It is hard to imagine a better teacher when it comes to content marketing than Amber Riedl.
The CEO and co-founder of the Berlin-based startup Makerist, an online craft school and project platform, knows how to sell DIY. The yellow, patterned skirt she is wearing is one example of the many projects and fabrics users can find on their website.
The main idea behind Makerist is to simplify crafting, and connect teachers, material suppliers, pattern designers and hobbyists together with videos on knitting, crocheting and sewing.
DIY projects becomes even easier since the platform offers “all the materials you need to get it done,” Riedl says.
This element – the ability to incorporate paid content into the business model – is of the reasons the site is attractive to investors, says Beate Koch, managing director of Gruner & Jahr Digital Ventures, in an interview with Gründerszene (German).
Gruner & Jahr Digital Ventures helped the 4-year-old company secure €5 million in a Series B round in 2016. Riedl and her co-founder, Axel Heinz, are also backed by several well-known investors, including OZ Verlag, High-Tech Gründerfonds, the Cewe Foundation and Ringier Digital Ventures.
With a team of 40, the startup services 700,000 users and manages three online craft communities on Facebook: Knitting Café (100,000 fans), Sewing Café (70,000 fans) and Makerist (160,000 fans). The majority of Makerist’s user base are women over 35.
According to Riedl, consistent engagement via newsletters and content marketing helped the startup build their loyal communities. Although it is difficult to correlate the effect such content has on revenue and sales, it certainly helps brand loyalty, she explains.
The platform launched in French-speaking markets in 2015 and in English-speaking markets in 2016.
“With yearly revenues well into the seven digits, Makerist is steadily moving towards profitability,” Riedl says. They are expected to be profitable in the first quarter of 2018, the CEO shares.
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