How to Best Market Your App
So you’re finally able to check “create my mobile app” off the list. Now WHAT?
That little app can be used to tap into your audience, inform them of upcoming projects, products, items to purchase, tours, shows or services and increase your digital footprint significantly. The caveat with the app: “How do we get it out to the right people?” You aren’t offering Crazy Birds, Fruit Ninja or some other type of proverbial time suck, you are offering great content and useful information to an insanely relevant audience who NEEDS the app to be informed, Right??
Sure you could pull the stunt that Taco Bell did last year where you “go dark” on every single web and social property with the only opt-in to download your app. Not a bad play Taco Bell as this black-out promotion made them the top app of the week and cool, outside-the-box approach made the public take notice.
Well if you’re not Taco Bell and you have a great SaaS product, provide concert dates, offer travel getaways, a fantasy sports betting platform, a shopping experience or want to promote your business or brand, Apps are really looking like a staple in your quiver of online assets.
Well very much like a website that’s not on the first page of Google, having an app can be very much like building the hottest club in the middle of nowhere. So what are the best ways to get your app in the right hands, tablets or mobile devices?
Par for the course, app promo should be included in blog posts, email marketing campaigns and shared aggressively via social properties. Do this by giving them something they can’t get anywhere else. Not on your website or from a white-paper or email opt-in.. It needs to be really enticing. From here, you need to look at some pay-per-click advertorial to really push your product to those outside of your current audience.
Google has some interesting options here that work incredibly well. Of course you can always send traffic to a landing page and give your prospect the option of choosing to opt-in for your app. Obviously you are going to lose at least 80% of the people along the way which can be rather painful, especially if you’ve paid for them to get to your landing page. That’s where search and display Mobile App Install campaigns which offer direct download ads really bring the heat.
Mobile App Installs campaigns on the display network let you show ads to people while they’re already using similar apps to yours. You can specify the devices, device models, and operating system version for the apps where your app ad can appear. These types of campaigns might seem like plug-and-play but nothing is further than the truth (especially on the display network that can spiral out of control if not constantly managed). One other unique option through Adwords is to implement YouTube Ads in the form of display ads on your latest video promo, testimonial or case study. After all, remember YouTube is the second largest search engine out there and Ads for Android apps only show on Android Devices and ads for iTunes apps only appear on IOS Devices.
Facebook is a great play as the number one strength here is the vastly superior targeting options. We can cross filter-interests and devices, target competitors and identify the target audience here like nowhere else. Where facebook offers the same direct mobile app ads they also take it a step further as well by including mobile app ads for engagement. Engagement ads include options like “Open Link” ,“Shop Now,” “Play Now,” “Book Now” and such for those that already have your app to give them that nudge to take action.
What I really like so much with Facebook Ads is the targeting and I’ve certainly been on the other side of that equation. My iPhone case, wardrobe and home décor can all attest to this fact. I feel that Touch of Modern did the best job at getting me as I loved the add on facebook and downloaded the app. In order to access the app I had to opt-in by submitting my email address. Now I get emails every couple of days from these guys, but these ads are not annoying to me as they offer a few select products that are all pretty damn cool to me. So they didn’t get me right then and there but that’s a perfect example of the long play strategy, especially when you include push notifications to the mix (#Gamechanger). Very much like Google Adwords, Facebook needs to be managed intensely to stay within the right metrics for a successful and profitable campaign (reference 180fusion Case Study).
Twitter makes a solid effort with the same type of direct app download ad format. They too have added the deep-linking engagement ad types and have a different CPAC or Cost-Per-App-Click pricing. Though you can play on interests, keywords, gender, location, etc, this platform is not totally mature yet but is certainly worth testing in many cases. Especially if your offering speaks to the ever expanding and open-minded Twitter audience. After all, Lyft, a ridesharing company, reached their user acquisition goals at 30% below their target CPA on Twitter.
Bing deserves mention here as their search market share has slightly increased recently. If search volume is there it makes sense as an add-on with cheaper click costs. They’ve added App Download Extensions targeted automatically to a user’s OS and device. They also offer organic app linkingfrom search results to Windows or Windows Phone Apps.
For the most-part giving the app away is a complete no-brainer. You are basically putting a digital pulse onto the people’s devices that you want most to see your business. The offering needs to be unique and must need to add value to be successful in this space. Now when we talk about In-app purchases or very tacticalemail remarketing campaigns and start playing the percentages… Now that’s where things really gets exciting. It’s a slow dance, but combining good intentions and the right marketing strategy will provide an evergreen, long term solution. After all, Touch of Modern probably paid about $3 CPA via facebook advertising to exist on my mobile device. That $3 was probably covered on by the shipping margin on my first order. I wonder how many pictures of sharks smoking cigars in business suits or Banksy Panda with Smoking Guns canvas’s and other items of the sort I will acquire there in my lifetime…
No one has a crystal ball and knows exactly which mix of the above applications will work best for your app. Time and testing will determine the winners, but the above are all worth exploring to some degree.