Tips for success in today's app market: A chat with Sean Galligan of Yahoo
|Richard Harris in Marketing & Promotion Wednesday, March 1, 2017|
Tips for success in the mobile app market to better understand app users and behavior.
ADM: How are consumers using their mobile apps today, and what are the most notable trends that you are seeing for entertainment apps?
Galligan: Social is having a big impact on mobile behavior. Time spent in social and messaging apps grew by an astounding 394% over the last year. It’s the rise of “communitainment,” which is communication for the sole purpose of entertainment. With news and magazines sessions down 5% and music, media and entertainment up only 1%, it’s safe to say that social is central to media consumption on mobile devices.
Consumers spend less time on mobile gaming too, down 4% year over year. It remains a hit driven industry with a limited number of titles capturing consumers’ attention. But even the hits fade faster today, as seen with Pokemon Go, which peaked in popularity and then interest waned, with consumers only returning for marquee holiday events.
OTT marketing is accelerating, especially on mobile devices. Consumers’ options to watch traditional TV programming are growing in a world of consumers quickly becoming cord cutters, shavers and nevers. It’s a clear win for consumers, but it means stiff completion for OTT providers that want to acquire and retain users. As a result, we’re seeing a significant increase in app install marketing activity from OTT brands.
ADM: What do these trends mean for app developers and marketers?
Galligan: The good news for marketers is that consumers’ are open to new mobile entertainment experiences, outside of gaming. However, there is definitely an increased competition for consumers and their attention on mobile devices. In addition to developing strong app marketing strategies, one big opportunity for app developers is integrating social and communication elements to enrich their experiences and drive conversation among their users.
ADM: What are some of the biggest opportunities for app marketers today?
Galligan: Not all apps can create that killer “communitainment” experience, but there is still opportunity. App developers can reach potential customers by running ads across the mobile experiences where consumers spend a majority of their time. Video content is also becoming a bigger part of the app experience. That means there are new opportunities for video advertising, which has proven to be the most effective ad format to acquire loyal users for a broad range of app categories. In fact, in a recent study, mobile video ads were the most effective for driving apps installs among 68 percent of users.
ADM: How do mobile ads differ from other tactics that marketers are currently using to drive awareness and downloads?
Galligan: Mobile ads offer app marketers a number of advantages over other formats and channels. The contextual relevance of the mobile device and the immediacy of being able to act upon an ad by downloading the app and launching the experience is powerful. In fact, we found that consumers are 16% more likely to install apps after seeing mobile ads compared to TV ads. Additionally, marketers can easily attribute users to specific ads and channels, segment and target users more effectively, and measure ROI or LTV (lifetime value) with better accuracy.
ADM: How is mobile video disrupting this space?
Galligan: Video content is growing across apps and, by captivating user attention, it’s increasing time spent. OTT brands are stepping up their marketing, as consumers choose to watch more of their favorite shows on their smartphones. The phenomenon that we call “communitainment” is another great example. Streaming apps, including live.ly, musical.ly and Houseparty, are designed to go beyond standard messaging to entertainment and they have been on the App Store Top 100.
ADM: Competition is fierce in the app space. How do you stay top of mind with your app users?
Galligan: It starts with creating great content and building an addictive experience. Beyond those foundational elements, app marketers need to update their apps and keep them fresh; leverage engagement tools like notifications to bring users back into the experience and increase frequency; integrate social elements that encourage sharing and stoke virality; and invest in a content marketing strategy that is constantly driving attention and conversation around their great content.
ADM: How do you predict app marketing will evolve over the next year?
Galligan: Over the next year, native ad formats will continue to grow and evolve, along with even better mobile video experiences. We’ll also see improved measurement tools that help marketers to better identify ROI, ROAS and LTV. Marketers are looking for more sophisticated segmentation strategies that leverage these improved measurement capabilities.
About Mr. Galligan
Sean Galligan is the Vice President and Industry Lead for the technology, media and telecom categories at Yahoo. He leads a team that develops programs for major brands within the media and entertainment verticals.
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