Voto founder pivots to $4.5 million Instagram, Twitter promoter

Scott Paul, chief executive officer of Voto, an mobile photo polling app.

By Joey Ferguson

Scott Paul, chief executive officer of Voto, an mobile photo polling app.

MIDVALE — Scott Paul, CEO of photo polling app Voto, had trouble getting funding for his startup. Instead of shuttering it, he turned Voto’s best practices of internet marketing into its own business, generating enough cash to keep the startup going.

“We’ve figured out how to be discovered, and that’s the hardest part,” Paul said. “You can ask any San Francisco firm that is invested in a huge app what their problem is and it’s the fact that they can’t even get enough users in the product to test the build.”

App developers and companies pay Paul and his team (called Voto Marketing) as much as $4.5 million to get their products to the top of Apple’s charts. Paul does this by paying influential users of Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter to promote a product to their followers.

Paul’s other endeavors, like Voto, are now being funded by Voto Marketing after he was unable to find funding from investors. Voto Marketing is expected to bring in $5 million by year’s end, Paul said.

The company has promoted apps like MessageMe, Instagood and PicLab.

Usually apps marketed by Voto Marketing will make it to the top charts for only a few days, but longevity isn’t what the service is for, Paul said.

“Think of it as a blitzkrieg,” Paul said. “Our thing is to put you to the top, then we have a long tail method after that. But, it’s up to your app to acquire good reviews and go viral. If you’re sharable, you can stay there.”

Pricing for the service is normally a negotiable “cost-per-install” method.

Normally it costs $1 or more per install, but Voto Marketing usually charges half that, Paul said.

However, the company’s new cashflow comes at a risk. A policy change from any of the social networks could mean drastic changes for Voto Marketing.

“The risk is high, but so is the return,” Paul said. “We’re witnessing the return side of it right now. The terms of services can change in a day.”

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