How To Promote Your Mobile App Before the Event
A mobile event app with engaging features and volumes of content is only effective if a significant portion of attendees become users. Our iPhone, iPad, Android, and mobile web apps are capable of reaching virtually every smartphone and tablet user, yet simply assuming attendees will find and download a mobile app results in a small user base and fails to take advantage of cost effective and easy methods of promotion. Through the right combination of traditional communication, social media, and marketing materials, event planners and organizers will see great benefits not only at the event, but throughout the life of the app.
When to Promote
Make the app available 30 to 90 days before the event to ensure plenty of time for promotion. While the entire agenda and other event-specific information may not be finalized, “coming soon” branding can help build anticipation as the app’s user base increases. Features such as push notifications and social media integration also enable new users to receive timely updates on registration deadlines, travel logistics, and other relevant information as attendees make plans in advance.
Traditional email communication is always a great place to start promoting a mobile app. E-blast the official release of the app, but remember to include reminders in other event-related emails as well. Social media also provides event organizers with an increasingly popular portal to communicate with event attendees, as most companies and organizations already have Twitter and Facebook accounts with a significant number of followers. Even promoting the app on LinkedIn or more niche-driven sites like Pinterest will reach a subset of users who may not otherwise see the message.
Most online promotion strategies should be implemented before the app is even available for download -- generating buzz and giving people a tentative timeframe for its release. Make sure to allocate a prominent spot towards the top of any existing event-related web pages for download links and information related to the mobile app, which can be used in social media promotion and gives everyone a central link to increase awareness of the mobile app online.
For companies and organizations still planning to print a paper program, placing app branding in a prominent spot is a no-brainer. A subsection of attendees with smartphones or tablets may not be app savvy and still prefer printed programs, but will happily download and try the app when prompted. Include information about reduced paper usage and ease of use to give hesitant users more incentive to transition away from print material and enjoy the benefits of a mobile app.
Signage and single-sided brochures with app information and QR codes are also an easy and effective way to promote the app. AppBurst can work with clients to set up a branded website to use in conjunction with the QR code, which will automatically recognize the user’s device and direct him or her to the AppStore, Google Play, or an HTML5 mobile web app. While these materials are especially effective at the event (typically near the registration area), a strategy needs to be implemented well in advance, enabling organizers to mail brochures to attendees alongside other material well before the event.
Promotion before the event will pay significant dividends -- both during the event and in terms of long-term benefits to ROI and brand awareness. With a high percentage of attendees using mobile apps, timely updates via push messaging, real-time changes to the event agenda, and interactive features such as exhibitor maps and surveys will improve the event experience for a majority of attendees and make the life of event organizers easier in the process.
A growing, engaged user base will also be reflected in app analytics AppBurst provides to every client and shows potential sponsors the numbers of users their ads can reach. Not only will more sponsors be willing to purchase ad space, the prices of ad banners, splash pages, takeover ads, and more will increase as the demand for placement in the app rises. An increased number of users also gives companies and organizations a better opportunity to promote their own products or services.
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Apps For Events is a service of AppBurst, a mobile application development company located in West Palm Beach, Florida.