One question that I get frequently is:
“Does content marketing work for apps?”
My answer is always:
In this post, I’ll show you 7 examples of apps that are doing an amazing job with their content marketing and what you can learn from them. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at when content marketing will and won’t help your app.
When Content Marketing Doesn’t Work for Apps
Like we mention in this post, you need a website for your app. That’s a given. However, if you choose to start doing content marketing or not, will be determined by a few factors.
They are mostly related to timing…
First, will content marketing divert precious resources away from product development?
The bottom line is that if you don’t have a product, then you have nothing to market. So before you get wrapped up in some fancy social media marketing strategy, ask yourself if you have something to ship.
If the answer is no, then go work on that first. Once you have your MVP, then you can crank up the marketing machine.
This is especially true if you are really, really good at development. You could be good at content marketing too, but I very rarely see people who are good at both.
Stick to what you are great at and find someone else to do the rest.
Second, do you have a plan?
If you don’t know how you are going to strategically attack your content marketing, then you shouldn’t start.
The kiss of death is:
“I hear _______ is working really well right now.”
That is going to make your content marketing terrible because you will switch marketing strategy every time you read a new “how to” article.
Start with the basics.
Get your blog setup and crank up your Facebook page, Google+, Twitter account and YouTube channel.
That’s all you need for now.
Then, study what is working for you and other apps like yours.
Third, is it worth putting in the time?
Finally, consider your goals.
If you are going to sell your app in the near future, content marketing might not be worth it. Content marketing is a marathon and if you aren’t ready to be in it for the long haul, you will probably give up before you start to see success.
Don’t expect to see results for 6-9 months.
…and that’s if you are good.
When Content Marketing is Totally Worth it
Buuuut…if you have a solid product, you are going to keep your app around for awhile and you have a plan, then you should totally get into content marketing.
It is one of the cheapest and most durable forms of marketing out there. If you create quality content (and have a little luck), some of your content can bring in downloads for years to come.
Remember, assuming that you have a quality app that fulfills a genuine need, then it is not possible to have a boring app. It’s the marketing that is boring.
These examples will give you some ideas on what types of content work best…
1. Minecraft – YouTube
The Mojang YouTube channel is a good example of content that brings out the human side of an app. Let’s break it down and focus on a couple of things that they are doing well.
I think that the most interesting thing that Mojang is doing on YouTube is posting videos of their live events. Sure, their game footage is great and some would say, mandatory.
However, seeing players ask questions about upcoming features and get behind the scenes information is really fun and engaging.
You will also notice that since they keep all of their content under their company name, instead of creating a channel for each game, all of the games benefit from the combined traffic. It’s a good strategy, if you have multiple apps in the same category.
…and maintaining multiple channels can be a pain!
2. Lumosity – Google+
Google+ has some SEO value, but that’s about it. The social media platform has never really taken off, due to many restrictions that Google has placed on it.
But since most brands aren’t paying attention to it, that could mean more opportunity for you. Take Lumosity for example.
They do a great job of posting beautiful pictures and short, interesting verbiage about the app and brain training. Their posts often get over a hundred +1s and dozens of shares and comments, which is rare for Google+ Pages.
3. Fitbit – Blog
Now let’s take a look at a fitness app. Content marketing for a fitness app should be a slam dunk. Good looking people in tight clothing, working out…right?!
…or if you want to go the more respectable route, then you can post workout tips, health studies, recipes and success stories.
The Fitbit blog does the latter. They have a really good mix of health related content, I’m super impressed.
Regardless of what kind of app you have, I would recommend checking out their blog, just to see how they approach content marketing. They rarely brag about how good their product is (or how cool they are).
Instead, they provide useful content that helps their target audience. That’s how it should be done!
This is one of my favorite stories:
4. Calm – Instagram
I’m generally against Instagram content that is primarily quotes and wise sayings, but in this case it works. It fits in with the brand and the folks at Calm have a good mix of peaceful scenery and friendly reminders.
…and they put a nice little watermark on most images. Very well done!
So if you are racking your brain to come up with clever content, sometimes you just have to step back and keep it simple.
Here’s one of my favorites:
5. Clash of Clans – Facebook
Yeah, CoC is an amazing game. Yeah, they do a good job with their content marketing.
That has been highlighted in many blog posts before.
But let’s look a little deeper.[tweet_box design=”box_03″]One cool thing on the Clash of Clans Facebook Page is the Fan Art Uploader tab. [/tweet_box]
This keeps fans involved and gives the Supercell marketing team new content on a silver platter. They can use it on any of their social media channels and it is a form of social proof.
Granted, you probably have to have a huge game for this to work. But if you do, this can be a great way to get content.
Also consider other things you can add to Facebook Tabs on your Page. To do this on your Facebook Page, you can use a Facebook app like WooBox.
6. Runtastic – Pinterest
Runtastic has a family of fitness apps that do everything from help you track your running, to help you get six pack abs. Their currently had 21 boards at one point, focused on different target audiences.
My favorite one is the recipes board:
There are more women than men on Pinterest, so you will notice that their content is heavily skewed in that direction. Pinterest will not be effective for all apps, but if you do have an app that lends itself well to exciting pictures, then you should give it a try.
7. Evernote – Twitter
Let’s finish up this post with a productivity app. I really like what Evernote posts on their Twitter feed.
Some fun GIFs to attract attention…
— evernote (@evernote) May 23, 2016
…and some great stories that make you think…
— evernote (@evernote) May 24, 2016
It is a perfect example of creating quality content, but also curating great content from other sources. Make a list of sources that would be interesting to your target audience and experiment with what you post.
If you have decided that you want to start a content marketing campaign, or just freshen up your current one, then I hope that these examples have given you a few fun and effective ideas.
Check out this great post on Single Grain on how to write content that converts. For more ideas on how to create quality content that sells, here are a few sites we recommend:
Got any other favorites? Let us know in the comments below…
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