Owned media consists of all the websites, apps, mobile sites, Facebook pages, blogs, stores, and any other channel that your brand owns and manages. If it’s got your brand name on it and you have access to it, it’s owned media.
If you succeed in attracting your target audience to your owned properties, this will be the most sustainable solution in the long run for engagement and traffic. But it takes focus and great content to make owned media work for your app.
Here are five types of owned media that we recommend you utilize when looking to market your mobile app…
Blogs are a great way to communicate with people about what you do, share/discuss what you care about, and provides an opportunity to define your brand’s position and tone. Many apps also use blogs as a way to communicate new features, updates or changes that customers might want to learn more about. They provide a free platform to speak directly to those seeking to learn more about your product. Blogs are also great platforms for building and housing content. Such content helps improve SEO (search engine optimization) and is easily shared via social media. Both of these can help apps stay relevant and help build brand awareness.
A good example is Snapchat. They use their blog to highlight new feature updates to make sure its users understand what is different and how to use new features. They also use the blog as a platform to address issues with the app such as spam. To maintain its brand, Snapchat communicates with its users via photo and videos in the app, but they have strategically utilized their blog to be another way to communicate with users outside of their trademark “snaps.”
2. Mobile Website
Every app needs a mobile website and every website needs to offer a mobile-friendly version. If your website is already a destination for customers like many service brands (airlines, restaurant booking sites, etc.), this is the place to start promoting your apps as well. Otherwise, you need a basic mobile website to ensure that there is a place for customers to find your app through search engines, blogs, etc.
According to web info company Alexa.com, since Instagram provided app content consumption (but not the whole app experience) on its website, its global site rank increased about 30 places.
3. Email Newsletter
If you don’t already have a digital newsletter, this is a great way to promote your app via email. Wunderlist, which was app of the week in over 100 countries in 2011, has a newsletter that updates users on upcoming features, company news, and also unfinished tasks in their own app.
4. Social Media
Social media channels are a great resource for staying in contact and engaging with potential users while simultaneously building brand awareness. While you should maintain a unified identity across platforms, each one should have its own strategy specific to serving existing fans and attracting followers on that channel. Each platform is an outlet for your brand to have a voice and connect with users on a personal level, but not every channel may be relevant to your brand/app. In developing a strategy, you must first establish your goals for social media. These should align to your business goals. For example: increase revenue, change brand sentiment, improve customer relationship management, aid marketing research. A successful social media strategy also includes a defined target audience and an understanding of the audience’s use of social media, a plan on how/where/when to reach them, and objectives and metrics for measuring success. Once you have chosen which platform(s) will help you reach your goals and aligned this with your content strategy, it’s time to execute.
5. Customer Referral Programs
An oft-overlooked component of the owned media equation is your own customers. While you don’t own them, of course, they are a resource that can provide a great return on investment and help drive growth. Rewarding your current customers for spreading the love has been a strong growth driver for many well-known apps and brands. Bonobos, Lyft, Airbnb, PoshMarks, and PostMates have all used referral programs to turbo-charge growth. These take various forms, but most often the program involves some type of monetary credit toward a user’s next purchase. The beauty with these programs is they cost very little to get off the ground and can be launched along with your app.
One of the most successful referral programs of all time was created for Paypal. When it launched, it offered $10 cash to each new Paypal user and $10 to the customer who referred them. This incentivized millions of people to join Paypal to the tune of consistent 7-10% daily growth. Numerous mobile apps have been following the Paypal playbook at launch with great success. Now, they turn to further optimizing this program by enabling social sharing, accessing contacts, and other techniques to make the initial sharing experience as frictionless as possible.