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"We Left Facebook Groups and Have Seen Our Membership Rise +130% Every Year We've Been On Mighty Pro."
Featured in this Story of Awesome: FWFG Kula
Kula by Yoga With Adriene is a free private community for the Yoga with Adriene & Find What Feels Good communities to connect with others about yoga, and physical & mental wellness.
The Spark: Their goal was to create a dedicated private community for the most engaged members of the Find What Feels Good family to connect, reach their personal goals, and learn more about yoga, and physical & mental health practices.
Sarah’s Mighty Moment: “Having our own free community app helps us reach our goal of making real connections with people. When we didn’t have our own branded community app, there was a disconnect that members felt when coming to the space. Mighty Pro removes that hurdle. Our branded community app feels very much a part of the Yoga With Adriene and Find What Feels Good family now.”
With 10 million+ YouTube subscribers, Adriene Mishler is the world’s most influential yoga instructor.
She turned to Mighty Pro to launch branded community apps for her most passionate students. With her apps, Adriene turns fleeting YouTube subscribers into loyal community members. Her free online community supports her OTT streaming business, offering her most passionate members a central place to gather and deepen their yoga practice.
Over 220,000 members have access to her private community and participate in 30-day yoga journeys, monthly themes, virtual yoga retreats, member-led book clubs, and groups.
Additionally, since launching her apps with Mighty Pro, she's seen the benefits of owning a community beyond the confines and distractions of Facebook groups:
- Grew her community to over 220,000 passionate members brought together in branded apps.
- 83% of members primarily access the community via her branded apps, versus the desktop experience.
- 99% of all content is member-generated, with their team spending less than five hours a week moderating and posting in the community.
Kula by Yoga With Adriene transition from Facebook to Mighty Pro went smoothly thanks to Mighty Pro’s robust support and strategy services for making the move.
The journey to Mighty Pro
The Kula by Yoga With Adriene community has always been for Yoga With Adriene’s more engaged supporters. While the Kula by Yoga With Adriene Facebook Group that was previously in place worked for a period of time, there were many issues that came with hosting a group on Facebook.
On Facebook there was a lack of control, lack of custom branding options, and the increasingly distracting environment that didn’t contribute to creating a healthy, safe space for Adriene’s followers to gather.
Adriene’s business partner, Chris Sharpe, found Mighty Networks and signed up to try it out. With the help of Adriene's now Director of Membership & Community for Kula by Yoga With Adriene, Sarah Bowman, who helped trial the service for a while, the FWFG team knew that Mighty Pro was the perfect service to create a fully-branded experience for their most passionate and engaged members.
"We started with the Business Plan on Mighty Networks. But found there was a disconnect as we didn't have our own branded apps, so people had to work harder to find us," says Sarah.
Getting their own branded apps listed in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store has helped to elevate the brand as well.
"I love that now we are right there in the app stores too, you can see our video subscription membership app, and you can see our free community app. That's nice from a branding side for the business as it all feels like part of one cohesive Find What Feels Good family," says Sarah.
Why Mighty Pro?
Mighty Pro allowed Kula by Yoga With Adriene to move swiftly, building white-labeled iOS and Android apps for their community without the headaches of building an app from scratch.
"From a business perspective, our community app gives us this group of people that are highly engaged. When Adriene releases a new YouTube video, or we create a new program, or when we do our 30 Days of Yoga series push in January, we have this engaged community that can give us immediate traction, they're there and ready to check new things out."
Using their branded apps has also helped Sarah and the Kula by Yoga With Adriene team better connect with their members than ever before.
“Having our own free community app helps us reach our goal of making real connections with people," Sarah says. "When we didn’t have a branded community app, there was a disconnect that members felt when coming to the space. Mighty Pro removes that hurdle. Our branded community app feels very much a part of the Find What Feels Good family now.”
And the numbers speak for themselves: out of the 211,000+ members, 83% of them access the community through the Kula by Yoga With Adriene iOS and Android apps.
Supporting their OTT streaming business
While their online community hosted on Mighty Pro is free, it also directly supports their paid membership community delivered via OTT streaming apps.
Awareness is first created with Adriene’s YouTube channel, creating a lot of traffic, interest, and followers. From there, people who want to further engage with Adriene’s work join the free community hosted on Mighty Pro. Then, for those looking to go even deeper into Adriene’s practices, they can join their video OTT app that has a subscription price.
“We see it all as a progression of how people want to level up,” says Sarah. “People first discover our free videos on Youtube, and that’s the first entry into our brand. From there, if they want to go deeper in their practice with a community of people, they can join the Kula by Yoga With Adriene app hosted on Mighty Pro. And for those who want the full experience, they can then become paid subscribers on our video OTT app. ”
The recurring revenue generated from their video OTT app enables the Yoga with Adriene team to continue offering high quality, free videos on Youtube.
Their team regularly shares new videos that members can find in the paid membership app and include links to this membership in their Mighty Pro Network. This nudges people to check out the membership and generates word-of-mouth excitement for people who want to go deeper into their yoga practice.
“In our free community hosted on Mighty Pro, we share details about our paid membership app regularly. What’s great about having this place where we can tease videos or special offerings that are unique to the paid membership app is that it makes marketing our subscription membership SO much easier," says Sarah.
"Members of the free community app who are also paid OTT subscribers are always how much they love the videos and experiences we offer in our paid app. That’s important because when someone hears from a trusted source or an online friend in the community about how much value they’re getting from the paid membership app, they’re more likely to invest in that experience too."
High mobile retention with their own apps
A common myth is that if you move your community away from Facebook or Discord or other 3rd party public channels that you won’t see highly active members. This is far from the truth for Kula by Yoga With Adriene.
83% of their members primarily access the community via the iOS and Android apps, instead of the desktop experience. And when members are using the apps, they come back more regularly to participate through push notifications—which means the Kula by Yoga With Adriene experience is a part of their weekly routine.
In addition to more activity, there was a change in the types of engagement they received in their free community app compared to Facebook. Members engaged in a much more positive, focused manner than ever before.
“Having the mobile apps is a huge benefit,” says Sarah. "Our members like that the Kula app feels friendly and familiar, and that it's not a place that's going to suck the energy out of them when they open it up. It's a safe space where they can connect with their friends and expand their yoga practice."
"We spend less than five hours per week moderating content"
At Mighty Networks, a recurring theme we hear is that when a Host invites their members into a branded app experience, it creates a much more focused, positive environment. Without the distractions and habits of third-party social media or chat groups, members typically contribute more, which leads to a reduced need for moderation.
For Kula by Yoga With Adriene, this shift in the mindset of their members once they moved out of a Facebook group was noticeable. Today, even with a community of over 211,000 members, Sarah's team spends less than five hours a week moderating and posting.
The ways in which their members engaged changed as well when they moved to their free community app. Members posted and engaged in a much more positive, focused manner than ever before.
"It's surprising how little we have to moderate our community when you look at the size of it. I believe that's because of the intentional time we spent in the early days fostering positive contributions from members and leading by example," says Sarah.
"We also have a regular posting calendar four to five times a week, so members know what to expect from us on which days. Over time, this means our members have created a strong habit of coming back regularly to participate in discussions and share what's inspiring them each week.”
The need to moderate content in Kula by Yoga With Adriene is also much lighter compared to communities hosted on Facebook, as most members show up wanting to be there and ready to contribute. "In total, I estimate that myself and another moderator spend less than five hours per week moderating our community," says Sarah.
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