Section 508

June 28th, 2013

Mobile Strategy Handbook Chapter 5: Driving traffic to apps and mobile sites

Apps - Word and People Cheering


Note: This is a shorter version of the white paper being published in August this year. Click here for more detail in the white paper.

Most apps and mobile websites don’t market themselves, they need a marketing strategy. Before starting development you need to plan for how to reach your target audience defined in the previous chapters of this blog. Marketing is usually a combination of what we refer to as POEM or Paid Owned and Earned Media. In this post we will take you through the different type of media types and other key success factors behind driving traffic.

Remember however that it’s not all about downloads and site visits. What you really want is customer engagement.


Promoting your mobile app or site

Paid Media

This includes traffic that you pay to acquire through e.g. paid search, display ads on web and mobile, in-app ads, Facebook download ads, print with QR codes, AR or SMS shortcodes, TV ads promoting your service and other similar media. The best paid media is most probably pay per install as this guarantees that what you are spending is helping you achieve the target. Examples of pay per install providers include:

  • Facebook app promotions
  • Google/Admob
  • Tapjoy
  • Inmobi

There are probably another 100 pay per performance app promotion services but the most cost efficient and reliable are currently Facebook, Google and Tapjoy.

Print and above the line:

  • Magazine/media adverising – expensive and inefficient as the engagement is limited
  • Poster/Display advers – great for awareness (combined with other media) but low conversion rate for downloads
  • TV – this is probably the most expensive way of purely driving downloads but it does work if you integrate mobile into traditional media.

Owned Media

Owned Media is the websites, apps, mobile site, Facebook pages, blogs, etc that you own and manage. If you succeed in attracting your target audience to your own properties then this will be the most sustainable solution longer term.

Earned Media

Although free is never entirely free due to the effort, there are some great ways that may help you drive downloads and SEO with fairly low effort:

  • Appstore distribution – Amazon, Samsung, Mobango, Mobile9, Getjar, etc
  • Blogs & Review sites – Talk and write about it
  • Media – Get journalists to talk about it through interviews and PR
  • Sharing / Viral – enable and encourage users to share your application and site with other users
  • Mobile/Web site – create a site to promote it
  • Go social – create pages/spaces on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Linkedin and other spaces to promote your mobile app
  • SEO of your app title and website/mobile website – check for some insights
  • Create a Youtube video to promote it

One of the most powerful kinds of media you can get is the one that you get through recommendations, PR, sharing, organic search traffic, articles


Planning your campaign is not enough. In the end it’s all about execution. This includes copy for headlines and ads, beautiful images, rapid testing and optimisation of the campaign, articles and blogs for media and much more.

Measuring impact

Finally you need to use solutions that will allow you to track and analyse your traffic to optimise it for the next campaign. Stay tuned for the full white paper on this subject.

Image courtesy:

Tags: facebook Golden Gekko

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