Tag Archives: Marketing

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 5: Marketing Effectively Through Social Media

The Mystic Media Blog has devoted our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing, concluding with this post on writing for social media. The series covered several topics, including general techniques, suggested processes, press releases, and website copy writing.

The advent of social media had a dramatic affect on culture and society. The entire world became interconnected at the click of a button. Suddenly, everyone’s favorite brands and artists were available for communication anywhere, anytime using your smartphone. The newspaper became even more irrelevant to the younger generation as they could receive news updates directly from their favorite artists and brands, skipping the middleman.

All brands should have their marketing team running multiple social media accounts. It’s the cheapest and most direct route to consumers who want to hear what you have to say; who show by the act of following/liking the brand that they desire information and communication.

In honor of social media, we’ve gathered tips for writing for social media and structured them with the succinct, direct quips fitting of the format.

“BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT”

Most scholars agree Shakespeare would have killed the social media game. This famous quote from Hamlet rings true across all writing, especially social media. Rather than overloading followers with an abundance of wordy content, keep it simple, concise, and witty.

RESPOND/REACT QUICKLY

In order to engage consumers, it’s vital to reply and interact promptly with followers on social media accounts (especially Twitter!). Remember: direct replies don’t overload your Twitter followers’ feed, making them a great, more intimate way to communicate with consumers.

A favorite, retweet, or follow back can also engage a follower as much as a reply.

CROSS-PROMOTE

Tweet “Follow us on Facebook for more updates.” Post “Check out our Twitter page!” on Facebook. Tweet Instagram photos. Grow your fan-base and keep them aware of the multiple platforms of communication by cross-promoting accounts. As in all forms of promotional writing, the call-to-action is among the integral parts of posting to social media.

PLAY IT SAFE

Perhaps this should be the number one rule: don’t make people furious. Play it safe when it comes to topical events. Be respectful of tragedies and don’t post anything politically incorrect. A single tweet can have huge repercussions.

Be extra careful when attempting to create a trend through hashtagging. This McDonald’s horror story serves as a moral tale of how important it is to be conscious of potential reactions to a brand before posting.

BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET CHEEKY

Followers want to see a little personality out of the social media accounts they follow. Although you don’t want to offend anyone, you also won’t get any real response from boring posts. Try to keep it cheeky and create humorous posts. Analyze what connects most to your audience, take notes, and refine techniques over time.

MEME IT UP!

Memes are a great, modern way of effectively promoting a product while imparting humor. Check out this awesome article on memes for marketers.

FIND AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT TOOL

Social Media accounts require around the clock management. When you have separate accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+, it’s difficult to keep track of each account everyday. Social Media Management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and more can be vital not only in managing accounts, but researching your followers and what posts are most effective.

INTERACT WITH CELEBRITIES

Cross-branding can raise awareness of a company and allow them to find their consumers in creative places. Interacting with select celebrities with compatible brands is a great way to attain exposure, gain access to new followers, and grow brand awareness.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE TUMBLR

Tumblr is among the leading social media platforms underutilized by marketing teams. Tumblr hosts over 130.5 million blogs, while WordPress only has 70 million. Tumblr users average 12 minutes of use per day on the network–1.5 minutes more than what’s spent on Facebook.

For more information on Tumblr, check out this article over at Social Media Marketing.

CONTESTS

Social Media, specifically Facebook, is an ideal place to host contests. Any and all action the user takes toward entering a competition through Facebook will be publicized to their friends and followers on their newsfeed. Facebook recently banned Likegating, which certainly represents a roadblock, as well as an opportunity for more innovative approaches to social media contests.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

This has been the theme of our promotional writing series, so it’s fitting close this conclusive article with the most important part of all promotional writing: know your audience. With regard to social media, it’s vital to understand what will connect with those who consume and who may desire the brand being represented. Know the lingo. Know the humor. Know what your audience is reading and redirect them to cool articles.

The goal of promotional social media is not exclusively to attain sales, but to cultivate followers who will pause and consider what you write. Engage and expand your fanbase, give them what they want, and be consistent.

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing and application development for both iOS and Android gives us expertise on the all formats of promotional writing: from social media, to search engine optimization, copy writing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 1: Representing Your Business

The Mystic Media Blog will be devoting our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing. The series will cover several topics, including general techniques, suggested processes, press releases, website copy, and social media.

Promotional writing is any type of writing designed to sell or promote a product or service. It can be informational, such as a blog or newsletter, or direct as an advertisement. It can be the “About Us” section of a website, a description of a service, or a press release. Promotional writing is key to marketing any business. All writing  associated with your brand must adhere to a quality consistent with your company or it runs the risk of deteriorating your name. Although certain techniques apply across the board for promotional writing, the medium spans several formats to which the writer must cater. For our first article on the topic, we will cover the general principles and goals of promotional writing to help you represent your business.

EXECUTE YOUR GOAL

The goal of promotional writing is to connect with your target audience. Whether or not they ultimately choose to act upon the impulse you desire to impart is beyond your control. If you succeed in clearly communicating the benefits of the product or service you are promoting, readers in the market for whatever is being sold are likely to follow-through. So long as the message you intend to impart is effective and precisely conveyed to the audience, you will have done your job. Thus, it’s vital to consider the audience’s perspective in crafting any piece.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

A consumer stumbles upon a piece of writing dedicated to promoting a product or service. They have the choice of reading it or not. Even if it applies to them, it doesn’t guarantee they are going to follow-through and closely examine the piece. As a promotional writer, you have to make your writing as easy to consume as possible. You must consider your target audience’s perspective and structure your piece based on how you expect your readers to consume it.

Is the piece something you can imagine someone reading at work, or is it something more dense they would read when researching a topic? How long do they have to read it? What parts would they skim? Is the piece geared more toward neophytes to the topic, or veterans seeking to enrich their knowledge? Each of these questions must be answered before you write, for they dictate the audience with which your writing must connect.

PERFECT THE STYLE

While there’s no formula for good promotional writing, there are certain generally accepted principles which apply across formats.

Direct, Concise, Targeted: Good promotional writing directly addresses a target audience with a clear, concise message. The message should be defined from the outset: this is a superior product or service. It’s important to be direct by getting to the “What” before the “Why”. The writer must target a specific audience. They must know who would read the piece and what they would be looking for. Every sentence must contribute directly to your message. The minute a reader senses something was written for the sake of taking up space, they will stop reading. Be considerate of their time. Do as much as you can with the attention they give you.

Accurate, Appealing, Persuasive: Good promotional writing accurately depicts the appeal of a product or service in a persuasive manner. Rather than resort to hyperbole, effective promotional writing allows the product to sell itself by presenting accurate, benefit-led facts. You must understand how the product or service appeals to your target audience before you sit down and write. Once the appeal is established, elaborate upon both the positive effects the product or service creates, as well as the negative effects it averts to craft a persuasive argument of why they must go out and obtain this specific product or service.

Smooth, Purposeful, Structured: Good promotional writing adheres to smooth, purposeful structure designed with the objective of creating the most efficient, enjoyable reading experience for the target audience. There are infinite ways to structure any given piece, but good structure plays into an audience’s expectation to clearly communicate points. Every sentence should directly follow the line of thinking preceding it and set-up the next point. General information and the overarching message should be front-loaded so readers who only have time for the first paragraph still understand the point of the piece.

IDENTIFY APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY

Identifying proper vocabulary for promotional writing can be a bit tricky. You don’t want to overload the reader with words they may not understand, but you also must assert your intelligence and don’t want to sound too colloquial. Acceptable vocabulary depends greatly on the target audience. Your word selection will be different if your target audience is a consumer of technology products versus if your piece was targeting professional application developers.

If you follow the guidelines above pertaining to promotional writing style, the flow of your writing should exude the intelligence you desire more than an elaborate vocabulary, which can sound pretentious when overdone.

For more techniques on vocabulary selection, check out this handy article by Writers & Artists.

CALL TO ACTION

A call to action is a statement which presents an opportunity for the audience to continue the dialogue regarding the topic, product, or company. A call to action could encourage the reader to contact the company by phone, click a link to the company’s website, follow the company on social media, share, comment, or link to another article where they can read more. A call to action is anything which feeds the audience’s desire to either continue the conversation, or take action and follow-through with whatever your desired action response is in writing the article. The goal of any promotional piece is to drive traffic to the product or service, thus a call to action is perhaps the most vital statement in the piece.

Learn more about call to action techniques by checking out this great article on the topic: How To Create a Successful Social Media Call to Action.

In our next Promotional Writing entry, we will help you out big time by creating a process with tips and tricks on structuring and revising your promotional writing.

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing  and application development has given us expertise on the all formats of promotional writing: from copy writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815

App Store Optimization Part 4: Maximize Your Exposure by Getting Featured on the App Store

In an effort to emphasize the importance of App Store Optimization, The Mystic Media Blog is applying its expertise into a six-part series on ASO. In our previous entry: “Boost Your App’s Profile, Increase Downloads and Generate Better Ratings”, we detailed the secondary factors which affect ASO, such as Ratings and Number of Downloads. This week, we will explore how to get featured on the app store landing page.

Intelligent ASO will bring you to the top of search-strings specific to your app’s functionality. However, imagine if rather than having to search, your app was presented to viewers the moment app store users go to the app store. Sounds like a dream scenario, but it’s entirely possible through clever ASO. Both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play App Store feature top-tier applications on their landing pages, as well as in several mini-categories.

The App Store curators are not looking to help developers out by featuring apps. They are looking out for the best interest of their company, which means pleasing the viewer. In order to satiate their customers, they showcase the coolest, most visually-engaging, best executed, most high-tech apps. Developers can take advantage of the curators’ needs by catering to their desires and utilizing the latest iOS and Android features in their apps. App Stores are much more likely to feature an app if it showcases the best features of their product.

Keeping up with the latest technologies is easier said than done in a constantly evolving landscape. With every OS update from both Apple and Android, the capabilities of devices are increased. Curators looking for the most high-tech apps must react to the OS updates and seek out apps which utilize the new technology to feature in the app store. Your app can fill that void. Stay up to date on the latest iOS update by reviewing our recent post Bite the Apple: Maximize iOS 8 to Vanquish Your Competition. Review our Android L Beta Preview: First Impressions of the Latest OS to plan ahead for the forthcoming Android L OS. If you’ve already designed your app, you haven’t missed out. Working the latest technology into an app update can also get the app featured. For example, Apple has been pushing the iCloud for all of their apps as of late. Finding some way of incorporating iCloud into an existing app’s software update would be beneficial for ASO.

In service of ensuring your app retains the look and feel of the most state-of-the-art technology, we recommend investing heavily in the User Interface and User Experience design. Perhaps the most important aspect of any app, poor UI/UX design will both alienate customers and guarantee your exclusion from the app store. Great UI/UX design will charm your customers and make your app look state-of-the-art. The details which go into an app’s gestures and audio make or break an app in the eyes of the critic, while retaining the potential to dazzle an audience. When directing your UX designers, be sure to take into account the branding for device-specific apps. If you’re releasing your app on iOS, review Impervious Appeal: How to Design Jaw-Dropping iOS Apps to make sure the UX design is consistent with Apple UX aesthetics, including “flat design.” The upcoming Android L OS specifically pushes Material Design aesthetics in an effort to distance the look of Android apps from those of iOS. Check out Android’s official Guide to Material Design for Developers to learn more. Impressive UX is debatably the most important aspect of any app, but it’s especially vital in the eyes of app store curators looking to show off the graphics capabilities of their devices.

Check out the screenshots below which detail the process of how Transit, an app which aggregates public transportation information, developed their UX design through multiple drafts. In 2012, Apple announced they would develop their own Maps app to replace Google Maps on iPhones. Instead of creating public transit functionality from scratch, Apple found it cheaper to buy Transit, an already successful app, and utilize its functionality. Now under Apple, Transit’s quest to perfect UX which would seamlessly integrate with Apple’s evolving aesthetics is a great example of aesthetic adaptation and the process of developing UX.

 

Via blog.pickcrew.com

Via blog.pickcrew.com

With over 1,000 app submissions per day, standing out in the sea of content within the app store can be a challenge; however, a great app will find its audience if properly marketed. While ASO is vital, it must be only one facet of any app’s marketing campaign. The app store curators react to trends. If an app gets external publicity, they are more likely to feature it. This works against independent developers who generally don’t have the same budget for marketing as they do for app development. Established brands stand a better chance at getting and staying featured. But independent developers can still find their niche. The app store curators are taste-makers looking to please their users by offering the best apps the exposure they need, as if they were curating a critic’s “Best of” list. The curators do not want to give the viewer the most obvious choice, but rather the best-in-class. Thus, a great app can transcend limitations.

Developing multiple native applications catering specifically to both device and OS improves your chances of success in all facets of app design, including ASO. Review Making the Most of your Tablet Design Part 2: Custom Device Design to learn more about the benefits of custom device design. App stores are more likely to feature apps which are available and optimized not just for smartphones, but also for tablets and computers as well. The more app stores on which your app is available, the more places it could get featured. Staggering your launch to start exclusively on one app store can also work toward your advantage because Apple and Google are more likely to feature apps exclusive to the Apple App Store or Google Play App Store respectively.

There are no rules the curators of the app stores must follow. They live in the shadows seeking out the best apps to showcase the full potential of iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, and computers. As we’ve stated before, ASO starts and ends with a great app.

Next week, in Part 5 of our series on ASO, we will detail the differences between the Apple and the Google Play App Stores. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, our teams of expert application designers and strategic marketers have the means to effectively both develop and market apps for iOS and Android. Contact us today by clicking here, or by phone at 801.994.6815

App Store Optimization Part 3: Boost Your App’s Profile, Increase Downloads and Generate Better Ratings

In an effort to emphasize the importance of App Store Optimization, the Mystic Media Blog is applying its expertise into a six-part series on the topic. In our previous entry “Master the Art of Writing a Catchy Title and Effective Keywords”, we detailed the ins and outs of the two primary factors in ASO: Title and Keywords. This week, in Part Three, we will focus on the other factors which have less of a direct impact on ASO, but nonetheless are vital to how an app store user perceives your app.

You can control the title of your app, the keywords, and the content of the app itself; however, the amount of downloads and ratings & reviews your app receives might seem out of your control. While they have less of a direct impact on ASO than what we’ve identified as the primary factors: title and keywords, downloads and ratings still retain a big impact on the viewer. A poorly reviewed app is not likely to get downloaded in a competitive environment, and an app with too few reviews and downloads is easy to dismiss. So how do you boost your app’s profile? There are a few tricks we’ll list here, but there is no easy method. Ultimately, a smart, efficient marketing campaign combined with well-executed ASO will boost the profile of your app and create a snowball effect leading to increased popularity.

If an app ranks highly in the app store AND has excellent reviews, regardless of the amount downloads, a user is likely to take a chance on it in hopes of discovering something new and unique rather than settling for the most popular incarnation of the app function they seek.  Studies also show apps with more positive ratings rank higher in the app store. Thus, it’s important for developers to harvest a wealth of positive reviews for their app as they launch an external marketing campaign. The baseline any developer needs to generate positive reviews is a good app, but assuming the app is functional, useful, and intuitive, the trouble becomes coaxing the user into rating your app without coming across as too pushy.

There are a variety of tactics to tackle the ratings problem. Any given developer likely will use social media for promotion, asking their friends and followers to download and rate the app. Many app developers choose to install a code which prompts the user to rate the app. When installing such code, one should make sure the message doesn’t prompt the user until the user has had the app installed for a sufficient amount of time (we recommend at least one week). This increases the likelihood the user enjoys the app and simultaneously eliminates users who install the app briefly.

The developer also has the choice of using either a boring, more standard prompt such as “Would you please rate [insert app name]?” or a more colorful one. Apptentive offers an intelligent ratings prompt which uses messages like “Do you love [insert app name]?” A cheeky message like this only redirects users who have positive feelings about your app to the app store ratings section (if they tap “no”, they are not redirected). Developers are also known to use incentives to boost ratings, such as free points or an alternate avatar in a game.

The app’s profile is ultimately one of the major factors in app marketing which influences the amount of downloads an app receives. The creation of an app’s profile in the app store should be directed with the goal of creating the most enticing presentation for viewers. An app’s profile includes the app icon, screenshots, description, and a video in Google Play. An app icon is worth making a solid investment. App icons should not use words, but should present a compelling image consistent with the UI design and color scheme in the app. Screenshots should demonstrate the most eye-catching visuals as well as display how the app functions. Description should be a concise, attention-grabbing detail of the app’s function and features. As we covered last week, it’s important for descriptions in Google Play to utilize keywords, while curators in Apple’s App Store don’t necessarily search for keywords in app descriptions.

Boosting an app’s number of downloads in service of ASO is tricky. ASO will increase the amount downloads you receive, and yet the amount of downloads will in turn raise your ranking in the search strings. A good marketing campaign backed up by an optimized profile with a top-tier icon and an enticing description will draw viewers in and increase their chances of downloading your app. One of the best ways to improve the profile of your app is to become featured in the app store’s landing page, a prime position which gives your app the most visibility possible. The trick to that… will be covered in the next installment of our ASO blog series. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, we have the cross-functional expertise and experience in marketing, mobile application design, and search engine optimization necessary to both create, optimize, and market a hit application. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

App Store Optimization Part 1: Rise To The Top of The App Store

Building a successful app requires the precise execution of a plethora of processes by various moving parts. It starts with an idea, but it doesn’t end with the design.  A great app means very little of not properly marketed in the app store. While we’ve briefly explored App Store Optimization in a previous article, in an effort to emphasize the importance, the Mystic Media Blog will be launching a five part in-depth series focusing on how to excel in all the facets of App Store Optimization to help your app rise to prominence in the app store. This introductory article will explain exactly what App Store Optimization is, and why it’s important.

You’re hungry late at night. You’re not near your computer and you’re not familiar with any take-out places in the area, let alone what’s open late. You go to your smartphone, go the app store, and type in “food”. What comes up? UrbanSpoon, Grubhub, Yelp, Seamless etc. Why? These dominant apps are best optimized for the app store. The difference between becoming a major force in the app store and falling flat can be decided by App Store Optimization, or ASO, one of the most vital application marketing techniques.

ASO is defined as the process of improving the visibility of mobile apps by optimizing them to rank higher in an app store’s search results. The best optimized applications rise to the top of search results related to their function. A study over at KISSmetrics showed that new apps are more frequently discovered through general app store browsing than through any other method. ASO is without a doubt the largest discovery channel available to your application. Effective ASO can cause turn a well-designed app into a hit.

ASO ultimately consists of two primary factors and two secondary factors. Factors of primary importance are Title and Keywords, while secondary factors include # of downloads and Ratings & Reviews. Screenshots of the app are also vital to the app’s presentation in the app store, although they have little to no impact in search engine optimization.

The Apple App Store differs from the Google Play App Store in a number of ways, but the SEO metrics are relatively similar. We will delve into the differences individually later in the series. Be on the lookout next week for our installment focused exclusively on Title and Keyword optimization. Stay tuned!

Mystic Media is, among many other things, a premier Search Engine Optimization firm. Our Marketing Strategists recognize the importance of ASO and can work with the tech side to ensure all websites and applications designed will succeed in the marketplace. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815