We all know how the realm of digital marketing is rapidly changing, especially in relation to the growing popularity of mobile apps. Search engines are regularly updating their algorithms, prompting marketers to adjust their practices, make changes to their paid media strategies, and stay up-to-date on the latest platforms, products, and software that are being introduced into the market.
With all of these constant changes, eCommerce apps specifically can find it hard to keep up with the other competitors within the industry. How do you read out the noise, from all of the new advancements that will actually drive results for your company? No matter what new techniques you are integrating into your marketing strategies, it’s important to maintain some basic best practices when it comes to your eCommerce mobile platforms.
Below we discuss several channels that we believe to be consistently effective ways to generate leads for your mobile business. We discuss not only the importance of using these techniques, but the most strategic ways to practice them in order to make the most out of your marketing tactics.
Increasing your search ranking doesn’t happen overnight. We know that it takes months of diligent work to start seeing results when optimizing your digital platform. So how does this correlate to marketing a mobile app? While the concept is still the same, there are a few differences in making the most of your SEO efforts.
Searches for your app are great, if audiences know what they are searching for. However, how can they search for it if they don’t know what your app is yet? Marketing for mobile apps has to start long before the launch of the actual platform. It needs to gain traction and a following of customers anticipating its release. Your ranking within app stores is reliant on the number of downloads you app receives on a daily basis once it goes live, and the reviews that customers give it based on their experiences. You need to maintain the relevancy of your app, by encouraging these downloads and reaching new audiences.
The number of daily downloads needed for your app to rank vary by specific category. Free gaming apps are more competitive to rank for, while some medical, finance, and travel apps are much easier. Regardless of industry, you want to maintain not only the quantity, but consistency amongst your downloads. Having an initial reaction with a large amount of downloads is great, but it won’t keep you ranking for long unless that traffic remains consistent.
The best way to maintain the relevancy of your app is to keep up with competitors within the market. This is reliant on regular updates to improve functionality and usability of your platform, and valuing the input of your users while incorporating their reviews into how your app works. The app stores pay attention to the reviews and rankings that apps receive, and that can play a large role into how visible your app will be to potential customers. Listen to the feedback your receive from audiences and make sure that your app is always functioning properly, with a simple navigation for users to accomplish what they need to as seamlessly as possible. Encourage your users to leave reviews by prompting them with an added plug in to your app. However, be sure to time it properly as to not interrupt their experience of navigation.
Half of the marketing for your mobile app is simply through maintaining its development. If you keep your customers engaged and happy with your product, its popularity and influence throughout the eCommerce market will grow.
2. Paid Advertising
Google is working hard to make paid advertising on mobile more efficient. Recently, they have been offering a lot of above the fold real estate in search engine results to paid ads, resulting in a huge increase in click through rates. However, advertising on desktops is very different from advertising on mobile. Mobile requires much more image-heavy ads, while desktop allows for more flexibility with text and content.
Paid search advertising like PPC allows you to bid on keywords that your audience is searching for, and having a better chance of your ads appearing for them. Regardless of industry, but especially for eCommerce, you can implement some specific features into your PPC ads to make the most out of your campaigns. For example, you can incorporate a direct-to-download button for an app that will take audiences directly to the iOS store to download your platform.
While PPC is getting more and more expensive as people flock to online marketing platforms as a result of customers going online to search, there is a real benefit in this advertising tactic. There is no way to customize your ad at that level in regular search results. This is a helpful tool with a unique advantage that SEO, PR, and location-based targeting can’t do.
When it comes to display ads on mobile devices, you need to keep the user experience in mind at all times. You may create an ad that works well on a desktop, but does it do the same on mobile? For most AdWord display campaigns, there are a number of different banner sizes that are supported, and you will see these ads in locations like YouTube videos, various websites, and sidebars. AdWords automatically resizes these ads, making them supported on mobile as well as desktop. This is convenient if you want to hit both audiences, but you need to keep this in mind during the design process. What will you ad look like once it is shrunk? Images and text are all resize along with the actual ad itself.
Sometimes it makes sense to create two different campaigns; one for desktop and one for mobile. This allows you to be more text-heavy on the desktop ad, while making the mobile one more visually based. You want to make sure your call to action button is bigger on mobile and easy for users to see on their device. At the very least, this will help your branding because audiences can see what you are advertising, even if they don’t immediately turn into a conversion.
3. Social Media
Social Media is an outlet that we are currently watching grow when it comes to advertisements. Visually-based platforms are offering a lot of purchasing options now businesses as well as mobile apps. Social media is becoming an extension of an existing business, and mobile apps are getting brought into the mix along with it. Stores from Victoria’s Secret and Free People, to online vendors like Amazon and Ebay, all have mobile apps now in which customers can make purchases. They are leveraging social media to direct customers from their profiles, to their mobile platforms, to ultimately their shopping carts.
Companies have incorporated Like2Buy into a lot of their Instagram profiles. Like2Buy compiles all of the companies social posts on a mobile webpage, at which point customers can scroll through previous images with products on them, click on them, and it will take the customer to their mobile website at which point they can purchase the item they were viewing. It is a great tool to integrate your social campaigns into your existing marketing practices, while creating a seamless shopping experience for your audience.
Accessing your customers by knowing where they are located is a strategic mobile marketing technique. If you know where they are going to be based on region or an event, you can use that to your advantage and implement some location-based marketing practices into your existing strategies.
Location based marketing is a great opportunity for eCommerce mobile marketing. You have a number of options when it comes to who and what you want to target, and the way in which you want to implement it. Platforms like Mosaic allow you to target specific locations like an office, home, shop, or city block. You could focus on a trade show that is centered around your industry or relevant to your business and have ads being presented to people on their mobile devices in those locations.
Opportunities like this are a great way to tie in mobile with real world marketing. You can target locations that are relative to your competitors as a way to access potential clients that are interested in the products and services within your industry. This can be a very powerful tool to combine marketing tactics, and drive more qualified traffic through focusing on pre-specified areas.
Geofencing is an AdWords based tool in which you can target a more general area. This can be a zip code, a neighborhood, or an area surrounding your store. It is broader, but it can be used strategically if there is a general location where your customers will be that you wish to target. You could focus on places of interest such as airports, but you are limited to how specific you can be with your preferences. While this allows you to reach a much larger group of people, it is not always the right group of people necessarily.
Marketing for your eCommerce business on mobile devices can be challenging. Keeping up with the regular changes in technology and practices alone can be a daunting task. However, it is not necessarily the amount of marketing campaigns you execute, but the manner in which you do it. Strategically leveraging just a few of these platforms can make a real difference in your business, and the growth of your presence online.