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Effective Mobile App Marketing

Internet searches on mobile devices overtook desktop searches already years ago. (Updated content, Jan. 2017) According to research done by Smart Insights 90% of time spent by mobile users was on a mobile apps. The internet usage via Smartphone is on a constant rise of 11% per year, with an average of 3 hours day per mobile user (Updated content, Jan. 2017). As of July of 2015 there were 1.6 million apps for Android Users and 1.5 million apps available in Apple’s App Store for iPhone users. With so many apps to choose from it is apparent that mobile app marketing is essential. 

As with any digital marketing strategy it is important that you understand how mobile is being used. It goes without saying that in 2016 you must have a mobile-friendly or what’s called a responsive website. In fact it’s been nearly a year since Google changed its algorithm making mobile-friendliness a factor in their ranking of all websites. This is what the term “Mobigeddon” refers to.

Digital Media Consumption via Mobile Apps

Everything on your website must now be designed and optimized to work well on a mobile screen. This affects your content marketing strategies to be sure. For every online marketing campaign that you engage in, you’ve got to incorporate mobile marketing strategies as well. Mobile is now the platform that most web users are choosing so it’s imperative that every online marketing campaign includes mobile.  

Related: Lights, Camera, Action! The Why and How of Video Marketing

Most of digital media consumption, and especially social media, is now done within mobile applications, according to a recent study by comScore. What this signifies is that mobile apps take up more of users’ time than does mobile web surfing or desktop usage. Facebook is by far the most popular mobile app and accounts for 52% of the time people spend using digital media. Combine this with mobile web usage and 60% of digital media is consumed via mobile as opposed to 40% being consumed via desktop.  

Mobile apps are the driving force of media consumption today with 7 minutes out of every 8 of media consumption on mobile devices being done via apps. App activity goes even higher for smartphone users, with 88% app usage as opposed to 82% on tablets. App users have shown themselves addicted to apps, with 57% of those with smartphones using apps every day, and 79% reporting they use apps 26 days per month.  

The Social Media Impact

Facebook remains the number 1 app used and the other top apps include Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay. Social networking apps as well as games and radio apps garner almost half of the time spent on mobile apps. This means that people use apps for entertainment and for communication purposes. Another interesting statistic is that iPhone users make 40% more in income than do Android users. They also use more apps for some reason, spending 9 more hours a month using apps than do Android users.  If you have a mobile app you must have mobile app marketing strategies in place to get your app the needed exposure.   

What Exactly is a Mobile App? 

A mobile app is a specific program that can do something for you once you download it onto your mobile device. Many of the top ones work as an adjunct to a website. With the technology in the smartphones and tablets of today, apps can do great things like giving you movie times, calculating the exchange rates, allow you to interact on social media, give you traffic alerts, provide entertainment of all kinds and notifying you of special offers in your area.   

In developing a mobile app for your website or your blog you must provide something of value to your visitors, prospects or customers. This would be done by incorporating the kind of functionality and content that is time sensitive and/or location based. Just as with social media, don’t be selling something, but offering something useful, like snow reports for skiers in a specific area and this will drive traffic to your website if you are in a related business, like sportswear and/or sports equipment.

It’s all about convenience

With smartphone users your app is all about convenience, and the more indispensable it is the better. In driving traffic to your retail store you can announce “Specials” and/or “Events.” This can help you stand out from your competitors, create more customer engagement and drive loyalty. A well functioning and engaging app will put your brand on many customers’ phones, allow you to receive instant feedback, and make it easy for them to share your content with other mobile users. The goal is to increase revenues and profits. The only way this can happen is with an effective mobile app marketing strategy that will get it out there for people to find.   

Related: Content Performance Marketing: Making the Right Choices at the Right Times

Marketing Your Mobile App

Online marketers naturally assume that people go to the app store to browse and find new apps and 40% of those with smartphones do go to the app store looking for new apps, making this a popular method. But app stores are certainly not the only place to discover new apps. People find out about apps in many different ways while using smartphones:

  • While they’re using another app
  • Looking for another app
  • Watching a video on YouTube
  • While navigating a mobile website
  • Through a web search   

According to research, web searches are a major way that people discover apps with one out of four app users actually discovering an app by searching the web for something else, but related. 

For example, someone planning a business trip to Paris needs a hotel room. She’ll go to Google Search looking for “hotels in Paris” and will find an app listing hotel rooms in the area along with short-term rentals. Since she travels frequently on business, she chooses to download this app because it’ll come in handy for this booking as well as overnight stays in the future.

Discovering an app through a web search is most common for local apps, as well as tech apps (i.e. reviews of new devices) and for travel categories (i.e. confirming trip details). In these three particular categories people are more likely to use a web search in finding the apps they’re looking for.  

An effective mobile app marketing strategy

An effective mobile app marketing strategy will ensure that your app can be discovered everywhere and that includes through web searches. 

Another way people find new apps is through search ads. This is one of the most effective methods of promoting app downloads. When people who downloaded an app after viewing an ad on their smartphone were questioned, 50% said that a search ad prompted them to download the app. This insight into how consumers discover new apps sets the stage for marketers to reevaluate their approach to how people discover their apps. Search ads raise the visibility of apps and because they’re there right when a consumer is searching for an app, they drive downloads. For app marketers it is vital that your app stand out wherever smartphone users would be searching for apps related to their needs and interests.  

Inbound Marketing Strategies for Mobile Apps

Mobile apps have already surpassed the Internet when it comes to time spent by consumers and it’s only second to time spent in front of TV. Inbound online marketing has blossomed over the past few years and if we’re smart we’ll take what we’ve already learned and apply this to mobile app marketing. Below are three incredibly successful inbound marketing strategies you can implement for mobile apps that will get you results:

Related: Formulating an effective approach to Content Marketing

1- Be on Social Media

We all know now how vital social media is to any marketing strategy. But with mobile it is all the more important as this is exactly what people use their smartphones for. When we’re riding the bus we email, text and check Facebook like crazy. When we’re at lunch we Instagram our meal and we Tweet our excitement while waiting in line at a concert.  This is where you want conversations to take place regarding your app’s features and offerings. Here is how you can use Twitter for example:  


A while ago, Nike decided to experiment with Twitter in introducing their new mobile app. They went to Twitter and aggressively shared their content plus the app with consumers who were likely to be interested because they were Tweeting about their own athletic activities. Nike was amazed at the results they got after this two-week experiment:

  • Received more than 3 clicks for each outbound Tweet
  • Doubled their positive reviews and ratings in the app store for this new app
  • Got as many downloads from these Tweets as they got from their largest paid advertising channel   

2- Share Your Story

Beyond choosing the right name, creating a compelling icon and making sure your app’s description is optimized. You have got to own your presence within the app store. This is one more channel for sharing your app’s story. Do not allow the app store to tell the story for you. They will gloss over a lot of the details that can influence the number of downloads. Use this channel as well as your website and other social media channels to tell everyone why they need to use your app. Do this by explaining clearly what problems it can solve and all that it offers. 

3- Engage Your Audience From Day One

In business these days we must all be proactively connecting with our customers from the day we “open our doors.” You must be doing all you can to engage with them and with your target audience as a whole. Improve social listening and Data Analytics, in order to build your brand and a fan base. When you have a loyal following your customers will likely share their enthusiasm for you and your app with the world. 

In developing your app you can create a way to reach them from within your app. Understand that your customers have their smartphones with them all day everyday. When people are inspired they will use their smartphones to share your app and all that it offers. This is when downloads can skyrocket. Offer value and you will reap the rewards.

The article Mobile App Marketing for your Business or Organisation was first published on Author Frank M. Waechter.