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A recipe for a successful mobile app marketing plan – the secret lies in the ingredients – part 4


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The optimal mix for your marketing plan, considering your objectives, budget and more
This is the fourth part in a series of trainings, discussing the optimal mix of activities, considering your objectives, budget and more. Here we will continue diving into specific tools to include in your plan and also discuss ATL advertising and on-street promotions.

The first part discussed some considerations in deciding on your objectives and setting up your budget; the second part talked about public relations based tactics, from traditional PR, to industry events, social media and content marketing; and the third part discussed user acquisition campaigns. 

Third area of marketing activities to consider: Above The Line advertising and on-street promotions

ATL advertising (above the line, like TV advertising for example) tend to be VERY expensive and most mobile apps can hardly ever afford engaging in such activities, therefore they are not that common in this industry. We are talking about print (e.g., magazine ads), out of home (e.g., billboards), radio, television, and so forth. These are mass media tools. While they are expensive tools, they sometimes demonstrate good value for money if you consider their strong impact and wide reach. The high costs are only part of the picture though. A major reason ATL activities are not that common is the fact that they are not interactive in most cases and it’s hard to include an immediate call for action (e.g., click here to download).

ATL advertising is a great tool for creating buzz. It’s extremely valuable for brining tangible goods or consumer services into the spotlight, offering consumers to try them out, pushing them to act fast as part of a special promotion, etc. But it’s considered to be less effective when it is used to push users to download mobile apps.

So you need to look into your specific app’s target audience, budget constraints and appeal to the masses in order to evaluate if these are right for you.

There are a few exceptions; cases in which you may want to consider using ATL activities:

  1. Consider the context. If there is a specific relation between your app’s main functionality and an offline media, you may want to give ATL activities a chance. When we were promoting a mobile GPS navigation app (which included real time traffic alerts), we had radio promotions as part of the marketing plan, specifically during traffic hours.
  2. Call for action through QR code. QR code is a matrix shaped barcode, leading to a specific, pre-defined URL. Once scanned by a QR scanner app, it leads mobile users to the pre-defined URL such as the app download page.  QR code has become very popular among mobile app marketers as it enables the “offline call for action”. It also makes offline ads more measurable (which was almost impossible to do before). In many countries QR code usage has not yet matured, but it grows constantly and ~30% of young users have adopted this tool. As in any other tool, incentivizing users to scan and download the app can significantly increase the convertion (e.g., “download XXX app and redeem this great coupon that’s waiting for you inside”). So, if a great print opportunity comes your way for example, don’t automatically dismiss it. If the required budget is relatively low, and the channel is a relevant one, it’s worth taking a shot at it. It might prove worthwhile.  Don’t forget to include a QR code and some sort of incentive for those who download the app.

When we talk about on-street promotions we have in mind those funny guys popping out of nowhere, sometimes wearing costumes, and directly approaching people in the street, demonstrating a new product, or just handing out brochures or directing them to the advertised venue. That’s an example of on-street promotions. Creative ideas are a must here of course. This one also requires to smartly choose locations for the activity, and it’s usually heavy on logistics. It also many times requires significant budgets.

It can be done without using an agency, but be aware; it is VERY time consuming. Despite what you may think, don’t necessarily count on mass impact by such an activity (unless you come up with a super creative activity, and make sure some  members of the press are on the ground, or alternatively, film the activity and edit it into a viral video that can later be promoted through PR /social media channels).

We have found on-street promotions to be valuable when we initially launched our apps. It helped us boost our Facebook page likes and generate good reviews in a short time (we asked for it right there, on the spot).

Be sure to check out part 5 of our app marketing plan series, where we will cover App Store Optimization (ASO) as well as summarize the series by giving some helpful advice on how to maximize the plan depending on your available budget level.

Elli is one of Co-Founders, a mobile expert and a mentor. Having years of experience in the mobile and marketing industry promoting popular mobile apps and B2B related services. Presenting specific expertise on users' acquisition strategies, PR, social media, product marketing, BizDev integrations and more
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