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August 26th, 2014

9 Paid Media Channels Your App Should Be On: Part Two

Last week we posted the first four of nine paid media channels we think should consider when marketing a mobile app.

We put together a high level look at the role each channel may play. Here are the other five paid media channels we recommend you consider when creating your mobile app marketing campaign…

5. Paid Search

Paid search for mobile app campaigns takes the form of app promotion ads, which can be used in both paid search text and display.  These ads directly pull from the Apple App Store or Google Play to allow users to download the app immediately. The ads are smart-designed, meaning Android apps are only shown on Android devices, and so on.  In search campaigns, these smart ads will exclude non-relevant devices by matching the operating system (O.S.) of the app to the device. Furthermore, app extensions on web search text ads can promote both websites and apps by allowing users to download an app through an extension. Extensions, while free to incorporate in web text ads, are subject to the PPC model.

Paid search is a necessary complement to offline advertising as users generally default to search engine queries or searching within the respective app stores. The Apple App Store search function is not as sophisticated as Google’s, and because download volume plays into its ranking algorithms, App Store Optimization (ASO) has evolved to become a necessary campaign component as users generally exhibit similar behavior as with web search in that the top ranked search queries tend to get the most engagement. Apple’s most recent updates are trying to improve and solve app discoverability through scrolling results lists, suggested searches, trending searches and explore tab as well as app video trailers.

However, because Apple’s algorithms still continue to rank and reward apps with significant downloads already, significant investment in building awareness around your app, whether they are considered best practices or not, are needed to boost visibility within the App Store.

6. Broadcast TV

TV is probably not on the radar for most mobile app marketers as an obvious channel to use, but it does make sense in some instances. Generally speaking, TV is an immediate awareness tactic that can introduce a mass audience to your app and brand. If your application has broad consumer appeal and your projected lifetime value meets certain thresholds, TV should be in your consideration set. When big brands like Geico or launch a mobile app, TV is an essential driver.  Additionally, a number of smaller clients have leveraged various TV approaches, from tactical national buys to local spot cable, to drive success.

King, the maker of Candy Crush, took this route and became the first mobile game developer to advertise its game independently on TV. The month that Candy Crush commercials began airing, it became the most popular game on Facebook. TV placements were paired with app install bursts and other media to achieve this goal. Also, according to, the game’s download rank soared to number one after launching its campaign.

candy crush broadcast tv paid media

Eat24 is a local food delivery app relies heavily on local spot TV to drive downloads and revenue. With a day-parting strategy focused on dinner and late night eats, the app maker buys inexpensive inventory that keeps costs down while reaching consumers when they are most likely in need of the app. Immediate gratification is the consumer need and brand promise, so the app can measure success of TV down to the exact time and place the ad ran.

Eat 24 paid media channels for mobile app

7. Radio

Radio can be used effectively in app campaigns if the app’s utility and target audience aligns to the market, program content or other relevant factor.  With the explosion of digital streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify as well as the emergence of Apps from stations across the country, consumers have more choices than ever before to listen to their favorite content, anywhere.

In traditional radio, we’ve seen local, customized promotions featuring sponsorships and live DJ reads operate as a funnel-filling and download driving tactics. This is relevant for any app that might be taking a localized approach to building its user base. Tracking and attributing results can be challenging, but not impossible. Many of the streaming radio platforms offer greater targeting and tracking capabilities, with many programs reaching an even larger audience than traditional radio.

8. Outdoor

Outdoor billboards and posters are strong funnel-filling tactics to complement a multi-channel mobile app marketing campaign. Outdoor can be especially effective for apps that follow a local market launch strategy and want to quickly generate awareness and downloads in a specific market.  We tend to see overall lift in performance of online direct response and download drivers when outdoor is also utilized. However, it should be noted that utilizing outdoor in isolation is not advised. The possibilities here are really endless – table tents at restaurants, taxi toppers, WiFi sponsorship, interactive wall screens, and more.

A great example is when Qualcomm Mobile created a campaign called the Best Bus Stop Ever, which included a poster that displayed a completely relatable bus shelter question  (i.e. “Bored?” or “Seen it all?”) and a mobile web URL. When people visited the site and pressed a button, they would get a surprise ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or even a bus full of puppies.

9. Events

Events and guerrilla marketing are some of the most successful tactics we’ve seen for filling the funnel and driving downloads. Events can be particularly successful in local marketing campaigns. We tend to see immediate increases in downloads and in social/community metrics coming from events. Whether this means sponsoring local music festivals or sponsoring an industry or audience specific event, it can be quite successful, especially when paired with strong content and a reason to participate. Many events also have built-in PR opportunities, which is a plus. We group guerrilla marketing here as well since this is typically executed at a local level. Again, for the purposes of driving interest, shares, and downloads, event-centric tools like street teams, wild posters, and other guerrilla tactics can be extremely successful.

Tags: digital marketing events mobile apps

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