Featured Startup Pitch: Voices Heard Media is increasing engagement for websites of all types and sizes through interactive social media widgets

By Editor March 28, 2012

VoicesHeardMedia_logoCompany: Voices Heard Media

Website: www.voicesheardmedia.com

Founder: Will Overstreet

Headquarters: Knoxville, Tennessee

Year Founded: 2007

Investors: Privately funded

Twitter: @VHMedia

Brief Company Description: Voices Heard Media creates social media widgets that spark engagement for businesses while increasing interaction through Q&As, polls, contests, etc.


Will_Overstreet-VHMediaBy Will Overstreet, Founder

At Voices Heard Media, we create embedded social media widgets that spark engagement and build communities on company websites, mobile applications and social media platforms. We provide a one-stop-shop for companies to streamline all engagement platforms. Providing our clients with top user comments and questions allows them to cohesively communicate to their audiences and focus on the issues at hand. Our widgets increase the interaction on a company’s website which means the audience is more engaged, stays longer and ultimately invests more—in the company’s products as well as their brand.

Product Overview

Voices Heard Media widgets are easily embedded into a company’s website with a simple code. Our first product, the original Q&A EventBox, quickly became an extensive suite of EventBoxes for businesses, blogs and celebrities to use on their site to connect with users and spark engagement. Today, we offer Q&As, polls, contests, trivia, Twitter and Facebook feeds and several more applications. Our products help our clients gain more Twitter and Facebook followers, increase unique visitors their company website and increase brand awareness.

Our widgets engage traditionally passive audiences by encouraging them to vote and comment on other users’ questions. They allow our customers to pinpoint exactly what their users want to know. Each user’s question is compared and correlated to similar questions, voted and commented on. The algorithm allows the most popular questions rise to the top. Therefore, clients can address the most asked questions or comments and, in turn, the audience feels like their questions and concerns are being heard.

Founder’s Story

During my time with the Atlanta Falcons and as an on-air personality, I could see the branding and revenue potential of making personal connections with fans. I came to a realization that if I took a small amount of time to speak with a fan after a game or practice, that fan would be loyal to me from then on—I would see that same fan at autograph sessions, charity events, etc. That fan would also purchase my jersey or memorabilia. They would feel a personal connection to me—and would think of us as friends. It is these types of personal connections that fans crave. Technology, like social media, has made the creation of these one-to-one relationships possible. However, companies do not have the time to go through every person’s comments or questions and manage all the different communication platforms.

I saw a void in the market place; I had a very powerful realization as an NFL player, and that inspired me to create my first social media widget. Shortly after filing my first patent, I founded Voices Heard Media in April 2007 to seize this opportunity.

I love the message, and purpose, of my products and it compels me every day to work with the same passion that I had toward the NFL and my personal fans. I couldn’t be happier with the company’s growth—in just one year, Voices Heard Media generated more than 52 million unique visitors for our clients with engagement rates exceeding 100 percent.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

We generate clients through referrals, online marketing and our telesales team at Loop Demand Gen. We also generate revenue through a professional service team that assists our clients and helps them optimize our products. In addition, our social media consultants help our clients receive the maximum result from their social media platforms.

We also have a wonderful PR and marketing team. We work directly with Tony Felice PR & Marketing (a Phoenix-based company) and they are responsible for raising awareness through email blasts, pitching news and topical pieces as well as scheduling interviews with top industry reporters on a weekly basis. Since we began working with Tony Felice PR, Voices Heard has been featured in several publications including Market Watch, Business News Daily, Venture Tennessee Capital, The Boston Globe, Business Insider and many others. We also worked with Bullseye Strategy, a Florida-based company, to establish our branding and website.

How Voices Heard Media Differentiates Itself from the Competition

Like any other company in a competitive market, we have to stand out. With the social application market continuing to evolve, we are constantly reinventing our products and services to stay on top of the market and best assist our clients and their needs. Here are the top five ways we stand out amongst the crowd.

  • We have a fast turn-around time for projects.
  • Our patented correlation technology uses a natural language analysis to group similar submissions while weeding out any offensive language; this cuts down on moderation time.
  • It only takes two minutes to create and embed the Java-script-based widgets into any website, mobile device or social media platform. Voices Heard Media also created a user-friendly admin system to better support our clients.
  • Our products feature in-line advertisements that obtain two impressions, per visitor, on average.
  • Our reporting system offers an at-a-glance chart showing exactly how much interaction a client is gaining from social shares, the amount of ROI the widget is generating as well as an interaction rate to gauge how much it is being used.

Business Model

Voices Heard Media is a SaaS (software as a service) company. Our revenue comes from private investors and the sale of our products. We have been lucky enough to work with large clients such as Huffington Post, AOL, Food Network, Fox Sports and the Travel Channel. These amazing clients have allowed us to become a profitable business right away, but we are also constantly working to market ourselves to small/mid-sized business and start-ups. With our amazing team, I personally feel the future looks very bright for Voices Heard Media.

Voices Heard Media – www.voicesheardmedia.com