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Mobile App Marketing Trends to Take Over in 2021

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The year 2019 recorded a total of 204 billion app downloads across all platforms. If you’re a business planning to launch an app, this means two things. 

First, the demand for mobile apps is continuously increasing, which is the right time to enter the market. Second, the competition is fierce, and if you want to stand out, you’ll need to streamline your marketing efforts. 

These app marketing trends for 2021 can help you out. 

1. Attract Ratings and Reviews

Let’s say you offer a premium photo editing app for Android and iOS. A user wants to install a photo editing app on her smartphone, so she opens the app store and searches for “photo editor.” Your app appears, along with a bunch of other apps. 

The user opens the app store page of each app and checks the rating. Your app is the best of the lot, but it doesn’t have many ratings and reviews. Another app, which lacks many essential features, has more positive reviews. What would the user do? 

No matter how good your app is, people won’t install it if it doesn’t have good ratings and reviews. The app store algorithm also works on these parameters. An app that has more downloads and better ratings rank higher than apps with fewer installs. 

Ratings and reviews are like app store SEO. If you want greater visibility, you’ll need more ratings. 

Now, how can you encourage your app users to rate your app? There are several strategies to achieve that. The most common technique is to request your users to share their feedback. Almost all apps do that. Try installing an app, and within a day or two, you’ll see a pop-up requesting you to rate it on the app store. 

The second, more effective way is to incentivize your users to rate you. In exchange for a five-star review, you can offer them a small reward depending on the type of your app. For example, if you’re a food delivery app like Uber Eats, you can provide a discount coupon to customers who give you a 5-star rating on the app store. 

2. Use QR Codes to Simplify the Download Process

Quick-response (QR) codes do a fantastic job in increasing app downloads. Take Starbucks, for example. The coffeehouse company has used QR code API to put up QR codes in its stores. Customers can scan the code and download the app without manually opening the app store and searching for the app. 

Moreover, you can put up QR codes anywhere. Store windows, walls, POS terminals are a few examples. Several CPG brands put up QR codes on product packages and link them to the app download. You can also use a bulk QR code generator and print QR codes on banner ads, flyers, and brochures to encourage your customers to download your app. 

When trying to drive app downloads, include a small incentive. Not all customers would want to keep your app on their smartphones. You’ll need to provide them a reason to do so. So, offer them rewards and bonuses for installing your app.  

3. Leverage Social Media to Promote App Downloads

Social media has been under scrutiny when it comes to marketing. One of the major reasons is that social media marketing takes time to show effect. Its ROI is questionable and easily trackable. But problems aside, social media can adorn your app marketing efforts. 

Why?

App downloads are free of cost. When people come on social media, buying something isn’t nearly in their minds. Since apps are free to download (unless you offer paid apps), people don’t mind downloading them. 

The ease of download is another reason why social media is beneficial for app companies. You can share the app download link on social media, and users can click the link to download the app. It shortens the process, making it more user-friendly. 

Lastly, social platforms offer cost-effective paid advertising options. Since driving app, downloads don’t directly translate to revenue, running Google advertisements can be a hefty investment. Social media channels, particularly Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, offer affordable advertising options. Therefore, you can drive targeted app downloads at a lower cost. 

4. In-App Advertising Is Here to Stay

The mobile app industry is growing more competitive with every passing day. Only a handful of options exist that allow you to reach your target audience in a natural, compelling, and effective way. In-app advertisements are one of them. 

In-app advertising means running ads on other mobile apps. Several free apps, especially games, to that. 

If you display ads on apps, you won’t achieve the desired results. A lot of apps are already doing this, and if you do it too, you’ll be another cookie in the jar. Instead, look for sponsorship opportunities. 

Find apps in your niche that might have the user base you desire. Inquire them if they’re open to advertising on the app. Be sure to contact app owners who don’t normally run ads on their app. 

These companies care about the user experience a lot. If they agree to partner with you, you can get a substantial return on investment. However, the advertising cost on these apps will be significantly higher than regular display ads. 

5. Don’t Overlook the App Store

The competition in the app stores is increasing. A Statista report showed 2.87 million apps on Google Play Store and 1.96 million apps on Apple App Store. That’s fierce competition, and it might take a while for a new app to rank higher, be found, and eventually attract downloads. 

To overcome this hurdle, many app companies think of ditching the app stores. They offer the app from their website only. While this might give you the benefit of exclusivity, you won’t get enough eyeballs. 

Only 15% of local businesses receive more than 2,500 website visitors per month, showed a survey by BrightLocal. Let’s double the number, for instance, making it 5,000. Even if your website gets 5,000 new visitors per day, it’s nowhere compared to 1.28 billion visits on Google Play Store. 

So, while it’s fine to offer your app on your website, don’t overlook app stores. Hang in there, try to accumulate ratings and reviews, and rank your app higher. Once it ranks higher, it’ll generate automatic downloads, eliminating the need for advertising. 

6. Invest in App Design and Branding

Users will continue using your app only if it provides a good experience. However, good UX and UI go beyond speed and responsiveness. The feeling people get by using your app is also important. When they use your app, can they hear your brand talking to them? 

All elements in your app should reflect your brand message and values, from colors to fonts and icons. Are you bold, cheerful, and energetic? Then use Serif fonts with bright colors like orange and yellow. Are you calm and creative? Handwriting fonts with light and subtle colors can get the job done in that case. 

Many companies overlook the branding element when creating and promoting a mobile app. But remember that branding, if done right, can function as a powerful app marketing tool. 

8. Video Marketing Can Do Wonders

Lastly, use video marketing. Video has become the favorite content for app marketers, and rightly so. When you create an app, you try to solve a problem and engage your customers emotionally. Videos are arguably the best content type when it comes to telling stories and triggering emotions. 

Video marketing is a wide realm, and you can utilize it for all types of apps. Let’s say you provide a cloud-based team management app that allows managers and employers to manage their teams. 

This app’s video marketing campaign fan includes a weary manager who would work till late to ensure his team got the work done. Now, with your app, he can manage the team remotely from wherever he wants and now enjoys a lot of free time. 

Of course, your video marketing campaign should be realistic. Unrealistic advertising can turn off your target audience. 

Conclusion

Apps run the world, and rightly so. There’s an app for everything from working out to consulting with a doctor to turning off your fans and lights. In such a competitive landscape, making your app successful can seem challenging. But by implementing the right marketing strategies, you can get the job done.

Author:
Apoorva Hegde works as a Content Marketer at Beaconstac. She is a tech-aficionado, curious about all things related to marketing, and when not obsessing over QR Codes, she is also an ardent junkie of The Office.

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

Amazon’s FBA program is a tremendous asset for brands who sell products on the platform. With FBA, retailers can outsource the heavy lifting of logistics such as warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution for a fee. In the last few years, sellers have expressed the need for more capacity, predictability, and control over their inventory. Amazon’s recent update helps sellers tackle those challenges and so much more.

Amazon just announced a new streamlined FBA capacity management system that will go into effect on March 1, 2023. With this new system in place, Amazon FBA will be turned into an auction where sellers can bid for additional storage space.

The system will now incorporate a single, month-long FBA capacity limit rather than weekly restock limits that can make inventory planning challenging for sellers. Now, capacity limits for the upcoming month will be announced in the third full week of each month via the Capacity Monitor in Seller Central and email notification. According to Amazon, the majority of sellers will now have access to greater capacity volumes than before.

With this new update, Amazon also announced they will provide estimated limits for the following two months to help sellers plan over a longer period. In a recent blog post highlighting the announcement, Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Selling Partner Services stated, “We will forecast how much space and labor we expect to have to provide these estimates, but these estimates may vary up or down based on how efficiently sellers are using their capacity, as measured by the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.”

With the new Capacity Manager in place, sellers will also be able to request additional capacity based on a reservation fee that they specify. Mehta noted…

“Requests are granted objectively, starting with the highest reservation fee per cubic foot until all capacity available under this program has been allocated. When additional capacity is granted, sellers’ reservation fees are offset by earning performance credits from the sales they generate using the extra capacity. Performance credits are designed to offset up to 100% of the reservation fee, so sellers don’t pay for the additional capacity as long as their products sell through.

 

Our goal is to provide sellers with more control over how much space they can have while limiting unproductive use. We’ve piloted this feature with certain US sellers, and we’re excited that with this launch, we will expand it so all sellers can request higher FBA capacity limits.”

 

The recent announcement also highlighted how Amazon will set capacity limits and measure sellers’ inventory usage in cubic feet (vs. number of units), which better represents the capacity sellers’ products use in our fulfillment centers and transportation vehicles. As many sellers prefer to plan in units, Amazon will continue to show inventory usage in units but will also provide an estimate of how many units specific cubic volume capacity limits are likely to permit.

 

Tinuiti’s Take on the New FBA Capacity System

 

Change is certainly on the horizon. Let’s hear from Tinuiti’s own Bjorn Johnson on tips for how you can prepare for the FBA change coming March 1st.

“These changes are likely to be impactful, especially to sellers with larger products. Amazon reverting to cubic foot-based storage limits is likely to reintroduce previous issues for these clients in maintaining healthy inventory levels. Their difficulties look to be exacerbated by the addition of the bidding system. In order to keep their already high-fulfillment-fee products in stock, they’ll need to bid on large amounts of space. On the other hand, sellers with smaller products are likely to be able to store more units than before, and have the flexibility to bid on smaller amounts of space. The decision from Amazon looks like a clear effort to encourage small, light, easy-to-ship and fulfill products.”

– Bjorn Johnson, Operations Manager at Tinuiti

 

Want to Learn More About the New Auction System for FBA Storage Space?

 

We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about the new FBA capacity system. If you’re interested in learning more about our Amazon offerings or if you have any questions concerning FBA, contact us today.

 

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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts

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How to optimize your online forms and checkouts



Forms are probably the most important part of your customer journey. They are the final step where the user entrusts you with their precious personal information in exchange for the goods or services you’ve promised.

And yet, too many companies spend minimal time on making sure their form experience is a good one for their users. They don’t use data to establish where the UX problems are on their forms, and they don’t run form-specific experiments to determine how to improve their conversion rate. As a result, too many forms are unnecessarily driving potential customers away, burning potential revenue and leads that could have been converted if they had only spent a little time and effort on optimization. Two-thirds of people who start a form don’t go on to complete it, meaning that a lot of money is being left on the table.

This article contains some of our top tips to help optimize your forms + checkouts with the goal of improving their conversion rate and delivering more customers and leads.

Use data to identify your problem fields

While user testing and session replay tools are useful in identifying possible form issues, you should also be using a specialist form analytics tool, as this will allow you to quantify the scale of the problem – where are most people dropping out – and prioritize improvements accordingly. A good form analytics tool will have advanced insights that will help work out what the problem is as well, giving you a head start on creating hypotheses for testing.

A/B test your forms

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to nurture your forms like any other part of your website. This also applies to experimentation. Your A/B testing tool such as Optimizely should allow you to easily put together a test to see if your hypothesis will improve your conversion rate. If there is also an integration with your form analytics tool you should then be able to push the test variants into it for further analysis.

Your analytics data and user testing should guide your test hypothesis, but some aspects you may want to look at are:

  • Changing the error validation timing (to trigger upon input rather than submission)
  • Breaking the form into multiple steps rather than a single page
  • Removing or simplifying problem fields
  • Manage user expectations by adding a progress bar and telling them how long the form will take upfront
  • Removing links to external sites so they are not distracted
  • Re-wording your error messages to make them more helpful

Focus on user behavior after a failed submission

Potential customers who work their way through their form, inputting their personal information, before clicking on the final ‘Submit’ button are your most valuable. They’ve committed time and effort to your form; they want what you are offering. If they click that button but can’t successfully complete the form, something has gone wrong, and you will be losing conversions that you could have made.

Fortunately, there are ways to use your form data to determine what has gone wrong so you can improve the issue.

Firstly, you should look at your error message data for this particular audience. Which messages are shown when they click ‘Submit? What do they do then? Do they immediately abandon, or do they try to fix the issue?

If you don’t have error message tracking (or even if you do), it is worth looking at a Sankey behavior flow for your user’s path after a failed submission. This audience will click the button then generally jump back to the field they are having a problem with. They’ll try to fix it, unsuccessfully, then perhaps bounce back and forth between the problem field a couple of times before abandoning in frustration. By looking at the flow data, you can determine the most problematic fields and focus your attention there.

Microcopy can make the checkout experience less stressful

If a user is confused, it makes their form/checkout experience much less smooth than it otherwise could be. Using microcopy – small pieces of explanatory information – can help reduce anxiety and make it more likely that they will complete the form.

Some good uses of microcopy on your forms could be:

  • Managing user expectations. Explain what information they need to enter in the form so they can have it on hand. For example, if they are going to need their driver’s licence, then tell them so.
  • Explain fields. Checkouts often ask for multiple addresses. Think “Current Address”, “Home Address” and “Delivery Address”. It’s always useful to make it clear exactly what you mean by these so there is no confusion.
  • Field conditions. If you have strict stipulations on password creation, make sure you tell the user. Don’t wait until they have submitted to tell them you need special characters, capital letters, etc.
  • You can often nudge the user in a certain direction with a well-placed line of copy.
  • Users are reluctant to give you personal information, so explaining why you need it and what you are going to do with it is a good idea.

A good example of reassuring microcopy

Be careful with discount codes

What is the first thing a customer does if they are presented with a discount code box on an ecommerce checkout? That’s right, they open a new browser tab and go searching for vouchers. Some of them never come back. If you are using discount codes, you could be driving customers away instead of converting them. Some studies show that users without a code are put off purchasing when they see the discount code box.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can continue to offer discount codes while mitigating the FOMO that users without one feel:

  • Use pre-discounted links. If you are offering a user a specific discount, email a link rather than giving them a code, which will only end up on a discount aggregator site.
  • Hide the coupon field. Make the user actively open the coupon box rather than presenting them with it smack in the middle of the flow.
  • Host your own offers. Let every user see all the offers that are live so they can be sure that they are not missing out.
  • Change the language. Follow Amazon’s lead and combine the Gift Card & Promotional Codes together to make it less obvious.

An example from Amazon on how to make the discount code field less prominent

Get error messages right

Error messages don’t have to be bad UX. If done right, they can help guide users through your form and get them to commit.

How do you make your error messages useful?

  • Be clear that they are errors. Make the messages standout from the form – there is a reason they are always in red.
  • Be helpful. Explain exactly what the issue is and tell the user how to fix it. Don’t be ambiguous.

Don’t do this!

  • Display the error next to the offending field. Don’t make the user have to jump back to the top of the form to find out what is wrong.
  • Use microcopy. As noted before, if you explain what they need to do early, they users are less likely to make mistakes.

Segment your data by user groups

Once you’ve identified an issue, you’ll want to check whether it affects all your users or just a specific group. Use your analytics tools to break down the audience and analyze this. Some of the segmentations you might want to look at are:

  • Device type. Do desktop and mobile users behave differently?
  • Operating system. Is there a problem with how a particular OS renders your form?
  • New vs. returning. Are returning users more or less likely to convert than first timers?
  • Do different product buyers have contrasting expectations of the checkout?
  • Traffic source. Do organic sources deliver users with higher intent than paid ones?

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About the author

Alun Lucas is the Managing Director of Zuko Analytics. Zuko is an Optimizely partner that provides form optimization software that can identify when, where and why users are abandoning webforms and help get more customers successfully completing your forms.


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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.

Conclusion

If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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