How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Mobile App Campaign
Written by Laura Kloot, Content Writer at Outbrain
You had a brilliant idea for an app, and you’ve succeeded in developing it and getting it on the market. Now what?
Creating an app is only half the story. Marketing it is the next chapter. Even the best app won’t be discovered if not marketed properly, or if exposed to the wrong audience.
With 2 million apps in the App Store alone, there’s no doubt – it’s a tough and competitive landscape. Fortunately, there is a proven marketing strategy that any app owner can employ, given the right knowledge and tools. Seventy-two percent of marketers are already using it. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet creates 3 X more leads. And it’s called content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the use of online content – text, image and video – to attract and engage a target audience. Content marketing is not a simple process, yet creating a content marketing strategy can be broken down into 4 broad steps.
Step 1: Define your strategy.
Before embarking on your content marketing strategy, there are two things you need to define:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are your goals, or KPIs?
When you properly define your target audience, you will gain a deeper understanding about which type of content will work best for your campaign, and where you’ll need to promote that content in order to reach potential customers.
The most common technique used to define a marketing audience is developing a profile of the potential customer. You can do this by conducting an imaginary ‘interview’ with the persona, answering a host of questions to help you understand who they are, and why they would be interested in your app.
Here are some sample questions you can use to flesh out your ideal customer profile:
- How old are you?
- Where do you live?
- What is your job title?
- What are your hobbies?
- How do you spend your weekends?
- What other apps do you use?
- What mobile device is your favorite?
Create as many questions as you like. Use the answers to build a unique customer persona for your app users – the more thorough and detailed, the better!
The next thing you need to tackle is your business goals. What do you hope to achieve from your content marketing strategy? Are you aiming for a particular download rate? What is your target retention rate? Are you focusing more on building awareness of your app?
Answering these questions so early in the process may be challenging. However, these will form the foundation of your entire content marketing strategy – so it’s important to be as focused as possible.
Step 2: Create your content.
While traditional (or outbound) marketing is a hard-sell advertising approach, content marketing aims to engage potential customers by providing them with interesting, entertaining and relevant content that gives value.
Content marketing is much more than just blogging. There are many content types you can use as part of your content plan. A well-rounded content marketing strategy may include:
- Website pages
- Landing pages
- Games & quizzes
- Webinars, and much more.
Browse the web for creative ideas and inspiration about the type of content that could work for your target audience.
Here’s an example of great content marketing by Fitbit, the fitness tracking app. Fitbit Adventures are solo or interactive multi-player challenges, where participants can overlay their daily exercise and activity on amazing virtual locations. This campaign combines rich visual content with personalization and gamification techniques that drive app engagement and retention.
Step 3: Promote your content.
In the early days of content marketing, it was blogs, blogs and more blogs. Today, there are so many different platforms and approaches you can use to promote your content.
Between social media, paid and organic content campaigns, you have the potential to reach hundreds of millions of people, all over the world. Of course, most of these are probably not your target audience, and there is no use just throwing your content out there on the open web for all and sundry. Rather, take advantage of sophisticated targeting tools available on many leading platforms to serve your content to the right audience.
Here is a brief rundown of the most effective distribution channels for your content marketing strategy:
Native ads: This year for the first time, advertising spend on native ads surpassed that of display ads. Since first breaking onto the scene in 2012, native advertising has grown exponentially for one key reason: it really works. People are much more likely to click on a native ad than a display ad, which makes native advertising a key component of any content marketing strategy. Your native ads are the hook to drive potential customers to your high-performing content, whether it be a landing page, blog post or video.
Social media: There are now 2.56 billion people worldwide using social media on their mobile phones. You’d be hard pressed finding a reason not to promote your app via content marketing on social media. Rather, it’s a matter of deciding which platform is most popular among your potential customers, whether it be Facebook, Linkedin, Snapchat, any other – or a mix of many social networks. Then you can work on developing a content plan for each platform, combining a healthy mix of organic and paid activity.
Content discovery platforms: The best time to capture the attention of potential customers online is when they are primed for ‘discovery’; when they are in the mood to discover relevant, informative or entertaining content. For example, this may be while they are scanning their favorite news or sports site. Content discovery platforms help you do this by promoting your paid content on popular publisher sites. Many of these platforms incorporate advanced targeting tools, so you can serve your content to the right user at the best time. This is a very effective way to get people to engage with your content and to download your app.
Step 4: Analyze your campaign metrics.
No content marketing strategy is complete without the last, critical stage – measuring and analyzing the results of your content campaign. This aligns directly with the KPIs that you set out in step one.
Did the campaign meet your set target?
If it did – or if it came close – then you know your content strategy is heading on the right track. Even so, there is always room for improvement.
Content marketing is a trial and error process. You may be able to achieve even better results by sharpening your content, changing the accompanying image, or tweaking your headline. You can employ A/B testing – running simultaneous campaigns with small differences – to find out which tactics work best for you. There are many sophisticated tools on the market with the capability to dive deep into your analytics and give you specific insights to help optimize your campaigns. But even a brief analysis of the more basic campaign metrics can provide loads of valuable data to work with.
Use all of it to your future advantage.
And a last word…
There may be four steps to creating a content strategy, but it’s not actually a linear process. Once you’ve run your first campaign and analyzed the results, use this data to build your knowledge and optimize your strategy. Then, go back to step one and start again. Think of your content marketing strategy as an infinite loop that gets more focused and effective as time goes on – bringing you more and more downloads, and driving your app to success.