How to ramp up your mobile-based advertising for the holiday shopping season
As the holidays approach, app owners need to know how to connect with audiences and make the most of this season. Throughout the winter, mobile apps see more engagement than ever, particularly as people receive mobile devices as gifts and begin downloading apps in tandem. Additionally, you’re likely to see plenty of activity among loyal users who make purchases via your app.
Consider the fact that more than 60% of holiday shoppers use apps to purchase, with half of the shoppers downloading new apps. By connecting with these users your app will have the chance to propel forward and gain the competitive edge you need to stay ahead.
To help you develop the perfect advertising strategy for Black Friday, Christmas, and other critical holidays, the following are some steps to take as you begin planning.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
Think specifically about what you want to achieve with your app this holiday season. Some brands may want to generate more sales through their app among existing users, for example, while others will want to focus on generating new users. However, many brands may also not know what to expect from the holidays.
To make sure your app is a success before the holidays begin, establish specific and achievable goals. These will give your campaigns a clear direction to go in and enable you to effectively measure success.
Determine Whether Volume or Value Is Important
As you set your goals, a big part of the process will come down to whether you want to increase the volume of users or the value of them. If your brand’s top priority is to boost ROI, you’ll want to place emphasis on value and maximize the profitability of your users. Conversely, you might be primarily focused on building your audience and engaging new users to dominate app stores.
In other cases, you may want to incorporate a balance between both goals, increasing your user base while driving more in-app sales or repeat purchases.
Help Users With Pre-Purchase Research
Pre-purchase research is critical among consumers, with 92% of them researching gifts online over the course of the holiday season. Many shoppers begin the research process as early as October or September. In the process, many of these consumers are likely to download retailer apps and other third-party apps. After all, people want to make sure that the gifts they buy are just right for their friends and family, and they’ll also want to buy many of them ahead of time before they sell out.
Using timely push notifications, you can send these audiences certain recommendations and offers based on their previous orders or interests. This is likely to appeal to them early in the season and drive more engagement among existing users.
Identify Audiences to Build
When building your audiences during the holidays, use a combination of first- and third-party data, along with provider data. First-party data includes your own sets of user data, including website visitors, DMP or CRM data, and app data, while third-party data may come from your mobile tracking partners
Once you’ve collected enough data around your audience, you can develop certain buyer personas based on existing users, giving you certain personalities to target with your app advertising efforts.
Segment Your Users
If you want your brand to stand apart from the many others attempting to drive engagement throughout the holidays, you must segment your target audience based on their unique values and interests. One effective method to achieve this is psychographic segmentation.
Using this practice, you can gain better insight into your audience’s interests and consumer behavior. Instead of focusing on demographics, psychographic focus on your customers’ specific interests. As an example, you can figure out which product category users care about most of all based on the products they’ve viewed or purchased. After collecting this data, you can use it to hyper-target your mobile ads and marketing campaigns that establish a stronger connection with users.
Test Your Campaigns Ahead of the Holidays
Don’t wait until the last minute to test your campaigns or neglect to test them at all. You won’t be able to predict the success of your campaigns if you fail to adequately test and modify them before launch.
When testing your campaigns, you’re better off starting as early as the fall. This is because you want to sufficiently prepare all of your creative assets and messaging within six to eight weeks before the holiday season kicks off. You can test your campaigns via A/B testing ahead of the holidays, which entails using two ads, push notifications, or other content featuring a different feature. This differing element could include a message, app layout, messaging, CTA, or emojis. Based on what resonates with your audiences and what underperforms, you’ll know which assets to drop and which to use.
Connect With Micro-Influencers to Reach Niche Audiences
With your specific audience in mind, you need to market to them in an influential way. One of the best ways to drive interest in your app is through micro-influencers within your specific niche. Although larger influencers may be more ideal to target in many marketers’ minds, micro-influencers are more cost-effective while enabling you to reach plenty of people with a particular interest.
Micro-influencers often have hundreds or thousands of loyal followers who eagerly consume their content on a regular basis, often daily. An endorsement of your app from one or more of them could be invaluable in connecting with the audiences you share.
When establishing a relationship with a micro-influencer, focus more on their engagement rate than their audience. You may want to target a micro-influencer based solely on the shared audience, but their efforts won’t help unless people actively engage with them. Engagement rates will also differ depending on the social media platform the influencer users. For example, the average engagement rate of micro-influencers on Instagram is 3.86%, while TikTok micro-influencers see an average engagement rate of 17.96%.
Try to pinpoint what a good engagement rate is based on the niche and platform, and use that data to carefully select the right partner.
Retarget Users When They Switch Devices
People who purchase new devices may not all be new users to you. Some people could be previous users who upgrade their mobile devices over the holidays. As they make the transition, they may avoid re-downloading any apps they rarely used, or they could rediscover them. This is why it’s crucial to connect with either current or lapsed users leading up to the holidays to maximize their exposure to your brand. Building this connection will also help boost sales and engagement, increase user acquisition via cross-device promotion, and increase overall loyalty among users.
Meanwhile, competitors that don’t take the same steps will likely fall behind as you increase user retention.
Boost In-App Purchases
As a growing number of brick-and-mortar retailers make the transition to eCommerce platforms, driving in-app purchases has become more important than ever. If businesses want to drive in-app purchases for shopping apps, one great way to do so is to enable users to simplify the buying process.
For instance, you could enable users to save their shipping and payment details for easier or even one-tap checkout. A streamlined shopping experience will make buying a gift both quick and painless, without any tedious repetitive steps along the way to their purchase.
You can further increase in-app purchases with the help of engaging push notifications. Make sure push notifications are personalized for each user, which will encourage them to come back. You could send reminders to users to complete their purchases if they leave items in their cart. You could also notify them about hot deals or holiday sales for certain items based on their unique buying habits.
Don’t Stop After Christmas or New Years
Many business owners may perceive Christmas and New Year’s Eve as the end of the holiday season, but it’s far from over for app owners. Many people who receive new mobile devices may not use them until days or weeks afterward. If you can keep your campaigns running until early on in Q1 of the next year, you’ll have the chance to connect with many users who might otherwise remain unaware of you following the holidays.
Develop a Winning Campaign to Flourish This Holiday Season
By implementing the right advertising strategy for your mobile app, you’ll be able to drive everything from new users to increased sales and loyalty among your existing user base. The key is knowing how to successfully approach your campaigns. Be sure to conduct plenty of research into your audience, segment users, test early, and continue your campaigns up through January to get the most from them. With an effective strategy behind your app, you’ll have the chance to succeed in your efforts as you build brand awareness and engagement.