Browsing all articles tagged with apps
Aug
22

Mobile Monday: Week 7 – Marketing An App

Welcome to Mobile Monday, our weekly blog posting dedicated to providing readers with useful mobile marketing tips from Bob Bentz’s newest book “Relevance Raises Response.”shutterstock_283022702 (2)
Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.

For our seventh week, we’re focusing on“Marketing An App”where Bentz discusses fiscal responsibility between app developments vs. marketing the app itself, & the importance of utilizing social media for sharing an App.

MARKETING AN APP

While app store optimization is certainly important, marketers must not rely solely on promotion within the stores to maximize downloads.  There are over two million apps in the stores and finding a particular app is similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, despite the best ASO efforts.

It is not easy to get consumers interested in downloading another app on their mobile phone when smartphone users are already using an average of 26.7 apps per month, according to a Nielsen study.  Too often, a company spends all of its money on developing an app and does not reserve any money for marketing the app.  That is a rookie mistake.  Don’t make it.

A company needs to have developed a structured marketing plan in advance of the release of the app.  It needs a plan to tell existing customers and prospects good reasons why they need the app and where the app can be downloaded.  It needs to evaluate all of its current marketing channels to determine which would be best for promoting an app.  Facebook, for instance, would probably be better for facilitating app downloads than outdoor advertising since a social media user is likely on her mobile phone already as opposed to a driver who is hopefully not on his phone.  Google AdMob might be the best place since it enables an app marketer to advertise within other apps that consumers have already downloaded.

There is no doubt about the power of creating buzz on social media for an app launch.  It is an important part of the initial publicity required.  And, nobody does app marketing better than Facebook which earns a significant part of its ad revenue from brands pushing app downloads.

Of course, internet advertising is not always the best source for app downloads.  If the app has a huge budget, it may very well be television that results in the most downloads.  Game of War did a great job of promoting its app with eye catching Kate Upton and Mariah Carey as the stars of the commercials.

Acquisition costs will not always be high priced efforts like the television advertising for Game of War.  Publicity is a major driver of new app downloads so use press releases and other public relations efforts to get the word out.  Include a social media blitz as well.  The ROI provided by public relations efforts will likely result in the best ROI of any of the promotional efforts.

When marketing an app, it is absolutely critical to get off to a quick start to break through the supply of apps in the app store.  If an app is buried below thousands of others in the rankings, it is going to be difficult to get found.  Therefore, app marketers must get the word out quickly about the app by using a high level of growth hacking or a large advertising budget in an attempt to gain a featured listing and benefit from organic downloads.  Downloads beget more downloads thanks to the viral effect of the purchase and the improved ASO.

Research from Localytics found an added bonus to advertising apps.  App users that were acquired as a result of being discovered via a mobile ad network were more likely to come back for multiple uses on the app than those that found it from an organic search on the app store.  This is likely due to the fact that the ad creative has done a good job in pre-selling users on the benefits of the app and that the advertising was highly targeted.

The viral effect of apps is an important phenomenon to take advantage of.  An app should encourage existing users to share the app with friends or on social media.  (Think Candy Crush.)  This is a great way to take advantage of the viral publicity that a mobile app can provide.

Another great way to drive traffic to an app is to find the URL of the app download in the iTunes or Google Play listing for the app.  Keep in mind, this is not the URL for the business, but the URL that is used by the app stores.  Then, when the business does content marketing on its own blog or on external sites, it can link to the app store URL listings.  The goal is to get multiple rankings on the search engines for the app.  Those rankings might be the page on the business website that promotes the app download and the app stores’ direct URL’s for the download.

For iPhone and Android apps, there are multiple countries where the app can be listed.  If an app makes its money on advertising, there is no reason not to list the app in all countries, especially populous countries like China and India.  The Apple App and Google Play stores are available in over a hundred countries so it makes sense to be listed in as many of them as necessary.  Of course, if the app has an ecommerce element to it, this may not be practical.

There are many secondary Android app stores and therefore many places where an Android app can be marketed.  Amazon, Kindle, Nook store from Barnes & Noble, AppBrain, and GetJar are a few alternate places where an Android app can be marketed in addition to its logical home base in the Google Play store.

There is a defined cost to acquire app downloads and it is measured by a Cost Per Install (CPI) index.  The CPI per vertical market varies, but according to Fiksu, it averages $2.98 per user in 2015 and it is rising every year as businesses expand their use of mobile advertising, thus driving CPI costs up.

You can purchase Relevance Raises Response at Amazon or at other fine online book stores.

Aug
15

Mobile Monday: Week 6 – Keywords

Welcome to Mobile Monday, our weekly blog posting dedicated to providing readers with useful mobile marketing tips from Bob Bentz’s newest book “Relevance Raises Response.”shutterstock_283022702 (2) Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.

For our sixth week, we’re focusing on “Keywords”where Bentz discusses SMS Strategies and the downside of auto-correct.

KEYWORDS

An SMS keyword is the word that a consumer sends to a phone number, usually to receive immediate information back, and often to opt-in to a database to be marketed to in the future.

In the previous example (Text RESULTS to 84444), the keyword is “results.” The customer would put the short code number (84444) in the space where she would normally insert the phone number. Then, the customer would insert “results” in the area where she would normally insert the message.

Choosing a keyword is an important step in your text message marketing strategy, because the keyword offers branding for your product offering. When it comes to choosing a keyword, a business should follow these tips, by choosing a keyword that:

  • brands the business or promotion.
  • is easy to remember to gain the viral pass-along effect from customers and employees.
  • is just one word to avoid problems with auto correct.
  • is easy to spell.
  • is not an acronym.
  • does not include numbers.
  • is as short as possible.
  • is not some “clever” spelling of a keyword.

The primary keyword that a business will want to reserve is its own name. This keyword will be the master keyword that is used continually for generating opt-ins. This permanent keyword should be printed everywhere–on business cards, literature, t-shirts, outdoor signage, menus, and anywhere else that makes sense. If the business name is difficult to spell, clever, or contains multiple words, it may be best just to go with a single word keyword that best identifies what the business does. If a business wants to understandably reserve its difficult to spell brand name as a keyword, it should also consider reserving the potential misspellings of that keyword.

Choosing the primary keyword is one of the most important things that a business will do in establishing its text message marketing plans. Often, businesses have common names and the keyword that the business wants may not be available. A second choice may be to pick the primary product that the business sells, but a keyword like “pizza” is likely not going to be available at an online shared short code provider. If the primary keyword a business wants is not available, it is possible for the business to choose an adjective that describes the business such as “tasty” or “hungry.”

In addition to the primary keyword, businesses are going to want to use different keywords for various promotions. Some of these promotions may be short-lived and the business will be able to retire those keywords after using them for the short term promotion. Others may be annual events and the business will retain those keywords in their online accounts, because if they are released, another business may pick them up. The advantage to using new keywords is that it will get your regular customers participating in your texting program again and a business can place those users into a different database which may be helpful in segmenting for future promotions.

One of the great things about an SMS strategy is that there is a tremendous viral advantage to it. If a person knows that their friend likes to get their coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, they will pass along the keyword and short code to that friend. It is not unusual for a business to get 15-20% of its mobile coupon redemptions from viral sharing. But, the consumer may not remember to do so if the keyword, and the short code, is not easy to remember. So, it is always best to keep things simple when it comes to choosing a keyword and it is also best to use a memorable (vanity) short code.

Words that are compound words or two word keywords are also not good choices as keywords. A business might have the best cheesecake in the world, but “cheesecake” is not a very good keyword. That is because some people will spell cheesecake as two words (cheese cake) and some will intend to spell it as one word, but autocorrect “fixes” it for them. Automated SMS response systems cannot detect the user’s intent, only the exact spelling, so picking the wrong keyword could result in lost opt-in opportunities.

One memorable SMS promotion was a sweepstakes that gave away a trip to Hawaii. The advertiser chose the keyword “Hawaii.” Although a wonderful place, Hawaii is not a particularly easy word to spell. Moreover, some people include an apostrophe when spelling it. Hawaii was not a good choice as a keyword, because of the difficulty in spelling it. Acronyms such as “ATS” don’t make for good keywords either. That is because of that damn autocorrect which will inevitably try to change the acronym of your business keyword into a real word. Avoid numbers in keywords as well. It is confusing to think of texting a number to a number. But, more importantly there are that zero and “oh” thing. When it comes to texting, consumers don’t recognize what is a letter (O) and what is a number (0)!

Typing on a mobile phone is not easy. There are a lot of misspellings on the smaller screen of the mobile phone than on a desktop computer. Fat-finger misspellings are common problems on mobile. That is why using a short keyword is far better than a long keyword; there are simply less chance of a misspelling on a keyword with less letters.

Another poor idea is to use a clever use of a word as your keyword. A restaurant called “Finger Lickin’ Chickin’” may be a snappy name, but using “chickin” as a keyword is not a good idea. That is because a customer’s auto-correct is likely going to correct that word to the proper spelling of chicken.

One of the questions that is often asked is in regards to capitalization of keywords. Using caps or lower-case letters has no impact on the keyword so don’t worry about it. To make the keyword stand out, the best way to write a keyword in your advertisement is to use all capital letters, but if somebody uses lower case, the interactive text message will still work properly.

Some keywords are not available to a business. That is because the carriers have reserved those keywords already and they are not available on short codes. Keywords such as STOP, HELP, INFO, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, QUIT, and others are taken before the short code is activated in the marketplace.

Aug
8

Mobile Monday: Week 5 – Mcommerce

Welcome to Mobile Monday, our weekly blog posting dedicated to providing readers with useful mobile marketing tips from Bob Bentz’s newest book “Relevance Raises Response.” Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.shutterstock_283022702 (2)

For our fifth week, we’re focusing on “Mcommerce” where Bentz discusses responsive web design, online transactions and the smart phone becoming of greater use to people.

Mcommerce

Everybody has heard of ecommerce, but considerably less people identify with mcommerce. Mcommerce is the selling and purchasing of goods and services through mobile devices, as opposed to traditional ecommerce which occurs on desktop devices.

To be clear, mcommerce is not a separate entity from ecommerce. It is actually a subset of ecommerce sales and it is calculated as part of ecommerce sales. Historically, if businesses could make a little extra selling goods on the small screen of the smartphone, that was great. Today, however, entire businesses such as Uber are mcommerce only platforms.

While mcommerce sales have a few years to go to catch ecommerce sales which make up two-thirds of all online sales in North America, the gap is clearly narrowing each year. There are several reasons for this.

  • Responsive and adaptive web design is now the norm for most mcommerce sites and this evolution has helped eliminate sites not being optimized for mobile — previously the biggest factor in making it difficult to shop on a smartphone.
  • Larger mobile screen sizes are becoming more commonplace. This includes not only tablets, but also phablets–the half tablet, half phone hybrid.
  • There is simply the greater use of the smartphone for everyday use and increased use of making purchases via mobile is one such use.
  • Over time, the public has shown increased confidence in making online transactions on a mobile phone.

Despite the increase in mcommerce sales, however, shoppers are still considerably more likely to make a purchase from a desktop than a mobile phone. This is not only true in overall purchases, but also in the percent of conversions from desktop compared to mobile. While the gap narrows every year, consumers are still more likely to want to make the actual purchase from a desktop.

There remains several reasons for mcommerce’s inability to match ecommerce sales figures. Consider the following:

The smaller screen and lack of a keyboard makes it more difficult to fill out a form and make a purchase. Just entering a 16 digit credit card number correctly without fat fingering any of the numbers is difficult to do on the first try.
A mobile phone is often not near wifi as opposed to a desktop which always has internet access.
Many mobile phones do not accept cookies so it is difficult to pre-fill some of the forms. There is one promising exception, however, as Safari mobile now offers pre-fill forms on its browser–an enhancement that should improve this factor.
Ecommerce sales offer credit card and Paypal payments. Mcommerce payments rely on mobile wallets which are still emerging in the USA.
Consumers have not been purchasing on mobile devices for as long as they have on desktop so there is still some reluctance to do so, especially by older customers.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to making purchases on mobile, tablets act more like laptops and desktops given their larger size. iPads convert best of all followed by Android tablets. Of smartphones, Androids convert to sales better than iPhones. This is surprising given the higher income levels of iPhone users, but Android also skews younger so that does give an edge to it when it comes to mobile sales conversions. In general, desktops tend to convert more often during working hours, but mobile takes over during leisure time.

When it comes to mcommerce, North America trails other countries in the percentage of online purchases made via mobile. In Japan and South Korea, more than half of all online transactions are made by mobile. Percent of purchases made by mobile in the United Kingdom are not far behind those of the Far Eastern countries. According to Forrester, it will take the USA until 2018 until half of its online sales are made via mcommerce. Japanese mobile consumers are over three times more likely to convert to a sale than USA consumers. If USA mobile conversion rates rose to those of Japan, the USA would account for over half of all mcommerce sales worldwide.

Opposite to what is going on in retail stores, mobile users visit online retailers more often and they buy more often, yet the average ticket sale is decreasing slightly on mobile. That is because mobile users are in a hurry when it comes to mcommerce and they are snacking on it often, but in shorter segments.

Dec
28

How to Market Your App

Tips on How to Market an App

You’ve developed an app.  Now, what are you going to do to get people to use it?

MARKETING AN APP

 

 

While app store optimization is certainly important, marketers must not rely solely on promotion within the stores to maximize downloads.  There are over two million apps in the stores and finding a particular app is similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, despite the best ASO efforts.

It is not easy to get consumers interested in downloading another app on their mobile phone when smartphone users are already using an average of 26.7 apps per month, according to a Nielsen study.  Too often, a company spends all of its money on developing an app and does not reserve any money for marketing the app.  That is a rookie mistake.  Don’t make it.

A company needs to have developed a structured marketing plan in advance of the release of the app.  It needs a plan to tell existing customers and prospects good reasons why they need the app and where the app can be downloaded.  It needs to evaluate all of its current marketing channels to determine which would be best for promoting an app.  Facebook, for instance, would probably be better for facilitating app downloads than outdoor advertising since a social media user is likely on her mobile phone already as opposed to a driver who is hopefully not on his phone.  Google AdMob might be the best place since it enables an app marketer to advertise within other apps that consumers have already downloaded.

There is no doubt about the power of creating buzz on social media for an app launch.  It is an important part of the initial publicity required.  And, nobody does app marketing better than Facebook which earns a significant part of its ad revenue from brands pushing app downloads.

Of course, internet advertising is not always the best source for app downloads.  If the app has a huge budget, it may very well be television that results in the most downloads.  Game of War did a great job of promoting its app with eye catching Kate Upton and Mariah Carey as the stars of the commercials.

Acquisition costs will not always be high priced efforts like the television advertising for Game of War.  Publicity is a major driver of new app downloads so use press releases and other public relations efforts to get the word out.  Include a social media blitz as well.  The ROI provided by public relations efforts will likely result in the best ROI of any of the promotional efforts.

When marketing an app, it is absolutely critical to get off to a quick start to break through the supply of apps in the app store.  If an app is buried below thousands of others in the rankings, it is going to be difficult to get found.  Therefore, app marketers must get the word out quickly about the app by using a high level of growth hacking or a large advertising budget in an attempt to gain a featured listing and benefit from organic downloads.  Downloads beget more downloads thanks to the viral effect of the purchase and the improved ASO.

Research from Localytics found an added bonus to advertising apps.  App users that were acquired as a result of being discovered via a mobile ad network were more likely to come back for multiple uses on the app than those that found it from an organic search on the app store.  This is likely due to the fact that the ad creative has done a good job in pre-selling users on the benefits of the app and that the advertising was highly targeted.

The viral effect of apps is an important phenomenon to take advantage of.  An app should encourage existing users to share the app with friends or on social media.  (Think Candy Crush.)  This is a great way to take advantage of the viral publicity that a mobile app can provide.

Another great way to drive traffic to an app is to find the URL of the app download in the iTunes or Google Play listing for the app.  Keep in mind, this is not the URL for the business, but the URL that is used by the app stores.  Then, when the business does content marketing on its own blog or on external sites, it can link to the app store URL listings.  The goal is to get multiple rankings on the search engines for the app.  Those rankings might be the page on the business website that promotes the app download and the app stores’ direct URL’s for the download.

For iPhone and Android apps, there are multiple countries where the app can be listed.  If an app makes its money on advertising, there is no reason not to list the app in all countries, especially populous countries like China and India.  The Apple App and Google Play stores are available in over a hundred countries so it makes sense to be listed in as many of them as necessary.  Of course, if the app has an ecommerce element to it, this may not be practical.

There are many secondary Android app stores and therefore many places where an Android app can be marketed.  Amazon, Kindle, Nook store from Barnes & Noble, AppBrain, and GetJar are a few alternate places where an Android app can be marketed in addition to its logical home base in the Google Play store.

There is a defined cost to acquire app downloads and it is measured by a Cost Per Install (CPI) index.  The CPI per vertical market varies, but according to Fiksu, it averages $2.98 per user in 2015 and it is rising every year as businesses expand their use of mobile advertising, thus driving CPI costs up.

Feb
13

Apps Development

Author Bob Bentz    Category Apps     Tags ,

Mobile Apps for businesses

A Walking Billboard in the pocket of your Customer 24 Hours a Day

That’s what an app can be for your business.

Imagine how important that is to be one of the 26 apps that the average person has on their mobile phone. What’s that real estate worth to your business?

Number of Apps Available

It seems like everybody is making apps today, even the US government thanks to President Obama’s initiative that all departments have apps. You can even get the IRS To Go while picking up your cup of Java at Starbucks.

It’s no surprise how many apps there are given how much time Americans are spending with their apps. Let’s take a look at just how many apps are available:

  • Google Play (formerly Android Market) – 1.3 million
  • Apple App Store – 1.2 million
  • Windows Phone Store – 300,000
  • Amazon Appstore – 240,000
  • BlackBerry World – 130,000
  • Galaxy Apps (formerly Samsung Apps store) – couldn’t find number
  • Nokia Store – 120,000

App Development is Expensive

When it comes to mobile marketing, marketers must be very careful when considering app development due to its cost.

Here’s a cool tool that can give you a quick estimate of the cost of app development for your project.

But, while the cost to program a new app is at an all-time high, it may be amazing to many that 95 out of the top 100 apps in the apps stores are FREE!

It’s important that you have a basic understanding of the primary types of app development that are available to you. Consulting with your developer will give you the background you need to decide what type of app you should develop.

  • Native Apps

Native apps live on the device itself. They are installed through the app store and are developed specifically for just one platform. Because they are unique to only one platform, they can use the other features that are already on the phone such as the camera, the GPS, and your contact list.

If you are in an area with no connectivity, a native app will still work and it will be fast. Think of downloading a travel guide.

A major negative of native apps is the update process. If the business wants to update, it must submit those updates to the app store and then have the update pushed to the users.

Another negative for native apps is that you have to pay a 30% fee to Apple for all purchases made on its app store.

  • Web Based Mobile Apps

Web apps are really websites that may look like native apps, but they reside on a browser. Most are written in HTML5. They are usually accessed from a web page where the user is given the option of “installing” them. The install, however, is not really the app itself, but a bookmark to the site.

One of the advantages of a web based app is that you don’t have to go to the app store to find it. Also, if the business wants to update it, it’s as simple as updating a web page; no submission to the app stores necessary.

Another advantage of web based is that there are no content restrictions. Apple, for example, has been notoriously prudish in its willingness to accept some content. Hence, it was Playboy that was one of the first companies to use web based apps.

  • Hybrid Apps

Hybrids are, as you would expect, a combination of Native and Web-based. One of the advantages of hybrid apps is that they work on any platform. Therefore, costs are significantly reduced since the code can be used on multiple platforms.

App Marketing

When you are competing against a million other apps vying for the consumer’s attention, you can see why it’s important to have a well thought out strategy for marketing your app.

While every marketing strategy is going to be different when it comes to apps, there are some basics that you need to get right to have any kind of chance.

  • Include the most important keywords and keyword phrases so that you show up when a consumer does a search in the app stores. Otherwise, it’s almost like your app doesn’t exist.
  • You need to be able to sell the app when the consumer arrives at your page in the app store. Exciting graphics and adding video.

  • Social media is big. Facebook is almost always a critical part of your app marketing plan.
  • Mobile advertising – what better place to advertise your new app.
  • Create buzz prior to your release date. Think email marketing, press releases, and all the same strategies you’d do if you were having a store grand opening.
  • Encourage positive customer reviews. If you get off to a bad start with reviews, it’s very difficult for the app to recover as it will be buried in the app stores.

It’s extremely difficult for an app to get a following, even if you represent a well-known brand. Be sure to not spend all your budget on development or you’ll have a great app that nobody knows about.

Jan
6

B-to-B Marketers to Increase Digital Media Content Creation

New stats from an Ad Age survey show that business-to-business marketers want to make a big shift in how they advertise to consumers.

While only 21 percent of B-to-B marketers shared that mobile would be important to their business last year, 47 percent said mobile will be a top priority this year.  Almost the same percentage said they currently offer mobile apps to consumers as part of their mobile strategy.

Content marketing through both mobile devices and social media will also be used more often by marketers in 2014.   While web-based content was and still be the most commonly used marketing channel, print-based marketing will decline by 10 percent.

Overall, over 61 percent of B-to-B marketers cite that digital spending will make up over one-quarter of their business’ marketing budget.  Like mobile, online spending on video, banner ads, and webcasts/webinars will also be increased throughout the year.

Ad Age survey - B to B

Mobile and other form of digital content will be the main focus of B-to-B marketers’ advertising strategies this year.

Visit atsmobile.com to learn more about how to integrate mobile into your business’ digital marketing strategy.

 

 

Jan
1

Mobile Thoughts for 2014

With the New Year in full swing, Brad Bierman of ATS Mobile has already made four big predictions about the role of mobile marketing for this year.  They include:

  1. Mobile consumers expect to have a more personalized experience with businesses via apps and ads.
  2. Marketers will feel more comfortable with mobile advertising than in previous years.
  3. Businesses of all sizes will venture use mobile advertising to promote their brands.
  4. Mobile marketing will be more visual, and the integration of video and 3-d footage will be more common.

Watch Brad Bierman talk more in-depth about all four points in this new video, and Happy New Year!

Sep
25

We Don’t Just Create Clicks, We Create Calls

One of the most powerful opportunities with mobile is that the mobile user is much closer to the buying process than a desktop user is.  Along the path to purchase, a convenient Click to Call button on an app or mobile website makes it easy for the mobile user to simply touch the phone and generate a lead for your company.

Willingness to Use Click to Call

Across various verticals, consumers have differing reasons for using a click to call.  The most common reason is to check on the business hours and the second most common reason is to schedule an appointment or make a dinner reservation.

click to call reasons

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