Today’s guest post comes from Timur Taepov, Founder of JustForward.co – App Marketing Agency. In this post, Timur shows us how creating a podcast can leverage your app marketing strategy and drive organic downloads to your app.
App marketing is getting more expensive
The number of apps in app stores is increasing drastically every day. According to Statista, as of May 2015, there are 1.5 million apps in Google Play and 1.4 million apps in Apple’s App Store.
(Image Credit: Statista)
This means that the competition is getting tougher. The more apps competing for users, the more budget they each spend on marketing for user acquisition. As a consequence user acquisition costs continue to rise for everyone.
According to Fiksu, the Cost Per Loyal User Index reached $3.09 in March of this year. For the purposes of this index, “loyal users” are defined as people who open an app three times or more.
(Image Credit: Fiksu)
Cost Per Install Index reached $1.53 for iOS, $1.74 for Android during the same period. This index measures the Cost Per App Install that is directly attributed to advertising.
(Image Credit: Fiksu)
Taking into consideration all the facts listed above it’s vital to run app marketing activities very precisely and take care of user acquisition costs. And, moreover, it is time to consider other sources for app downloads.
Fortunately, there are sources that can have a huge potential to drive traffic. One of these sources is podcasting.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is a type of media delivery which mostly typically is audio-based content. While video podcasts do exist, they are not produced nearly as often. In another way, podcasting could be explained as being similar to a radio show.
Podcasts are audio files that are in mp3 format. You can listen to this audio virtually on any device you like. It can be a PC, Mac, Smartphone, Tablet, car’s media equipment like Apple Car Play or Android Auto, or any form of mp3 device.
It is possible to play these podcast episodes by streaming them, so there is no need to have an additional memory on a device. One of the nicest things about podcasts is that you can get them on demand! When you want, where you want and on any topic you prefer.
Why is it so important to run a podcast show today?
The podcasting audience is huge. We count about 525 million active subscribers on iTunes alone. With so many people typing keywords to find relevant content of this particular type, you definitely should give them something of yours to find. While iTunes is the largest, there are additional podcasting channels to distribute your audio content – Stitcher and SoundCloud are the other major ones.
Here is the share of U.S. population that has listened to an audio podcast in the last month from 2008 to 2015.
(Image Credit: Statista)
As seen from the chart, the share of U.S. population who has listened to an audio podcast has almost doubled from 2008 to 2015.
Moreover, podcasting is fun! You can make your own shows and deliver content that interacts with listeners. Podcasting is also a traffic source that has no high barriers to enter.
Driving organic app downloads is critical today and by podcasting, you can leverage major directories like iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud for free. You will not be charged by directories and that’s awesome.
What do you need to establish a podcast?
In order to run a podcast you will need a few things:
Identify your podcast avatar;
Choose the content strategy and establish content production process;
Prepare software and equipment to record episodes;
Set up media hosting provider to store episodes and generate RSS feed;
Assign RSS feed to directories and optimize it in order to deliver episodes to listeners.
Define your podcast avatar
The first thing that has been done before podcast launch is avatar identification. So, what is an Avatar specifically? It is your ideal listener. In other words, he/she is your targeted person. It is a listener that the podcast resonates with frequently. You need to know socio-demographic data like age, job and so on. You definitely need to know their pains and obstacles. These are the things you need to know about your avatar. Why? Because it’s a good way to provide a reliable solution for them in order to reach your initial audience goals when you start podcasting.
Avatar identification is a very important step that you shouldn’t miss; otherwise the probability to go the wrong way is very high. Sit down and write a couple of sentences about your perfect listener, describe them with as much detail as you can. Ensure that it is consistent with the real world audience that you can reach and that it is not unrealistic.
This will also provide a way to target your app audience and mine characteristics from analytics tools.
How to establish content production process?
There are two main ways to run a podcast show: interviews and topic based. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Usually interviews are more engaging, but require thorough preparation because you need to find a guest, schedule a recording and then arrange it. Topic-based podcasts might not be as engaging but they are much easier to produce.
As it was already mentioned, it is important to care about costs of user acquisition. In order to follow this tip, we recommend employ lean startup approach when you use HADI (Hypothesis Action Data Insights) and MVP (Minimal Viable Product).
MVP means that you prepare the product that has minimum functions and has the lowest cost to produce but still works. This gives you an opportunity to test your hypothesis. In the case of podcasting, it might be content curation topic-based show. This is the approach that we employ to produce our App Marketing – Growth Hacking Podcast. We search for the most relevant, fresh and sharable articles of about 2000-3000 words each. It is possible to do this quickly using the free plan of Scoop.it tool. Then, we curate the article and make a podcast script that is usually 400 to 500 words.
Now there are two options: record the episode yourself or outsource it. For example, on Fiverr.com a voice-over for 100 words costs $5 and $25 for 500. We record podcast episodes ourselves. This is a good way to make fast start and test a hypothesis. For sure the content you provide has to be relevant for the targeted audience.
Audio content allows making the show engaging using music and sound effects. And don’t forget to embed call-to-action, for instance, by announcing the short link to download an app.
Equipment does matter
It is important to cover two major topics in that field: the hard side (microphone) and the soft side (recording and editing software).
Audio quality does really matter, so take a good care of the microphone you are going to use. Of course, there are more specialized mics out there and the better mic you use, the better audio quality you will deliver. If you are on a low budget your choice might be Logitech ClearChat which costs around 30 dollars, but this is the minimum quality you should use. The ATR-2100 costs about 50 dollars and is a great mic to start podcasting while you are testing your podcast hypothesis.
Then there are the high-end mics like the Heil PR-40, which costs more than 300 dollars and produce the best audio quality. However, remember that the Heil PR-40 is not what you need to start. This mic is more for professionals. The best way to start is using an intermediate cost microphone. It just needs to be an USB Studio Condenser mic.
Another part is recording and editing software. There are numbers of different ways to record and edit podcasts episodes. Some of them are paid. Others are free. On of the popular free recording and editing tool is Audacity. This software is very powerful and easy-to-use. If you feel the passion to be on a higher lever, then you can employ Adobe Audition that will cost you around 20 dollars per month. Another option that is only available to Mac users is GarageBand, which is also free.
Where to store a podcast?
Your media host needs to be a podcast warehouse that is reliable. It needs to be able to handle a lot of requests to the servers if your podcast, or a certain episode, is featured. A very fast, easy and reliable option is to use libsyn.com media host.
Why your podcast’s title is crucial?
I can’t stress enough how crucial the title of your podcast is. Take great care in naming your podcast. There are a couple of reasons why this part is highly important.
First, it has to resonate with you and your avatar but you must also consider using major keywords that refer to your topic! Many podcasts miss this great opportunity to be searchable by major keywords. Again, bear in mind that keywords are vital for a podcast because more than 500 million iTuners are searching for podcasts and podcasts episodes by typing keywords.
The next thing to understand about the advanced optimization of your title is the difference between the visible and the invisible parts of the title. Even though the invisible part is cut off, it is still searchable through the search engine.
For our podcast App Marketing – Growth Hacking Podcast, the major keyword phrase is “app marketing”.
(Image Credit: iTunes)
The entire title is not visible on search results though. The first thing people catch when they see our podcast in the results is “app marketing” keyword phrase. Then, there is another hot keyword phrase: “growth hacking.” This is to ensure that this trending keyword phrase will help to drive more traffic to the podcast.
Let’s have a look at the podcast landing page on iTunes and observe the optimization part of the title.
Here you can observe additional keywords that refer to app marketing. We strongly recommend that you don’t miss this opportunity to add keywords after the visible title part. There are very simple steps to create a perfect title.
First – think of the visible part of your title: include major keywords and make it simple. Then put the colon and add your keywords. Be careful here: don’t stuff your title with keywords; Apple hates it. You’ll need to find the right balance.
Speaking of naming, there is another growth hack that few podcasters use: the author name. People usually just put their name and leave it. But there is an opportunity to add relevant and searchable keywords in the author field also.
Make awesome artwork
Artwork makes the first impression. In general, all you have to do is create one image. There are no screenshots or additional images that you are required to prepare. Only one single image is needed but it is very important.
The major directories are busy places and it is tough to be noticed in the crowd. If you want to succeed, you’ll need to make it as clean and simple as possible. Try to deliver your message via artwork in a clear and simple manner. Don’t overload your artwork with pictures or small text; it won’t be recognizable by listeners so they will just overlook it. We strongly recommend using bold, clean text and an eye-catching image.
The dimensions of the artwork are also critical. If you want to be featured on iTunes, for example, you have to meet their requirements. You need to have artwork between 1400px by 1400px and 2018px by 2048px in size.
Podcasting is a great opportunity to reach out to new app users due to the low competition. It has a huge amount of traffic and it is not as saturated as other media channels like YouTube for example. The quality of its audience is extremely high and the costs are very low.
Seems like now you have everything you need to start using this awesome organic traffic channel to drive more organic downloads to your app! Good luck!
What do you think of podcasting? Did you ever consider including it in your app marketing strategy? Share your experience with us in the comments below, thanks!