Posts

Why Restaurants Are Moving to Mobile Apps and Facebook

At Launchpad App Development, we are always keeping up to date with the latest trends and insights in the world of apps and mobile. A notable trend we’ve been witnessing is the increase of businesses in the hospitality industry using apps and social media. It’s easy to see why. Social media and mobile has benefited many industries in the past few years by increasing efficiency, sales and innovation. Restaurants and cafes can also achieve these benefits through mobile, allowing them the opportunity to increase customers and sales. Today we give you an insight on why your restaurant should take advantage of mobile browsing, social media and smartphone apps.


Smartphones are changing our lives

Smartphones have changed many elements of people’s lives. For example, many young people rely on the clock on their phones, instead of wearing watches. In addition, it has also changed our purchase behaviour, where people buy things due to mobile commerce, which is a growing and lucrative market.

For instance, Restaurant App Engines found that 51% of smartphone users say they would be far more likely to make a purchase from a retailer or restaurant with a mobile specific website or app then search a retailer on a desktop. However, currently only 4.8% of retailers currently have a mobile specific site or app for their hospitality business.

 

How will an app benefit my business?

There are many benefits of creating an app for your hospitality business, such as:

  • Gaining more reviews:

An app gives users the opportunity to establish a database of reviews from customers. Customers can rate and write their own reviews, while also reading reviews from previous customers. Online reviews are one of the main elements that influence a consumer’s purchase decision. According to Invesp, 90% of consumers online reviews before they visit a general business. As a result, having positive reviews will most likely increase sales and customer conversion.

 

 

  • Creating convenience for customers:

Creating an app can increase convenience for your customers, enhancing customer experience. Building an app can provide customers easy access to information, such as your menu, daily specials, business hours and store location.
In fact, previewing menus could influence customers visiting your restaurant. Research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 62% of customers would less likely go to your restaurant if they can’t see a menu on their mobile.

 

Melbourne App Developer      Source: Guzman y Gomez’s app from the Google Play store

In addition, an app can help make the entire purchase process much easier. Customers can order their meal on their mobile and collect it in store. This decreases any long wait times or queues that consumers might experience during peak hours, reducing customer annoyance.

 

 

  • Gaining the competitive edge through incentives:

With an app you could even offer incentives, such as loyalty programs or mobile coupons, to increase sales and repeat customer visits, giving you the competitive edge. For example, Starbucks has a rewards program on its app, allow customers to redeem free music, drinks and apps.

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Source:  Google Play Store


Case Study: Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza is an example of a restaurant that gained success through creating an app. The app allows customers to view menus, order and customise pizzas with ease, while also tracking their order in real time. Released in 2009, starting with the iPhone, the app helped increase $2 million in sales within weeks upon release. Combined with its Android and Smartwatch platforms, the app continues to contribute in the pizza chain’s profit increases.

 

App Development Australia

Domino’s app allows you to order, pay and track delivery on your smartphone.

 

How will Facebook benefit my business?

Facebook now has over 1.13 billions daily active users with 1.03 billions users who access social networks via mobile devices. People spend a lot of time on social networks with an average of 50 minutes on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger every day.

This is a great opportunity to interact and engage with your target market. This can be done in various ways, such as providing menu updates, offering discounts or gaining feedback from customers. In addition, you can use images and videos to capture the interest of your target market, which can instantly become a return on investment.

Facebook campaign uses a pay-to-pay network, which gives you the ability to target users by their location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behaviours and much more. Facebook gives you the ability to easily track your users and provides you with an immediate influx of traffic.

As a result, Facebook marketing will give you the opportunity to capture your audience’s attention before they begin searching for other business like yours and potentially increase sales.

 

So what does this mean for restaurants today?

People are far more selective when it comes to eating out and are more inclined to share their dining experience on social media and blogs. Today, a majority of our decisions are influenced by research and information found online or recommendations by family and friends who post about their experiences through social media.

Users tend to use online reviews such as Google or Facebook when making their decision about where to eat. According to Modern Restaurant Management, around 80% of people will check the rating of a restaurant online before stepping inside. This can include checking websites or looking at reviews on different social media platforms. In addition, these 80% of people are more likely to take action the same day as their search.

At Launchpad App Development, we create innovative apps that will benefit your business and give you the competitive edge. We work with you throughout the app making process to enhance your app idea. We have worked with entrepreneurs and businesses from various industries around Australia to create the app of their dreams.

Have an app idea? Contact us today!

 

 

An App Entrepreneur’s Guide to Instagram Advertising

Instagram reached two important milestones in 2015. Neither of them had anything to do with Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. Firstly, Instagram surpassed Twitter to become the second biggest social media platform in the world, after its parent company Facebook. Secondly, and most importantly for this blog topic, Instagram activated its advertising API for marketers to use in their advertising collateral. Read on to find out how Instagram ads can help get your app more downloads in 2016.

As we have stated in one of our previous blogs, businesses are moving away from traditional advertising channels and taking advantage of social media’s powerful influence on society. Instagram is following Facebook’s lead on advertising and now allowing small businesses, as well as large companies, to advertise within the app. We have seen the benefits of Facebook advertising for small businesses but can Instagram Advertising have the same effect?

According to eMarketer, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion by 2017. This will account for over 10% of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues, surpassing Twitter and Google’s ad revenues altogether. This indicates that Instagram will quickly become a leading platform for advertising. As a rsult, early adopting businesses will reap the rewards of using the Instagram app for mobile marketing.

Instagram Mobile Marketing

Instagram’s Ad revenue is set to surpass Google and Twitter by 2017. Source: eMarketer

But how will Instagram ads be different from what’s in our feed’s now?

Previously, Instagram ads were targeted based on country, gender and age. Now Instagram will use an algorithm, which incorporates data from users Facebook profiles and Facebook ad buys, to make their advertisements more relevant but without a huge increase of ads on the average feed. This means that advertisements are going to be more effective as the relevant people are going to be reached.

So you’re an app entrepreneur that wants to make use of Instagram advertising, but want to understand the science behind what makes an Instagram ad effective. Here’s our top 5 tips and tools to creating adverts that are #instagood.

1. Learn About The Different Forms of Advertisements On Instagram.

Instagram advertising has evolved quickly in the past year. There is now an array of options that you can apply for your Instagram advertising campaign. Lets look at them below:

Photo Ads

Photo ads are what users see the most in their Instagram feeds. They use high quality visual imagery to deliver your message and engage viewers. They are simple but extremely effective in reaching target markets and creating brand awareness. All these ads have a small ‘Sponsored’ icon in the top right corner to distinguish themselves from regular Instagram posts.

Video Ads

Video ads allow up to 30 seconds of creative video, including sound, to entice your viewer. The use of short video advertisements is rising and the benefits of video advertising are there for all marketers to see. However, it’s important to use engaging visual imagery to capture the viewer’s attention and not rely solely on sound to deliver your message, as the ad must be clicked on to for sound to be heard.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are Instagram’s newest advertisement feature. You can advertise your app using a number of different images in the same advertisement. Swipe right and the viewer see’s another image, with a different message or call to action. Swipe right again and they see another image. Carousel ads are strong performing and flexible, allowing you to use a number of different images and call to actions.

Instagrams Advertisements

The three Instagram advertising formats. Source: Instagram Business.

 

2. Get Your Advertisement Design Right.

The design element of your advertisement is crucial to the overall success of your advertisement. Unfortunately, just posting up an image of your product that hasn’t been given much thought will not get the desired response you are after. I’ve outlined some key steps to follow when designing your advertisements.

  1. Create a focal point in your image, which will engage the viewer and capture their attention.
  2. Make use of the rule of thirds and symmetry in your advertisements. Rarely place your focal point in the centre of the image.
  3. Use your logo subtly, not as the focal point, as it becomes a distraction and takes away from the content of your advertisement.
  4. When using text, utilise it to compliment the focal point and make the same fonts, one or two max, consistent across all of your posts. Only 20% of your image can be made up of text.
  5. The use of colour and contrast is key to creating a strong image. Use a plain background to help your focal point colour shine and make the image pop. When using a coloured background, contrast this with a white coloured focal point or text.
  6. Be consistent with your brand advertisement look. Your different advertisements should have a consistent look, whether it is similar compositions, use of fonts and colours or place of logo. This makes your brand recognisable and distinguishable to customers from other content.

3. Make Your Advertisements Look Native.

Making your advertisement look native doesn’t mean you need to have images of people from the depths of the African jungle in your ad. What I mean by native is making your advertisement blend in so it appears as though it isn’t even an advertisement.

You want your advertisement to look like any other Instagram post that might pop up on the average newsfeed. This means that you are not ruining the users overall Instagram feed by spamming them with obvious advertisements, much to the chagrin of many users (myself included!) and creating negativity around your app.

Instagram Ad Post

The Sprint ‘post’ to the left is clearly an ad, while the post to the right looks like a normal Instagram post. Source: The Verge

 

4. Use calls-to-action

Before Instagram allowed advertising, the only way to create traffic to your website was through putting a link to your website in your bio. Instagram was great for promoting brand awareness, but for directing users to a buy now page or prompting them to download your app? Not so much.

With the new advertising API release, Instagram has created Calls-to-Action buttons for use in advertisements. You can use these calls-to-action including, Install Now, Shop Now, Sign Up, Download and Learn More.

Instagram Ads Call To Action

These calls-to-actions can do a number of different things, such as opening a shop inside of Instagram or linking the user directly to their respective App Store for download of your app. Calls-to-action are making Instagram a far more effective marketing tool and all strong app marketing campaigns going forward will make use of them.

5. Make use of relevant hashtags.

Hashtags are critical to brand promotion, audience engagement and can be used across a number of platforms. Using hashtags comes easy for most of us on Instagram, but for advertising, you need to use them strategically. When used correctly, hashtags can reward brands with a larger audience and engagement outside of their local area. There are three different forms of hashtags that businesses can make use of.

Content Hashtags

Content hashtags, such as lifestyle, event or location hashtags, can get you views and click throughs from people who are searching for or using these hashtags. Hashtags such as #mondays, #coffeefix or #melbourne are all great examples of content hashtags that can be used to great effect in advertising.

Trending Hashtags

Making use of trending hashtags allows you to potentially promote your brand out to a large-scale audience, without the need to create the hashtag yourself. Businesses use trending hashtags such as #AFLGrandFinal or #fitness to effectively promote their brand and engage with a wider audience.

Custom Brand Hashtags

You can create a hashtag for your marketing campaign and promotions. Some of the top brands across the globe use their own hashtags in their posts, which become recognisable to their brand and can then be used by other users to create a community of followers and content around the brand’s hashtag.

They can be difficult to create and maintain, but if your custom hashtag becomes popular, the brand awareness can be immense.

A great example is KitKat’s marketing campaign featuring the hashtag #mybreak. KitKat utilises the hashtag across their social media pages and many other Instagram users upload photos of their own KitKat’s along with the hashtag, creating a community of KitKat fans and a growing audience.

Your Instagram Advertising Campaign Starts Now

Instagram advertising looks pretty straightforward. But without following these key steps, you won’t get the most out of the potential it can offer.

First, decide on what ad format you will use. Next, get your advertisement design looking on point. Your advertisement shouldn’t blatantly look like an advertisement – make it look native to the Instagram newsfeed. Use relevant hash tags to promote your brand and advertisements. And don’t forget to make use of calls-to-action!

Using those tools and tips above will help you design strong advertisements on Instagram and contribute more to the overall advertising of your app.

Do you have any other tools or tips to use for advertising on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.

The 4 Myths of Mobile App Development

“For an industry that’s built on science, the technology world sure has its share of myths.”

–David Pogue, Founder of Yahoo Tech.

The app market continues to evolve as developers and users explore the possibilities of mobile technology. In 2015, the number of mobile-only internet users surpassed that of desktop-only, with people now spending at least 54% of their digital media time interacting with mobile apps.

As the top digital disruptor in business today, it comes as no surprise that everyone, from first-time entrepreneurs to multinational corporations, is sensing the urgency to break into mobile in a big way.

However, there are so many misconceptions around mobile app development that a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses end up squandering time and money they simply can’t afford. In my experience at the helm for numerous app development projects, I’ve been able to observe what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating a best-in-class app product.

If you’re looking to create an app that innovates rather than regulates, here are the top 4 myths that you need to bust to do mobile right.

 

MYTH #1: Developing apps natively per platform is a waste of time and money.

REALITY: 

If you want a five-star app, build natively. Period.

The benefits of building a cross-platform app seam clear. You only have to code some once and you can push it out to everyone using any device. Sounds simple. Logical. Facebook thought so initially, as did LinkedIn. But the ease was countered by some pretty dramatic downsides. How dramatic you ask? Well, Mark Zuckerberg called Facebook’s over-reliance on HTML5 as opposed to native as “the biggest mistake we made as a company”.

In comparison to native apps, a cross-platform app is worse across every important metric: functionality, performance, UI etc. When entrepreneurs and business go the easy route of app development, they don’t realise that all they’re doing is creating a crappy experience for everyone everywhere.

But cross-platform approaches still lure startups that don’t want to invest more time and money developing separately for iOS and Android Operating Systems. Instead, they rely on HTML5, hybrid applications and cross-platform toolkits, but none of these work well enough to build the high-end mobile experiences users expect. They will eventually, but they don’t right now.

Each of these solutions come with their own set of drawbacks:

  • HTML5: Cross-browser compatibility issues are difficult to resolve, which means that you end up needing to optimise for each platform anyway.
  • Hybrid Apps: There’s a leaky abstraction layer (E.g. “Is that a URL bar refreshing in the app?… Seriously??”) and the communication layer between the app and web view is complex and littered with errors.
  • Cross-Platform Toolkits: Require large amounts of custom code per platform, making it easier and faster to write native code for each.

The takeaway: Instead of going broad and writing something once, spend the time and go deeper on your most popular platform first. Then expand from there. You want to pick the platform that resonates most with your users — whether it be iOS, Android or both. It all depends on what you want the app to do and the audience it’s designed to reach.

Figuring out your optimal platform means you need to dig into the demographics of your user base. In a previous post about validating your app idea, I discussed how researching the size and shape of your market is a critical step in influencing the direction of your app concept. You need to see firsthand that different users’ habits are largely driven by the platforms they use. Android users look for functionality in different places than iOS users, and so on. From both a speed and quality perspective this is the only way to go.

 

MYTH #2: My backend server is ready to support mobile apps.

REALITY:

You will need to change, upgrade, or completely rebuild your backend to create the best mobile experience.

Most companies still aren’t used to building the type of backend server that creates top mobile apps. Without the right API design and implementation, an app will perform poorly in the real world. Some companies see increases in mobile traffic that are 200% higher — or more — than their website. Take banks as an example: Whereas customers can now check their account 10 times a day on their smartphone. Your server needs to be able to handle that kind of workload.

To avoid crash issues due to increased mobile traffic, here’s a checklist to consider when integrating a mobile app with your web server:

  • Maximum Payload Size: In mobile, the best experiences are the ones where the minimum amount of data is sent. A good API for mobile should allow the client to specify the maximum payload size returned from the server (4 KB is usually enough).
  • Retry rather than Redo: Given the flakiness of network connectivity, users should be allowed to send the same API call to the server multiple times for certainty. Retrying the same API call should not mean two calls on the same server end (E.g. Posting the same Facebook status message twice).
  • Low Latency: Bandwidth isn’t the only networking issue when dealing with mobile devices. The lower the latency on each API call, the snappier your app will feel.
  • Single API Call per Screen: This requires tighter coupling between the mobile device and the server, but can make for a very compelling mobile experience. Ideally, every screen on mobile would make at most one API call to the backend. To loosen the coupling, the API could be designed to allow variable return data, with much of the heavy lifting done on the server side.

 

MYTH #3: You can develop your mobile app internally as fast as an outside company.

REALITY:

Developing your app yourself will take 3x longer.

Throughout my time helping entrepreneurs and business embrace mobile innovation, lots of folks have asked how long their app will take to make. I may assess that an app would take three months to develop for one platform. Sometimes they’d come back with the decision to develop the app internally. Keeping tabs on these app projects, it comes as no surprise to see them finally launch almost a year later in the App Store.

If you want to develop an app, you can’t make the mistake of thinking just because you have HTML, CSS and JavaScript capabilities that mobile will be plug-and-play for you. Unless you have a dedicated, built-out mobile team, this will probably not be the case. And very few entrepreneurs and startups have this luxury. When they decide to go internal, they’re essentially choosing to pay with time instead of money.

Why does it take startups so much longer to do it on their own? They don’t anticipate their most critical need: Hiring.

If you are planning to build internally, you want to be confident that you already have the people and skill sets you need to execute. This isn’t just about coding talent either. You need to have people with mobile product experience, mobile Quality Assurance (QA) testers, and mobile UI/UX Designers. You need all of these people working together to put out a great product. Otherwise your developers may head down one road only to discover they had the wrong product vision, or they hadn’t even thought of QA.

When you bring in a development company, you are provided with experts in all of these areas who can work in parallel to iterate quickly and deploy internally. Having a Mobile Product Manager keeps you focused on the three to five (maximum!) core functionalities an app should have.

Speed isn’t just important for its own sake either. The sooner you get your app into the App Store or on Google Play, the sooner you get to see people’s reactions to it. The faster you can gather that feedback, the closer you are to your next release.

There’s also the chance that you’ll realise halfway through that your company simply doesn’t have the people or resources to finish an app it’s started. Then you have to call in a company for what we like to call “a rescue.” It doesn’t sound good — because it isn’t.

This doesn’t mean that working with any outside developer will do. When choosing an app development company, you’re really choosing a partner. To make sure you end up working with the right partner, we suggest asking every company a series of probing questions:

  • How do they learn as they develop new mobile capabilities?
  • How do they capture and leverage the data from their previous projects and experiences? What have they learned from working with other clients?
  • Do they offer the ability to co-innovate (pairing their own staff with the client’s to develop, design, and test)?
  • Do they follow agile methodologies (test driven development, quick iterations, constant communication)?

For all of these questions, the ‘right’ answer is not a one-size-fits-all, but the one that best suits your business. At agile development companies, internal knowledge sharing is accomplished through a combination of human and technical means: lunch and learns, demos, company-wide standups, an internal project management site, and rotating staff across projects to expose them to a wide range of experiences. You want answers that make it clear that it’s easy and encouraged for you to participate.

 

MYTH #4: If I outsource to a mobile development company, I won’t have to do any work.

REALITY:

For the best outcomes, clients need to be heavily involved with the company they’ve contracted.

Sometimes we have clients who just say “Hey, pretend to be me and make the decisions you think I would make”. In other words, they just want to hand the whole project over. At Launchpad, what we’ve found is that to do the best work, we need as much information as we can get as fast as we can get it, and that requires client participation.

In my experience as a Product Manager across a wide variety of app development projects, the greatest apps I’ve been involved with resulted from the client working very closely with the design, coding and QA teams. Ideally, they have the opportunity to collaborate with the client to see what everyone wants and envisions.

The best case scenario is actually having our client sit with us to work toward building a solution — not just trading emails or checking in every so often over Skype. We call this co-innovation, as it allows the key stakeholders to build together.

When you work side by side with someone, trust forms so much faster. It’s so much easier to make decisions and work through issues. Simply put, the ability to be co-located with someone and to co-invent is a key factor for app development success.

Ultimately, busting all of these myths depends on finding the right partner. You want someone who gets you, gets your app, and is just as invested in your success as their own especially if you’re at a smaller startup or a company that is only beginning to invest in mobile. Given the increasing importance of these platforms, finding this exact fit could not only make or break your mobile strategy, but your entire business.

Do you have any questions about mobile app development? Feel free to ask in the comments section below.

The Most Popular iPhone and iPad Apps of All Time

With Apple’s much-anticipated keynote happening today, a list of the most popular iPhone and iPad Apps has been released. We take a look at the iOS App Store’s history and your favourite apps in the past five years.

Today Apple announced three things coming this spring: an updated Apple TV, a gigantic iPad and new iPhones. With the iOS9, it’s extraordinary to see how far the iPhone has come in less than a decade.

When the original iPhone was released in 2007, there was no App Store at all. In 2008, the App Store was first launched with only 500 apps. That number has grown to over a million apps that are creating mobile experiences, enriching and empowering our lives.

So what are the iOS Apps that have stood out from the crowd to top the App Store rankings?

The latest report from analytics firm App Annie have crowned the most popular iOS apps of all time. We review the top downloaded and grossing apps to see how they have become so widely used today.

 

Top Apps by Downloads

Top All-Time Worldwide Downloads

Facebook, Google and Apple dominate the list of the top 10 most-downloaded apps with 8 of the spots. Facebook alone claims 4 of the spots. Along with their main app coming in first, others on the list include Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Skype and Twitter are the only apps from other companies, coming in at fifth and ninth place, respectively.

So what do these rankings tell us about the iOS app market?

Well, they do reveal that even as iPhones are updated and operating systems evolve, user habits have not changed much in the past few years when it comes to our favourite apps. Although most of the apps featured in the top 10 are over 4 years old, they all continue to attract millions of downloads per month.

Also of note is that over half of the apps are based around strong social networking and sharing features. This should be no surprise when most users install social apps first after getting a new iPhone or iPad.

 

Top Apps by Revenue

Top All-Time Worldwide Revenue

When it comes to the apps that make the most money, the top 10 is a lot different from the All-Time Downloads, with Skype being the only one featured on both lists. However, the winners on this list seem quite logical considering that most of the top-grossing apps are entertainment and dating apps.

When compared to the top-downloaded apps, the top-grossing apps are represented by a much wider selection of companies, with LINE being the only one to claim multiple top 10 spots. As noted by The Cheat Sheet, Pandora Radio’s top ranking was driven by the US, which contributed practically all of it’s revenue.

At $9.99, Apple’s word processer Pages is the only app featured that generated revenue entirely from paid downloads. All the other apps on the list apply a variation of the freemium model. To find out more about the monetisation models you can apply to generate app income here.

 

Top Apps by Usage

Using the top 10 most-downloaded and highest-grossing lists, all of the most popular iOS apps were compared based on monthly active users (MAU).

Tops App by Usage

When it comes to app usage, many of the most downloaded and top revenue apps are also ranked in the top 10 by MAU. The exception here is China where, quite remarkably, none of the 19 apps in the download and revenue rankings are among the top 50 apps by MAU. This can be attributed to users in China having a strong preference for local apps that provide similar functionality to their global App Store counterparts.

 

Key Takeaways

Everyone has their personal favourite apps.  Then there are those universal ones that seem nearly required for every iPhone and iPad, e.g. Facebook. You might have guessed the most popular apps correctly or been close, just by looking at your phone.

Also note that apps with strong social and sharing features take up over half of the top 10 most-downloaded list. Referred as ‘The App Effect’, mobile users are looking for the next app experience that will change their lives. The most popular iPhone and iPad apps provide this.

So what are some of your favourite iOS apps? Let us know in the comments below.

 

An App Entrepreneur’s Guide to Facebook Marketing

To advertise your app successfully on Facebook, you need to understand Facebook’s unique opportunities, and how it differs from other marketing channels. Within this guide, we highlight the core aspects of Facebook mobile app marketing, explaining the process from start-to-finish and providing tools to scale your operations towards sustainable and cost-effective ad campaigns.

 

More and more business are moving their budgets away from traditional advertising channels and increasing their social spending. According to eMarketer, Facebook’s social platform commands the highest market share in mobile ad spend with 37%. Why is this the case?

It’s simple: Facebook Advertising works.

However, putting together a Facebook campaign is no small task if you’re attempting to scale operations and maximise your ads’ ROI. When you’re trying to get people to download your app, every user – and every dollar – counts.

The upside is clear — Facebook is something you want to explore if you’re looking to grow user adoption. But if this is your first foray into paid acquisition or Facebook ads in general, it can be daunting to set everything up.

But worry not — the following step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the Facebook campaign creation process from conception to execution.

 

Finding your uniqueness

So here’s something you probably already know from scrolling through your Facebook Newsfeed: Most users only spend one second on an ad before moving on. This is an extremely short window of time to grab their attention, show value, and get them to take action.

The best way to capture a user’s attention is to provide a clear message. As discussed in How To Optimise App Store Screenshots, the visuals should depict what the user will get from your app. If your app is a mobile game, your ad better show off the core gameplay. This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how an ad transforms when people brainstorm visuals — a smiling guy, multiple tag lines, the presence of a phone etc. These visuals may be valid in the right context, but when put together, add noise that confuses your message.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.32.18 am✗ Cluttered with too many tag lines                  ✓ Shows value and prompts user action

So how do you achieve clarity? You identify your unique selling point, or USP. This is something you offer that your competitors don’t, or something your competitors don’t do well. It’s what sets you apart in the marketplace, but also the core of your app’s experience.

As part of our Rocketfuel Workshops, I help entrepreneur’s determine the USP of their app product by applying the following 5-step process:

  1. List the features and benefits that are unique about your product or service. Do a Google search and compare your features and benefits with your direct competitors. Identify the benefits that set you apart.
  2. Decide what emotional need is being specifically met by your product or service. Think about this from your customer’s perspective and add it to your list.
  3. Identify aspects of your product or service that your competitors cannot imitate. Put a star beside anything that cannot be easily duplicated, reproduced, or copied.
  4. Create phrases about your unique product or service that are short, clear, and concise. Use the words from steps 1-3 that you singled out. Be sure they can be easily communicated to and understood by your customers.
  5. Answering your customer’s primary question: “What’s in it for me?” Make it to the point and state it as a benefit to the customer.

 

Making your first campaign

Facebook provides their free Power Editor to create campaigns. If you followed our 5-step USP process from the previous section, I recommend using Power Editor for your first campaign as it allows you to attach an image that highlights your USP and plug in all relevant targeting information. Simply put, it sets up your campaign’s framework for you.

But don’t go attaching that image just yet!

Make sure that the creative image that you’re using is both relevant and engaging. If you just want to humor or surprise your target users, a Meme image might get some clicks, but very few people will convert.

Facebook Birthday

Humorous? Yes. User conversion? Probably not.

Long story short, avoid clickbait. Best case, users will install your app and then quickly uninstall it when they realise it has nothing to do with the ad they clicked. Worst case, you’ll upset users and damage your brand’s reputation, probably leading to a few bad reviews across your app’s Facebook page.

When you consider that 60.3% of all mobile sharing takes place on Facebook, you need to make sure that your app is part of that number the right way!

Remember the goal of Facebook campaigns: You want conversions, not just clicks. You want good users. The ones who were meant for your app the moment they picked up a mobile device. The ones who will buy your app’s Premium version, subscribe or make in-app purchases.

When making your first Facebook campaign, here are a few things to consider:

  1. The 20% Rule – When you’re making your design brief, keep one big thing in mind — your creative can be at most 20% text. Covering it with copy and call-to-action text won’t pass approval.
  2. Size up your creative – Before you or your designer get cranking on making an image, make sure it’s the correct resolution. If you need a visual reference, the Facebook Ads Guide displays each ad type.
  3. Make your campaign in Power Editor – The whole campaign process within Facebook’s Power Editor is very straightforward with many editing options. Furthermore, Facebook provides a video tutorial to creating ads in Power Editor.

One last thing before you create your ad: creative is much more important than copy. According to Elias Sandler, Founder and CPO of Adquant, Ad Click is determined 90% by creative and only 10% by copy. Simply put: Facebook users want to see, not read. Tune your ads accordingly.

 

Optimising your campaigns

So you’ve researched your user, thought of ways your app stands out, and made your first campaign. Now you need to look at optimising things.

If your ads go untouched — especially on a platform as fluid and changing as Facebook — you’ll see your once-awesome campaign’s budget evaporate with little growth to show for it. Don’t underestimate the importance of optimising, and doing it regularly.

Once you have an audience built up on your app’s Facebook page, or you have an email list to pull from, you can start using Lookalike Audiences. Facebook will automatically figure out who your top audience is through metrics you set, then go out and find people similar to them so you can target them with your ads.

To leverage Lookalike Audiences, first you need to create a Custom Audience with all your existing users. From Custom Audiences, you can locate hundreds of thousands of users who have never engaged with you but have a high likelihood of wanting your app.

This may sound like a lot of work, but it is worth it when you consider that advertisers can lower their new customer acquisition cost by 73% by setting up Custom Audiences.

MarketLand recommends the following ways to target Lookalike Audiences:

  • Similar to mobile app users – Target users that engaged with your app in a certain way. Be it downloading something or making in-app purchases, any trackable activity can be a trigger to make users targetable.
  • Similar to Facebook page fans – You probably have a Facebook Page with some fans, so put them to work for your app. Find other people out there that look similar to your current fans.
  • Similar to website purchasers – This requires you to have a Facebook Conversion Pixel installed on your website, but you can reach people similar to those who previously made purchases on your website. E-commerce apps should find this particularly useful.

No Title

Target optimisation is a great way to save precious budget dollars, so make sure you take time testing and evaluating your ads. Explore the full list of targeting options when building your own campaign, as there are a number of Facebook-specific techniques you can leverage.

 

Your users are waiting…

So you’re now equipped to conceive and execute your own Facebook ad campaigns. This guide should serve as a framework for all your future campaigns to ensure that you find new users and keep people engaged with your app.

Identify your app’s unique selling point. Create campaigns people want to see. Optimise your ads to target potential users.

Many startups are running into Facebook 
without a map, so use this guide to your advantage and secure great ad placement at a much lower cost.

Do you have any tools and tips for Facebook Marketing? We’d love to hear about them.