Savage Beta Corner: Fan Engagement with Sam Renders
- by Radu Cotarcea
The Savage Beta Corner series continues to grow leading up to the Savage Marketing event. In our latest interview we caught up with Sam Renders – Artist, Entrepreneur, Video and Web Designer, e-commerce expert, and Founder of Fangage.me – to discuss fan engagement.
S: To start, tell us a bit about Fangage and its aim?
SR: Hey guys, first of all thanks for having me! I founded Fangage out of personal frustration. As an artist and internationally touring DJ, I was spending a lot of money promoting posts on Facebook and Instagram (to people that actually clicked "like" or "follow" and WANTED to receive updates from me). I had just hit half a million fans on Facebook and I was only able to reach 1 or 2 percent of them. That's when I decided I had to take control of my fan data and had to find a way to reach/engage (with) them on a one on one basis. Based on this idea, I founded Fangage.me and started building our first fan engagement portal, offering exclusive artist content in exchange for their contact details. I started putting a lot of my content in this "content locker" and, in no time, over 10.000+ fans registered on the platform – fans I can now reach directly with laser-targeted precision, by email or SMS, on the devices they are already using.
S: What does fan engagement mean to you and why is it so important in 2017?
SR: As an artist, your fans are the fuel that keeps your career going and on the rise. They are the ones that buy your songs, come to your shows, and purchase your merchandise. For (corporate) brands, this should be no different. This is something that a lot of brands and marketing managers do not realize. Just like in the case of artists, your brand's fans are also your customers. A lot of companies already use a CRM system to keep track of their customers, but don't realize there's a whole layer of people around it that they are not targeting with this: their brand's fans. People that are interested in the product but may not be a customer already. Look at them as leads, if you wish. Fangage.me enables you to capture contact information on these leads and make them engage with your brand's content at the same time.
S: What is the biggest mistake brands make when it comes to fan engagement and what are the indicators that a brand needs to be more involved?
SR: I think a lot of brands can learn from looking at fan engagement through the eyes of an artist or influencer. We are one and the same and a lot of brands do not realize this. We both have fans, we both have content, and, through making awesome content, we can increase our fan base, engage our fan base, and turn them into buying customers.
S: What piece of advice would you give marketers about utilizing fan engagement technology in the future?
SR: One of the main pillars of the Fangage.me platform is taking control of your fan base. I think it's very important for brands to start investing in building their own portals, capturing fan information, and creating cool content. Just take a look at platforms like Facebook and Instagram that are continuously restricting the reach of your brand's pages. Right now, on average, a post that you put up on Facebook only gets displayed to around 2% of your total following. Think about how much more powerful your marketing efforts would be if you could reach 100% of them. That's the idea of Fangage.me.
S: What's the next step in the Fangage.me story that readers can expect? As an upcoming Savage Beta participant at the Savage Marketing 2017 conference, what are you most looking forward to?
SR: We started building the Fangage.me platform for people just like me: influencers and artists that were struggling to connect with their fan base due to third party restrictions. Just a few weeks after we launched our first platform, we were already invited to speak at a lot of the top marketing summits all around the world. That's when we realized this platform could be interesting for a much broader market as well. That's why right now we are focusing on expanding our platform to also service (corporate) brands and campaigns: Because artists and brands are much more alike than you might think.
S: As an upcoming Savage Beta participant at the Savage Marketing 2017 conference, what are you most looking forward to?
SR: Sadly, I have to miss the event itself because I will be on tour in Asia playing shows. Fangage.me will be represented by my two co-founders though and they are really looking forward to seeing a lot of the awesome and inspiring speakers and meeting everyone of you there. If you're representing a brand or simply want to know more about what we're building, come check us out at the Fangage.me stand (stand number 15).