7 Steps to Market Your App Through Paid Content

Sandra Wu geeks out over writing that sells (her words). She’s led paid content marketing teams for both 8fit and Blinkist and has mastered the art of driving growth through native advertising.

CPM grew 37% between July and December 2018, sapping a core advertising channel for many companies. Apps must diversify their user acquisition if they want to achieve year-round success.

HOW TO: Use native content advertising to achieve steady, scalable user growth

1. So what is native content advertising anyway?

It’s embedding a paid article featuring your product within another media site. Why? People who take the time to read 700 words about your app are much more likely to convert, buy the more expensive subscription, and talk about your product within their networks.

Compared to FB ads, native advertising offers 50% lower CPC and 11% higher lifetime value leads. Here’s what it looks like →

2. Start with 4 articles that feature an appealing value prop related to your product

For example, Blinkist summarizes insights from nonfiction books, so their main value prop is gaining knowledge through books. Their top performing articles include, “The Reading Habits of Highly Successful People,” and “Reading These 5 Books Will Change Your Life”

Here are Sandra’s top 2 platforms to start featuring your paid content →



3. Set your strategy based on manpower — don’t bite off more than you can chew

A 1-person user acquisition team should start just by optimizing the articles on FB, before expanding to new platforms. With a small team, you can start on other channels including the two mentioned above.

If you’ve got the capacity and are ready to work at this, here are two more platforms to try out →



4. Don’t overwhelm yourself with pages of metrics — start with just 3: CTR, sign-up rate, and purchase rate

Native advertising naturally has a higher CTR, but if your articles don’t sell the value prop of your product your other two metrics will suffer. You need at least 2 of the 3 healthy at all times.

Keep close track of your metrics and use them to guide your content optimization →

Zoho KPI Dashboards

5. Avoid clickbait titles; instead, use them to grab attention from your top audiences

Consider 2 titles: “5 Tips on How to Have a Relaxing Holiday in the Alps” vs. “This Hiking App is What You Need for a Holiday in the Alps.”

The 1st gets a 30% higher CTR, but will attract lower-quality leads (aka non-hikers). The 2nd gets a 200% higher sign-up rate, leading to a much higher purchase rate.

Try creating your own titles, but if you’re stuck, here’s a title generator to help spark ideas →

Blog Title Idea Generator

6. Exercise patience and set clear expectations with executives beforehand

It could take several months before you start seeing results from your native content advertising; make sure your content and leadership teams know that before you start.

Don’t try it unless you have a healthy purchase rate from other channels. If you’re getting hit hard by FB or Instagram’s price fluctuations, diversify your paid ads to other platforms →



7. Pitch it to your bosses as both a paid advertising & organic growth strategy

Native content is primarily paid advertising, but you will also see your organic rank get a boost. You’ll also improve your PR by getting your brand in front of a wider audience.

Coordinate your paid content with your SEO strategy, and track your ranking to build support for an ongoing native content budget →


February 28th, 2019

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