Hotel apps stand to benefit from more strategic mobile advertising.
Good news for mobile hotel apps. Total app downloads from both Google’s Play Store and the iOS App Store increased 8.2 percent in Q1 of 2015 over the previous year, with more than 17 billion downloads total. Mobile users are also spending more time using apps in general, much more than they spend browsing mobile websites at 90 percent of the total mobile time.
That said, the mobile app business is still as competitive as ever with so many apps vying for space on user devices. App ads are definitely worth it for any brand that wants to stand out, especially for those in categories with a higher rate of abandonment. Travel apps lead all categories in customer churn, which means hotel app marketing has to evolve to become more strategic in order to actively engage users.
Luckily, mobile ads for hotel app marketing are graduating into new territory, with social media channels driving a lot of benefits.
Total app downloads from both Google’s Play Store and the iOS App Store topped 17 billion.
Snapchat is newly emerging as a viable mobile ad platform. It’s currently a better platform for brands looking to start gaining visibility with younger audiences, especially since it was just crowned as the most popular social media channel with U.S. teens.
Conversion through the app is incredibly simple, though, and this platform is definitely one to watch. With features like live coverage of major events, like award ceremonies, news events and music festivals, and partnerships with publishers like the Wall Street Journal, it could be a big draw in the future for a broader demographic.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are powerhouse platforms when it comes to mobile app ads. You can’t deny the viability of Facebook as an advertising platform when 72 percent of online U.S. adults use it. But these two platforms have great value specific to app advertising. At the end of 2015, it was reported that app ads on these two channels drove growth in downloads of 196 percent.
Instagram alone was responsible of more than a fifth of total clicks on app install ads. That’s pretty phenomenal, especially when you also consider the bonus tidbit that customer acquisition cost is lower on Instagram than other channels.
A few years ago Twitter announced some really nifty app marketing campaign features. Structured like other CPAC campaigns, app ads (called App Cards) appear organically within users’ tweet feeds and provide conversion analytics. The good part is that App Cards have a natural, less obtrusive feel. The bad part is that it can be easy for users who are quickly scrolling through a cluttered feed to pass right by these ads.
Still, Twitter reports that more than 80 percent of its users are on mobile, which means it’s a great channel to consider for mobile app advertisements. And the Twitter Ads back-end platform for businesses has great tools and analytics to measure the success of hotel app marketing through this channel.
Google & Apple
Beyond the social media players, Google and Apple will both likely soon offer paid in-store search options for iOS and Android, a big help to the cause of hotel app marketing for differentiating a brand or individual hotel app from the very crowded stores.
And the Google AdWords Search Trial Run Ads are also on the horizon after successful testing. Mobile users can try out an app before actually downloading. Hopefully, it’ll increase user retention if people can actually see what they’re getting in advance.