Not too long ago I’ve learned of a Los Angeles-based company called uCubd, and got really interested in it because of two things: (i) cool technology, and (ii) the fact that their technology is already integrated with at least one affiliate program, the Amazon’s one.
So, I sat down with one of the company’s co-founders, Marat Galperin — interestingly enough, just as myself, he also happened to be Russian, and also born in Kishinev, Moldova (small world!) — and asked him a number of questions about mashups in general, uCubd in particular, and how his tool could be of help to affiliates. Here is the interview:
GP: Marat, please tell us a few words about yourself, and what you do?
MG: In 2008, I became one of the founding members of uCubd Inc. At uCubd I get to wear many hats, but primarily focus on software development and marketing. My goal is to help build uCubd into an influential company in the social media space. Prior to uCubd I have worked for leading financial services, technology, and entertainment companies as an application developer and technology consultant.
GP: I’ll be honest with you, you are the first person I have heard use the word “mashup” in the online marketing context. What exactly is an Internet mashup?
MG: Mashups allow you to combine content from a variety of different sources into a new presentation.
uCubd mashup is an exciting new way for internet users to create compelling and useful web experiences. Our users can take existing content from social network services such as YouTube, Twitter, Amazon and others and combine them into new media presentations.
In other words, grab a YouTube video and we’ll pair it with a related Twitter feed and display them side by side in our mashup. Want to monetize that YouTube video? Our mashup can display an Amazon widget with related products right next to the video.
Just give us a YouTube embed code or a topic of interest and we’ll instantly create a multimedia mashup that you can share on social networks or embed on your site/blog. Those users without a site or a blog will be happy to know that we also host all of the mashups on uCubd.com as standalone SEO optimized mini-sites.
GP: Do you have any stats on how mashups perform (CTR, dwell time, conversion data, etc) when compared to video, banners, text links, widgets and other types of creatives?
MG: We track and record a variety of statistics (including CTR and “dwell time”) for each mashup and are in the process of completing a tracking dashboard which will enable our users to get a clear view of how their campaign is performing.
One of the biggest benefits of using our mashups is going to be the ability to get information for social media campaigns that is commonplace for banners, video, and links. This will give our users an easy way to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Stay tuned!
GP: How can uCubd be benefical/work for affiliates?
MG: uCubd provides affiliates with an easy and effective way to leverage the power of social media in their affiliate campaigns. One of our popular mashup templates features built-in support for the Amazon affiliate program. Check out a few samples below.
One of the advantages of using multimedia mashups over traditional affiliate marketing is the potential to make money outside of your blog or website. As readers embed your mashup on other websites/blogs and social networks, your affiliate code travels along with it. The mashup that started on your blog can now generate sales on other websites and help you get more value out of your affiliate marketing. Individuals and businesses now have a great incentive to leverage viral content by attaching their affiliate campaign to it. If your mashup goes viral that means your affiliate campaign just went viral as well.
Our newest mashup template provides affiliate marketers with a powerful way to inject their affiliate ads into online conversations. Our Comments2Go mashup allows users to combine social media content with a customized chatroom. The creator of the mashup can easily manage the chatroom with a single password. Creator’s comments are highlighted to give them more focus and are also allowed to include HTML elements including affiliate images and links. The unique advantages of the Comments2Go mashup enable users to carry on a conversation across multiple domains without having to register. No matter where the mashup is embedded the users will see the same comment thread and can get involved in the conversation with out having to first sign up or register. Below is an example of a Comments2Go mashup.
In addition to Amazon we also offer support for other affiliate programs. Users can merge social media with the affiliate campaign of their choice. Below is an example that features a YouTube video next to a related promotion. The main advantage is the focused and relevant user experience that provides more value than a traditional banner ad.
GP: What is unique about uCubd technology?
MG: uCubd technology enables everyday internet users as well as professionals to take advantage of social media in new ways. In short, our technology makes social media work for you. If you are seeking effective ways to engage your audience, monetize your content, and improve your affiliate campaigns then our mashups will help you leverage social media to accomplish that.
Today, social media presence has become one of the primary ways businesses and marketers promote their brands and reach out to potential customers. It is however difficult to measure a return on your social media investment as compared to a traditional marketing campaign. The common CPM, CPC and other models cannot be easily applied to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube social media campaigns.
At uCubd we wanted to solve that problem. Our users leverage the compelling power of social media and yet have the ability to track it and measure it in the same way as a traditional marketing campaign. We believe that our technology will open up new opportunities to bloggers, businesses, and marketers to connect with their audiences.
Finally, creating mashups in uCubd is very easy. No specialized knowledge or training is needed. The process takes seconds and no registration is required. We are in the process of developing several new and exciting mashup templates, which will fundamentally change the way users interact with and create social media, so check back with us often! We also want to know what you think. If you or your readers have some feedback or an idea for a mashup template you’d like to see, we’d love to hear about it.
GP: Sounds like a tool well-worth playing with. Thank you for your time, Marat, and best of luck!