Is there more to engagement than just social media?
In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, content creators are facing a multitude of challenges that frustrate their potential to gain, engage and monetise fans. While platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok have provided creators with powerful vehicles for storytelling, they also come with their fair share of hurdles. From the many conversations that the team and I have had with content creators, I wanted to share some of the challenges they face on social media, and the advantages of seeking alternative "off-platform" solutions. I also wanted to outline what creators should consider when partnering with off-platform providers.
The Challenges Posed by Social Media for Content Creators
1. Algorithm Changes
One of the biggest challenges content creators face on social media is the unpredictability of algorithms. Platforms frequently update their algorithms, which can significantly impact a creator's reach and visibility. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, making it challenging to maintain consistent engagement.
2. Monetisation Restrictions
While platforms offer monetisation opportunities from ads and sponsorships, creators often find themselves at the mercy of strict rules and revenue-sharing models, as well as a diminishing cut of the profits. These limitations can hinder a creator's ability to earn a sustainable income.
3. Content Ownership
Content creators must also grapple with concerns about ownership and control. Platforms typically have the final say in content removal or demonetisation, leaving creators vulnerable to arbitrary decisions.
The sheer number of content creators on major platforms means fierce competition for attention. It's challenging to stand out in a saturated market, and this can lead to creators feeling lost in the crowd.
The Benefits of Off-Platform Solutions
1. Increased Control
Moving content off-platform allows creators to have more control over their content and brand. They can set their own rules, monetisation strategies, and engage with their audience on their terms.
2. Diversified Revenue Streams
Off-platform solutions enable creators to explore multiple revenue streams, such as subscriptions, merchandise sales, or exclusive content offerings, reducing dependence on a single platform's monetisation model.
3. Enhanced Engagement
Bringing their audience to an off-platform space can foster a more engaged and loyal community. Creators can create a more intimate and interactive experience for their followers.
4. Content Ownership
Creators retain ownership and control of their content, reducing the risk of arbitrary takedowns or demonetisation.
5. Majority Revenue Share
Creators retain the majority of the revenue generated for themselves, rather than surrendering it to the media platform.
Partnering for Success: What to Look For
When considering off-platform solutions, content creators should be diligent in selecting the right partner to assist them. Here are some key factors to consider:
Ensure the partner has a track record of reliability and stability in providing off-platform solutions.
2. Monetisation Opportunities
Look for partners that offer diverse monetisation options, allowing creators to tailor their income streams to their audience.
3. Audience Migration Support
Partners should offer tools and support to help creators smoothly transition their audience to the new platform.
4. Community-Building Features
Choose a partner that provides features for creating and nurturing a thriving community, such as forums, chat, or exclusive content access.
5. Transparent Policies
Seek partners with clear and transparent content policies and revenue-sharing agreements to avoid surprises down the road.
6. Versatility and Creative Possibility
Seek partners that provide a platform that can be tailored and customised to provide the features and experience that you and your audience want.
So is Off-Platform for Me?
Content creators face significant challenges on mainstream social media platforms, from algorithmic changes to monetisation restrictions. Exploring off-platform solutions can provide creators with increased control, diversified revenue streams, and enhanced audience engagement.
But it's not for everyone. From the many meetings we have with influencers, we’ve learnt that it's more than just selling merch or exclusive content. It's about the additional value a creator can bring to their audience. What do your fans want or need that they don’t currently get from social media, and will they keep coming back for more? It's the community. It’s the access. It’s about being part of something exclusive and exciting.
However, choosing the right people to work with is also paramount. It can make or break the success of this transition. In most projects or strategies there are potential issues and pitfalls. But the upsides of moving off-platform can not only empower content creators to build a more sustainable and rewarding online presence, that gets them much closer to their fans and followers.
Tom Konopka, Sales Director