Mobile App Marketing – Planning

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Maria Colgan

Marketing is about engaging your consumers at all stages of the funnel. So mobile app marketing is about adopting this approach and making it specific to mobile apps.

You want to engage potential users of your app from when they hear about it, to have them become brand advocates.

Some stats to give perspective on the market you are operating in

2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store (Jan 2017). Source

3.3 million apps in the Google Play Store (June 2017). Source

432,900 apps in the Amazon Appstore (First quarter 2018). Source

Consumers use on average, nine apps per day and 30 per month. Source

51% of smartphone users don’t download any apps in a month. While 49% download two. Source

Apps are also uninstalled regularly, with the frequency of use being the top reason. Although, millennials will uninstall if they don’t like how it looks. Source

This is a big pond to make a splash in. So it’s important that you give as much consideration to the marketing of your app as you did to the development. This will ensure the success and longevity of it.

Mobile App Marketing Planning

When undertaking mobile app marketing, you need to consider who, what, where, when and how.

  • Who are your potential users?
  • What do they want from your app?
  • Where can you find them?
  • When are they online?
  • How can you communicate with them?

This is the planning stage of your mobile app marketing strategy.

Who?

Who are your potential users? Do you know much about them? What they like, listen to, where they hang out? What motivates them?

To be successful at mobile app marketing, you need to know your user’s pain points. To find their pain points, you need to know them. Then you can speak directly to those pain points.

Everyone wants help to solve a particular problem. So when a brand speaks directly to that problem and provides them with a solution, they are hooked. And yes, brands have created solutions to problems that they didn’t know they had!

Getting to know your users in detail, helps you target your marketing campaign more effectively. The more information you gather, the better you will connect and communicate with them.

Introducing personas

Your personas represent the users who will use your app. Personas are fictional characters based on real user information. They’re an individual profile of your target market. One persona may represent a cluster of your target market. If your target market has multiple segments, you should create multiple personas.

Personas help you understand your user’s needs, attitudes, behaviours, goals, motivations, and limitations. They add a human touch to your marketing efforts. Having an actual person to market to based on your personas, helps you have an open and direct conversation. It cuts out the marketing fluff.

Develop your personas using qualitative and quantitative user research. Do this with your existing client base or by interviewing people from your target market. Look at your web analytics to get an idea of the behaviours of users online. You may believe you have an intuitive sense of who your users are but it’s good to test this. There may be some surprises in your assumptions!

There are useful free online tools that help you create personas, such as PersonaGenerator and Xtensio.

Personas are the foundation of a great user experience. Your app was built with your personas in mind. Now it’s time to take these personas and build an effective marketing campaign. 

What?

The what is the specific problem your app solves for users. 

Ask yourself:

What’s the number one problem your app will solve?

How will this make life easier for your users?

The answers to these questions will be the focus of your marketing campaign.

Users want convenience. Your app should be about making something more convenient for them. They also want communication that focuses on them and not just your app. It’s not as simple as saying,

‘hey, our app is brilliant, you should download it’

It’s about addressing their issue/pain point.

‘Hey, are you having a problem with X? Our app can help solve that problem’

Tailor your marketing campaign to focus on the problem you are solving. This will put you in a strong position for reaching the right users.

Why?

The why focuses on why your app solves this problem. Focus on the core value of your app here.

Use your why to differentiate yourself in the market. 

You’ve carried out your research and built your app to be better than your competitor. Now is your time to talk about what sets your app apart.

Look at your competitors to see what they say about their apps. How can you make your communication more effective? Draw up a matrix of your top three competitors highlighting how your app is superior.

By doing your competitor analysis and knowing the pain points your app addresses, you develop your unique value proposition (UVP). Your UVP is what differentiates you in the market place.

Your why should be turned into a story. Every brand needs a good story. Your story is what will resonate with your users. Users won’t only buy into your features, they will also buy into your story.

Where?

Where do your potential users hang out? Are they on social media? If so, which channels?

You need to find how to reach your user. There’s no point in putting content on Snapchat if your customers only use Instagram. 

You’ll have completed your research when doing your personas, so you should have a good understanding of where to find them. 

When?

When is the right time to reach your potential user? 

To actively engage users online it’s best to be online at the same time as them. This way you can spark up a conversation. Hootsuite analysed over 400 million social media posts and have come up with times they say users are most active online.

Instagram: 12pm – 1pm Monday to Friday

Facebook: 12pm – 3pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday and 12pm – 1pm Saturday & Sunday

Twitter: 3pm Monday to Friday

LinkedIn: 7.45am, 10.45am, 12.45pm & 5.45pm Monday to Thursday

Obviously, these timelines are a guideline. There are a number of tools that can help you analyse online behaviours such as Sprout Social, Snaplytics, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite.

Knowing when users are online will help you build a behavioural profile of your potential users. Incorporate this into your personas and your marketing campaign, so you don’t waste any of your marketing efforts and more importantly your funds.

How?

How is taking all of the information above and developing a creative content-driven marketing plan. This strategy will help you reach the right audience at the right time, on the right platform and in the right format. 

Once you gather the analytics and understand the behaviours of your users, you can build an effective marketing campaign.

A quick look at the funnel

When you have completed your planning phase you can take a look at the funnel in more depth. You’ll have different marketing efforts for each stage of the marketing funnel.

The typical marketing funnel includes awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy. But as we are talking about mobile app marketing, we are going to change this slightly. Our funnel will include acquiring, activating, retaining and brand advocates. 

Acquiring is simply how you get users to download your app. Activation is how you get them to use the app. Retaining is how you keep them after the initial download i.e. how do you get them to keep coming back for more. And brand advocates is as the name suggests, users who love your app so much they tell everyone about it.

Over the next few weeks, I will do a blog post on each stage of the funnel as it relates to mobile app marketing.

Maria Colgan

Digital Marketing Manager