Tag Archives: marketing

How To Build A Successful Marketing Stack In The New App Economy

white iPhone

There are many ways to drive users consistently to your app while delivering exactly what they want in the form of an entertaining and – if you’re lucky – addictive in-app experience. Based on your initial target market along with what you learn about your users, all it takes is a series of steps that are tactical, measurable, and scalable in methodology.

While your business needs must always be tied directly to your implementation plan, there are many things you can do to interact directly with your core user base while simultaneously reaching target market groups.

Here are 5 key steps to get there:

1. Know and Serve Your Audience

Beyond Google Analytics and platform-specific marketing tools, tap into the social media earpiece to speak with and listen to your core user base.

Outside of basic affinity metrics, what are their interests? What do they want, and most importantly what do they care about? Do you attract design nerds, community lovers, foodies, music fans – perhaps a combination of several of these groups?

What daily problems do they face, and how can you help solve them through technology? By learning about your audience, you’ll best be able to draw conclusions about what type of content to create and experiences to deliver and thereby stay one step ahead of the game.

Target markets are the measurable, critical component that ultimately drive app growth. The key is to hook these users early by delivering exactly what they want (or something close to it) while consistently keeping yourself in their digital spheres by leveraging the channels where they hang out the most.

After that, the real fun begins – this is where you can work on bringing the somewhat-to-average app user to ultimate fan status.

2. Deliver, Deliver, Deliver

Related to #1, you should provide users with exactly what they want. Deliver items tied to their interests, and you will open the door to increased usage, upsells, and app growth.

Don’t forget that your #1 marketing channel is word of mouth. This directly contributes to the velocity of the number of downloads acquired and is also a key metric for visibility in the iTunes app store in terms of store ranking and feature placement.

Seed content by hiring top-tier and relevant storytellers to expand your reach on blogs and social media. Create engaging content – and don’t worry about the rules. Create Instagram content just as cool as your friends would create. Reach out to influencers through various platforms (again, where they hang out), and you’ll wind up with a channel that can create significant impact.

3. Embrace the Funnel

Tap into how people are using your app. User behavior is telling, from the newbie to the frequent user. Examine where they drop off and investigate why it happens. If your on-boarding screen is collecting the correct information, you already have basic contact info available. This creating an easy entry point to remarket by offering incentives to return for more, which leads to the following…

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot

Stay true to your product roadmap, but always be available and willing to ask questions. If something isn’t working and you receive the same feedback time and time again, the suggestion may be worth acting upon.

If a feature recommendation comes to the table that actually makes sense, that’s a terrific thing. And it’s free feedback! Let that feedback gently inform your product roadmap, and keep iterating on the product with this information in mind.

5. Utilize Tools with Built-in Engagement Mechanisms

Facebook bought Parse for a reason – they are now directly tied to developers and thus can make the development process of integrating with Facebook simple. Twitter and Google are also in the game of making significant investments in tools that provide easy access to app analytics, built-in promotional tools, and other strategies that provide natural stepping stones into proprietary advertising platforms that drive app downloads, which in turn drives revenue (Facebook earned $1.95 billion in Q3 2014 on mobile ads alone).

While it’s been proven that buying ads on Facebook works well, further evidence shows that content-driven engagement will always be of interest. Combined with the above tactics – examining user behavior, knowing and serving your audience, creating original content, and not being afraid to pivot – you can leverage many tools that lead to the promotion and distribution of a highly successful app.

A Shift Across the Narrative Continuum (Part 1)

5 years ago when I was in grad school, my media theory professor proclaimed that “years from now you’re going to remember me as the old lady yakking on about something called convergence”. I was intrigued. Then and there I decided to work this into my career somehow. Although I wasn’t quite sure how as this very process of convergence – the merging of television, internet, and radio – was and still is unfolding before our eyes.

This merging of mediums distinctly affects how we receive media from both a technological standpoint and an experiential one. Given the growing advantage of communicating easily and directly between viewers via mobile technology and the internet, the experience is no longer passive.

The other afternoon as I waited in line to pick up dry cleaning (mine, not someone else’s thankyouverymuch) I caught a few scenes of an old episode of Married with Children. The show seemed so dated and not just because of Marcy D’arcy’s wacky hairdos. The script plodded along and lacked the jumpy camera shots, asides, and irreverent dialogue that we’ve come to expect from reality shows and newer sitcoms like 30 Rock and Arrested Development that seamlessly weave multiple characters, story-lines and alternate visual scenes.

Narrative has evolved past traditional mis-en-scene on a studio set with scripted dialogue. With the advancement of technology it allows not only backchannel conversation about a show but also sets a stage for supplemental original content and conversation (there are also tremendous marketing opportunities here of which I’ll touch upon in another post).

The second season of AMC’S Mad Men that just wrapped a few weeks ago incorporated the micro-blogging tool Twitter to further the viewing experience by allowing a viewer – or simply the curious – to engage in direct dialogue with each of the main characters. Twitter updates from the so-called characters (called “brand-ambassadors”) provide bonuses like tiny updates throughout the day like what the character may be doing on a given day and what his or her thoughts are on relationships with the other characters. You can even send direct messages to your favorite character and receive a message back.

This season I followed Don Draper, Betty Draper, Peggy Olson, Roger Sterling, and Ken Cosgrove. One evening I fell asleep watching an episode and awoke to notice that Betty Draper was following me on Twitter. If that’s not spooky enough, I Twittered about the experience and almost immediately received a response from Betty: “I hoped it’d be a nice surprise, I didn’t mean to scare you, I’m sorry.”

In Australia a show called OZ Girl is slated to launch January 12th, becoming Australia’s “first social web show”. The show streams online only and encourages fans to participate by interacting directly with the main character on Facebook, Twitter, and email.

By paving the way for this non-linear narrative between television and the internet, a stronger bond is created between the viewer and the brand.

The viewer becomes an empowered fan with the ability to learn more about the characters identity, participate in dialog surrounding last night’s episode on chat rooms, buy music heard on the show, leave comments, stream b-rolls or supplementary content, and share media with friends.

For the content creator this provides almost instantaneous feedback. It also allows direct marketing opportunities, more of which I’ll touch on in a later post. As a viewer, the show becomes increasingly integrated into my lifestyle. I can watch and participate how, when, and where I want to – and this seems to be where we’re headed.