Pike Place Market in Seattle, Photo by David Poteet
We’ve learned some interesting things from our customers’ experience so far, although we can’t claim to have any new secrets to marketing apps. The tried and true principles of marketing still apply.
There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the Apple App store, including tens of thousands of travel apps.
Waiting for Apple to pick your app for "What's Hot" or the home page of the App Store is not really a marketing strategy. It's happened to a few of our customers, and the results are impressive. But that sort of promotion is out of your control.
In our experience, application sales numbers are directly influenced by brand, cross-promotion, word of mouth, and referrals from influential web sites and blogs. The stronger the original brand, the stronger the sales of the mobile applications.
User reviews of a mobile application are also a key purchasing persuader or dissuader. Good reviews are worth their weight in gold. Poor reviews that appear to be mean-spirited or unfair can be overcome. Poor reviews that are well written and balanced can be the death knell for a product. It is necessary to actively manage your user reviews by addressing poor reviews, especially early on. Reviews of Nomad-powered apps have been overwhelmingly positive.
Cross promotion leverages the value of one product to imply value of another product. A companion product like a guide book can promote the mobile application and vice-versa - “leave the book in the hotel room, and carry just the essential information in your phone,” and “read the in-depth description in the book.”
Referrals from influential blogs and mobile app reviews can have a strong influence on sales, and can promote the application to be a “hot” travel application that in turn generates more sales through native iTunes store sales. This can be helped by active PR outreach.
If desired, Nomad Mobile Guides can offer a proposal for a full-service marketing campaign in both traditional and digital media.
Organizations that serve as the official marketing organization for a destination, region, or park have a unique advantage in marketing their mobile website and apps.
Here are some of the best practices DMOs are employing to effectively reach visitors using mobile devices: