On your marks… get set… wait. Jumping the gun on mobile app marketing and launching is costly. Launching your app from the start line before you’re limbered up, well-trained and ready to go is a sure-fire way of ensuring your app never makes it to the podium. If you’re looking for your app to be a successful one you need to consider all the common pitfalls and ensure that you don’t fall foul of them. The reputation dent that a poor app can cause is not worth it: Mistakes cost.
Mobile apps are a rapidly growing and changing market. What worked six months ago is potentially out of date now. Amobi Apps have done the homework for you. We’ve got your training schedule in top shape so that you can avoid the common mobile app marketing mistakes, and race to the finish line knowing that success is waiting. Apps are now our favorite tools of consumerism. Whether your app is aimed at increasing shopping functionality, communications, socialization or decision-making: Getting your marketing strategy right matters.
Be a Social Media Buddy – Make Friends and Use Them
You know your business better than anyone, and hopefully you know your consumer base too. You know if you’re being viewed by a raft of geeks who love their stats or the cool kids who want to know what’s in. Your Social Media voice needs to adopt a persona to match in order to effectively market your mobile app to the right clientele.
Hopefully you’ve already got a working and productive Social Media presence that you can utilize. If not, get one going and get the word out. Social Media is going to spread info about your app so it makes sense that you’re in control of it. By utilizing your own Social Media network to promote the app in advance of its launch you can entice those who already love your brand and your business to be ready and waiting in the wings ready to hit download as soon as they can.
We all love a bargain. You can use Social Media to offer incentives. That way, when you’re ready to launch, you’ve already got a customer-base ready to jump on the bandwagon. Incentives can be anything from extra lives in games, coupons for money off, or reduced in-app purchases.
Importantly, social media is going to come into play with reviews. Social proof matters where apps are concerned. Link positive reviews back to your Social Media and you set up a wonderful perpetual cycle of app love.
Hop from Social Media to Microsite
A microsite is a web page or group of webpages that is set up with an express and specified purpose separate from your main website. An ideal mobile app marketing strategy is to promote your upcoming app using a microsite. This enables you to give more info in a user-friendly way whilst targeting the right audience. By linking this across from your Social Media campaign you achieve a holistic approach that sells.
The microsite will increase your app’s visibility in a simple, benefits-driven, way. You may include such things as a video showing the app in use, or screenshots showing the app’s functionality. Importantly, there should be a link ready and waiting to be clicked for download.
Manage Expectations – Be a Salesperson with Integrity
Seriously. It is possible to do both, and it’s in your interests. If you make wild claims about what your app can do and don’t deliver on that promise you’re going to lose out, and lose out fast. App users aren’t known for giving app manufacturers second-chances. You’ve got one shot at getting this right. So…manage expectations.
Be truthful about your app’s capabilities whilst identifying its Unique Selling Point. Highlight the benefits of your app but don’t make unrealistic claims. You will be found out, and it won’t be pretty when a flood of poor reviews is tumbling down on you. Therefore, we strongly recommend including images and screenshots of your app in your marketing. Whet the appetite and let users have an insight in to what they will get.
And don’t treat your app as a mini-desktop. A mobile website is not an app. An app is an app, use it as such and market it according to its genuine capabilities.
Get on board with a new acronym: ASO
The chances are you have a vague idea about spiders crawling the web and that Search-Engine Optimization matters. But the new kid on the block is App Store Optimization (ASO). It matters for you and your mobile app marketing approach because the vast majority of new apps are found simply by browsing an app store. You need to be up there in the top search results to maximize return on your investment.
Just because things are never simple, ASO varies from platform to platform. At the end of the day you not only need to ensure your app itself is adapted to each different platform (for example iOS or Android), but you need to ensure you’re tailored to the specific ASO of the different platforms. This involves a delicate mixture of keywords, driving and encouraging reviews, and straightforward popularity.
Downloads are Great, But Retention is Better
Don’t just aim for downloads. Although downloads are a key and driving part of the app’s success, for real long term benefit your mobile app marketing strategy needs to be geared towards retention: keeping the users you’ve got, and importantly, getting them hooked into using your app. The marketing strategy therefore needs to address the lifetime value of an app by accurate interpretation and utilization of Analytics Data to ensure the app is of ongoing value. You need to use engagement mechanisms such as push notifications, subscriptions and in-app purchases to continue to make a difference to your bottom-line beyond download.
Go for Gold – Hone Your Mobile App Marketing
By addressing each of the above issues in your mobile app marketing strategy, before the fire of the gun, you can be sure that you’ll gain your place on the podium for app success. Apps can be invaluable for driving business success and growth, but they can also flop pretty easily, so don’t let that be your one. At Amobi Apps we’re the experts so you don’t have to be. Avoiding app marketing pitfalls is second nature to us. We’re here to make your app the app to have in the most hassle-free way.
What is a push notification and how is it different from a text message? Texts and push notifications are so similar that it can be tempting to lump them together and treat them the same way. They both arrive on a user’s mobile device, they both have to fit within tight character limits, but they both have average open rates that are over 90%.
So, why would anyone argue that push notifications are better?
Well, one consideration is cost. Many users do not have unlimited texting plans and will wind up getting charged for each text message you send. This can irritate users and lead them to look at your message negatively. Or, they may opt-out of future messages altogether, which is bad for business.
The same is true on the business end as well. The cost to send out a massive amount of texts is relevant for many businesses, especially small ones, depending upon what service and platform are used to blast out messages. Push notifications, in contrast, are unlimited and totally free when you build and manage your app using Amobi Apps!
The opt-in / opt-out dynamic also favors push notifications, when it comes to user attitude. Users have total control over which apps send them notifications, and may even specify which types of notifications they want from each app. Text messages, on the other hand, often come unsolicited. In fact, due to the sale of phone number lists between companies, some users may receive spammy texts from time to time and view SMS as a lower-quality messaging channel.
Push notifications also increase engagement with your app and improve user retention rates. Thus, not only can they help drive activity on the topic of your message, they also help increase the returns you see from your app. Push notifications serve double duty and offer a number of benefits at once.
With Bizness Apps, we also enable you to send custom messages to your customers that entice them to come back into your business. For example, you can send a beautifully designed push notification message in seconds offering people 10% off their dinner within the next hour if things are slow during certain business hours.
This not only helps bring in new customers, but can help attract loyal customers back into your establishment. The return on investment here is absolutely staggering for a small business.
So what is a push notification? When a user gets a push notification, it’s a message from a company they know and want to hear from. And from a business standpoint, the cost couldn’t be lower. Considering their effectiveness and ability to address a number of goals at once, we find push notifications to be just as good as, if not better than, text messages. (Of course, there’s no reason not to employ both in your marketing strategy, but if you can use only one, we know which one we prefer.)
We have reached the point of critical mass on mobile. People are increasingly spending less time on other channels and more time on their smartphone or other mobile devices.
As we know already, time spent is money spent. In fact, mobile e-commerce experienced a 47% growth rate last year, which means it is more important than ever to examine the success of your app and how it can be improved.
The goal of every mobile app is to become part of a user’s daily routine. Consumers can have hundreds of apps on their phone, but their activity on most is little to nonexistent. They only use a small fraction, roughly 20 or so, of those apps on a daily basis. You want your app to be in that select 20. How do you get there? The answer is push notifications.
Push notifications are more effective than email when it comes to keeping your business top of mind with potential customers. They are more user-centric, create a fluent journey back to your brand’s app and, most importantly, they are more engaging.
The Four Stages of App User Behavior
Before you begin thinking about how to craft the perfect push notifications, you need to understand how consumers use and interact with an app. Again, your goal is for your app to be part of each user’s typical routine. Thus, it is important to know which users have already made your app part of that practice, which users need to be re-engaged, and which users are using your app for the first time. In other words, you need to know which of the following 4 stages each individual is at and how you can push them towards becoming a more engaged user.
Newbie – These are new users. They are seeing, testing and using your app for the first time. In the next few hours, days, or maybe just the next few minutes, these ‘newbies’ are going to decide if your app is worth their while. Ultimately, they will choose to uninstall the app and fall into the passerby stage or become an engaged or sometimes-dormant user. Your mission is to push them towards becoming an engaged user rather than uninstalling the app.
Passerby – These are the 23% consumers that used your app a few times, but ultimately moved on. Once they have uninstalled, your ability to send them push notifications is diminished. However, the passerby users still represent some value. First, they hold a wealth of information about what your app didn’t do for them. Secondly, your passersby users are a good way to measure the churn rate of your app and its overall success.
engagedEngaged – These are the people that consider your app one of their favorites. They use it often, most likely daily. They are the single most important group and need to be targeted appropriately to maintain this high level of engagement. Accomplishing this stimulated engagement through push notifications takes quite a bit of creativity.
Dormant – Dormant users are individuals who were once engaged, but have slacked off. Perhaps, they don’t have as much time, got busy with other apps, or maybe just forgot about your app. Whatever the case may be, these users have to be reinvigorated to start using the app once again.
Leveraging Data to Craft Customer-Centric Push Notifications
Your push notifications need to be customer-centric. The type of message you send a dormant user isn’t going to be the same as the one you send to an engaged user. In order to understand your users better and know where along the app behavior spectrum each user is, you need app engagement data.
Data is the best way to get a complete view of each individual app user. Sadly, research shows that 95% of the data within a business goes untapped. After all, every user is different; they interact differently, have different preferences and so on.
The more you know about your users, the more personalized you can make your push notifications. Without personalization, 94% of consumers simply delete what you send.
When it comes to enhancing the customer experience, especially in the mobile environment, these are some useful data points you should tap into:
-Timing -Location -Behavior -Preference -Device
location dataLocation – The most useful application of location-based data is knowing when your customers are physically near your store and offering them a push notification with user-specific deals, info or savings. Keep in mind that nearly half of mobile users opt-in to push notifications that are location based because they find them useful. So make sure you are giving them the information they need.
Airlines have had success offering push notifications to notify travelers of gate changes or delays. Or if a consumer is traveling, you can notify them of store locations near them which they may not be familiar with.
Timing – In the past, companies would send out all of their marketing messages at a certain time of day. The consensus was that most users were active at 9AM, which made it the most attractive time to send these blanket messages. But, most isn’t all and the success of these blanket messages is in a sharp decline. Consumers want to be interacted with on their time, not yours. Knowing when each user is active on the app or browsing their phone is crucial to timing your notifications.
Behavior – As mentioned before, knowing what stage of behavior each user is at is important. You don’t want to push ‘buy now’ notifications on a newbie customer because it will feel like spam. Instead, you should send notifications that inform newbies about different features of the app, which they may not be aware of. This allows you to demonstrate all of the ways your app is useful to this new user and, hopefully, encourage them to stick around. Behaviors also include how an individual uses your app. They may not need or want to use every feature; they may only use it for a single purpose. Thus, you may want to cater notifications specific for those behaviors.
Preferences – Nothing says personalization like catering the mobile experience to your user’s preferences. The Harvard Business Review claims consumers are 40% more likely to buy from businesses who send personalized messages. Customers want the information, products, playlists, images etc. that they personally find most interesting.
For example, if your app delivers sports news, your push notifications should only pertain to a user’s favorite teams. You don’t want to over saturate them with news about teams they aren’t even interested in. The same goes for push notifications about new products or savings.
devices-1Device – This can be an easily overlooked area, but it is very important when you consider the numerous different devices and touchpoints that consumers are using. Most of us, whether we are aware of it or not, have a routine schedule of when we use each of our devices.
We may use our smartphone when we first wake up, but then switch to a tablet device later in the morning, before alternating between an office laptop and our phones again. Push notifications can feel spammy or annoying when a user receives the same notification on each device. When you want to send a notification, you want to send it to the one device that the user is likely using at that moment.
Plan, Experiment, Test and Retest
modifyThe push notifications you send users should enhance the customer experience, not harm it. Every user should be glad they got the notification when they did; it should be valuable to them in some way.
Again, the “spray and pray,” blanket messages are no longer a valid strategy. In fact, they can be dangerous and damaging to the customer experience. The numbers show that people will actually delete your app if they are sent between 6-10 useless messages.
Perfecting and crafting the best push notifications takes some practice. There should be a considerable amount of planning involved. Before sending a message, ask yourself three questions:
What is the goal of this message? (reduce churn, increase mobile purchases, improve cart fulfillment, onboarding, etc.)
Does it achieve that goal?
Does it do so in a way that the user will find interesting and engaging?
You can’t assume that by simply asking these questions, your push notifications will become effective in achieving their objectives. You actually have to measure their success using viable metrics.
Click through rate
Secondary action rate
Number of sales
Sales growth rate
Push notifications have to achieve a lot, with only a limited amount of real estate. Thus, even the slightest change in wordage or timing can make a big difference. To counteract this, you may want to test various messages at the same time to determine how each specific message performs relative to others.
For example, 1800-Flowers tested two similar messages alongside one another. The first message offered a 15% discount to come back and shop again. The other, worded almost identically, didn’t offer the 15% coupon. Surprisingly, the message without the savings deal was more successful at engaging consumers to come back and shop again. Remember, even a failed experiment or a bad push notification can be valuable, from a data standpoint.
Mobile is this generation’s gold rush and push notifications are the path to the west. Those that are willing to utilize data collection tools to craft more well-timed, user-centric notifications while experimenting with new and creative ways to reach these mobile users will quickly find themselves striking gold with mobile.
Snapping photos on the beach and sharing regular status updates has become the norm for communication. Whether it’s announcing your newborn baby or venting over daily frustrations, nearly every social media platform allows you to share your (digitally altered) life seamlessly.
In the business world, social media has become a go-to for brand development and customer care. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with customers and creatively market your products or services. 63% of millennials report staying up to date on brands through social media, and 46% of millennials use social media when making online purchases. Businesses are beginning to digest these statistics and leverage social media’s role in their customers’ lives. Now, 78% of companies report that they have teams dedicated solely to social media.
Though social media fits neatly into an effective marketing campaign, it can be used for much, much more than that.
While traditional support channels hide the customer behind the interaction, leaving you with just an email or phone number, social media support is a real glimpse into your customers’ lives. It can serve as a fantastic customer service tool that adds transparency and humanity your customers appreciate. Questions are often answered for all to see, leaving little room for poor, half-baked responses.
It’s also highly efficient. Tons of businesses use Twitter as a support and customer communication tool. You can educate thousands of followers with one tweet and cut down on emails, calls, and chats. This is especially useful during service outages, product releases, or anytime you expect high demand.
These channels generate valuable feedback too. Facebook and Google+ reviews offer valuable customer happiness insights and add a level of trust for prospective customers researching your business. Positive peer reviews are also more likely to land you a sale than self-marketing, so these rating features go a long way.
Increased engagement means increased customer retention. The more you can get your followers chiming in or clicking through—whether that’s with exclusive deals, helpful content, or genuine and thoughtful messaging—the better your chances of keeping them around. Try spurring discussion on your page or around a specific post by inviting your followers into the conversation. The topic doesn’t have to be your business or services, but something relevant to your industry that builds an association with your brand.
User commentary can shed real light on companies’ strengths and shortcomings. Listen to what people say and incorporate the best feedback into your business/product roadmap. Customers will appreciate their impact and likely offer more constructive criticism down the road. Plus, what better way to improve your products and generate new ideas that your target audience really wants?
The life of a product or service can also be extended by resurfacing older content. For example, if you publish a blog post about a new product, plug last month’s release too. When you re-share “old” news along with fresh content, you can revive interest and catch the eye of users who missed it the first time around (likely a lot of them, since our feeds are so oversaturated these days). And since we’re on the topic, don’t forget the role social media plays in product marketing.
Welcome to the age of online ordering. It’s more convenient and cost-effective than traveling to the store or making a phone call, especially now that the majority of online retailers have free and fast shipping options. As of 2015, 69% of adults shop online monthly and 33% weekly. If you only sell products at your location, you’re limiting your reach considerably. Online and mobile ordering removed the geographical constraints that limit your market.
So how can you leverage social media for online sales? First off, shareability. When you sell online, you can offer discounts to buyers who share a product or service with friends over social media. Groupon is a great example of this: if you get X amount of friends to buy the same deal as you, your purchase is free. Secondly, social media can be used as an independent online shop.Facebook pages can serve as online shops. Pinterest is a prime online commerce tool. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Businesses are no longer only limited to ads and word-of-mouth to find the best employees—top talent can be recruited through social media. Sites like LinkedIn let them share job openings site-wide and conduct better candidate screening. The social element adds a whole new layer to the traditional interview process. You may “connect” with a potential candidate before you ever interview them, gaining access to their network, interests, endorsed skills, and more. This modern transparency is a far cry from old school hiring.
It’s a whole new world for job-seekers too. You can apply for positions right through LinkedIn and even see how many applications have already been submitted, or check out a company’s Glassdoor reviews for a glimpse into their culture. My college newspaper has a Facebook group for its alumni staff; members are constantly sharing openings at their companies and encouraging others to apply. And on any site, users can easily share listings with friends and family who may be interested.
While making connections used to mean circling up at a conference and trading business cards, these days you can gain as much—if not more—networking value from social media. It’s never been easier to engage with other professionals and make highly personal connections that flourish and last. You can also tell a lot from a person’s profile and the content they regularly publish.
LinkedIn is obvious for this purpose, but Twitter is an incredible networking tool as well. Much like walking up to a circle of strangers and introducing yourself, you can start conversations or join active discussions by tweeting at other users. Twitter lacks the “friends-only” vibe of Facebook—its users typically welcome followers they don’t know personally, and the most active often interact daily with people they’ve never met face-to-face.
It’s easy to see what the future might hold with social media. Be your own time machine—stay up on the latest industry trends and anticipate advances to get a head start. Research what customers are saying about competing brands and let that inform your strategy. Better to learn from another company’s mistakes than make them, and better to celebrate their successes as teaching moments too. If used to its full potential, social media can drive success creatively and at little cost to businesses. So log in!
A strong social network can become an asset for any business. Social media offers every business the opportunity to strengthen relationships with their target audience, creating loyal customers and even brand advocates. Exploiting this potential is no easy feat, but can be done if the medium is used well.
Unfortunately, many companies are still not getting the best out of their social media accounts. Yet social media is big business: 74% of all internet users use social networking sites, and for younger adults it’s even more. That’s a huge readjustment of the traditional marketing paradigm.
The fact is, if you want to reach your audience, social media is the place to start. But avoiding the many pitfalls can prove difficult.
Don’t Create Accounts Just Because
Everybody’s doing it, and they’re telling you that your business should be too. It may be great for other businesses, but you just aren’t sure how it can help your company.
If you aren’t clear on the benefits of social media, then the chances are you aren’t going to use it properly, and it could be damaging to your business. Yet, no presence on social media is a poor choice as well. Even if you aren’t on Facebook or Instagram, your audience is, and they’re likely having a conversation about you—without your input.
Take the time to understand social media and what it can do for you, and invest the time and budget needed to do it well.
Don’t Ignore Social Norms
It’s difficult to get the tone right on social media. Each social network has different systems, rules, and social norms. What is acceptable on one network may be a social faux pas on another.
Unless you’re confident on each one, it’s only natural that you will make mistakes. But getting your tone right is a must. Common expectations of corporate behavior include:
Take the time to respond to messages left by customers; social media is about engagement and conversation should be a two way street.
Don’t be needy. Asking for retweets and likes for your content is frowned upon. If the content and messages you are sharing are truly interesting and insightful, shares, likes, and retweets will take care of themselves.
Don’t be afraid to be imperfect (in fact humanizing your brand is a good thing on social media) but be aware you are expected to follow the unwritten rules of social networking behavior.
Don’t be Present on Every Social Network
Spreading yourself too thinly across every social network is a common mistake. You want to be everywhere so you can maximize the opportunity, but cast the net too wide and it will be difficult to network effectively across all channels.
Building a strong network on 1 or 2 social media platforms is much better than having a weak and patchy presence on them all. It’s more difficult for a business to regularly update many social media accounts. Even if you manage to maintain a regular presence, the quality of your content will probably suffer. Being on too many social networks will undermine your brand values, not reinforce them.
Each social network has its own strengths, and they are popular with different audiences. Choose one or two that are best for you. Research them to find out where your audience hangs out and think carefully about what you want to achieve on social media. If you are a creative, youth oriented brand, Instagram or Snapchat may be a great social network for you to engage your audience. Conversely, if you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn may the best choice.
Too many businesses use social media as a broadcasting channel or sales channel. But social media isn’t just a free advertising channel – it has the potential to build a relationship with your target market and improve customer loyalty. But first you have to get your content right.
In order to build your network you must consider your customer’s needs and have a content strategy in place. An unfocused approach that prioritizes quantity of content over quality isn’t going to be successful. If it doesn’t provide value to your audience, they aren’t going to engage with you.
Don’t Ignore Comments
Building a conversation with your customers is the holy grail of social media. But many businesses invest most of their time building awareness and growing their network, rather than having a conversation.
Comments from customers are the beginning of a dialogue with them, the moment at which they give you permission to interact with them. Yet research has found 9 out of 10 social media comments sent to brands are ignored. The same research found people expect a response within 4 hours, and the average is 10 hours.
Take the example of British Airways. In 2013 a customer promoted a tweet to complain about the customer service, the company’s Twitter account was only monitored during office hours so there was a delay in their response, which gave the tweet plenty of time to circulate around the Internet.
It’s ironic that so much energy is spent building a social network to strengthen customer relationships and the opportunity to do so is ignored when it presents itself. Balance building your social presence with strengthening your network and always respond to your customers promptly.
Don’t Remove Negative Comments
We all want to show ourselves in the best light possible, but sweeping negativity under the carpet is simply going to infuriate dissatisfied customers even more. No organization is perfect, but show you are prepared to learn from your mistakes by facing them head on.
People are increasingly expecting a response to their complaints through social media. They won’t call you, they won’t write (not even an email), they will however take to social media to inform you, and everyone in your network. It’s a particularly public form of complaint, and you need to be ready or it could prove costly. United Airlines paid a heavy price for poor complaint management in 2008 when a disgruntled passenger took to YouTube after getting no satisfaction from their complaints procedure.
When this happens, be professional and don’t be defensive. The old adage (some might say cliché) about a complaint being an opportunity is certainly true on social media. You can’t stop people from complaining about you, but you can demonstrate a willingness to learn from any mistakes. Not just to customer with the issue, but to all your customers in your social network.
Don’t be Complacent About Security
All a disgruntled employee needs is your login and password, and they have access to your entire social network, including customers, partners, and your target audience. The potential to damage your reputation and lose business is incalculable.
To avoid this situation happening to you, put in place a system that secures your social media accounts and reduces the potential for reputational damage.
Set up limited permissions for selected staff to update your social media. Managing your social media accounts shouldn’t be left to a low-level employee.
Make sure publishing rights are only given to a select number of people who have responsibility for overseeing the suitability of the content (though many people in the organization should be encouraged to draft content).
Train your staff about social media.
Complacency can lead to public embarrassment; put in place security measures to protect the integrity of your brand.
Don’t Rely on Automating Updates
It’s understandable businesses are inclined to reduce the burden of updating their social media accounts by automating them. But automation tools should be used with caution; they can never be a substitute for true engagement with customers.
Businesses should take care to ensure customer engagement isn’t forgotten in the rush to reduce workload. Without customer engagement you are reducing your social networks to a promotional tool, or a cheap advertising channel, and you won’t get any value out if it. Your customers can’t have a conversation with an automation tool.
Don’t Treat it as a Marketing Function Alone
It’s often the case that businesses fall into the trap of ‘silo thinking’, and social media is no exception. In organizations that still treat social media as a promotional tool, it’s often left in the control of the marketing function.
In recognition of its increasing importance as a means of managing the customer relationships, many organizations are now taking a decentralized approach to reflect customer expectations. Your social network is now a sales channel, a promotional channel, a customer service channel, and a market research channel. To get the best out of it, and to meet your customers’ expectations, move it out of the marketing department and make it an integral part of your customer relationships.
The place of social media in business strategy has evolved, and it has moved from just a marketing device to a tool that’s of strategic importance to your company and its brand. Many companies haven’t embraced its full potential.
Organizations need to remember customers are using social media as a place to discuss and complain about brands whether the company is engaging with them or not.