Why Platform Diversification Is Important
The volume of content creators and platforms that serve them is growing at a rapid pace. As new products and features that help unlock value across the board are developed, strategic planning and creative positioning will become critical considerations for future content creators.
TikTok experienced a huge surge in growth in March of 2020 as a result of the pandemic, which prompted people to turn to social media to seek various forms of entertainment. According to Wallaroo Media, 60% of its users belong to the Gen Z category, with about 83% of its registered users having posted at least one video.
It’s not just limited to TikTok though. Short-form videos in particular have continued to gain popularity across a variety of platforms as YouTube has recently introduced its #Shorts feature hoping to capitalize on its 2.29 billion user base. Instagram has likewise introduced many new features and tools, such as Reels alongside expanded e-commerce capabilities that ultimately benefit the creators finances.
As platforms continue to evolve and cater to a wider array of audiences, it will become a necessity for content creators to establish their presence on a variety of channels. This allows them to tap into various niches, as well as zoom in on how they can improve their value proposition for their audiences to continue engaging with their content.
Benefits of Diversification
For obvious reasons, creators that are starting out will need to focus on one platform to build their audience. Eventually, as they begin to expand their influence, they will soon find that having a presence on other mediums will be important to drive more growth. Creators will typically use avenues such as paid subscriptions for premium content, online merchandise, newsletters, and more as they compete for consumer real estate in this highly competitive industry.
Putting all the eggs in one basket isn’t ideal in the long run, namely because policies and regulations are continuously adjusted on every platform. There is also the risk of new features hindering creators from accurately quantifying or gauging their audience insights, such as when Instagram decided to conceal the number of likes for posts, or when Facebook suddenly banned advertisements that were related to dieting and weight loss. This is the downside of monetizing on ‘free’ platforms, as their terms and conditions explicitly state that changes may come at any time.
Creators must consider using different platforms for the simple fact that it’s part of the process of future proofing. This especially comes in handy when an unexpected change occurs within a site’s algorithm that provides less exposure for the type of content in a niche, which allows them to pivot fast.
For example, In June of 2020, thousands of companies boycotted Facebook and demanded a crackdown on the spread of misinformation and hate speech. The platform itself did very little in response to this, but it did lead to promising progress at other social media sites.
Those that relied entirely on Facebook had to scurry to come up with a new platform or find a new channel. Meanwhile, creators who were already utilizing other platforms in combination with Facebook, such as YouTube and Instagram simply had to move their efforts to other platforms.
Creators are finding it increasingly difficult to identify the right audience and which platform/s they’re located in. As third-party cookies become less prevalent on the internet, creators will have fewer options for tracking, retargeting, and connecting with their audiences. By distributing content across different channels, organic reach can be increased.
Each platform will have committed audiences with comparable interests, and it’s simply a matter of determining how they want content to be presented to them. It necessitates obtaining a range of material that appears to be local to each channel. As a result, creators will need to adapt to change and have a presence on all of the popular social media apps like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, and others to develop content that works on all of them. Carving out a presence on a new platform without the right tools and dedicated audience can be difficult, which is why the creator economy’s strength lies in the network effect and various collaborations.
You’ve probably heard of Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, who made a name for himself on YouTube by donating money to both friends and strangers. A majority of the money used in his videos come from corporate sponsorships, but he also depends on viral marketing to gain exposure. Donaldson gave almost everything away, including his belongings to homeless people, small-time streamers, his parents, friends, and even his fans. Soon after, he established a second and third YouTube channel, as well as a presence on other platforms like Twitter, Twitch and Facebook. As a result, he became well-known, and he acquired an even larger following.
The idea behind it is that each platform will likely host a variety of audiences. Some will have micro-communities formed around certain topics of interest, some will have individuals that are consuming many different genres of content, and others will focus on a certain format that targets various age groups. For example, YouTube videos specialize in longer content, as opposed to TikTok which focuses on shorter content, even though they both enable virality. Because viewers on each platform are different, however, it isn’t uncommon for someone to provide the same type of content for two different channels, albeit with modifications to the presentation. One could also use the other as a “teaser” to entice viewers to visit their main channel to view the “full” content.
Diversifying into Blockchain-based Platforms
The creator industry, which has been severely impacted by rampant intellectual property and content theft, eventually required an inventive shift. Because there were few methods for safeguarding online material, blockchain revolutionized how media is distributed and monetized. It follows that the potential benefits that it brings to the table attracts creators who want to diversify into this space with new companies creating technologies that are enabling them to do so.
BitFans is a platform that allows content creators to tokenize their brand and design incentives around driving more intimate engagements with their followers. In essence, its goal is to bring back the definition of community to its roots, where groups of individuals rally around shared values and goals. Community Tokens (aka Creator Tokens) are a good way to cultivate budding communities, turning audiences and fans into more than just consumers of your content. An online community also helps creators discover what motivates their members and hone in on what they enjoy and dislike about the material. This way, creators may improve their content and reach a larger audience with this information.
Creators can also create shared value between themselves and their community members by promoting mutual growth and aligning incentives. While other platforms focus on publishing content in different formats and exposing their creators to different audiences, BitFans takes the opposite approach by allowing individuals or brands to host their existing members on the platform and identify the most valuable members of their ecosystem, essentially giving them benefits such as voting rights to various directions that they would like creators to take, gain access to perks such as private channels of communication and sneak-previews. This takes things a step further by giving fans the ability to be part of an ecosystem and influence its overall growth.
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