This guest column is by Ashni Sharma, Sr. Developer & App Marketing, AppsChopper
There has been a revolution in the mobile phone industry which has become more user-centric in the recent times. The major mobile phone platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry have their own app stores to cater to the users. These app stores host mobile apps and games and offer a one stop place to download and update the apps. The developers can register themselves on these stores and contribute to the list of apps and games. Users also, do not have to look for the apps on different websites, as was the case some years ago.
However, these apps stores are not the only place to reach to the users. If you have built an app and published it on the app store, it does not necessarily mean that users will come looking for them and download them. You need to make your app ubiquitous so that the users see them while browsing the internet, using other apps, using social media sites, using search engines, etc. For instance, if a user is looking for a hotel in Las Vegas and while searching for it on the internet finds an app that lists all such hotels, it is likely that the user will install it. Hence, your app must cover all the relevant places where it can be discovered.
A recent survey has suggested that 1 in 4 apps are never used. It implies that users need to be re-engaged by offering exciting rewards, updates, and new features. It is important for the app brands to stay relevant and look for reasons why people abandon an app after downloading them. One way to get the users back to using an app is to offer incentives, exclusive discounts or reminding them of the app’s value on certain occasions.
For instance, a user is looking for a woolen cap as he has to visit a hill station. As it turns out, he already has a shopping app installed that sells such caps. When he searches for the product on the search engines, he can be reminded of the app. Using methods like deeplinking, the user can also be redirected to the relevant section of the app too.
Use these strategies to expand your reach to the users.
There are several ways to enhance the visibility of the apps as a mere presence on the app stores does not serve the purpose. Some effective strategies like social media campaigns and advertisements can be useful for the apps in reaching out to the users and engage them. At times, reengagement of the users also become necessary when they abandon the app. The strategies and methods listed here will help you in effective user acquisition and take your app to the maximum number of users.
Cost per install (CPI) is a type of advertisement where the ads are posted on different platforms and the ad network charges on every install. There are many ad networks that provide CPI services, but you should be careful about choosing the ad network. Price and level of control over the advertisements is a major aspect that you must consider while choosing an ad network provider. The extent of the control depends on the network and you should work with those networks that give you full control without any interference from middlemen.
There are several mobile ad networks that provide quality service and use advanced technology to enhance the visibility of your apps. Some of the prominent names are Appnext, YeahMobi, NativeX, Chartbust and Ficsu. The mobile ad network industry is still in its infancy as there is no common consensus on the network framework and there are many contrasting views. However, its efficacy has already been proven as it has helped many apps by bringing them, numerous users.
App advertisements on different platforms
It must be clear to the apps and games developer that app stores are not the places to reach out the users. Your apps must be visible on all the platforms that the intended users visit on a frequent basis. These platforms might include the social networking websites, search engines, other apps, online video channels and various others.
If a survey jointly conducted by Google and Ipsos is to be believed, one in four apps is discovered on search engines. People also find apps while browsing mobile sites, watching YouTube video or using social media websites. The way people are finding apps must streamline the approach the marketers take to design the marketing campaigns. The takeaway point is that the apps must be visible at all places in the digital landscape to ensure that no user is left out.
Local app search for iOS
Local app search is a new feature launched by Apple in its operating systems that could help the users look for particular inside the apps. This feature will be available in iOS 9 that will be rolled out in the coming months. As Apple has concluded through its surveys that most users use native apps and a few of them use Web apps.
In order to give the users, enhanced access to the apps, this local app search functionality has been conceived. This feature can also be seen as an extension to the spotlight features on the Apple’s devices that let the users look launch apps and look for data on Bing and Wikipedia. Using the local app search functionality, the developers will have control over, how the data is presented to the users.
Reengagement of the users
The mentioned survey by Google and Ipsos also suggests that 50% of the apps that the users download are not used and abandoned. This usually happens because the gusto that the app shows before the download fizzles out once downloaded. The apps need to reinvent themselves at a regular period and offer exciting rewards, incentives and exclusive offers to keep the interest of the users intact. The feature of push notification should be used wisely and users must be treated with perks and privileges once in a while.
The need for reengagement arises because the users have a plethora of options now and it takes no time to switch to other apps that give better benefits. For an app to stay relevant and useful to the users, it is mandatory for it to prove its value and utility. Mobile app engagement ads can help the apps to remind the users of their value and utility. Deeplinking can be very useful in such scenario. If your ad has deeplinking features enabled, it can take the customer directly to the section of the app that lists the products, the user is looking for.
Diverse ad types for targeting a wide range of users
You must have encountered different kinds of ad of mobile apps while browsing or using an app. It is very interesting to know that the different types of ads target the users in a different way and can also impact the app install in a big way. There are many kinds of mobile app ads that include social ads, mobile app install ads, video ads, banner/graphic ads on the website etc. Apart from all these, the most important type of ad that enjoys 50% of the total share of these ads is search ads. You can increase the visibility of your apps by posting all type of ads on different platforms. Mobile app install campaigns can be started that could include all such ad types so that more number of users are introduced to the app. Search ads must be given the first priority and more preference as it has proved to be the most effective of them all.
App Store optimization: An essential part of mobile marketing
Mobile marketing is a multi-dimensional process which require you to target the users through all the possible platforms. Optimization of Mobile app stores is also an integral and essential part of mobile marketing. In order to ensure that your apps feature in the search result, you need to make sure that it is optimized with the use of well-researched keywords. As the number of downloads for your app increases, the app store will begin to list it on the featured and top apps. Hence, in addition to all sorts of mobile marketing, app store optimization must be done.
With a plethora of apps available on the app stores, gaining users’ attention has become quite challenging. This is the reason why your apps need to stand out in terms of quality, usability, functionality and marketing. You need to make sure that your app is discoverable by making it visible on several platforms and searches apart from the app stores. Also, you will be required to reengage the users at several occasions so that your app is not abandoned. These strategies will surely be quite useful in bringing unmatched value to your business.