One of the greatest ironies of the mobile era is that our phones simultaneously make our lives easier while also (when configured wrong) increasingly disrupting us. We all have tons of apps (on apps on apps) that poke us with status updates, social notifications, and other messages longing for time and attention.
Some apps crave constant love from people. These are social, entertainment, and gaming apps that act as a fun distraction from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Then, there are apps that you need. These are lifestyle apps that aim to make the hustle and bustle of daily life smoother. Lifestyle apps give mobile marketers a unique opportunity to build a more intimate relationship with their app users – a relationship of mutual dependency. And this isn’t as complicated as it seems.
Depending on your specific marketing goal, here are four tried and tested marketing tactics to help lifestyle brands skyrocket to app success.
Works Best For: Lifestyle brands offering a paid service
Marketing Campaign: Create an app funnel using calls-to-action to give one-time users a taste of all the benefits available in the app
Do you have an app that first requires users to log in? Does your app help streamline everyday processes, but this service is exclusive to members? That’s cool but, what do you do about all those curious cats who come across your app without a subscription? Oftentimes, people on the go download the apps of brands that they find interesting to do a “test drive.” Even if your lifestyle app is designed specifically for existing customers, you can still turn it into a strong marketing vehicle by creating a non-member funnel.
When new users open your app, ask them whether they are an existing customer or a casual explorer. Then, guide the casual explorer through the cool features of your subscription and showcase how your mobile app can make their life way easier. You want to provide a tempting sneak peak and turn one-shot users into members of your club.
Marketing Win: You get new subscribers and your mobile app serves the dual function of helping current members while also marketing your business to prospects. Double win.
A Brand That Did This Well: Zipcar
Works Best For: Brands selling lifestyle products in brick-and-mortar stores
Marketing Campaign: Build a feature specifically for your mobile app to provide branded utility and assist with the shopping process.
Businesses that offer lifestyle products (like furniture, tools, or component parts) typically operate out of physical locations since these items cannot be easily purchased online. Does this mean these companies should shy away from creating a mobile app? Absolutely not.
The world is becoming increasingly mobile and mobile apps can play a key part in cultivating brand loyalty. If it doesn’t make sense to sell your product via an app, then use your app to assist shoppers with the buying process.
In other words, create branded utility so your app provides a service. Even if people will eventually need to come into your store to complete a transaction, engage them on mobile by building an exclusive feature that helps buyers make purchase decisions. This is the concept of inherent engagement; the core function of your app delivers some value on its own.
Marketing Win: Your mobile app motivates offline shopping behavior and drives engagement for being intrinsically useful.
A Brand That Did This Well: IKEA
Works Best For: All lifestyle brands
Marketing Campaign: Embed icon or action-based prompts within your app that reveal hidden gems when clicked.
Lifestyle apps thrive by naturally connecting with their users. In other words, they fit neatly into users’ lives because they supplement everyday thoughts and processes. And what’s more normal than good old human curiosity? People are innately interested in discovery, exploration, and learning new things. Lifestyle apps can capitalize on this instinct by using “click-to-reveal” in-app messaging as part of their marketing strategy.
Click-to-reveal in-app messages are targeted messages that appear in real-time when a user clicks on a particular part of an app (such as an image or line of text). These types of in-app messages can be designed to provide additional information, explain app features, show item ratings, etc. The possibilities are endless, but the overarching goal is to encourage in-app exploration and experimentation by keeping some things hidden until the user completes an action.
Remember, lifestyle apps need to build a relationship with their audience and one of the best ways to do that is to tease them with semi-surprising goodies so they keep coming back for more. As a bonus, you can also insert calls-to-action within in-app messaging creatives to drive users to product pages with purchase procedures (or other conversion actions).
Marketing Win: Your app plays off natural human curiosity to encourage user interaction and thus prolong session time.
A Brand That Did This Well: Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine
Works Best For: Lifestyle brands offering event-related apps or app features like calendars
Marketing Campaign: Send useful reminders and updates before, during, and after events to help users manage their time.
Human memory is a fickle thing. As we rush from one place to another, we tend to forget stuff – especially dates and details regarding events and logistics. Luckily, there are lifestyle apps that exist to help us keep track of our time. Brands that offer event-focused apps for things like conferences or commute tracking can harness the power of push notifications to alert their users when important information becomes available or, as a deadline nears.
Imagine being an avid traveller who loves road trips. What if your lifestyle app alerted you to route changes as you were on the move? Now, you won’t get stuck in gridlock traffic and still get to your destination on time, thus giving you peace of mind. This is an example of a lifestyle app creating a relationship of trust – it saved you from being delayed and missing out on something, so therefore, you’ll rely on it more. Successful lifestyle apps influence their users’ lives in a positive way, and event-based push messaging campaigns ensure people always stay on top of their schedules.
Marketing Win: Your app builds credibility and cultivates user reliance thus increasing the likelihood that one-timers will turn into power users. This will increase their lifetime value.
A Brand That Did This Well: Waze
Lifestyle apps exist to make life easier. This gives mobile marketers a great opportunity to build an intimate relationship with their users centered on mutual dependency. Brands need users to engage with them on mobile and users need lifestyle apps to live better. Therefore, the best marketing campaigns for this unique vertical aren’t like blatant ads at all – they’re like helping hands that show up to serve. Just like your app.
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