While social media is a good tool for building an audience and getting your name out there, it has its limits. Popular digital influencers reach a point where social media is preventing them from further growing their brand's footprint and monetizing. They need more than it can offer. A custom mobile app provides value that no single social media platform can match. Supplementing your social media presence with your own fan engagement app has several benefits to consider.
Connection with Fans
While social media is definitely more personal than TV, it’s still hard to connect with your fans, as they have to wade through a flood of content to see yours. The decline of organic reach means that even your subscribers and followers won’t always see your latest posts. An app focuses their attention to your content so they don’t miss a thing.
Another problem is that social media interaction tends to be passive. Fans can watch your videos, maybe comment or share, but that’s it. Two-way interaction is very limited. With an app, there are more opportunities for fans to take an active role in supporting your brand. For example, they could apply to host your online forums and groups or access app-only fanmail options.
Even influencers with millions of followers can struggle to distinguish themselves from similar content. Mobile apps let you stand out, adding an air of professionalism and leadership to your brand. Because you have an engaging custom app, you seem more high-profile and trendy than others in the same subject who only use social media.
A change in perception like this can help you transfer your popularity from a social media
platform to your own brand. In short, you move past being a “YouTube star” or an “Instagram star” and become a celebrity in your own right. It’s easier to land cross-media jobs when you aren’t strictly tied to a platform.
Without an app, your online content is controlled by social media platforms. There’s no guarantee of longevity in the Terms and Conditions; they can use your content in their marketing or delete it at any time without explanation. (YouTube in particular has had a problem with videos being mysteriously deleted.)
The lack of power can be damaging to an influencer’s online reputation. It’s especially worrisome that you have little to no control over what ads appear connected to your brand. Imagine you’re on Facebook Live talking about a new project and an ad for a competitor is shown during an Ad Break.
With an app, you control where your content is hosted and what ads go near it. Your content is as secure as your app can make it; you can track it and make sure it doesn’t go missing.
Social Media platforms don’t share all or even most of the data they collect. Analyzing data can help grow your brand, plan for the future, and increase fan engagement. It’s also great for refining target audiences for advertising campaigns. Of course, on social media there are heavy limitations on the ways you can target an audience with boosted posts or advertising.
Something else to consider is that fans might be willing to agree to more permissions in your app than they’d be willing to grant a social media platform. You can ensure their data is protected yourself, so they don’t have to hope social media is doing so. More permissions let you provide more customized features to engage your fan base. As a side benefit, this also offers better and more detailed data to guide your decisions.
The healthy advertising profits and sponsorships earned by elite influencers can create a false sense of security. While the money for stars is good, it’s still essentially one source of income. It pays to diversify your revenue stream so that ad sharing isn’t the sole source of income. Apps offer several options for this kind of monetization.
- Pay Per View Live-streams: Not every fan can travel to one of your concerts or appearances, but you can let them feel like part of the action with live-streams.
- In-App Store: The highest profit margins come when you can sell directly to fans. Because there’s no middleman to consider, fans get a lower price even while you enjoy more profit.
- Advertising and Sponsorship: Influencer marketing is booming, yet some companies have been pulling adspend from social media platforms because of the same lack of message control that affects creators. CMOs have found that the greatest ROI comes from sponsoring a specific content creator with a fan base that matches their customer profiles. Having a custom app - and the data that goes with it - is very attractive to these executives.
There are many advantages to having a custom mobile app, but one truth stands out. With social media, you’re one of millions. With an app, you’re the star.
What features would you use most in a custom app? Drop us a line and discover how FanHero can put your brand in the spotlight!