TOO MANY BRANDS, BUSINESSES AND MOBILE
DEVELOPERS MAKE THE MISTAKE OF DEVELOPING AND
LAUNCHING THEIR APPS WITHOUT PLANNING HOW TO
REACH THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE.
Sometimes you won’t need to market your app. But
usually it’s a must. The channels you use to promote
your app are typically a combination of what is referred
to as POEM, which is short for Paid, Owned, and
Earned Media. The mix differs from case to case but all
of the communication must be executed with quality
and control in order to achieve the outcome you want.
To see if you’ve hit your goals (yes, set goals!) you’ve
got to measure campaign results. In this white paper,
we will take you through the different media types and
key success factors behind engaging with your users
and driving traffic to your mobile services.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 1
YOU CAN MARKET MOBILE SERVICES THROUGH
AN ALMOST ENDLESS COMBINATION OF PAID, OWNED,
AND EARNED MEDIA.
There are thousands of marketing tools, services and
channels that can help you promote apps and mobile
websites. All the choices make it difficult to pick and
choose, but if you get it right, marketing can deliver an
amazing return on investment.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 2
Paid media includes all the display
media seen on websites, apps, posters,
and e-mail messages as well as TV
commercials, radio and print ads,
When it comes to paid digital media
you usually have the option to payper-view/display (CPM) or pay-perperformance (CPC). The choice for each
case depends on how attractive your
content is. If your ads and channels
have high click-through rates, per-pay-
view will be more efficient; otherwise
pay-per-performance is a safer bet as
you will know exactly how money is
being spent for engagement. If you
have time and resources, the best way
is to experiment.
Ad networks usually distinguish
between blind and premium networks.
Blind means that advertisers can target
a specific audience or content category
but have no control over where the ads
are displayed. Premium networks on
the other hand, can give advertisers the
choice of targeting specific sites,
The key differentiator of Facebook is
Sponsored App promotion. Not only
is it great for targeting a specific
audience, but the ads embedded
into newsfeeds can also display which
friends already use the app, providing
users with social proof that the app
has value. Facebook app promotion is a premium mobile
ad service in terms of cost, but you
get what you pay for which are high
quality users that actually perform
actions in the app.
A Canadian e-commerce discount app called
Checkout 51 obtained 10,000 installs in just two
days with Facebook’s app install ads.
Tapjoy is another premium app
promotion network offering
several great targeting methods
including Pay-per-install and Payper-engagement. With the Payper-engagement option you only
pay once a user has performed
a specific action, e.g. opted in for push notifications.
However, skeptics believe that the user incentive model for
accepting advertisement in exchange for virtual rewards
will result in less loyal users than other ad networks.
There are hundreds of app and
mobile ad services available but based
on our experience the most reliable
and resource efficient ones today
are Facebook, Tapjoy and Google
Admob, outlined below. All three
offer pay-per-app install, which means
that you can easily plan and forecast
the budget for a certain number
of app downloads. Other great ad
networks include Adfonic, Millennial
Media, Apple iAds, InMobi, Buzzcity,
Greystripe, Jumptap, and more. For
a good overview of the mobile ad
networks, visit MobiThinking.com.
In 2011, a game called Gun Bros saw its
downloads increase from 2.8 million to 6.8 million.
The company attributed the success to Tapjoy,
which allowed them to quickly acquire users and
engage them without requiring cash payment.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 3
Google is the indisputable No. 1
player in mobile. With Google Admob
campaigns, you create ads and choose
which apps and mobile websites you
want the ad to appear in, as well as
choose your target audience.
by Zynga, experienced a 250% increase in new users after
making use of Google’s cross promotion and house ads.
According to Econsultancy, the text-ad campaign
accumulated 11.9 million impressions and a 500% increase in
downloads. We recommend Google Admob as part of the
mix for most campaigns.
You can also run house ads, which are ads that appear in your
own app encouraging users to share their activity. Spooky
House Studios, a development studio recently acquired
Billboards and posters are great for
awareness, but, if used alone, have a
low conversion rate for downloads.
Poster advertising has generated good
ROI for many brands and is popular in
public transportation when it is contextsmart. This type of display advertising
usually includes QR codes, SMS shortcodes and links to the
mobile website to drive engagement. Qualcomm Mobile
created a campaign called the Best Bus Stop Ever, which
included a poster that displayed a completely relatable bus
shelter question, i.e. “Bored?” or “Seen it all?” and a mobile
web URL. When people visited the site and pressed a button,
they would get a surprise ride in a horse carriage, or even
a bus full of puppies! The Youtube video quickly garnered
2 million views in just a couple of days, and organic visits to
Qualcomm’s website grew by 28%, proving the campaign
effective for awareness, engagement, and increasing traffic.
Another good example of outdoor advertising that drove
engagement is the IBM & Ogilvy France Smarter Cities
‘Smart’ billboards that might double as, say, a rain shelter.
A rainy day would provide perfect context for interaction.
The display ads drove 50,000 unique page views to the URL
provided in just a couple of days, but over months have
made the campaign go viral and spread massive awareness
to IBM’s Smarter Cities project.
Rando + Rando Billboard
Ustwo’s bright red “you have no friends and
nobody likes you” billboards have drawn much
attention to their new app Rando, but the
company didn’t expect the display to drive
downloads; the purpose was to get people talking
about the brand engagement.
Marks and Spencer Billboard
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 4
Another type of paid media is abovethe-line promotion. This is media that
steps out of the computer and breaks
into the outside world through ads on
the television, radio, and other forms
of traditional media. It gets your brand
message out, but should be combined
with below-the-line personalized advertising so that users
can relate to the brand message. In March, chat-app Line’s
CEO, Jeanie Han, told TechCrunch she was putting more
focus on above-the-line advertising with commercials, radio,
print, and more. This includes ads in magazines, newspapers,
and more. By May, Line had 150 million users, a third
of which had been obtained in the past 3 months.
Colorsnap is a color matching app by paint company
Sherman-Williams. In 2009, after a $15,000 ad buy, the app
landed on the top 25 most popular list in the app store.
These kinds of display ads generally work better with some
sort of interaction for engagement. ColorSnap, mentioned
above, now has a print ad in a well-targeted magazine
(Food Network) that encourages users to color match items
in the image with a QR code linking to a mobile site that
features not only a download link but also a product search
and store locator. By adding an SMS call-to-action to a simple
newspaper ad, Ford saw a 15.4% lead conversion. Leading
mobile marketing company Hipcricket’s CMO said it was the
most exciting thing he’s seen in mobile. In 2012, Marks and
Spencer installed a special interactive billboard in London’s
Waterloo station for Valentines’ Day to increase multichannel
sales. When an app was downloaded and opened, the user
could view the model in the ad come to life in the app. The
campaign seems to have been effective, as M&S reported
an 18% increase in multichannel sales that year.
This is probably the most expensive
way of purely driving downloads but
is very efficient in driving large scale
brand awareness. Generally TV adverts
cannot be justified to promote a mobile
app on its own but they can be a very
efficient media when used for crosspromotions, for example when an airline promotes the new
app in addition to new destinations or a loyalty program.
There are several ways to go about TV commercials:
Brands such as Geico and Hotels.com have also had
their own TV commercials for apps. After Line put a
commercial on air in Singapore, its iTunes rating in the
country soared to #3 in overall apps, staying in the top 10
for nearly a month!
• You can work out a co-marketing arrangement with a
mobile manufacturer and have your app open in the
phone during the ad, like how Angry Birds has shown up
in numerous smartphone commercials. This is the most
common way mobile apps are featured on television.
• Use Shazam to recognize music which then triggers an app
or mobile website to load where the song can be purchased.
After line put a commercial on air in Singapore, its
iTunes rating in the country soared to #3 in overall
apps, staying in the top 10 for nearly a month!
• Another option is to run your own television campaign.
King, the maker of Candy Crush, took this route and
became the first developer to advertise its game
independently on TV. It appears that the first Candy
Crush commercials began popping up more and more in
March, the same month it became the most popular game
on Facebook. Also, according to App Annie, the game’s
download rank soared from the month of March onwards.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 5
This category consists of all the websites, apps, mobile sites, Facebook pages and
blogs that your brand owns and manages. If you succeed in attracting your target
audience to your own properties then this will be the most sustainable solution in
the long run.
Every app needs a mobile website and
every website needs a mobile friendly
version of the site. If your website is
already a destination for customers like
many service brands (airlines, restaurant
booking sites, etc) then this is the place
to start promoting your apps as well.
Otherwise, you need a basic mobile website to ensure that
there is a place for customers to find your app through search
engines, blogs, etc. The most successful mobile app websites
usually include interactivity to get users engaged. According
to web info company Alexa.com, since Instagram provided
app content consumption (but not the whole app experience)
on its website, its global site rank increased about 30 places.
Leverage your existing page or create
a new page on Facebook, Google +,
Twitter, and LinkedIn. Get users to talkwish them a happy Friday, or ask them
questions about the app. Candy Crush
has a whopping 34 million likes on
Facebook and constantly asks its users
to share photos of them playing the app. This has become
more difficult since Facebook changed the algorithms for
how frequently the content is displayed in the news feed but
it can still be efficient if executed well.
Twitter introduced Vine on its blog and it turned
out to be the 4th most downloaded app in June
Candy Crush Facebook Page
Candy Crush has a whopping 38 million likes on
Facebook and constantly asks its users to share
photos of them playing the app!
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 6
Videos can be helpful for numerous
reasons. If your video is really awesome
it could spread like wild fire and help
your message reach a much wider
target audience. Otherwise, it can be
used to demonstrate and educate users
about your service. Videos could even
bring viewers into the gameplay, like Limbo and Mimpi do,
or humorously deliver the context in which your app would
be used, like Facebook Home did. What’s great about online
video promotion is that with some good art direction, you
can guide the way you want your app to be perceived by
users. Look at the app Paper by FiftyThree, a beautifully done
app promotion video that got 1.7 million plays on Vimeo and
became app of the year in 2012, or Jotly, an app that didn’t
exist until its original parody video was so successful that its
studio had to make it into a real app.
If you already have one, this is a great
way to promote your app via e-mail.
Wunderlist, which was app of the week
in over 100 countries in 2011, has a
newsletter that not only updates users
on upcoming features, company news,
but also unfinished tasks in the app.
The app paper by FiftyThree, a beautifully done
app promotion video that got 1.7 million plays on
On Slideshare, it’s all about making
presentations that are informational
or entertaining. LinkedIn, Salesforce,
and many other companies and brands
make use of Slideshare to deliver
valuable content to their users. A
great example is TEDx, a contentbased program that presents independently organized TED
events, or “ideas worth spreading”. Its channel consists of
presentations on different topics from various speakers. TED
reports having 800 million views total outside of YouTube.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 7
One of the most powerful types of
media is the kind that you get through
recommendations, public relations,
sharing, organic search traffic, and
news articles. It’s promotion that occurs
either because your product is good,
or because someone was looking for
it, not simply because you paid for it.
The best type of marketing is word
of mouth; having real people talk
about how great your app is provides
credibility. This is called earned media
and according to research by Nielson,
77% of consumers are more likely to
buy a product they learned about
through friends or family.
Besides the reasoned list above, earned
media is also especially attractive
because this type of advertising is
FREE! That being said free is never
really entirely free due to the effort
needed. Nevertheless, earned media
does offer some great ways to help you
drive traffic to your app:
Sell your app on independent
app stores like Amazon, Samsung,
Mobango, Mobile9, Getjar, etc. The
more places you make your app
available, the greater the likelihood it
will be discovered. A huge advantage is
that independent app stores have more
specific users so you are able to target markets that are more
engaged in what the store has to provide. They also offer
different kinds of benefits to developers that decide to sell
in their stores, such as the option to sell your app as a white
label, or a better revenue split than 70% / 30%.
Submit your app to websites that
have review-specific sections, such
as appadvice.com, appstorm.net,
148apps, and MacWorld. This may be
a bit difficult as these websites get
numerous submissions, but these sites
can provide good exposure for your
app. There are also numerous blogs that generate a lot of
traffic you can leverage. Try reaching out to these bloggers
and ask them to review your app; this was Snapchat’s
strategy—the creators’ first choice blogger was Nicole
James, a writer for Fuse.tv. She wrote about Snapchat’s
first release as Picaboo on her personal blog in September
2011, around the same time the app’s ranks began to climb
according to AppAnnie.com. Now, Snapchat is an $800
million company and one of the top apps.
If paid media is not an option, you
can always try to contact journalists
and bloggers (the terms are rather
fuzzy these days) to cover your app
through interviews or other types
of public relations. Many news sites
that cover tech, such as Mashable,
Techcrunch, BusinessInsider and Entrepreneur, have contact
info that allow you to submit your app’s pitch. If they like
it, they’ll write about it for free. Mashable and Techcrunch
offer online forms as well as tips on writing your application.
Another option is to get interviewed. Several startups, such
as Snapchat and Instagram, have been interviewed and had
those interviews published on websites such as BBC News.
Alternatively, invent a solution as huge as Twitter, like Jack
Dorsey did, and you can have an entire segment on CBS
News’ 60 Minutes.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 8
Enable and encourage users to share
your application and site with other
users. Facebook Open Graph is a
great way to give your app more
exposure by allowing users to share
their app activity on their timeline with
deep links to your app’s website. The
links will encourage the user to use or even install the app.
Lyst, a social shopping site that got users from
facebook to spend double the amount of time
than other users. in addition, the open graph
SEO is a combination of using keywords
that are most effective in driving traffic
to your app and promoting your app
through other channels. You only get
100 characters for app keywords in the
app store, so make sure that they are
easily searched and that there isn’t too
much competition for your chosen words.
Check https://appstorerankings.net for insights on your app’s
keywords. The website shows your keywords’ rankings, how
difficult it is to find your app with each individual keyword,
and much more.
This is difficult as only a selective few
get featured in app stores, but many
apps that have been featured saw a
huge number of new downloads after
being featured. Keep in mind that app
stores like to feature apps that help
their brand and its customers, so when
trying to get your app featured you may be asked to make
some changes. Loverly, a bridal service app, was featured
in Apple’s app store upon launch, but was asked to make
numerous User Interface and User Experience changes
with Apple’s development relations team before getting
published on the feature list.
Runkeeper had a 637% increase in downloads
after being featured in the Android market for
only a couple of days—it also climbed to the #3
spot in the Health & Fitness category.
Evernote Skitch hit 1 million downloads and then
3 million in just one month after being featured.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 9
PLANNING YOUR CAMPAIGN AND FINDING THE PERFECT
MARKETING CHANNEL MIX IS NOT ENOUGH, IN THE END
IT’S ALL ABOUT EXECUTION. TO ENSURE EXECUTION HITS
HOME, FIGURE OUT WHO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS AND
HOW TO SPEAK TO THEM.
No matter how little or how much content you produce,
it’s got to be great quality. This includes copy for
advertisements, beautiful images and rapid testing to
optimize your campaign and reach as many people as
possible. The first thing users will see about your app
is your content and how it’s presented. Visuals are the
first context clues that give your brand a personality
and tells users what to expect within your app.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 10
When designing your mobile app’s website, keep in mind that
people are visiting the site to get more information about the
app. There are reviews in the app store, but users like to see
the product for themselves before committing to a download.
Here’s how to make a good impression:
Rise, an alarm clock app, was featured on iTunes
as the top utility app. The website design is in
line with the app and easily explains all of the
LOVE AT FIRST SITE Beautiful aesthetics alone are not enough
to make the user want to download your app, but how you
present your app and its features says a lot about your brand.
Is it boring? Expensive? Stylish? It’s all about packaging and
this does not only apply to your actual product (the app) but
any and all visual elements including videos, banners, and
CONTEXT Through visuals you can show the context of
Stop the Vom
CONTENT Let the user know what your app is, why they need
it, and how to use it. How easily you communicate this to the
user is a part of how they judge the aesthetics of your site.
Of course, it can’t just be about appearance. What ultimately
drives user retention and engagement is content. What is said
and how it is said is very important. Instagram has over 22
million followers on Twitter and constantly posts short news
statements linking to longer articles. They were featured on
Nestivity’s 2013 list of top 25 most engaged brands with an
average user engagement of about 300 retweets or favorites.
Here are some tips for talking to your users:
A game called Stop the Vom is very
playful, showcasing hand-drawn
graphics and thus the graphics on their
website are playful and hand- drawn as
well. (site of the day on awwwards.com
and favorite website awards) check out
the site on stopthevom.com.
BECOME A CONTENT
START A CONVERSATION
TRY NOT TO
POST WITH A
CALL TO ACTION
BECOME A CONTENT CREATOR Let your app’s page have a
voice. Try not to reiterate things that have already been said
on the webiverse many times—differentiate!
WHEN WRITING, APPEAR HUMAN Engage with the users and
respond to them. Furthermore, sign your responses with
TRY NOT TO ATTACH EVERY POST WITH A CALL TO ACTION
It’s not necessary to beg your users to talk to you. It’ll happen
naturally if you create a brand image that people want to
START A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR USERS Ask them
questions; build brand-customer relationships. Depending
on what you ask, this could also help you figure out what your
users need and want.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 11
FINALLY, YOU NEED TO USE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL ALLOW
YOU TO TRACK AND ANALYZE YOUR TRAFFIC TO OPTIMIZE
IT FOR THE NEXT CAMPAIGN. A VERY IMPORTANT STEP TO
MEASURING RESULTS IS SETTING OBJECTIVES AND FROM
THOSE, CREATING KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIS)
TO TRACK. TRANSLATE WHAT YOU WANT INTO SOMETHING
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 12
For example, if your objective is to build up your brand, KPIs could be the number
of Facebook likes, video views, and app downloads you received through your
promotion. This way you will have solid results from your marketing that you can
use to improve the campaign. For instance, if you have two banners with different
phrasing, you can test both and see which receives more clicks to understand what
works and what doesn’t. There are several tools that you can use to do this:
GOOGLE MOBILE ANALYTICS Google
KISS METRICS Unlike Google Analytics,
MIXPANEL Mixpanel provides very
Mobile Analytics not only shows where
your app’s traffic comes from but
how your app is used. The platform
offers numerous reports and analysis
features that allow you to understand
and predict where your mobile app,
advertisement, and website’s traffic
is coming from – helping you figure
out the best way to attract users and
Kiss Metrics tells you more about your
customer by tracking and identifying
users to build a history on their
behavior over time. It assigns a random
ID to any unidentified user and if this
user becomes a customer (i.e. registers
via form), the system pairs the ID with
a name or email address. You get
historical data on the new customers’
previous visits, making it easier to
understand who your target audience
should be by seeing how users become
customers. Then, you can tweak your
detailed reports about the activity in
your app and provides “data points,”
like tracking credits, for you to keep
track of them. Similar to a pay-perinstall program, Mixpanel charges by
the range of data points you want.
The data gets as specific as how many
paying customers are Swiss, came from
a Google ad, and haven’t logged in for
a month. You can see exactly who to
target and how to target them.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 13
BRANDS AND DEVELOPERS WANT TO SPREAD THE WORD
ABOUT THEIR BRAND AND APP AND MAKE PEOPLE LOVE IT
AS MUCH AS THEY DO.
However, marketers can easily annoy customers
with anything from not reaching out enough (which
according to Gartner can lead to a 15% churn rate in
existing users) to over-promotion (48% unfollow on
Twitter because of too much self-promotion). When
there’s a will, there’s a way, and when there’s a way,
there’s a way to do it wrong. Here’s how:
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 14
HALF-BAKED CALL TO ACTIONS Many
HOLDING YOUR USERS HOSTAGE Let
applications get people interested but
don’t make it convenient to download.
Some ads only provide a url address
that do not even have a mobile web
version. GoWallet had this problem—it
featured a display in grocery stores that
your ads be optional. Papa Johns had
trouble with customers receiving spam
texts without an opt-in option, resulting
in a 250 million dollar lawsuit—make
sure to immediately remove a user from
your mailing list if they request to stop
ONE-TIME EFFORT If you want high user
retention, make sure to update your
app’s content and continuously work on
your marketing campaign. According
to a survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey,
56% of users unsubscribe to emailing
lists because the content was no longer
relevant; i.e., ads get old really quickly,
so don’t forget to freshen up your
promotional efforts and track results.
After measuring your promotion results,
use the data to tailor your campaign
in order to optimize; this is especially
important if you’re making a long-term
didn’t include any sort of QR
code, only a link to a site that was
full-version and much too slow. Be
sure to have at least a landing page
that is mobile-friendly and includes
an app download link.
receiving newsletters or SMS messages.
It’s always sad to see a friend go but in
the end it’s better for your brand image
to set them free.
investment. Sherman-Williams is a good
role model; they have been connecting
with their customers through the
ColorSnap app since 2009 and still, in
2013, have not stopped marketing their
app. For your app to grow it needs
nourishment, after all, most of an app’s
growth comes after the first promotion
when it lands a spot in an app store
because according to Nielson, over
60% of smartphone users discover apps
through the store.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 15
THERE ARE ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES WHEN IT COMES TO
PROMOTING YOUR MOBILE APPLICATION.
The best way to understand all your options is to figure
out who your audience is, what they need, and how
to reach them. With this information you can brew the
right communication mix and maximize your campaign.
After plotting a marketing strategy, dedicate time,
energy, and budget to the execution. You can forget
about the hype if what you are producing is not quality
content. Finally, when everything is in motion you
can track the commotion. Driving traffic to your app
won’t be easy, but your marketing campaign will be
much more effective if given proper success criteria
and metrics. Just spending money on promotions and
ads won’t cut it. The key is to be prepared and have a
solid plan for what channels you’re going to use, what
you’re going to say, and how you’re going to see if it’s
working. Once again, it’s very important to have a well
thought out strategy.
Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 16
One Rock Spring Plaza
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Bethesda, MD 20817
DMI Sales Team
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DMI IS THE WORLD’S LEADING PROVIDER OF ENTERPRISE
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We’ve built more than 400 mobile apps—in the past
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We offer brilliant creative and user experience: Our mobile
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With our expertise and economies of scale, we can provide
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We have 500,000 devices under management for more
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Driving Traffic to Your Apps and Mobile Sites · 17