“Telling someone to go check out an app is something our culture does all the time,” – Alex Gaggioli
After six years in competitive cheerleading, Alex Gaggioli was ready to move on to a career in marketing. Yet, despite his success in social media and content marketing, Alex never gave up his love for cheer. Instead, he created Cheer Theory, a blog that provides the cheerleading industry relevant content that goes deeper than the cheer news on Twitter.
Now, one year after launch, Cheer Theory has gained over 200,000 total unique website users and over 7,000 followers across social media. With all his success, Alex thought a mobile app would be a great idea, but it wasn’t that easy. According to Alex, “These days creating a website is easy and cheap, but building an app is not. You can’t just go out and build it yourself.”
That’s how Alex started working with SRAX. Cheer Theory has recently rolled out a free mobile app using our SRAXapp platform. And since the launch on January 5, 2017, Cheer Theory has reported over 1,800 mobile app installs.
So, how did Alex do it? We spoke with him about his experience developing a mobile app. In this post, you’ll learn how Alex channeled his passion for cheer into a money-making mobile app – and how you can too.
1. Identify your audience’s needs
Alex began cheering with a small team in Illinois and later moved to California where he joined The California All Stars – a mega gym home to hundreds of athletes in three different states. During that time he discovered that the cheerleading community has “one of the most engaged niche audiences.”
Yet, at the same time, Alex noticed there was a major challenge to engaging that audience in a meaningful way. “Cheerleaders still use Twitter as the main means of communication. But when you Tweet something, it’s only there for 10 seconds and then it’s gone forever. So if you’re trying to figure out what’s going on at an event, it’s impossible because everything gets swallowed by this deep dark hole of Twitter.”
His solution was simple – a blog that would “compile all the information that was going on in a BuzzFeed-like way because no one else was doing it at the time.” So with that, Alex expanded the conversation on cheerleading to a communication medium the industry had yet to explore.
2. Test new ways of reaching your audience
Because the cheer world is constantly moving, Alex is on the job night and day. In fact, in the past year alone, Alex published 71 blog posts and attended 65 competitions with more than 300 updates. With all that work, how did he find the time to explore new ways to reach and engage his audience? Well, new mobile technologies have made it easy.
A dynamic mobile app builder enables content owners to test a new communication channel without having to significantly increase content creation or invest in dedicated resources. Which is exactly what bloggers like Alex find so attractive, “My website was set up in a way that SRAX App could take in my content.” After that, all of the content on Cheer Theory’s site and social media channels was “magically pulled in.”
The “seamless” nature of a dynamic app means that “everything is pulled in from [Cheer Theory] in real time,” which is a necessity in a world where audiences “want to know the second something happens.”
Twitter was the original real-time communication channel for competitive cheering. And while it’s true that “you have to meet your audience where they are,” the success of the Cheer Theory app shows that “you don’t always know where they are, so you have to test everything.”
3. Provide exclusive offers and content
Cheer Theory continues to grow through experimentation. Up next for Alex is a plan to run exclusive in-app contests for his followers. “From a business development perspective, I think it’s really cool to work with bigger brands and it’s also great for my audience. It’s a win-win on all sides,” says Alex.
And he’s also looking to add exclusive video content because “it gives people a reason to not only download the app, but also a reason to get excited about opening it” and “it pushes them to interact with Cheer Theory one more time.”
Diving into new projects is exciting especially because “the app is ridiculously easy for me to manage,” says Alex. After all, “I know people care about these things. It’s just a matter of getting the word out. And having an app really helps do that.”
Are you an online influencer or content owner and want to take the next step with SRAXapp? Contact us here to learn more about how our app builder can help you monetize your audience.
Published on April 5, 2017