What separates a successful mobile app from an unsuccessful one? Design, ease of use, demand, effectiveness, etc. all play their part.
The truth is, however, that effective marketing can make a huge difference between an app that is a commercial success and one that gets lost amongst the ever burgeoning crowd of daily released apps.
In addition to putting some marketing effort behind you app’s promotion, it's incredible how many app developers and marketers aren't aware of capabilities of mobile app such as what mobile deep linking is, never mind how to use it to benefit their marketing campaigns
Let's take a quick look at a few steps you can take to significantly enhance the success of your app through smarter marketing with deep links.
How is Deep Linking Different for the Web and Mobile Apps?
Deep linking is a common term and concept in the online marketing world. Every online marketer knows how to grab the URL for a page within their website or a specific landing page and use them as the destination page for their marketing campaigns.
Mobile app deep linking allows users to click links to view specific content within your app, or download your app, depending on if they have your app installed. If a person doesn’t have your app installed and clicks on a deep link, they will automatically be directed to your app’s page in the App Store so they can download your app before proceeding to your deep link destination.
Both have a similar philosophy behind them, but the technology is different.
When used on websites, deep linking refers to using a hyperlink that links to the address of a specific piece of content (http://example.com/signup) rather than a homepage address (http://example.com).
In mobile deep linking, URIs (uniform resource identifiers) addresses are used to lead to other areas of your app (rather than URLs) to take users to specific screens within your app.
The benefit of using deep links for mobile apps is the ability for marketers to bring users directly to a specific location within the app.
Imagine only being able to use a homepage link for all your marketing campaigns. You wouldn’t dare!
Why Use Mobile Deep Linking?
There are a number of reasons why mobile deep linking is incredibly important. Deep linking:
- Allows you to highlight areas of your app which do not get a lot traffic. With deep links you can easily point to specific areas of you app that you want to highlight and "refresh."
- Allows you to enhance the flow of your app, encouraging users to engage and view specific content. This could be anything from media content to new subsequent products offered by yourself or affiliates.
- It also allows you to exponentially increase revenue from advertisers. By encouraging visitors to engage with, and view, other locations within your app, you will be able to align ads with the most relevant content, significantly increasing the conversion rate of advertisements – which can be a lot of money if the value of a user or lead is high.
- Allows your app to be more discoverable. Since Google now indexes deep links within apps, more of your content can be found from user queries with the search engine.
- Helps drive re-engagement. For example, a retail company can notify existing customers of a current promotion and drive interested users directly to the sale page. It’s time to think beyond the install and start driving value post download!
- Improves the experience of your cross channel marketing campaigns. You can use a deep link for the destination of your promotions across email, social, third parties and your website.
- Allows you to optimize your direct response campaigns. Deep links let you align the offer, copy, and creative with the most relevant destination for the user.
- Removes several layers in the conversion funnel. When users don’t have to navigate through your app to get to the offer or intended destination, you’ll likely lose less users through the conversion funnel.
- Helps you understand cross-channel measurement. With the ability to track and measure user experience with deep links, marketers will have a better understanding of how mobile fits into the buying path and the gain insight into the full impact of mobile in their marketing strategy.
- Helps boost conversion for your social marketing. Social media can be used for both user acquisition and retention which makes deep links vital to those channels to align with campaign goals.
How to Use Mobile Deep Linking in Your App
Before thinking about the structure of your mobile deep linking strategy, think about the user experience you want your customers to follow.
You will want to make sure that you have a way to gather user data in terms of how they are first engaging with, and later on, interacting with your app. This will be achieved by installing an analytics SDK to track the performance of all your campaigns. Through this data you will be able to look beyond vanity metrics and truly understand the value of your app marketing campaigns.
With reports including, funnels, cohorts, retention, loyalty, and lifetime value, you will then be able to customize your app to take advantage of your most valuable audience. Furthermore, you will also be able to measure the flow of your app, letting you know how app users are interacting with your content, and whether your design and user experience is effective.
Before you get over excited about mobile deep links, know that currently, mobile deep links don't follow a consistent format. The URI can be different depending on the mobile device. For example the URI for an app is typically different for Android vs iOS.
You’ll want to research a technology provider to work with to help organize your URIs so that they work properly across all devices. If you want advice on where to start, a couple that have caught my attention recently are URX and Sparq.
At SES London (9-11 Feb) you'll get an overview of the latest tools, tips, and tactics in Paid, Owned, Earned, Integrated Media and Business Intelligence to streamline your marketing campaigns in 2015. Register by 31 October to take advantage of Early Bird Rates.