Peggy Anne Salz is the Content Marketing Strategist and Chief Analyst of Mobile Groove, a top 50 influential technology site providing custom research to the global mobile industry and consulting to tech startups. Peggy, named a Top 30 Mobile Marketing Influencer and Top 5 Mobile Development Influencer, has written 300+ articles and blogs on mobile marketing and trends, and nine books about mobile, both as a lead author and in partnership with global customers. Her most recent book, Apponomics: The Insider’s Guide To A Billion Dollar App Business (InMobi, 2014) provides actionable insights into how companies can market and monetize their apps. It builds on the success of her first book on mobile apps, The Everything Guide To Mobile Apps: A Practical Guide To Affordable Mobile App Development For Your Business (F+W Media, Inc,, 2013), a practical, crowd-sourced book providing businesses and developers with insights on how to make, monetize and market mobile apps.
Content Marketing is all the marketing left!
~Seth Godin, Marketing wizard and Web pioneer
The dangerous disconnect between the content people genuinely want and appreciate (engaging, empowering, exciting, entertaining) and the content companies have traditionally been trained to deliver (hard-sell, hard-nosed and hardset) means many campaigns are dead in the water.
People simply tune out, which is why — in the U.S. alone — newspapers have lost $40 billion in the last decade. In addition, some 86% of TV ads are skipped and some 99% of banner ads are ignored.
It’s also why companies across all verticals are embracing content marketing as part of a new strategy (and mindset) to make and manage customer-focused content that strengthens the connection (and communication) between them and their customers.
From B2B giant HP, making its mark with Tech Beacon, a “digital hub for dev and tech professionals seeking guidance to real business challenges”, to B2C maverick Airbnb, whose Pineapple magazine and destination stakes out new territory at the intersection of “travel and anthropology”, companies are in a race to engage (retain) their customers with engaging content.
App branding via content marketing
Content marketing is clearly where the action is:
But most app developers are relatively new to the party, which is why I advise them to double down on content marketing as the first step in a comprehensive strategy to build brand, grow their audience and increase how often (and how deeply) users connect with their app.
I break content marketing into 3 areas: Ideation (identifying the story that best fits your app and your audience); Distribution (determining the output, outlets and outreach that best communicate your value and convert your audience); and Activation (turning up the volume through social sharing, influencer marketing and content curation to turn app fans into advocates).
Here are some tips around the Ideation phase to help you focus your content marketing efforts (and expenditure) to rise above the noise.
3 tips to determine your strongest story:
Generally speaking, your ‘app story’ will fall into one of three ‘killer categories’:
- Functionality: Forget whiz-bang features and ‘world-first’s. Emphasize how your app helps people do/experience things in a new, creative or innovative way. Does your app improve their quality of life, open their eyes to new ideas/possibilities or empower them to ‘get stuff done’? Borrow a page from Business 101 and make your customer the hero of this story. Interview your users and let real people lend their voice to telling the story of your amazing app. [A good example is SERIOUSLY Digital Entertainment, whose games are “serious about doing good” and stopping malaria.]
- Personality: You created your app for a reason, share that motivation. Have you experienced the very issues you seek to solve with your app? Does your company culture break the mould? Have you harnessed diversity, creativity or even adversity to make your app succeed? [A great example is Moni, a money transfer app born out of the personal frustration of its founder Laurence Aderemi, who needed to send money home to Nigeria when his mother was critically ill. The pain, inconvenience and expensive fees prompted him to make an app to remove that friction for people everywhere on the planet.]
- Shareability: Your app is gaining serious traction. Did you bubble up from under the radar or benefit from ‘Zeitgeist’? A/B testing, UA strategy or LTV modeling. Telling what got you there — and how — is great content that can go as viral as your app. [A great example is Trivia Crack, a mobile trivia game from a Argentinean game developer Etermax that came out of nowhere to top the U.S. charts in late 2014 —game mechanics and user demographics (Hispanics everywhere sharing the app thanks to a common language) allowed the app to break records.]
Tap social media marketing (and paid social media advertising) to distribute your content and tell your story. And remember: Content marketing is not about your app, it’s about your impact.
In Part 2 of this series we look at how to format and follow through on a winning pitch.