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Beacons 2.0 - Beacons Unveils Major Expansion With AI Tools For Creators


Beacons 2.0 – Beacons Unveils Major Expansion With AI Tools For Creators

Beacons, a startup providing technology tools for online content creators, announced a major expansion of its platform called Beacons 2.0 in Q4 of 2023. The release includes new artificial intelligence capabilities aimed at helping solo creators compete against larger media organizations.

“We’ve always believed that AI can, and will, help creators scale themselves and build smarter businesses,” said Beacons co-founder and CEO Neal Jean in a blog post. “This is why we’re so excited to release Beacons 2.0.”

The company, founded in 2019 by Stanford computer scientists, offers an integrated suite of software tools for influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers and others in the creator economy. Its original main product was a customizable mobile website builder, providing creators an alternative to linking fans to their social media profiles.

With Beacons 2.0, the startup is aiming to move beyond link-in-bio websites to provide a wider range of tools for running an independent media business. These include email marketing, an e-commerce store for selling merchandise, templates for pitching brand sponsorships, and tools for talent managers to organize client data and share it with potential sponsors.

The company says all these tools are now interconnected on its platform and embedded with AI to provide data-driven recommendations to creators on how to improve their business. For example, Beacons can analyze a creator’s store sales data and email list to suggest products that fans might be most interested in buying.

“Early last year we raised our Series A, led by Kora Management, to bring this vision to life,” Jean wrote. “Now, we’re sharing what we’ve built.”

Beacons 2.0 – Beacons Unveils Major Expansion With AI Tools For Creators

Tapping AI to Solve Creator Challenges

Jessica Li, Beacons’ Chief of Staff, said the founders saw an opportunity to apply their machine learning expertise to the fast-growing creator industry.

“They were really passionate and excited about bringing their AI machine learning backgrounds to the creator economy,” Li said. “This was a little bit before kind of Covid, and TikTok and social media and content creation really took off.”

The pandemic turbocharged the rise of influencing as a full-time job, especially among young people hoping to capitalize on new opportunities in social media entertainment. But creators trying to transform their followings into sustainable media businesses faced obstacles that Beacons is trying to solve with its integrated platform and AI tools, according to Li.

She outlined three main challenges Beacons seeks to address:

  • Creators lack cohesive tools tailored to their needs. Traditional small business software doesn’t meet the demands of individual entertainers building personal brands across multiple social platforms.
  • Running all aspects of an influencer business alone takes up too much creators’ time. AI assistance can help creators focus more on creating content instead of operations.
  • Relying solely on social platforms feels unstable to creators worried about changing algorithms. Beacons provides both website tools for creators to establish their own presence and data tools to better understand their audiences across platforms.

The company says its AI capabilities set it apart from other startups focused on helping creators make money. For example, Beacons can generate text and images for creators using the latest advances in generative AI. This helps creators quickly produce website copy, product descriptions, sponsorship emails and other content needed to run their businesses.

Beacons plans to expand the AI tools significantly in the future to provide creators personalized recommendations and even have it complete some tasks for them automatically.

“What we’ve done so far is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Li.

All-In-One Platform for Solo Creator Businesses

The integrated nature of Beacons’ tools aim to save creators time by eliminating the need to cobble together various software services and manage multiple logins.

“They don’t need to go anywhere beyond us,” said Li. “They don’t need to pay for anything else. They don’t need to figure out how to integrate different tools together.”

For solo entrepreneurs trying to make it online, managing everything alone on limited time and budgets poses challenges ripe for Beacons’ tech solutions. Its platform streamlines the common workflows for operating a professional influencer business today.

“And so we realized that it is possible and actually, very beneficial for creators to have this like standardized tech stack tools that workflows, to help them do these things they typically need to do as a content creator, whether it’s on more of the content creation side or more on the branding side, or engaging followers, or running your business or something else,” Li explained.

The company faces competition from some specialized startups offering individual tools to creators. But by integrating a wider range of essential services for influencer businesses, Beacons is betting its platform will become the go-to “operating system” for independent creators trying to turn their audiences into sustainable careers.

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene is the founder and managing director of Net Influencer, a website dedicated to offering insights into the influencer marketing industry. Together with its newsletter, Influencer Weekly, Net Influencer provides news, commentary, and analysis of the events shaping the creator and influencer marketing space. Through interviews with startups, influencers, brands, and platforms, Nii and his team explore how influencer marketing is being effectively used to benefit businesses and personal brands alike.

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