Plankk is the Calgary startup honing in on social media fitness


The company focuses on app creation to bolster social media fitness experts

By: Aaron Chatha Metro Published on Wed Nov 8, 2017

Plankk isn’t just a fitness app – it’s the app the makes the fitness apps.

The Calgary startup has taken a unique approach to targeting the social media influencer scene: they’ve built a platform that helps them quickly create customized apps for fitness professionals, who primarily operate on social media like Instagram, Youtube or Twitter.

Founder Colin Szopa said many in the fitness realm still try to get their training regimes out via DVD, or E-Books.

“The biggest thing we try to offer is bringing the influencer closer to their community,” he explained. “Obviously when you’re looking at a PDF you’re seeing some text, maybe some images, but it’s a very stale experience.

“Our apps take you through things step-by-step. Some videos have voice-overs, there are step-by-step images you can expand for more information, or both. You get a more engaged experience, based on how you like to workout, plus the other benefits a mobile app gives you – like tracking your progress, sharing pics or Fitbit integration.”

Plankk doesn’t charge to create the app – they create a partnership with the fitness professional. The app isn’t even plank branded. Their first app, which launched just over a year ago, was called Fit + Thick with Miami trainer Nicole Meija.

Szopa said not only was Meija partnered with a producer to create the app, customized with Meija’s workout advice, nutrition plans and more, but she was also assigned a growth ninja. This is a Plankk team member to monitors stats, not just on the app but on social media, to see what kinds of posts perform best, optimal times to post and other general strategies.

Szopa feels this is the future of targeted advertising, so it makes sense to create lasting partnerships, rather than just churn out generic apps.

“The influencer space has become interesting in that if you go back to the Mad Men days of advertising, it was all about billboards and TV ads,” he said. “Now we’ve seen is a shift. Where advertisers were pushing stuff on consumers, now as consumers we’re drawn toward things. Like, what celebrity chef do we trust, what blogger do we like reading, and that influences our behaviour through social media.”

In fact, fitness was just the beginning. In the future, Szopa hopes to enter into the same kind of app partnerships with make up artists, chefs and more.

Currently, Plankk is working with 18 partners – and a total social media reach of about 25 million people. By the end of next year, he hopes to reach at least 100 partners.

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