The digital marketplace is growing at what can only be called a breakneck pace and along with that the expectations of the customer are rising equally fast. Being able to meet these needs is what sets apart a failed business from a successful one. Customers today are always on the move and they’re using mobile application platforms to get there. Whether they use mobile phones, tablets or other mobile devices, they have all the information they need. That’s why mobile apps are so important in today’s market.
So, if you think that mobile apps are solely for big name brands, you are mistaken. A growing number of small and midsize businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. In fact, these days you’ll notice that many small businesses you interact with in your everyday life have their own dedicated mobile app — be it the corner coffee shop or the beauty spa downtown. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level.
We at 91springboard realise the importance of apps and conducted a workshop called ‘App Marketing 101’ to give all the attendees a gist of how to go about marketing their app. We’d arranged for a panel of heavyweights that comprised of:
- Aloke Bajpai – CEO, Ixigo
- Vikas Banga – Vice President at Snapdeal, Angel Investor
- Navdeep Manaktala – Head – Analytics, Mobility & IoT, Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd
Our panelists spoke across an array of topics; everything ranging from in-app advertising to deep linking and app store optimization. We’ve summaries our learnings from the event below so read on to learn some nifty tips and tricks:.
In-app advertising: In-app advertising cannot be monitored and tracked as well as web ads can be. Data points that help you target app usage and other such things cannot be done yet as in-app advertising is still at a very nascent stage. So tread cautiously when exploring this medium and know that there is still a lot to be done here.
When asked about ads across various social media platforms, here’s what they said:
Facebook: The quality of users is high but its expensive.
Twitter: Extremely expensive to acquire users so keep this as a last resort and monitor it closely.
Instagram: The audience isn’t as active as they should be. This should hopefully change with time so hold your horses on instagram advertising.
YouTube: This is extremely interesting as most people don’t realise that when you’re using YouTube, most users are already signed in as opposed to when you’re browsing the web. You can use this to your advantage by getting plenty of info about the user from their google profile.
Other touch points to keep in mind while marketing your app:
App Share Rewards: App share rewards isn’t as great an idea as most people think it is. This is because people tend to emulate the app and use it to abuse the app sharing rewards. This ends up becoming an ongoing process where people hack it and then changes are made and the cycle goes on. You’d probably think that the easiest thing to do is to identify the hackers and then ban them but the downside to that is that they’ll be on the play store writing a bad review and giving your app a bad rating within no time . Instead of thinking of things like app sharing rewards, just focus on creating a good product. Get that in place before getting into any kind of incentive based networks.
Deep Linking: People underestimate the benefits of something as simple as deep linking. It’s something that you must get right on day one or else it’s going to turn into a fairly uphill task. Basically, you must have every single email and email signature that goes out from your company deep linked (i.e – linked to your app or download app page). Make sure all the CTA’s in your emails are deep linked, so that if someone who clicks the CTA already has the app, it immediately opens. If someone who doesn’t have the app clicks on a CTA, it takes you to the download page on the Play Store.
Innovative Incentives: Another thing to keep in mind is to have intelligent nudges that push users to download your app. For example, Snapdeal ran a contest where they told people to download their app over a course of a few days and one lucky winner would get a brand new iphone6. The number of downloads they got at the cost of an iphone were tremendous. You may think this move is reserved for big brands only given the cost of an i-phone but it may well work to your advantage cost wise as well, if your app downloads result in increased purchases like it did in Snapdeals case.
Indexing on Google: It’s always good to index a page on Google as it makes the chances of your product popping up on one of the first few search results a lot higher. For example, if your business primarily sells t-shirts and someone goes and types red t-shirt in google, If all the red t-shirts on your website are indexed, the odds of Google indexing those pages to the top of the search results are a lot higher.
App store optimization: The app store allows you to optimize every little bit of your app page. Be it the videos, images, text, basically everything. Keep trying to experiment with different short descriptions, icons etc. Certain cases have shown up to a 40% increase in downloads by just changing a mere line of text. Also, make sure you A/B test these changes. The trick is not to test A versus A+, always compare A versus B.
Dealing with a high uninstall rate: Don’t panic if you have a high uninstall rate as the biggest and most popular apps suffer from the very same problem. Instead try different ways to bring down that uninstall rate. Keep in mind, once someone downloads your app you have their device id as well as their email address. One thing you could do is send silent push notifications to all the devices a particular user uses. Then see from which device you get a response, if you don’t, you know they’ve been deleted.
Another thing you could do is send personalized emails to get the user to download the app again. For example, one thing Snapdeal did was they noticed people would download their app, order something and delete the app once the delivery was made. So they decided to start sending these customers emails 2-3 days before the delivery of their product to ensure top of the mind recall and to push them to purchase something more, thereby reducing uninstall rates significantly.
Uninstall Surveys: You must conduct uninstall surveys to better understand why users are uninstalling your app. For example, when you uninstall ixigo’s taxi app, a sad taxi driver animation pops up on the screen and asks you why and also throws a survey at you, so don’t hesitate to get creative.
Rebundling with brands: This is a good approach to take in some cases as being backed by a big brand can lend a lot of credibility to your brand. For example, ixigo have tied up with Micromax. So, all Micromax smartphones have ixigo apps pre-installed on the phone when you buy it.
App Integration: Another trend that’s doing the rounds recently is app integration. Banks have started tying up with E-commerce apps by extending their large database of customers in exchange for helping them push the bank’s loans to their customers. For example, Snapdeal offers over eight services to people with everything ranging from Ubers to movie tickets. The same concept applies here. Other examples are Uber tying up with Uber and Lyft tying up with Slack.