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MARKETING

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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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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