So you’ve created your app and it’s truly brilliant. People will start using it in their millions simply by word of mouth right? Wrong. Rachel Onojafe, strategy manager at M&C Saatchi Mobile, says: “One of the most important things companies can do in order to ensure the success of an app is to market it, and a lot of companies seem to fall down on that. They think if they go with a great product then people will automatically find out about it and download it, but actually marketing is really, really essential.”
‘App Marketing’ is obviously a broad term, so here are some of the ways to make an application stand out. There are over 500,000 apps available in the iTunes store alone, and that number can only grow, and so therefore, it is important to get yourself seen. Great reviews are a good place to start.
- GET YOUR APP REVIEWED: This is cheap and it’s easy, you just have to commence with the correct approach. And a good place to start is putting your application in the right category, so it’s not a bad idea to choose one that is less competitive than some of the others.
“Everyone wants to be in the lifestyle category, that’s one of the most competitive,” says Rachel, “so it’s much harder to get featured by Apple. They’re placed on a pedestal in that category because there’s so much competition, so going into another category might be useful.”
- USE MOBILE MEDIA: You’ve got your app marketing budget, now you just need to hire some expertise. The specific requirements of a campaign can depend on a myriad of different circumstances, and that always commences with the client’s brief. Budget, product, objective and KPIs are all factors to consider at the outset.
“You could target it to your audience, so you make sure there are banners and rich media and everything is put on other apps or other mobile sites that customers would stumbleupon,” says Rachel. “Or you could just leave it really open and cast a wide net and try and grab everyone. It depends on what sort of campaigns you’re going to run.”
- POOL YOUR OWN RESOURCES: You’ve got a database, now is the time to use it. “One of the most important things you can do for app marketing is leveraging the brand’s own channels”, says Rachel. “You know how retention is easier than apposition; rather than trying to go out and get a whole new audience of people it’s much easier to advertise to the customers you already have.”
If your brand has magazines – put the app in the magazines. If the brand has stores, put the app in stores. Put it in emails and on the company website. And last but not least, utilize social media, like Twitter and Facebook.
“In my opinion that is where you should put a lot of your money because those are people who have already said, ‘yes, I love this brand and I would love to hear from you’. Give them added benefit, make them feel like they’re part of the app launch, make them the first users to go out there and tell their friends about it.”
- HAVE A LAUNCH: Making users feel part of the whole experience is a fine way to promote your product, and there’s no better way to get people involved than a launch. Remember that those who attend, including taste makers and even celebrities, are likely to use social media themselves, ensuring outreach extends way beyond the event itself. This is where PR comes in.
Cat Pooley of M&C Saatchi Mobile gives an example: “We designed an application for a company recently that involved a game where the user dashes down the street with a trolley, and collects different items. PR were then talking about doing a real live trolley dash. So sometimes you can translate the app into a living experience.”
App Marketing QR Codes
The advertising industry is always thinking of new and clever ways to reach consumers, and the appropriation of QR (Quick response) codes has been one such innovation over recent years. You’ve seen them on bus shelters and in shops. Those funny square barcodes, described by the Guardian as “robot barf”. They may take on a different appearance in years to come, with some market watchers expecting their appearance to veer towards ‘augmented reality’, but the core of what they are will remain the same. But first things first, what are they actually for? We asked Rachel Onojafe and Cat Pooley of M&C Saatchi Mobile, and this is what they said.
So how does a QR Code actually work?
Cat: “You would have a QR Code appearing on a poster advertising the app, and someone would have an app on their phone already which would have a scanner on it. They would point the reader at that code and scan it, and then that code would direct the user to a website. And that website could be the brand’s website: it could be a video, it could be a direct link to the app store, depending on what the brand wants to get out of that QR code.”
Right, I think I get it.
Rachel: “The great thing about QR Codes is that people are recognising them more and more. They’re used to seeing them. They also realise that when you scan it it’s going to open up a webpage. A lot of brands do them in store – which is a great place to put them – because if you’re in a store you can just scan something and look at it later. It’ll just be there on your phone. Or people even do it in email, which is not really advisable. People put them outdoors, so if you’re walking past a bus stop or you’re in the cinema, you can find out about stuff. FCUK run them in magazines.”
Cat: “Topman use them.”
Rachel: “You get them in papers. Metro has a QR Code everyday.”
Are they usually marked, or can you get unsolicited ones?
Cat: “You get them on stickers, you see them in Soho for instance, where people just whack a QR Code up with nothing to distinguish it on a building.”
Rachel: “That’s probably not best practice because you don’t know what you’re going to get when you scan it. You could get a virus and download it to your phone. It’s much better if they’re branded. And you can have QR Codes in colors, Armani has done QR Codes in different colors across their stores in their windows to look at. You can have design incorporated into it, you can make it look really interesting, but at the end of the day it’s still a barcode that opens up a webpage.”
Cat: “And there’s certain things you have to do like making sure you stick to the right size and placement. There’s actually quite a funny website about QR Code fail, about people who’ve put QR Codes in stupid places that are just unscannable. So people that put them on the London Underground, and on the underground there’s no wi-fi.”
Rachel: “Another good way to market, which is like a QR Code, is just to put a short link somewhere, so putting a URL on a piece of advertisement or press that just says: ‘to download this – go here’. So you can type it into your phone, go to the iTunes store and press install. I think in terms of marketing the best way to market is really to just try to engage the audience as best you can. You just have to be smart about it.”
About M&C Saatchi Mobile
Inside Mobile was founded way back in 2006 when the market was in its infancy, and exceeding all expectations very quickly, Inside was re-branded as M&C Saatchi Mobile as it became a part of the M&C Saatchi Group in 2010.
M&C Saatchi Mobile is now a global mobile marketing company with it’s HQ based in London. With offices in New York, LA, Sydney, Cape Town and Johannesburg they are at the forefront of new mobile technology. Developing and growing as the industry enlarges and worldwide total ad spend for mobile rockets. The expertise it has accumulated from the very inception, whether in media, production or consultancy is enviable, and with M&C Saatchi’s vast history and reputation behind it, no other company is better positioned internationally.
The personnel at the company have an accumulated intricate knowledge of the fast-growing and increasingly complex mobile marketplace – and with bases all over the world they understand that campaigns for regions can differ wildly across the globe. It’s people are highly experienced at advising the world’s best and most recognisable brands, ensuring clients are always a step ahead of the curve. As mobile advertising grows, you can be certain that M&C Saatchi Mobile will always anticipate what’s coming next, leading where others follow.
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