How iOS7 and the new iPhones will affect mobile and digital campaigns
By Florian Lutz
During the launch weekend of its iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, Apple said it sold more than 9 million iPhones. From a mobile marketing perspective, the simultaneous launch of two different devices is significant as each targets different end users. This creates new channels for companies to engage with different types of customers.
As past years have proven, a new iPhone device triggers an influx of iPhone purchases and new iPhone users.
In fact, most smartphone users now consume content through applications rather than through the open Web.
For example, 80 percent of mobile time is spent in applications and mobile ad spending is expected to rise 95 percent to approximately $8.5 billion this year, according to eMarketer.
Low down on downloads
So, in the coming weeks, app marketers can expect more downloads to happen as new users set up their new iPhone and begin looking for new apps.
However, the new iPhones also come with the highly successful launch of iOS 7, which brings a number of revamped features, such as a new location-dependent app discovery service called “Apps Near Me,” a changed design of the App Store Charts, and a new app updating process up to a special new “Kids” section.
So let us have a look at how Apple’s new devices and operating system affect the mobile and digital campaigns that marketers should be leveraging to better engage with customers.
• App Store Charts design: The App Store Charts have undergone aesthetic changes, and now look similar to the Google Play charts.
The new design allows users to browse more apps at a time, thus increasing discoverability for apps in lower ranks. This holds opportunities for apps and marketers that can aggregate enough downloads to rank in the top and attract free organic uplift.
When planning a boost campaign, make sure you can buy the needed downloads in the most cost-efficient way possible, while guaranteeing you reach your rank and maximize your boost’s organic uplift.
Also, have tracking integrated that allows you to closely analyze the results of your boost campaign to see if and how the organic uplift has changed under the new design.
• Automatic app updates: Apps will now automatically update to the latest version, as on the Android platform.
For app marketers, the automatic update means that more users will be using the most up-to-date version of their apps so that advertisers and publishers may be tempted to update their apps more frequently.
While this brings improved app features and a better user experience, advertisers need to be equally aware that an automatic update can be triggered at any time – even when the user has limited reception – which will limited access to the app. Plan your marketing strategies accordingly.
If you are planning a larger promotion or special offers during which you want your users inside your app, make sure the latest update happens at least one day earlier so that most users will have completed the update and can access your app.
• “Apps Near Me” section: Location is often proclaimed the future of mobile marketing, and this could quickly become the reality thanks to this feature.
Users will be able to find out which apps are popular in their area. This will especially be relevant for travel, hotel, and other booking apps as well as dating and social apps that adjust depending on where the user is situated.
While it is not yet clear how Apple determines which apps to show for which location, currently all apps connected to local offers should closely monitor the recommendations and test if their app is listed when relevant.
If not, make sure to reach out to Apple and inform it about the local value of your app. Even if Apple does not react right away, it might help put your app on the radar of Apple’s team, which is always beneficial.
• “Kids” section: Lastly, the App Store has added a children’s category catering to children 11 years of age and younger. It will be a part of the prominent section “Featured.”
Apps are categorized into three different age ranges: age five and under, ages six to eight, and age nine and above.
While all apps will be featured in their appropriate categories with regards to content, only those that have also been tagged with the selected age ranges will appear in the new kids section.
Moreover, Apple released a new policy enforcing advertisers to ban all targeted and non-age appropriate advertisement from apps that are used by children.
Before listing your app in the Kids section, wisely compare and evaluate the benefit of having increased visibility among the target group “children” along with the new responsibility to comply with the guidelines on targeting children.