By Victoria Repa
Creating digital products for diverse audiences can be challenging. Communicating effectively with every segment of a diverse audiences requires a lot of resources — and even if you have the resources, the results don’t always meet expectations. Eventually, businesses that aim to satisfy a wide range of interests with a one-size-fits-all approach fail. To avoid talking into a void when trying to reach this wide range of users, companies should tailor their communications according to the channel, audience segment and stage of a customer journey.
BetterMe — an ecosystem of Health and Fitness apps — targets people without fitness experience. The audience is mostly female but ranges widely in age and other demographics. Our first goal is to persuade a user to get started exercising. So our goal was not only to make people download our product but to make the first step in their health journey. But with such a big audience to reach, we were in danger of sending our messaging into the void.
BetterMe overcame the challenge by creating tailored content for social media in order to maximize the organic downloads and minimize user acquisition cost. This is how we did it.
Product, audience, channels
BetterMe has seven apps for activities including fitness, yoga, meditation—to name a few. The most popular product is BetterMe Weight Loss Workouts. What distinguishes it from other top fitness apps is that it is aimed at a mass-market audience, people with no fitness background. Most apps are created for people who have a gym membership, fitness equipment, and higher motivation.
Even though BetterMe’s audience is mostly female, the user base is large and includes women ages 18 to 65+. The audience has many segments with different behavioral patterns, content preferences, and triggers. Even with such a wide array of users, BetterMe still found social media to be the best way to communicate with users.
50% of Generation Z and 42% of Millennials say social media is the most relevant ad channel.
In order to reach its many target segments, BetterMe devised different strategies for different social media channels.
According to A/B tests, Facebook works better for the 40+ audience while Instagram is better for reaching 18-30 year-olds. Twitter’s audience is more rational, curious, and picky. Pinterest emerged as a channel to reach young mothers.
BetterMe’s observations should sound familiar to marketers, as its observations back up what many already know:
- On Facebook, the number of users aged 65 and up has doubled since 2012, 41% of U.S. seniors now use the social network.
- Individuals with a college degree are more likely to use Twitter: 32% of users are degree-holders, 25% have some college education, and just 18% have only a high school education or less.
- Pinterest remains more popular with women, as 41% percent of women say they use the platform, compared to just 16% of men. Roughly 80% of U.S. moms are active on Pinterest.
- Roughly half of U.S. Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
With the statistics to back up our strategy, BetterMe felt empowered to set about creating targeted content for each audience.
Different formats for different channels
Taking into consideration the peculiarities of the platforms, we use different strategies to get people to start working out:
Twitter — scientifically backed content, rational arguments (formulas, tables, calculations)
The limited number of characters on Twitter may seem like a challenge for communicating your message to an audience that is looking for rational arguments, clear explanations, and scientifically proven methods. But actually, if you’re ready for the challenge, it opens an opportunity to communicate more by organizing your content graphically.
- Infographics are liked and shared 3x more than other any other type of content on Twitter and are 30x more likely to be read than textual articles.
- Twitter users love lists and how-tos. They get 3x more retweets than any other type of content.
- Video and images tend to influence people to purchase at 2x the rate of text.
Instagram — aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching pictures focus on food and cooking
Because #food is in the most popular hashtag on Instagram (there are currently 346 million photos tagged this way), we decided to focus our attention on what’s trending on the platform and is relevant to our topic — healthy recipes, cooking for weight loss, nutrition tips and hacks.
Facebook — everyday challenges (“1 day without soda”, “72 hours without added sugar” etc)
Following the success of famous Facebook challenges — including #planking, #harlemshake, #icebucketchallenge and #10yearchallenge — many people started their own little challenges for all kinds of reasons — to raise money for charity, personal motivation, or just for fun.
Why did we decide to focus on weight loss challenges as our major content piece since Facebook enables such a wide range of content formats?
The answer is easy: the power of public commitment.
The ASTD found that people have a 65% chance of completing a goal if they commit to someone. And if a person has a specific accountability appointment with a person, it will increase the chance of success by up to 95%.
According to the research published in Psychology and Marketing, public commitment is especially powerful in a weight loss process. They studied three groups of people who either made no public commitment, a short-term (three weeks), or a long-term public commitment (16 weeks). The study found, ”the group who made a long-term commitment achieved the largest percentage of their weight loss goal (102 percent at 16 weeks, 97 percent at 24-week follow-up), with the short-term group next in line, and finally the no-commitment group last.”
People make a public commitment on Facebook by sharing our challenging posts. It’s an easy and motivating way to start losing weight. Also, Facebook makes it easy to find an accountability partner or a work-out buddy, which also motivates people to achieve results and commit. We keep the wording in our posts consistently challenging, inviting, and, sometimes, daring.
Pinterest — workout videos designed to lose weight after pregnancy, quick recipes and shopping lists, facts and tips about weight loss.
Overall, 7 out of 10 millennial women and 7 out of 10 moms in the U.S. are on Pinterest.
What are moms looking at on Pinterest?
- Ideas ( for birthday parties, Halloween costumes)
- Trends (maternity clothes ideas, new parenting solutions, what’s popular among kids)
- Lifehacks (how to arrange a wardrobe, nine amazing uses of apple vinegar)
- Beauty hacks from new moms (how to get rid of stretchings, how to have at-home spa-day)
That’s why, while creating content for Pinterest, we focus on how-tos, weight loss tips and hacks, quick recipes, and lists that inspire users to save a pin to their board.
Among all the Health and Fitness app companies, BetterMe has the largest community on social media – over 4 million followers in total. It has been growing by approximately 5% every month. Thanks to this robust community, 25% of downloads come organically from our social media channels. This is our competitive advantage in the industry.
BetterMe’s weight loss app was among the most popular Health and Fitness apps in the U.S. within 2 years of launch. It also became one of the top grossing health and fitness apps in the world in 2018.
Victoria Repa is a CEO and Co-Founder of BetterMe — an eco-system of Health & Fitness Apps. She co-founded BetterMe when she was 24 years old. Within three years BetterMe's products achieved TOP 5 grossing apps in the world and TOP 5 of the US AppStore (category Health & Fitness). Victoria is a Stanford Executive Program alumni, Member of Forbes Technology Council, contributor to The Next Web, passionate digital marketer and a healthy lifestyle advocate.