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Mobile media opportunities for your travel app

When it comes to getting your app in front of your target audience there are a number of media opportunities available to the modern day mobile marketeer including paid, owned and earned media. With so much on offer it can be difficult to decipher what channels to use when, so let's break it down.

Paid Media

Google and Facebook have become synonymous with paid media, which comes as no surprise as together they make up 56.6% of display advertising. With so much dominance in the market, they play an important part in any app marketing strategy. Let's take a look at the opportunities available through each of their mobile advertising channels.

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Google Paid Media Opportunities

  • Google Adwords App Install Campaigns are ads that run exclusively on phones and tablets and only target users who don’t have your app downloaded
  • Mobile Display Network show ads (both image and video ads) while users are on mobile sites or other apps. There are a number of targeting options available including app install categories, new devices, demographics, likely app spenders and active app users.
  • Mobile Engagement Ads  encourage on-going engagement and drive specific action in your app
  • Display Network allows you to show ads within other apps and encourages users to do a specific action - ie if they haven’t booked, hit them with information about making a booking on your app
  • Search Network show ads to people who have downloaded your app to encourage app engagement
  • YouTube TrueView show video ads to target people who have similar interests to your app with your app name, icon and ratings shown next to the video ads.
  • Universal Campaigns - promote apps via one campaign across Google’s campaign networks including Google Search, Play, YouTube and Display Network
  • Retargeting - can be used to push downloads or encourage further engagement of your app

Facebook Paid Media Opportunities

  • Facebook App Install Campaigns - these are delivered as sponsored stories made up of ad copy, apps name and image. Targeting can be done using a wide array of options such as demographics, connections and custom audiences
  • Facebook Engagement Ads - these are used to target users who already have your app installed by deep-linking to a specific page or section

While Facebook and Google might dominate, don’t forget about Twitter which doesn’t seem to be waning in popularity.

  • Twitter App Install Campaigns - these allow mobile users view an image, app ratings or open an app directly. Targeting can be done based on criteria including interests, followers and tailored audiences.

While it is important to spend some of your coveted marketing budget on paid media, there are a number of channels that you can exploit that won't hit your budget so hard.

Owned Media

Owned media are the channels that you own and control and can deliver cost effective app downloads. The following channels are prime to be exploited to drive real app traction:

  • Website - your website is one of your biggest assets when promoting your mobile app. Give it prominence on the homepage with a banner advert and create a landing page with quick links to the App Stores.
  • Email - Create an email campaign to launch your app outlining the key features, functionality and value your app will bring. Post launch there are opportunities to use email to relay messages such as feature updates, seat sales and ancillary upsell.
  • Video - show people the features and benefits of your app with a promotional video.
  • Seat back promotions - make use of a prominent advertising space for a strong call to action to a captive audience during idle flying time
  • Microsite - Develop a dedicated microsite to promote videos, infographics as well as links to the App Stores
  • Agents - your agents are a travel agencies best promotional tool, use them!
  • Inflight Magazines - place an advert to promote your app to the vast audience who fly with you
  • Social Media - use your social channels to show the value of your app using infographic style images and video

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Earned Media

Have someone else to shout about your app for you! There are two key ways that travel brands can garner free app promotion, including:

  • PR - a well planned PR campaign can be very effective in driving brand awareness and app downloads. Engage with media contacts and don’t forget key influencers in the industry such as bloggers.
  • Customer reviews - don't forget to ask your customers what they think about your app as they are your biggest advocate. Make sure the timing is right though, only ask for reviews at peak happiness time in a customers journey. 

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Now that we have established the best forms of paid, owned and earned media to launch and continue promoting your app to drive downloads and engagement it’s important to take a step back and look at what campaigns and tactics have worked, and maybe not worked so well.

Understanding what campaigns and tactics have worked for you allows you to firmly establish the best performing channels so you can make informed, data driven decisions on future activity. Monitor Google Play and App Store data and use tools such as Google Analytics or Apps Flyer to track campaign activity and  Firebase or Google Analytics to monitor in app activity. It’s also important to track social media mentions and sentiment by using each of the channels own analytics platforms as well as paid platforms such as Sysmos or Meltwater.

Finally make sure to set up KPI dashboards to monitor and report campaigns and don't forget to analyze and benchmark your activity against competitors to keep up to date.

To find out more about how you can help define your mobile marketing strategy download our ‘Ultimate Guide to Travel App Marketing’ eBook.

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Aisling White - Head of Marketing

Aisling has over 16 years’ experience in marketing, brand, and PR. Prior to joining Travelport Digital, Aisling worked at Hostelworld.com and Sage Software. At Travelport Digital Aisling manages the marketing strategy, content, communications, and digital platforms, to drive customer engagement.

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