Photo: Business Insider
There’s no shortage of startups servicing the advertising world, but Trada is one you should keep your eye on.It uses crowdsourcing for creating Facebook and search engine ad campaigns that really work. That’s because Trada and its contractors only get paid when their ad campaigns deliver clicks and leads.
Since it launched in 2008, the Boulder-based startup has grown to 100 full-time employees — and that doesn’t include about 2000 contractors in its crowdsource pool of certified AdWords experts. It’s serving about 500 customers so far, says Trada’s founder Niel Robertson.
“We now have a number of contractors making $65,000 a year and two making $200,000 a year,” says Robertson. Trada itself takes a 25 per cent cut.
This isn’t an Amazon Mechanical Turk knock off, either. Most of the contractors are in the United States. In order to create fantastic ads, you’ve got to know the language. It works because each contractor has different expertise. One might understand how to sell bicycles and another, healthcare.
Trada is geared toward mid-sized businesses who might have a marketing person but don’t have a staff of ad experts, or the budget to hire an agency.
Here’s how it works: A customer contacts Trada with information about what it is advertising and how much it will pay for a click or lead. The crowd creates campaigns, setting keyword bid prices. If the campaign genertes clicks or leads for less than the customer is willing to pay, contractors pocket the difference. Customers grow their businesses. And then they do it all again.
Trada’s growth also has something to do with Robertson, a Boulder startup icon. He’s been cranking out successful startups since 1999, when he sold his first, Service Metrics, for $280 million to Exodus Communications 17 months after launch. He sold his second startup, Newmetrix, for an undisclosed sum in 2009. Although Trada is technically his third, the energetic Robertson is also involved in three other startups, coast to coast.