There are nearly infinite tactics for content creation and distribution. Any business hopes that content creation will result in revenue of some sort. If you are looking for a great way to build a community of passionate customers and generate revenue, there is one content tactic that you may want to consider: exclusive content.
Truly exclusive content is rare these days. Many companies have simply disguised readily available content as “exclusive” by putting it behind a landing page with a form on it. There is little or no vested interest in offering content only to devoted members of an audience. Rather, it is a bait-and-switch with hopes of creating a sense of scarcity, rather than added value. To do exclusive content correctly, it has to be genuine and of real value to the person jumping through the hoops to acquire it.
That is just what Untappd has done. This is one of my favorite mobile applications. It is the “foursquare of beer,” as I call it. The app allows me to make notes and “check-in” to the beers I am drinking and rate them based on my preference and with over 950 thousand users, has a great community of craft beer lovers for me to connect with as well. Untappd recently offered me the opportunity to become a “supporter,” in which I’m able to unlock exclusive features of the app as well as earn myself a nifty badge.
With more than 200 beers recorded on my account, there is a good chunk of information – not to mention additional statistics – that becomes unlocked by being a supporter. This is information that I, as a beer consumer, could use to relive a few of my best experiences. Secondly, Untappd gives supporters a few exclusive treatments on the network — all this for the equivalent cost of one beer per month. I reached out to Greg Avola from Untappd to see what else was in store for supporters.
“We plan on improving the Supporter program with additional benefits in the future. Right now, they are still in the pre-development phase, but we hope to have some additional features out in the future to increase support for our Untappd supporters,” Avola wrote.
The team at Untappd seems to understand that advocate want to support and look for excuses to do so! I am an avid Untappd user. I love the app, the brand, and the community that uses it. Any of my friends will tell you that I tried to get them to use the app, too. My emotional connection to the brand is strong. The ability of the app to combine exclusive content AND my own information is just fuel for the already roaring fire. The cost is not unreasonable. From a business standpoint, this offer is also a great way to monetize or at least subsidize the cost of running the app and site. And you don’t need to run ads to do it!
Avola continued, “we want to deliver a product that allows the community to grow ‘tastefully,’ without slapping ads all over the place. The concept [is] to provide benefit to our users through our community – and we are currently developing ways of doing that to support the business.”
Any business can do exclusive content, and Untappd has done it correctly. Even if only 1 percent of its user base subscribed to the offer, that’s 1 percent that the company has now enabled to be “evangelists” — the truly loyal, loud, and dedicated type of advocate. I have subscribed to the supporter program. It made me feel good and most importantly, made me feel closer to the brand (good for Untappd). As a user, I am now more invested in the success of the company and the app, and I have bragging rights. These are the business benefits of exclusive content; you don’t need to clutter your brand with advertising. If you can add value to your most loyal customers with this tactic, you have the makings of accelerated growth!
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