Why mobile applications? In a nutshell, because the market, people and businesses in general, are mobile. Smartphone screens are used more often than any other medium, which means that apps should be an integral part of your communication mix.
Almost every club has an app in app stores today and some of them have great design, features and are full of useful information, but question is how often are fans using them.
There is also a question that concerns app developers and owners all around the world: “How to monetize my app and not disrupt the users in the process?”.
Let’s see Borussia Dortmund‘s way of doing this.
1. Don’t forget the basic info
Fixtures, match information, league tables, statistics, team information, highlights, calendar…This kind of information can be found everywhere, but you shouldn’t lose your users because you are missing basic club information or it is not organized in a easy-to-use manner.
Also be careful about “information overload”, fans don’t need hundreds of statistical facts. It is better to focus on some other features to increase fan engagement.
2. All users don’t need the same content
“Match days are always our holidays”…“Holiday mode” starts at 09:09 on match day and provides only information you really need before, during and after match whether you are in the stadium, in front of TV / radio or on the road.
If you choose the “stadion” mode you will receive, for example, traffic information which could be very useful if you live in an overcrowded area such as this part of Germany. During a match you won’t receive any notifications, your focus should be on the match itself and not on your mobile phone.
With this feature you can experience everything that is happening during a BVB match day in a very special way.
3. Be social, fans will spend more time on your app
Social media is important, but with the immense amount of ads, suggested pages and other news, fan can lose focus and disregard a message you want them to see. Mobile App can help you to improve fan engagement on social media, and make sure fans don’t miss anything that you think is important that they know about.
In the news section there is a social media stream where you can follow social media post from all players and BVB official accounts.
I used to call this a “behind the scene feature”, and not having it is a huge mistake, because with social features inside an app, fans will spend more time using it.
4. Don’t push your fan over the edge
There is no better way than push notifications to “tap your fan on the shoulder” and tell them something, but don’t be annoying, because they will turn it off and you will lose a great engagement tool.
How is BVB doing this? In settings section you can personalize your push notifications and receive only information you really need and care about.
Push notifications need to be short, interesting and initiate you to open the app and get more information. It is also important to be personable (use players’ nicknames when they score a goal) and not to make your fans feel like they are communicating with a money-making machine.
BVB does this great!
5. Make money, but make it “quietly”
Apps have a huge marketing potential, but users definitely hate ads and are usually looking for that little “x” button on the edge of their screen. How to monetize your app as a sports club and not disrupt the user experience?
BVB uses only native ads and they never hide any part of content of their app, which is very important. Banners, if they appear, seem like a part of an app. Some screens are used to advertise their own products and services.
News are also a great way to monetize your app, but you need to create some value and give something to your users. “With Opel through Europe” was the latest of these activities from BVB.
Also, don’t forget tickets and fanshop because sales through apps have increased lately.
6. Be mobile
There should be no question as to whether you should have a Mobile App. With this app I have and know everything about BVB on my mobile phone: anywhere, anytime, fast, simple,easy and a “fingertip” away.
Match stats, season schedule, results, news and basic club information are simply not enough. This kind of information are provided everywhere and having only this content will surely not increase your fan engagement. I am also a Liverpool fan, but I have used their app only once!
Great work BVB!