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Advertising on mobile is like going caroling in your 30s.
Most (sane) people won’t open their doors to you unless you bring something completely new to the table.
You’re doing the same with mobile advertising. You’re knocking on people’s (mobile phone) doors, trying to hook them.
So you’d better be ready with the equivalent of Ave Maria on your highest metaphorical note.
The main obstacles are knocking on the wrong doors with the wrong problems and not having a good enough offer.
Mobile advertising is not just about posting some Instagram ads or sending users push notifications about your products. It requires strategy and in-depth knowledge about your audience.
Read the examples below to see why they work and what we can help you with. Even better, we’ve included plenty of small brands and (some) larger brand fails, so keep reading below.
Driving Test Success is a mobile app that caters to student drivers and future driving instructors, providing them with learning materials and tests.
This mobile app uses a slew of advertising techniques to promote itself. One of the most notable is partnering with a noteworthy influencer who is also an expert in his field.
Here’s why this mobile marketing strategy works:
But even more importantly:
In fact, in this particular video, Richard Fanders discusses the “Ready to Pass” campaign. This DVSA initiative aims to increase the driving test pass rate in Great Britain.
Lesson learned: Expert endorsement can bring more qualified prospects and increase conversion rates. But it’s essential to choose the right influencer first.
Followers+ is an Instagram app that helps people monitor their followers, unfollows, fake followers, stalkers, and more. The app mainly targets people with too many followers to keep track of manually.
Besides, the app comes with a unique selling point:
It increases user privacy. For example, Followers+ paid members can look at their friends’ stories without these people knowing they did.
That was the concept behind this ad we created with one of our best influencers:
Here’s why micro-influencer mobile marketing campaigns work:
Again, you will need to choose the right content creators. That means researching those creators that fit your brand’s image, shortlisting the best, and vetting their profiles. Then, you need to ensure they deliver quality work on time on the right social media accounts.
Lesson learned: Social media influencers help you stand out of the crowd with original app marketing. As a result, you get more downloads and grow your traffic more quickly.
Hopper is another great case study for mobile app marketing. Hopper allows people to book cheaper flights, find hidden gems, and ensure their trips go as planned. Thus, Hopper offers a consistent user experience and excellent customer service.
Our job was to create a mobile marketing program to prove that.
The app mainly targets Gen Z. Our research shows this consumer demographic is very mindful of their finances. Hence, they’re very interested in finding the right deals. Zoomers also want to ensure they’re making the right purchases, so they need to understand how the products and apps they buy work.
That’s why we used TikTok – one of Gen Z’s preferred platforms.
We also weren’t afraid to produce longer mobile video ads, up to a minute. We knew our mobile users were hungry for more in-depth explanations of how Hopper works.
Pro tip: Longer video content is also a good strategy to qualify the right prospects. While short attention spans are a considerable problem, you may want to attract the kind of people willing to watch/read something longer.
That said, here was Hopper’s main problem:
Ad fatigue is huge on TikTok, which means the cost per action (CPA) is skyrocketing.
Our solution was advising Hopper to scale UGC ads for mobile on TikTok because this type of content:
These mobile ads aren’t boring, so they won’t lead to ad fatigue, and interested people will be more likely to buy the app. Besides, Hopper's social media campaign unfolded with lower mobile ad spending than usual for this channel.
Lesson learned: Know your mobile audience and speak their language, emphasizing how your app solves their needs. Then, figure out a cost-effective mobile ad strategy to convey your message.
This campaign is an oldie because it took place in 2013. However, their mobile marketing tactic is still relevant today because it’s based on two poignant truths about user behavior:
Orchestra, the company behind Mailbox, harnessed these perennial truths into one exciting strategy: it created a waiting list for Mailbox.
That means people at that time could have downloaded the app but couldn’t use it. In the meantime, the app received all sorts of glowing reviews from different personalities, saying how this app will change how people interact with e-mails.
That mobile advertising strategy created more desire and FOMO, so more people signed up on the waiting list.
Side note: The reservation system itself was a master plan because it instilled more desire in the outsiders while helping the app users feel privileged. In turn, the app became viral.
As a result, Mailbox’s perceived value increased.
Here’s the problem:
When Mailbox finally launched, people saw it was not as amazing as it was hyped out to be. Although users had a seamless experience, the disappointment came from the huge difference between expectations and reality.
Lesson learned: Use PR and other instruments to generate buzz and create desire. However, make sure your app is worth that buzz in the first place, or you will deal with severe backlash.
The popular TV show The Walking Dead has finally reached its series finale – with a bang. However, the other products in the franchise are still going strong.
One of them is The Walking Dead Survivors game.
The game could capitalize on the show’s finale and the new Rick and Michone sequels that inBeat fans worldwide are looking forward to. However, this time TWD decided to follow a century-old tried-and-tested method of attracting smartphone users:
This mobile marketing strategy works because:
Therefore, campaigns like this allow you to target customers who specifically wait for these periodic offers because they have a limited budget.
Besides, offering discounts can help you get back customers who’ve lost interest in your app and those who just want to test it.
Lesson learned: Holiday discounts help you attract different customer bases. You will get a large volume of sales within a short time span.
Nerva’s main target audience is people who want to manage their IBS symptoms at home. Since research suggests a strong link between the gut and the brain, Nerva helps people manage their mental health to tackle this gut-related issue.
Their main strategy is using social media ads like the one below:
Here’s why this particular ad works so well:
Lesson learned: If you want people to purchase an innovative app based on very new technology, dispel their fears first.
Co-branding partnerships like the one between Tinder and KFC will help you attract a wider pool of customers. To make things worth it for their audience, the two brands concocted a contest with an attractive prize: a chance for the lucky couple to meet Jack Harlow.
Why this mobile strategy works:
Pro tip: You can blend this strategy with proximity marketing. For example, you can show this ad to people nearby a KFC.
Lesson learned: Entering a marketing collab with another brand can open up new doors for you, and so will contests. Just ensure the partnership makes sense within your mobile ad campaigns, or otherwise, you will be the target of online backlash (and that’s the worst kind there is):
There are different mobile marketing techniques to promote your online app, but that doesn’t mean you should choose just one. If more of them make sense at a particular moment, go for several rather than one.
Visual DX is a medical app that helps medical professionals keep better track of their tasks.
Partnering with resident Dr. Kaydo helped Visual DX:
Besides, the 75% Black Friday sale offers a large enough discount to be worthwhile. Simultaneously, purchasing the app during this period automatically enrolls buyers into a giveaway for an additional prize.
Lesson learned: Mix and match the most persuasive strategies for your social media users. However, ensure your content marketing strategy is top-notch.
Burger King’s famous “Burn That Ad” campaign ran a few years ago and used guerilla marketing. People had to download the app to burn Burger King’s competitors’ banner ads in virtual reality using their cell phones.
Here’s why the strategy worked:
Lesson learned: Create innovative app experiences when trying to outtake your competitors through app advertising, but make sure your brand stays front and center.
Mobile advertising is easy if you adapt your strategy, channels, and messages to your audience. There are plenty of things you can try, and hopefully, the examples above gave you lots of ideas.
But if you need additional help, remember that inBeat is here to help. Our agency has years of experience working with mobile app brands. Whether you need paid ads, an influencer marketing campaign, or something else entirely – we will find the right solution.
If you’re looking for a way to get started, you probably want to find the right kind of influencers for your campaign. We can help with that too - try our tool for free today and see how!