Using SEO To Understand How Prospects Think Of Our Value Proposition
Our original name was QBL Media, and our new name is videotranslator.ai. The original name did not really work, and was always a temporary name.
This post covers some of the context of where our platform came from, and what changes happened in the course of getting this app to market, including a pivot.
We used SEO to determine a new name. Read on to understand why this was done, how it was done, and what benefits we expect to get from the name change.
We See The Need For A Product - Late 2016/Early 2017
Our SaaS application started as a simple idea late in 2016. The original idea was to use AI to translate websites.
- It is easiest to come up with an idea by having a requirement. In a previous life, one of our founders had a requirement of translating collateral into a number of European languages.
- Due to the nature of legal requirements, the cost of translating a single piece of collateral (think 2-4 page corporate brochure’s) is high.
This requirement can be converted into a small problem/solution description. Effectively:
- A client has a current website, and our value proposition was creating a micro-site. That is, a simple landing page which has been modified to have really good multi lingual SEO.
- The value proposition was that a client using our technology would have the ability to service inquiries in a number of languages, and jump to the top of the organic search results.
Actually having a requirement - that is, you are actually the person who needs the product - is step one in coming up with the product.
It is of course, possible to come up with a completely new product without yourself needing this product. This is harder to do.
We Have No Traction - August 2018
There are several definitions of traction. Largely, when we say ‘We Have No Traction’ we mean things were not working. Clients were not coming in the door, it was hard to get meetings, and we were definitely not getting paid.
The long and short is while we had a working prototype, which clients could use, the sales process was very painful. Every conversation would end in, ‘love the idea, talk to me in 3 months when I have budget’.
This was less than ideal, but after unpacking the statement, the major issues were:
- There was no way to demonstrate the value upfront to the prospect. That is, if a client does create a landing page in a different language, what will happen - is the client guaranteed additional traction?
- There was no easy way to allow the client a simple first step - as the value proposition was a few web-pages in another language, there was no easy way to try without impacting the entire client website.
- The change management process was painful, and even we we offered to do all the work, the client would still need to offer their own resources (that is, a change management team) to even try the offering.
Traction is the lifeblood of any startup, but way more importantly, little/no early traction is telling you something very valuable. When something works easily, this is tell you what to focus on, or in this case what not focus on!
Traction, we weren’t getting any. Really. It was time to pivot.
We Need To Pivot - January 2019
We needed to focus on a few things, and we had learnt a few lessons.
- As a startup, you are unlikely to get traction with enterprise without godfathers. This is not good or bad, simply it is what it is.
- We needed a way simpler value proposition. Its not about having an elevator pitch. Its about being able to answer your ‘what-is-it’ in a few words.
- Due to time/runway limitations, we need a very simple initial target audience, which is made up of B2C or B2B where the prospect is as small as you are.
We rebuilt our value proposition based on the simplest, cheapest client we knew we could acquire.
The pivot was to leave behind the multi-lingual website, and pivot to simply video translation. Translating video is, in workflow terms, exactly the same as translating a website. It is however, much simpler to do technically and way simpler to sell. The key point is a refocus to find a simpler, tighter, value proposition.
We Need A Name - May 2019
The original name, QBL Media, was a working title which had originally been sourced from a popular computer game.
- There was a feeling, from the start, that as the product found its feet, as the functionality was fleshed out, an appropriate name would be found. The idea is, as the value proposition came into being, an obvious name for the product would suggest itself.
- Once the focus became just video translation, post our pivot and total lack of any traction, this gave us a lead in terms of what needed to happen.
Once our value proposition became obvious, we knew what needed to happen to work out our new name.
Using SEO To Generate A New Name - July 2019
One simple trick… no really. Once we knew what our value proposition was, we used a lot of keyword analysis and playing with various search engines to work out our new name. In the end,
- The simplest use case we had was Video Speech-To-Text. That is, people who wanted the transcripts for video content.
- Many people do not know that this is known as transcription, this is known as video translation, as in ‘I want to take this video and translate it to get the subtitles’.
- We spent a bunch of time looking at the keywords suggestions on our Google Ads account.
Once we knew the simplest use case of our value proposition, everything was tailored to come up with a name that described how people were looking for that value proposition. This is how to use SEO to come up with a new name
People spend a lot of time looking for how to translate video.
- Sometimes this means getting a transcript of a video.
- Sometimes this means translating a video they don’t fully understand.
- Sometimes this means how to translate a video into some other language.
This is our ‘what-is-it’ moment!
Our end result was simply turning video translation into a verb, and calling our new platform videotranslator.ai, and in terms of our app,
Our new platform was named by doing research on our simplest value proposition. What search terms to people use to find answers related to our simplest value proposition?
More importantly - don’t waste time coming up with a cool new name. As your product or service takes shape, as it becomes a thing, a name will turn up. Seriously. The universe works in mysterious ways.