February 27, 2014 Mobile Apps as Content Marketing Mobile apps are slowly being recognized as a channel for marketing. Is there an opportunity for your organization to create a mobile marketing app? If you are even remotely involved in the marketing process, you have probably heard the term “Content Marketing” getting a lot of play. Content marketing is the practice of creating a new piece of media to share with a target audience in an effort to generate business. The benefits of content marketing versus traditional advertising or SEO are numerous, including: useful content is likely to be shared with a user’s social media networks it can create a lasting impression users often return to guides or entertainment it can position your brand as a leader in your field it can build trust with your consumers Usually the content is delivered in the form of an interactive web tool, a detailed guide or infographic, an informative blog post or something very entertaining. The impressive Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet from Moz is a good example of a guide. But what about content marketing with a mobile application? Mobile Video Games as Marketing What if I told you Oreo has a mobile game about dunking cookies and it’s actually really fun? Oreo’s Twist Lick Dunk is a combination of Fruit Ninja and Slam Dunk King, both fun games with high production values. Check out the gameplay footage to get a feel for it: Many brands, such as Oreo, are taking full advantage of mobile as a marketing platform. Here is a small set of excellent promotional games: Fruit Ninja Puss in Boots, Fruit Ninja Skittles and Temple Run Brave. It goes without saying that success hinges on quality. I downloaded probably about two dozen big brand marketing apps to research this post. The vast majority of them are impressive failures, usually because they aren’t thoughtfully developed. They are just knee jerk, get-something-into-the-app-store, shovelware initiatives. The apps are glitchy, boring, ugly, useless, or all of the above. Despite the failure though, I applaud those brands for having the foresight to utilize the App Store as a marketing channel. Practice makes perfect. Many brands still haven’t even attempted an app. Why not? Value Proposition When you consider how much major brands tend to spend on TV advertising, creating a mobile game seems like a no-brainer. Here is the Super Bowl 2014 Oreo commercial: Oreo spent 4 million dollars on that ad (A 30-second spot cost approximately $4 million during the 2014 Super Bowl) and that is not including the actual ad production. A high-quality app costs much less. Angry Birds, one of the most successful mobile games, cost only about $140,000 (€100,000) to create. Judging by the Oreo game’s production value, it most likely cost a similar amount. Compared to a high-volume TV ad, a mobile app is a small bet and in the case of Oreo Twist Lick Dunk, it seems to be paying off. The Google Play Store has it in the 500,000 – 1,000,000 downloads category, and the number is probably similar on the Apple App Store (Apple doesn’t make that data available). That is an impressive amount of downloads for an interactive commercial! This is content marketing at its best. I have been playing this game consistently for about a week. It reminded me how much fun it is to eat Oreos. So much so, I actually went and got some! Non-Game Mobile Content Marketing I realize I have been spending a lot of time talking about mobile games, and a game might not be appropriate for every brand. The good news is, any app can be a successful marketing tool. REI and TheNorthFace are paving the way with useful applications for their target demographic. TheNorthFace has built the promising hike tracking app for hikers or campers, and REI created a snow report app for skiers or snowboarders. These apps are unlikely to directly increase sales, but through clever cross-promotion they can be used to retain customers and possibly attract new ones. Both brands are also establishing themselves as experts in their respective fields and building lasting relationships by offering a free and useful tool. When deciding how to allocate your advertising dollars, consider a mobile content marketing strategy. Delivering a good piece of interactive software can do wonders for your brand. Since the Google and Apple App stores both function as search engines, not showing up in results for brand searches is a missed opportunity. But just like any piece of content, it needs to be great to be successful. Image Source: Unsplash, Rawpixel Tags MobileCultureDevelopment Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.