in conservatives worried about the current political climate and the spread of fake news.
How will you reach your customers?
NewsBar's marketing strategy is heavily based on social media. We will use Facebook and Twitter ads as an outbound and inbound marketing strategy, however most of our funding in the beginning will be put towards inbound marketing. We will work vigorously to ensure our social media posts are both engaging and well marketed, as we anticipate a large percentage of our audience coming from social media. Additionally, we anticipate creating a website to go along with our app, so we will use "blogging" so to speak as a way to market ourselves on Google and ensure our website is well SEO-ed. Most importantly, we will ensure our app reaches our target audience by marketing our tweets and Facebook posts to them. Our goal is to create a "cool" news app, thus meaning we anticipate using more slang and promoting pieces that are more laid back, but still informative.
How will you make money?
The income of our company will come from a variety of advertisement strategies. Our primary income will come from advertisement posts. These posts will appear the same as a typical article and will use a similar strategy pricing wise to that of Google AdSense. They will be marketed towards specific individuals, primarily based on their selected categories and topics they are following. Additionally, income will be gained through sponsored posts as we gain a larger user base. Advertisers will have the option of sending posts to all users or to a specific user base, though it will be suggested that they select the later. In terms of profit, we will need to make a profit of $99 simply to break even. After that goal is achieved, we will begin to look at reinvesting our profits into ads, creating a website and expanding our brand.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
In order to grow our app, it is not necessary but would be incredibly helpful to maintain positive relationships with leading newspapers. Though we do not need permission to use their articles, as we are not profiting off of them, it would be best to have open lines of communication. Additionally, it would be helpful to partner with political commenters, writers and activists in order to spread our brand name. Finally, positive partnerships with advertisers is vital to the continued success of our app, as it is our source of profit.
What will your expenses include?
The expenses of our company are entirely dependent on the profits. The only flat fee we must pay is the Apple App Store fee, which totals $99 a year. Past that fee, 25% of the profits will go towards creating the website, which we estimate to cost about $6,500, and the other 30% will go towards advertising and marketing. Once the $6,500 is reached, the website will be prepared to launch. This $6,500 comes from the combination of purchasing the domain (current price is $5,315) and hosting. In terms of marketing, we estimate using 30% of our budget for marketing in the first 2 years, and 5-10% in the years following. Also, we estimate spending about 10% of our profits on website and app upkeep. The leftover profits will be used to pay experts for consultations and payroll. Finally, the obvious costs of servers will be necessary to store data. The specifics of this can be better analyzed upon launch.
Who is your competition and how do you differ?
Our competition include inkl, Flipboard, Linkedin Pulse and FeedReady. All of the above listed apps are news apps that provide users with a feed of news they want to read, based on their interests and what they click on. While we intend to offer that service, what sets us apart is the ability to share news on one cohesive platform. Instead of outsourcing the "sharing" feature to other social media apps, we will have that feature built into our app. Additionally, we will use different tactics than those used by the above listed apps in terms of providing up to date and honest news. We will introduce the idea of "experts" to ensure users are aware of the correct facts when reading through comments of articles. Additionally, articles that have been fact checked will be starred, and out of date articles will have a bell symbol next to the name, along with a link to a more recent article.