Section 508

September 11th, 2014

Mobile App Marketing Strategy: Filling the Funnel vs. Low-Cost App Install Campaigns

It’s not uncommon for startups developing new apps to aspire to be the next Uber, Candy Crush or Instagram. But unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to marketing a mobile app.

It’s easy to be lured by the appeal of low-cost, app-install campaigns when you’re struggling to market your app and drive downloads. These are essentially “get rich quick” schemes – promising a certain number of downloads at an extraordinarily low cost.  How could you say no?

However, we believe that these install campaigns contribute to the 86% of downloaded apps that are deleted by people from their phones without ever being opened.

While downloads might be a benchmark worth tracking, it’s important to understand the quality of the person downloading your app. We believe it’s important to understand the critical role that filling the funnel has on the overall success of an app or a brand.

So, what does filling the funnel mean?

Simply put, filling the funnel means being in “touch” with potential new users by increasing the level of awareness, building interest and highlighting credibility around your app. These funnel-filling tactics can be paired with low-cost app-install campaigns to provide lift to your overall marking effectiveness. Funnel-filling tactics also tend to drive organic app installs. We believe (and statistics will support) that organic users are more important, useful, and valuable than paid users.

As an example, a user might see a billboard for a new app while driving to work, then hear another advertisement on Pandora radio while listening, then sees an app install ad on his or her mobile Facebook newsfeed. This is the beauty of filling the funnel – by exposing more potential users to your app via strategic placements, this extended exposure to the application encourages them to install and use. They understand what it is, and take the initiative to put it on their phone. Will this user be more likely to open the app and integrate it into their lives vs. someone who was never exposed to the multi-channel messaging? We think yes.

Many of our clients have seen tremendous success with funnel-filling tactics like local radio, online video, display banners, guerilla stunts, sponsorships, partnerships, event marketing and outdoor advertising. Funnel-filling tactics can be particularly effective in localization strategies and among certain verticals.

When implemented well, these are idea-driven tactics that entertain, inform, delight and reward people for participation. They turn an app into a brand that people love and want to engage with.

So, before you dive head first into a low-cost app-install campaign, consider your audience and KPIs in an effort to reach out to your loyal and organic users.

To learn more about this and how to prepare your mobile app for launch, including which metrics really matter, how to optimize your launch plan to drive success, and how to use marketing campaigns to create engaged users, please see download our whitepaper – titled Your Mobile App: From Idea to Five Stars (Part 1)

–          Anthony Pappas, President of Mobile Brand and Marketing Division

Tags: Brand Awareness Campaigns Brand Marketing Campaign Development Lead Gen Campaigns Media buying & management Paid Media Strategy & Planning Paid Search (SEM)

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