How Digital Influencers Benefit from Custom Apps

While traditional social media is a great tool for building an audience and getting your name out there, it does have its limits. Popular digital influencers reach a point where social media is preventing them from further growing their brand’s footprint and monetizing their audience. Influencers are after more than traditional social media can offer and are seeking out different ways to expand their reach.  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 programming, 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 the experience typically ends there. 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.

Profile elevation 

Even influencers with millions of followers can struggle to distinguish themselves from similar content and keep their engagement going on a consistent, long-term basis. Mobile apps let you stand out among the masses, adding an air of professionalism and leadership to your brand.  Because you have an engaging custom app, your brand may appear more high-profile and trendy than others in the same subject who only use traditional 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 and brand of your own.  It’s easier to land cross-media jobs and sponsors when you aren’t strictly tied to a platform.

Control of your content & marketing 

Without an app, your online content is controlled by social media platforms. There’s no guarantee of longevity in the Terms and Conditions; they have the legal right to 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.

Data ownership 

Social Media platforms are known for their lack of transparency in the data they collect.  Analyzing data can help grow your brand, plan for the future, secure sponsors, and increase fan engagement. It’s also great for refining target audiences for advertising campaigns. Of course, social media heavily limits the ways that you can target an audience with boosted posts or advertising.

Fans might be willing to agree to more permissions in your app than they’d be willing to grant a social media platform. You have the ability to ensure their data is protected, so they don’t have to rely on large platforms to do 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 the decisions that you make in terms of content.

Monetization opportunities 

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.

  • Exclusive Live-streams: Not every fan can travel to one of your concerts or appearances, but you can let them feel like they are a 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 additional profits.
  • 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 always 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!


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