What is up everyone, this week I am going to talk about the process of converting an online user or potential customer into a fan or reoccurring customer. This process is known by the term, fan gating. Fan gates themselves are third party pages that businesses or artists use on platforms such as Facebook or Soundcloud, to gain new customers and retain old ones. This is a classic fan gate for a music artist on Soundcloud.
As you can see it offers a free product (in this example a song) if the user follows the artist on other social media platforms. This is quickly becoming the newest weapon for online businesses and artists, and is allowing them to create a funnel.
This funneling process is often taught about in marketing and fan gates are the perfect example of the whole process. For example, music artists post new content using Soundcloud to get new followers and fans. This is the process of engagement and technically starts when the user clicks the link to the offered content, leading to a fan gate.
Many users get lost after the capture stage because they do not want to give up their information for the content or follow the artist or business on other forms of social media. For the users that decide they are interested this becomes the capture and nurture stages. For fan gates the capture and nurture stages are one in the same. In these stages, it is important to set up a clean looking fan gate that clearly states the tradeoff the user makes for a download. Along with this, it is important to use a trusted fan gate provider so that it works seamlessly, and users are not frustrated by the functionality. The capturing and nurturing processes are fairly quick and overall come down to getting users to trust the look of the fan gate and convince them to be comfortable with the information they are sacrificing.
The converting and partnering stages work together as well, and these processes happen soon after the previous, with the actual entering of a user’s email address, or the click of a follow button. Once the user does this, the artist or business the gets opportunity to notify the user whenever a new product comes out, in hopes that they will purchase or repurchase their material.
Some of the best fan gates are The Artists Union, Hive, and ToneDen. While The Artists Union and ToneDen focus primarily on music, Hive provides other social media marketing features, along with detailed analytics for followers, likes, click-thrus and conversion rates.
Overall, fan gates are powerful tools that give artists and businesses the ability to connect, centralize and leverage all their social media platforms. If chosen and used correctly they can lead to high conversion rates and powerful data analytics, leading to more followers, fans and most importantly more revenue. While full-blown fan gates are not seen on the entire web yet, I believe that almost every website that asks for your email address is starting to leverage the concept of fan gating. Whether the web will move towards full fan gates is yet to be seen, but personally I have already had enough and am becoming stingy about my follows and information.
Hope to hear all of your thoughts and see you all in class this week!