Blog : Mobile App Marketing

Push Notifications, How They Drive Engagement in Mobile Apps

Push Notifications, How They Drive Engagement in Mobile Apps

An ever-growing mobile audience is challenging the mechanisms needed for marketers to interact with the audience’s fluid movement. Desktop Marketing finds itself struggling to keep up with the quick pace and instantaneous engagement on mobile devices. Despite the statistic that desktop still accounts for 42% of internet time. Web push notifications, also known as browser push notifications, are a new channel of marketing that brings the personalization of the mobile medium to the desktop.

Web push notifications are pop-up messages from a website that, when clicked, send the user to a specific link (for example, a new blog post). They’re not the same thing as web notifications, which are active only on an open web page. Instead, web push acts much like mobile application notifications, which are initiated only when the user gives permission to receive them. After the user gives permission, the company can send push notifications at any time, even if the website isn’t open in the browser.

A clean example of this is when a newspaper can notify its readers about the content of the most recently posted story. This immediate interaction helps to provide additional context to the story at hand.

Unlike the more common medium of email marketing, web push allows websites to engage users without having their contact information. Users are more likely to opt-in to the push notifications because they’re generally less invasive and make it easier to unsubscribe. Research has shown that less than 10% of users who opt-in for web push notifications unsubscribe within a year. This is despite the ease of opting out.

These are not the only benefits to using web push notifications:

  • Web push notifications deliver immediately to users, eliminating the possibility of being sent to a spam folder, like email.
  • Web push notifications have conversion rates 30 times that of email.
  • Push notifications are less content-heavy (generally between 40-120 characters) and better appeal to the shortened attention span of the consumer audience.
  • Web push offers the benefit of mobile app push notifications without investing money in developing an app.

Web push is supported by Safari 7.0.3, Chrome 42, and Mozilla Firefox. The channel continues to grow, pushing email marketing to the wayside and offering companies a more direct and concise avenue of communication with consumers. While there is yet to be much research on the direct success rate of websites using web push notifications, it is expected that it will be close to that of push notifications in mobile apps, which boost engagement by a notable 88%.

Web push notifications allow for a low-profile and noninvasive way to communicate with customers. Its low cost makes it a great investment for small and medium-sized businesses, so we can expect it to be on the uprise within the coming years.

Consumer-Generated Content

Consumer-Generated Content

There is probably no greater assurance in life than human testimony. Seeing someone providing support for a product or service you’re considering may be all you need to make a final purchase decision. If you take a look around, user-generated content is everywhere. Content created by actual consumers is becoming the go-to method to increase customer loyalty. The first-person narrative is quickly becoming a primary marketing channel.

This technique, coupled with the growth and effectiveness of social media interaction, is a deadly combination. This method gives businesses the ability to pass the brand-building responsibilities to the consumer. The purchase cycle begins with the customer and ends with another client. Why create external content when original user-generated content is available?

This new advantage leans on the customer’s interest to hear more views of people who were once in their position. The direction selected by those and have had a positive outcome with a particular product or service.

The more convincing a user can be in their first-person content, the more enriching the experience will be for the customer who is receiving that message. Satisfaction can come from of a picture filled with joy & commitment, a story with an excellent description, or an experience filled with uncontrollable emotion. Comfort can come in many forms, as long as it is a testimony that inspires your users to investigate an innocent way to brand your business.Close to 60% of retailers and 61% of brands are using consumer generated content in their social media campaigns. The most efficient campaigns focus on these five principles:

  • They concentrate on the basics
  • They stay in it for the long run
  • They listen to the customer
  • They let the customers share their story
  • They allow everyone to be a stakeholder

86% of millennials say that user-generated content is a good indication of the quality of a brand. Let’s help each other and share the experience.

If you need guidance to cross that bridge from one customer to the next, contact our Development Team.

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile App Marketing With Indexing & Deep-linking

Mobile search has been transformed from a simple search of the Internet’s content to an index that includes downloadable mobile applications into the results. The evolution is called mobile app indexing. Although Google introduced app indexing in 2013, businesses are only now realizing the advantages it produces. The benefits of app indexing do not only pertain to businesses, but to the entire marketplace, especially mobile users. As the awareness and understanding of app indexing increases, the installation of apps by businesses and users will skyrocket.

In prior years, the results of a Google search (via a mobile device) would primarily be a list of recommended website links. Due to the introduction of app indexing, the results will now include suggested applications pertaining to the search terms. Just as users can click on and connect to a web page link, users can also launch the app directly from the results page if that app has been installed on the device prior to the search. However, if the app is not downloaded onto the device, there will be an option to install the app to receive the desired content. This addition opens up a whole new and innovative way of mobile searching.

If your business does not have an app, it may be smart to adopt one, if you have a valid need. If your business does have an app, make indexing a priority. Since the majority of businesses have not yet adopted app indexing, this act will immediately set you apart from the competition. Now is the best time to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and benefits mobile app indexing will generate for your business. Advantages of app indexing include an increase in customer loyalty, app installations, and user traffic. Additionally, your business will become more visible to the eye of the user through the presence of the app on the results page.

For mobile users, app indexing has created an improved and advanced search experience. The indexing of both websites and apps broadens search results. The expansion of search potential will result in an increase in the amount of useful information that can be utilized by the mobile user. Not only a development in marketing for businesses, app indexing is also a way for mobile users to access information more effectively and efficiently. To help you define your mobile app indexing experience, contact Colure’s project management team. 

Exploring a complementary user experience

Exploring a complementary user experience

An excellent user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is necessary in today’s interconnected world. In our lives, it’s common for users to use multiple smart devices in multiple environments. As users move between devices, it makes sense to transfer a user’s UX across those platforms. An example of this type of event may start by watching a Netflix movie on your living room television. After a while, you get up and continue watching that film on a laptop in the garage while you work on the lawnmower. That singular experience is maintained through different environments and platforms.

The key is providing a seamless UX within a user’s network. Each device becomes an extension of that network; each is a compliment for the other devices in that network. A complementary user experience allows for mobile applications and experiences to intermingle across these platforms. The true essence of the event is found in the experience, not the network.

Mobile gaming apps are another type of application that can benefit from complementary designs. SMHK Funklab’s game Padracer uses an iPhone as a steering wheel and an iPad as a racetrack. Extra iPads can be added to the game as well. The creativity behind Padracer led to its success as one of the first mobile games with a complementary design.

There are two main types of complementary designs: collaboration and control. In a collaborative design, two different devices have different functions. Padracer falls into this category. Control designs allow for one device to remotely control the other which typically serves the main function. An example of this would be using your smartphone to switch the song playing off Spotify from your laptop. Devices in the complementary ecosystem can also fall into two categories: must-have or nice-to-have. A must-have device is required for the app to function. In the case of Padracer, an iPad and iPhone are must-have devices that are necessary to use the app. Additional iPads add to the experience but aren’t required. These extra devices fall under the nice-to-have category.

A complementary design can unlock endless options for a business to provide an enriched experience for app users. More and more companies are discovering how a complementary UI/UX can lead to company growth. A study by AppDynamics discovered that 65% of people have very high expectations for app performance. Additionally, 30% of customers would spend more money on a company with a good app. If your business uses a mobile app, consider how multiscreen compatibility could boost your user experience.

Vital customer engagement (or how not to leave your customers at the door)

Vital customer engagement (or how not to leave your customers at the door)

Customer engagement (CE) is the living and breathing relationship that exists between a customer and a company. This critical relationship is a critical factor that helps to determine the success or failure of a company. The challenge to every business is that almost all buyers have different needs and wants. Consumers aren’t unanimous, even within similar demographics. There are different ages, lifestyles, ethnic backgrounds, etc. There’s an excellent chance that the motivating factors for one middle-aged customer may differ significantly from another. It’s incredibly important for a business to operate with their customer base as individuals.

So how do we go about the act of engaging a client? Here’s a few starting points to orient your mobile app marketing and digital advertising efforts:

  • An engagement marketing strategy is crucial. How will your company reach out to potential customers? How will you respond to their inquiries? Detailed analytics are necessary to help answer these questions. Actively learning about a customer’s lifestyles, rather than lumping people together based on a singular demographic. Remember, numbers are cold, your customers are real people. Think of them in that fashion. The more accurate and detailed your customer database is, the stronger foundation you will have for engagement.
  • Learn to predict consumer behavior. When looking at the unique lifestyle of your consumers, where can you see areas where they can benefit from your service or product? Big-box retailers like Walmart and Target do so by using data mining to notice trends in purchases. Walmart used data mining and discovered that Strawberry Pop-tart sales increased sevenfold before a hurricane in southern states. The reaction? Place Strawberry Pop-tarts at the cashier area of a store. More exposure to the pop-tarts increases sales even more. In the end, all parties benefit. Walmart and Kellogg’s experience increased sales, while customers have an emergency food source in case of natural disasters.
  • The benefits of customer engagement are limitless. Customer retention is critical. Customers can see the value in a company that puts the effort into satisfying their customer base. Satisfied clients can be the most powerful form of marketing. The family and friends of current customers are potential future customers. Nothing is more valuable than a recommendation from peer-to-peer. One survey even concluded that 92% of customers trust peer recommendations, compared to 47% trusting TV or magazine ads.

Customer engagement is beneficial, if not necessary, to a company’s success. Perhaps one of the most satisfying aspects of customer engagement is the company-client relationships built upon it. Increasing interaction cultivates and grows these relationships. Knowing that your company makes a positive difference in the life of your customers is a huge reward.

Geofencing in mobile applications

Geofencing in mobile applications

Allowing a mobile device to recognize environmental elements can truly make an application dynamic. Because consumers live and breathe by their mobile devices, having environment-awareness available in mobile devices keeps users on their toes and engaged in their environment. This concept is called geofencing, also known as context awareness. 

Awareness of their physical environment for mobile applications brings more depth and attractiveness to an application’s user experience or UX. It engages the user by sending individually tailored data to their phone based on their geographical location. This plays a critical role in executing in-app mobile marketing and mobile app retargeting campaigns. 

Context awareness is a property used in mobile devices to identify where the user is using an application and how that might affect what the user is doing,” – Matt Carver at Bigspaceship.

In a context-aware environment, wireless devices such as environmental sensors, radio frequency identification tags, and smartphones send location, presence and other status information across the network. Specialized software captures, stores and analyzes the data, sending it back over the network to provide context to the end device as needed,” – Computer World. Having a mobile device react to its environment and offer advertising suggestions in terms of retail therapy or even a coffee shop facilitates the needs of each user.

Goals of context awareness

The ultimate goal of a context-aware system is for the system to arrive at a representation of the surrounding world that is close to the perception of the user,” – Interaction Design Foundation.

The layering of data allows the use of time of day and GPS coordinates to create a customized, ever-changing source of space and time relevant content for the consumer. They might provide breakfast suggestions in the morning, clothing suggestions relevant to elevation and weather, and locations for cocktails in the evening.

Geofencing is the ability for a mobile device to pinpoint the context of the user’s geographical location. “Context-aware applications look at the who’s, where’s, when’s and what’s (that is, what the user is doing) of entities and use this information to determine why the situation is occurring,” – GA Tech.

Challenges of context awareness

Mobile devices allow consumers to always be connected to the world around them. These connections can have difficulties. Computer World sheds light on challenges involving context awareness. One challenge of context awareness is privacy issues. Because context awareness uses data from the mobile device as well as environmental data, data breaches can occur. Being able to balance the security risks against the rewards is something that will be answered in time.

Geofencing is an interesting feature for mobile devices and applications. This functionality advances the capabilities of the smartphone for the specific user’s advantage. By having a more dynamic experience with your mobile device, it is no wonder that consumers fill every moment of the day looking at their phone. Advertisers and marketers will continue to take advantage of this desire for customized content and hyper focus audience targeting.

Content at the core of all media

Content at the core of all media

Business Basics Series

A brand’s voice and personality depend on the type of content it produces. The effectiveness of a brand’s marketing campaign depends on the delivery method of that content. The substance of your media is intimately involved in every step of the purchase decision-making process. It is the most stable mechanism of brand promotion.

Customer engagement, which is a strong predictor of company growth and brand loyalty, is built through providing value to the consumer. This action is most often achieved through value, usually achieved through useful content. “Emotional engagement is far more important to consumers than promotional content,” thus making the quality of the content the main factor in its success.

A reputation…is it owned or earned?

While everyone recognizes the role of content in owned and earned media, it’s harder to determine if content has a place in paid media or if paid media is rendering content useless. Owned, earned, and paid media sources are almost always used together in unison. They’re used to build off each other, but they have key differences worth elaborating.

Owned Media refers to all channels that a company manages and curates, like websites, blogs, and social media. Its main strength is the control it gives a company over their brand image. Its main weakness is its limited reach—though 89% of marketers are using social media around 16% of Facebook fans see the brand’s content on their newsfeed.

Earned Media includes all mentions of a brand on third party channels. Sometimes referred as organic advertising, search engine optimization and mobile app store optimization. It is the shared, the reviewed and the viral. Its main weakness, that of having no control of what is being said when, is counteracted by its main strength, the power of word-of-mouth to influence people’s decisions. The skepticism people have when viewing ads is equivalent to the trust that comes from another person’s recommendation.

Paid Media is comprised of all of the advertisements that you have paid. These include Adwords, sponsorships, and content written by others for a fee. Many times, this can appear as sponsored items, appearing in a news channel feed. Another name is “native advertising”. It is expensive, yet, far-reaching. This is a highly targetable resource. While many have frowned upon it, paid media is important to a marketing campaign because, without it, your best content might remain hidden. It is not a replacement for “true content”, but it is a valuable tool in taking owned media and pushing it to possibly blurring the line toward earned media. Competition online has made it hard to sift through information on the basis of interest alone and paid media allows one to place an ad before eyes who are searching for it.

At the core of all three strategies lies content. It is content that draws people to your website. It is content that makes people want to talk about your brand and share it with their friends. And it is content that keeps people engaging with ads even when they’re savvy enough to recognize and avoid them. Paid media will reach an audience, but it will rarely keep them watching more than they have to.

Content is what makes consumers say, “Wow, I didn’t even know that was an ad for something!” Questions for the ad industry become “Where do we draw the line between advertising and content?” and “How visible do we make that line?”

Voice activated digital components (AKA – digital assistants)

Voice activated digital components (AKA – digital assistants)

The recent developments in voice activated technologies have opened the door for explosive growth in the realm of digital interaction between humans and machines. Technology platforms across the board have embraced user control activated by voice commands. Individuals can ask their phone any question and a response will be given. The voice recognition by the operating system is as valid a command input as that from a computer keyboard. These developments created the birth of the ‘digital assistant.’

With the sound of your voice, random data can be searched, reminders can be given about certain events on your mobile calendar, requests become completed actions. Convenience for the user plays a huge factor: it is easier to talk to your phone than to type on it.

The range and depth of these computer responses are impressive. Joe Hindy, The Android App Guy on Youtube, posted an interesting side-by-side comparison of three frontline voice activated platforms – Siri, Google Now, and Cortana. It’s not a perfect demonstration, but it clearly demonstrates how the competing products perform.

Siri

When Siri was introduced in 2011 on the iPhone 4S, it was a sensation.  Back then, PCMag described this new technology “Siri is a speech-recognition computer application. It has both speech input and output, meaning you can speak to it, and it can speak back to you.”  Prior to Siri being introduced as part of the operating system, a voice-activated app was available at the Apple App Store. The technologies were focused on a specific market share, those who may have had difficulties working with a smartphone. The function was similar to Siri but had nowhere near the capabilities of the current Siri. That company was acquired by Apple, and the mobile app was pulled from the App Store. Later, that same technology emerged as the Apple tool we now call “Siri.” It was a cool new addition that Apple built into its iPhones. From then on, it has become a staple of the iPhone user experience.

Google Now

In 2013, Google Now was created.  This program is Google’s answer to the virtual assistant. Google Now “can answer questions like Siri and search the web, but more importantly, it cannot only assist, but pre-empt your requirements using your calendar, email, historic behaviours, and location.” quoted from Koozai.com. Google Now is like an upgraded version of Siri.

Cortana

In 2014, Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 was introduced.  Cortana is a Halo-inspired personal assistant.  It is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now.  What started for the Windows Phone is now on every desktop using the Windows 10 operating system.  “Cortana is powered by Bing, and can perform many of the functions one has come to expect from artificial intelligence-style assistants, such as setting reminders and powering vocal updates to one’s calendar” – CNET.

Amazon Echo

Also, in 2014 was the unveiling of Amazon Echo.  Amazon Echo is an at the home tower and  “lives as a piece of hardware, not just a layer of software available through a mobile device. It has built-in speakers and lets users sample and purchase music as well as stream that music on demand,” according to CNET.  Amazon is trying to make a statement with Echo by offering this virtual personal assistant.

“A June 2014 study by Thrive Analytics found that over half of US adult smartphone users (56%)” use their voice-activated assistants. – Emarketer.

The Future is Now

Millennials will continue to drive the use of virtual personal assistants and will be the deciding factor on whether this trend will stick or be a bust. The digital stage has been set to respond to the sound of our voice. Interaction with a digital assistant is now part of our daily routine. How that interaction is crafted will depend upon the minds of the users and dreams of mobile app developers.

Projected advertising revenue trends for 2016 – TV vs. Digital

Projected advertising revenue trends for 2016 – TV vs. Digital

As new types of mobile devices are introduced, digital advertising and mobile app marketing are projected top television advertising trends and revenue in 2016. Previous advertising trends are becoming mundane as new kinds of technology are introduced to the public. Smart watches and virtual reality goggles have made their way into the mainstream. Users of all demographics are excited about them. Shifting mediums equate to shifting advertising markets.

The way in which information is delivered will be a driving force for the future of digital advertising. Device users are devouring both the flexibility and the speed at which information is provided. The choice of format and flexibility is driving users to change their buying habits.

Millennials

Millennials, also know as Gen Y’s, will shift advertising trends more towards digital than television. Prior generations had to park themselves in front of the tube to get their fair share of publicity. Millennials are taking those mobile ads everywhere, in every format. Marketers need to move their ads to where their audiences are going. Millennials like to be involved in a brand and a product. Advertising agencies can use this type of behavior to their advantage. “Millennials want their agencies to stand for something more than pushing products on consumers.”

Predictions

Forecasting trends and predictions are showing digital advertising surpassing television advertising. “Digital media will continue its meteoric rise. Digital ad spending will grow 17.2 percent this year, to nearly $160 billion, and 13.5 percent in 2016, and is expected to overtake TV as the biggest advertising category by the end of 2017,” according to Sydney Ember of the New York Times. One reason for this is how often an individual uses their mobile device. Advertising companies have taken full advantage of habits of consumers by engaging them where they spend most of their attention.

New Mobile Devices

Smart watches and virtual reality goggles are two of the new mobile devices to make their debut in the market recently. For something as small as a smart watch, advertising companies have taken advantage of it. “Smart watches advertisers grab consumers’ attention immediately, no matter what they are doing.” Even though it is a small space, advertising companies have utilized the space to their benefit. They have the ability to keep their brand/image fresh in the consumers’ mind by being able to consistently display ads on the smart watch. Companies will have to discover the users’ boundaries, learning to not overly advertise and annoy a consumer. Even though the medium is ready and available, doesn’t mean it should be overused. Be engaging, but not bothersome.

A new mobile “toy” debuting this year is the “virtual reality goggles.” These goggles attach to most smartphones and allow for a virtual world to be seen through the goggles. What is expected to rise out of the virtual reality world is a new evolution of video ads. Even though video ads are not new, many still think of them as time-consuming and irrelevant. However, Google is incorporating video-based advertisements in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), rather than just pictures and text. By doing this, consumers are more susceptible to accepting video ads. Eventually, those ads will be second nature to users, not perceived as the annoyance they may be viewed as today.

2016 is proving to be a very exciting year for digital advertising. Millennials have set the stage for mobile advertising and will continue to do so for years to come. They want to be involved in the ‘life-cycle’ of a brand. Millennials want to be engaging with companies. This generation will lead the direction of new trends in digital advertising. As new mobile devices introduced, they will become a gateway to how mobile advertising will surpass television advertising. We will just have to wait and see how virtual reality and smart watch advertising will affect the future.

Advertising Budgets 2016: 4 Trends You Need To Know [Infographic]
Infographic
by MDG Advertising

What is a Mobile App “Test Market Campaign” – Are they worth the hassle?

What is a Mobile App “Test Market Campaign” – Are they worth the hassle?

The development of a mobile application is a significant event for any corporation, team, or individual. As the app approaches its final stages of development, there is a tremendous temptation to rush that nifty new mobile application directly into the hands of consumers. Before that action, the product owner should ask one critical question: “Are we ready?”

A critical path to confirm the app’s market viability is to conduct a test market campaign. Establishing reliable numbers allows the development team to understand what is functional and what is lacking. A market analysis provides insight to what you don’t know about the marketplace.

Within the test market campaign, individual goals should be established on a timeline, and if those goals aren’t met, the company needs to be prepared to go back to the drawing board. An active test marketing campaign will answer many new questions, some of the benefits include the following:

  1. Seeing if the product/service is viable in the real world
  2. Analyzing if the marketing strategy needs a revamp
  3. Measure how consumers will respond to the product/service
  4. Gain feedback from customers before product launch

Overall, conducting a test market campaign before launching a major media buy and mobile advertising campaign is beneficial to the company. It can help to work out the minor (and sometimes major) details of the product/service. A major advantage is that it provides the product owner with insight into the relationship between the market and the product. It lets the consumer be a part of the overall process of creating something new, and that is good for business.

A test market campaign would be wise to use in this situation if time and money permit the organization to do so. The test marketing can be used to tweak the final product or modify how to market it better to the public.

Jumping into major campaign without a marketplace analysis is like jumping into a puddle of muddy water. You have no idea how deep the water may be or if there is broken glass just under the waterline. In short, it can be a terrible decision. Before you risk the fruit of your labors, take the time to investigate the viability of the marketplace.

What is a mobile application “cost per install”?

What is a mobile application “cost per install”?

Mobile apps are a critical component of our everyday lives. They affect our interaction with almost everything and everyone. Our actions often revolve around some type of mobile application. As companies maneuver to create new apps, they have to decide what is the most cost-efficient manner to market their application.

One question that surfaces is “which is the best way to measure the client acquisition and marketing costs for our mobile application?” One of such method of measurement called “Cost Per Install” (CPI).

The Cost Per Install model measures the net cost to the application developer for each download of their application to a single user. In other words – how much does it cost to deliver a single copy of an application to a single consumer. Media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, for example, might advertise your shiny, new, mobile app on their high traffic sites and garner countless numbers of clicks and impressions. With CPI, your advertising budget pays only when a user actually downloads and installs the application – not for the volume of click traffic on your advertisement (or Cost Per Click – CPC). Therefore, the more installs the advertisers gain for your app, the net cost per download to the application developer is reduced, thus creating greater profits. By using this method, it guarantees that you, as a client, pay for only as much as your campaign is actually producing. The downside is that your user loyalty or activeness volume is not accurately documented. This measurement is calculated through Cost Per Loyal User (CPLU).

In late 2015, Twitter introduced Cost Per Install as part of two models for clients to advertise on their platform for mobile downloads. According to their beta partners, the CPI model presents the highest cost efficiency – lowering the cost for advertising by nearly 30% compared to its previous model of Cost Per Click (CPC).

According to Fiksu’s Cost Per Install (CPI) Index  for November 2015, it measures the cost per app install due directly to its advertising to cost approximately $1.54 for iOS acquired users and $2.27 for Android acquired users.

As business owners, ideal conditions would call for acquiring the highest amount of quality users with expenses that would maximize their Return on Investment (ROI).

At Colure Media, a mobile app marketing firm based in New York City, we structure advertising campaigns that would guarantee downloads, lowering your cost per install and increasing your mobile app users. Contact our campaign advisors to discuss your operating costs for your next project.