KnexxLocal, a Toronto-based technology startup, has launched Instamonial, a free iOS application designed to help local businesses market themselves online. Instamonial allows local businesses to snap photos of their work using the app’s camera feature. The user then sends an email to the customer directly from the app with the attached photos, requesting feedback on the work. Once reviewed, the photo is posted to the business’ website and distributed via social media channels along with the real-time customer review.
“Word-of-mouth referrals are the single most important tool that local businesses can use to grow their business. Today, with the launch of Instamonial, we’re giving local businesses a way to use social media to grow those referrals in a way that wasn’t possible before,” said Paul Chen, CEO of KnexxLocal. “By enabling one-click sharing of customer references across social media channels, Instamonial super-charges word-of-mouth marketing.”
“The shift in consumer expectations and growth in online reviews over the past few years has presented a big challenge for local business owners who don’t have a lot of time or resources to dedicate to online marketing,” said Bruce Croxon, co-founder of LavaLife, managing partner of Round 13 Capital, and star on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. “Simplifying the process for business owners to receive referrals from satisfied customers and distribute them easily online is the ultimate goal of localized, online word-of-mouth marketing.”
Instamonial is available to download for free on the iTunes app store and can be set up to distribute content automatically on a variety of social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
“Word-of-mouth referrals are incredibly important in the catering business,” said Michael Novak, Owner of Corporate Cravings. “So it is important to take a proactive approach to ensuring that the experiences of your happy customers are reflected online. But in the past the process has been a little awkward and felt to be somewhat intrusive. Instamonial has changed this. It’s easy to use for both my client and myself, and since it’s on your phone, it’s always with you. There’s no waiting to get back to the computer, so there’s no real excuse for not sending out a request – and once you hit send the rest is done for you.”
Along with the launch, KnexxLocal also announced a recently closed seed round of $1.1M raised from a series of well-established angel and investment firms including Round 13 Capital.