Mobile marketing

4 Tips for SMB In-App Advertising

adhereiphoneAs a SMB, you may not have considered advertising on an app (in-app advertising) because at first glance, it may seem complicated or far removed from the services you provide. But with the average user spending 198 minutes in apps while on their smartphone each day, compared to just 22 minutes on the mobile web, it’s time to consider this area of advertising for your business.

One of the reasons I feel in-app advertising is growing is because it provides a better solution to capture targeted consumer attention and entice them to interact without interruption. Here are my tips on in-app advertising for SMBs:

Research

Invest the time to do your research as to which app might make the most sense for your service or product. Look at what apps could be relevant to your audience and what type of advertising would be a good fit for this medium e.g. do you want them to download something, watch a video on a product, or answer a poll?

Information

When using an app on your mobile device, a pop-up usually appears asking you to share your location information. This location information is one of the reasons why in-app advertising works because it uses this data to understand and engage with your audience. Think about how this data can help you get a complete picture of what is going on at a certain location in real-time and how combining it can help you to find the right audience for your message.

Format Options

In-app ads, like banner ads, have various placement options. Apps offer banners that appear at the top or bottom of popular games, as well as more advanced social media auto-play videos and sponsored posts.  Depending on your business and marketing goals i.e awareness vs. click-through offers, you’ll need to test which ad placement and format works best for you.

Creative

There is no doubt that to get the attention of your audience, you’ll need to step up your “game” on your creative approach. To get noticed, you will need to create relevant, non-invasive and compelling ads that are uniquely targeted to your audience.

I encourage you to take a look at in-app advertising because not only is it more targeted, it has proven to perform 11.4 times better than standard banner ads, making it almost as effective as Google searches.

 

Predicting 2016 Marketing Trends

digital_marketing_predictionsAs we near the end of the year, customers often ask me for my predictions for the year ahead and the latest marketing trends: “What’s Hot?” and “What’s Next?”

In this post, I’ll look at what I see as the latest trends in marketing and specific questions for the smaller business owner looking to be a part of the trend in the coming year.

Here are my top 4 predictions for marketing trends in 2016:

  1. Content Marketing

70% of surveyed marketers say they are creating more content than they did a year ago.

Writing engaging content will become the central component of all marketing campaigns. Look for terms like “content optimization” to be popping up everywhere as marketers look to content as critical to their strategic success. You should strive to provide readers with information they likely haven’t seen elsewhere, information that’s shareable and keeps people invested from beginning to end. Do you have a professional content writer on staff? If not, where will you go to generate content for your marketing materials? The creation of consistent, high-quality content is a must for any successful content marketing plan.

  1. Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics)

65% of business executives from global brands say they embrace big data to stay competitive.

This is a term used to describe how companies can target the right message to the right person, at the right time for the right price. The message is delivered once consumer behaviours are captured and analyzed to determine what is the right message, who should it go to, when should it go to them and what is the right price point. Big Data often assumes your company has the appropriate IT hardware/software infrastructure in place and personnel to manage it, but for a smaller business, Big Data could simply mean tracking downloads, social media, e-blasts, customer calls, clicks on PPC advertising, and conducting some customer research.

  1. Mobile Marketing (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)

70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.

According to Forrester Research, mobile is predicted to be the fastest growing channel among all digital channels, so make sure your campaigns are mobile or involve a mobile component. It goes without saying that your website needs to be mobile-friendly if you hope to engage an audience that is using this platform to engage with your brand. App downloads surpassed Facebook friends and Twitter followers for most brands in 2015, and they continue to do so in 2016. Expect for brands’ mobile apps to replace their social communities as the tag of choice on advertising, including TV. For the smaller brands, as mobile development has become more mainstream, think about whether there is an opportunity to develop an app to help interact or support your customers.

  1. Social Media Marketing

46% of web users look to social media when making a buying decision.

Most platforms are moving towards “buy” buttons which allow consumers (FB app or Twitter app) to buy a product instantly without leaving the app. The goal of most of the social media platforms are aimed at keeping consumers in their apps which is a good opportunity for marketers to advertise directly to their customers via PPC campaigns. If you are a smaller business, you might want to consider “owning” a specific social media channel that speaks to your targeted audience instead of spreading your budget across multiple platforms. Instead of being the small fish in the big pond, if you pool your financial resources you can be the big fish in a smaller pond.

 

I anticipate we’ll see these trends pop up and continue through 2016. Be prepared to make some changes to step up and beat your competition to the punch!

 

 

How does content “Go Viral”?

Perhaps you remember the #KONY2012 video, which was the fastest video to receive 100-million views  in the shortest amount of time. Or maybe you recall the Dove Real Beauty sketches, where the brand invited a group of women to sit down with a sketch artist and describe themselves to him. 

These campaigns are examples of marketing content that has gone viral, but what does this concept actually mean, and how can we channel it into your marketing strategy?

To say something has “gone viral”  usually means that a piece of content has been well-received and widely shared, which is a a marketer’s dream, but the truth is, the vast majority of even great content will never enjoy widespread attention.

The infographic below discusses the science behind viral content and how it comes to be:

viral

What are your takeaways from this infographic? As a marketer, several tactics stand out to me:

Content: Make a statement with your content. Do you want it to be funny? Incredible? Dramatic? Emotional? Decide what message you want to send and choose a way to communicate it.

Integrated: A great video may get a lot of traction on it’s own merit, but many campaigns rely on integrated approaches that share the same brand message. The other platforms will support to the overall success of your viral campaigns.

Easy-to-Share: If your platforms aren’t easily accessible, fans of the content can’t share even if they wanted to. Make sure you give your audience both a way AND reason to share.

What kind of content could go viral for your business? Do you think viral marketing could work for you? I look forward to your comments below.

 

The Hype Behind Apps

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Smartphones and tablets have become the device of choice for many professionals, which have led to the dominance of apps (short for application).  Apple’s popular slogan for their App Store “There’s an app for that” has instilled the idea that people need to use apps on their phones rather than go to a website – even websites that are optimized for mobile. In fact, a recent Pollara survey on app use in Canada revealed that we now have an average of 14 apps on our smart devices and use them on a weekly or daily basis.

Large companies such as Best Buy and Pizza Pizza have branded apps that provide the customer with a shopping experience that is unique to their smart device. It lets customers accomplish what they can do on a full website in just a few finger swipes, such as ordering a pizza or even purchasing a new 50-inch television! Not all apps are used for e-commerce, as some apps just deliver information.

All of this talk about apps might cause you to wonder if you too should consider getting one for your business. But before you go down what can be a lengthy process, I’ve outlined below four key areas you should consider before you decide whether an app is right for your business.

1)     Customer Demand: Have you had customers approach you asking for an app? Will there be a fan base waiting once your app is available? Just because you are excited to release an app doesn’t mean that your target audience feels the same way. If the demand isn’t there, your app will simply become another of thousands of failed apps that are never downloaded.

2)     Competition: Do your key competitors have an app? What services do they offer on it? You will need to closely monitor what your competitors are doing and try to improve on it, while being careful not to simply imitate it.

3)     Development: How are you going to develop your app? What functionality will it have, and what platforms will it be released on (Apple, Android, etc.)? Do you have someone who will develop the app in house or will you hire an external company? Developing an app can be very expensive, depending on what functionality you want to include in it.

4)     Maintenance: How do you plan to maintain your app once it is released? How will you update the content and test for bugs? An app is never just a simple release into the wild. You will not only need to update content regularly, but also update the app for new software releases for phones and tablets.

You must make sure that your investment in an app is worth it in the long-term. Don’t rush into the flooded app market without a plan, or your app will simply go unnoticed.

Does your SMB currently have an app? Do you think an app would benefit your business? Have your customers mentioned an app to you before? I look forward to reading your opinions on this topic in the comments below.

The Brave New World of Mobile Advertising

We’ve all heard of mobile apps – the applications we download to customize our Smartphone depending on our interests. Today, there are apps not just for finding the local Starbucks, or a good Italian restaurant; the game has escalated to mobile apps synced to your workout schedule, dietary intake, tee off times and even your baby’s high tech diaper!

With these specialized apps comes a new opportunity for advertising – more targeted, more direct and seemingly more successful.  The notion with mobile advertising is that we now know the behaviours of our consumer (using a mobile app for dieting, for example) and we can then target their behaviors with advertisements.  Imagine an ad for a free sample of a diet fruit bar that pops up onscreen when you upload your diet data to your app, it is that simple.

Take a look at the charts below, it provides a good sense of the direct connection between seeing an ad and acting on that ad by visiting the business, visiting the website, looking the business up on a map, and calling a business and actually making a purchase. It appears as though a mobile app user, if targeted correctly with advertising, is likely to be an active consumer.

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Advertising has become very sophisticated because our audience, the consumer, has become increasingly knowledgeable and tech-savvy.  Consumers are using technology more and as they understand what it can do for them, they are both consciously and unconsciously making choices about what they want to see on their mobile or technology device.  We now have audiences that have many customized choices at their fingertips, so our goal as marketers has to be to hone in on who our audience is, and then give them what they want.  We need to deliver our advertising in a more subtle and smart way, because once you become “one of those annoying ads”, you’ve lost the audience in a click of a button.

As a result of all this, we are seeing more and more advertising related to consumer behaviour; for example, with roughly 40 million photos uploaded to Instagram via mobile everyday, advertisers now post photos encouraging users to interact on a popular workout app, leading to a free sports drink offer after they’ve uploaded their data and their workout is finished.

Advertisers are trying to make their brands useful, and while that has always been the case, with new technology we are trying to meet people at the point of need, and that is the brave new world of advertising.
Was this blog post informative?  Are you using mobile advertising? Do you think it is relevant to your business? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.