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The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Mobile Content Marketers

Mobile apps? They didn’t come onto the scene until 2008 when Apple launched the App Store to coincide with the release of its second-generation iPhone. Available apps numbered around 500....

Mobile apps? They didn’t come onto the scene until 2008 when Apple launched the App Store to coincide with the release of its second-generation iPhone. Available apps numbered around 500. Today–a mere six years later–millions of apps are available for download.

However, though hundreds of apps are downloaded every second, 22 percent are never used more than once. With such extensive industry saturation, how can mobile content marketers create and maintain a successful branded mobile app?

Let’s take a new-school approach to an old-school concept: It’s all about habit.

Habit #1: Listen Mobile content marketers too frequently speak without first taking the time and effort to listen. Before communicating your agenda, take a backseat and listen to your consumers. In this manner, content marketers can gain insight into what type of content people like. Learn the language, ingest the signals, and understand what is relevant. Only then should content marketers enter the conversation. Creating a meaningful connection with the consumer curates relationships that eventually become valuable commodities.

Habit #2: Be Personable Trying to think beyond the basic utility of an app and find other reasons for users to keep coming back is not easy. How can you create a more meaningful connection with your audience? What can an app offer that has the highest customer life time value?

Consider personalization. Take a weather app, for example: What about including updated weather reports based on a user’s location, or a customized city guide that offers pertinent weekly notifications on the comings and goings in your neighborhood? Perhaps the app could provide updates to local events or special travel offers at nearby airports. A weather app could consider letting appropriate partners provide additional content that is relevant to the audience. This opens up a new revenue stream that goes a step beyond advertising to provide true mobile content marketing. The bottom line is that apps that offer a personalized value add are going to stand out from the crowd, and continue to draw them in.

Habit #3: Be Relevant Just because you create an app doesn't mean everybody in the world is going to download it and/or use it repeatedly. You have to strategically align your content so people who want to learn more will come back to the app. Offering easy access to a consistently fresh flow of content is fundamental to transforming app users into app loyalists. Your app should offer value each and every time it’s accessed. Consumers who check in periodically (potentially your most devoted app users) and find nothing new, interesting, or useful will inevitably stop returning, visit less often, or perhaps even press delete to free up storage space.

Creating a stream of meaningful content is not as hard as it sounds. Brands are continually creating new content for a variety of marketing efforts across different channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and even printed magazines. Consider leveraging these types of outlets as direct feeds into your app. This will maintain a real-time relationship with your consumer.

Habit #4: Be Original Consumers are intelligent and know when brands are simply repurposing content for promotional reasons. It is imperative to surprise and delight with original, inventive content that veritably appeals to the app user. When branded mobile content provides information and is entertaining, it becomes infotainment. Amusing branded content is more likely to be thought-provoking, memorable, and socially shared. It doesn’t have to be lengthy–in fact, the shorter the better–but it does have to resonant and stay fresh.

Habit #5: Be Fresh Don’t let the lack of fresh, updated content bury your app in the App Store graveyard. The app market is saturated, and mobile marketers must consistently provide new or curated real-time content to the user. For example, according to The Wall Street Journal, the eight different real-time campaigns executed during the World Cup generated 2 million fan interactions across 200 different countries. Granted, content marketers can’t base their mobile strategies around events occurring once every four years; however, they can anticipate what content will be relevant and when.

Habit #6: Make It Easy Leverage existing content. This is not easy, especially in large organizations where it takes many departments to get your app updated. Brands may want to consider using a mobile content marketing platform that enables app updates in real time without involving IT or creating a new version in the App Store. This enables marketers to drive interesting app content that is favored by consumers.

Habit #7: Rinse. Lather. Repeat Content consumption, in general, has changed. Consumer behavior is constantly wavering. Content delivery is evolving. Mobile content marketers have little choice but to keep up.

Read the full article by Marla Schimke, VP of Marketing at Zumobi on CMO.com here.

Zumobi Featured in New Ad Age Guide to Content Marketing Partners - The Only Mobile Platform

Any marketer can develop content, but creating high-quality, compelling material requires finding the right partner for your needs. Here Ad Age covers leading STRATEGY, CREATION, DISTRIBU...

Any marketer can develop content, but creating high-quality, compelling material requires finding the right partner for your needs. Here Ad Age covers leading STRATEGY, CREATION, DISTRIBUTION & ANALYTICS for Content Marketing.

To learn more about this guide click here.

Zumobi Sauza Mobile Experience Shortlisted for the 2014 International IAB MIXX Awards

Selected for Groundbreaking Creativity and Impact, Beam Inc, Sauza “Girls Night” Mobile Party Planner is a finalist for the IAB MIXX’s “Rising Stars Mobile Rich Media Display” Award SEAT...

Selected for Groundbreaking Creativity and Impact, Beam Inc, Sauza “Girls Night” Mobile Party Planner is a finalist for the IAB MIXX’s “Rising Stars Mobile Rich Media Display” Award

SEATTLE, WA – September 24, 2014 – Zumobi, a leading mobile media and technology company, today announced that it is shortlisted for the IAB MIXX Award’s category, “IAB Rising Stars Mobile Rich Media Display.” This marks the second consecutive year the company has been recognized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, with last years Chevrolet Technology Series mobile content marketing experience winning a coveted Gold award for “IAB Standard Mobile Rich Media Display.”

The overall objective of the Sauza Party Planner mobile content marketing experience was to create an innovative way to drive brand engagement and loyalty through interactive event planning scenarios that could be saved to a consumer’s mobile home screen for continued use and increased brand loyalty.

Targeted to females over the age of 21, the experience provides an exciting new way for ladies to plan their next social gathering from their mobile phone. Geared towards a more eclectic and trendy crowd, the Sauza Party Planner capitalized on tech-savvy party enthusiasts with a proclivity for popular culture and social media. This unique mobile solution featured recipes, activities, videos, and decorating tips, all of which could be shared via social media and saved as a Content Hub on their smartphone.

With results as high as 74 percent of users revisiting the content marketing experience, the team saw a 5.03 CTR, which is far above industry benchmarks.

You can visit the innovative mobile content marketing experience on your iPhone here: http://media.zumobi.net/ads/campaigns/jimbeam_sauza_2013_04/ads/campaign/centerstage_update/age_gate.html

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 30, at the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards celebration in New York City. For more information about the event, visit IAB MIXX Awards.

Understanding Successful Mobile Content Marketing

As Chief Executive Officer, Ken Willner leads an experienced team in the development and growth of Zumobi’s mobile media business. Prior to Zumobi, Ken was Vice President of Advertising a...

As Chief Executive Officer, Ken Willner leads an experienced team in the development and growth of Zumobi’s mobile media business. Prior to Zumobi, Ken was Vice President of Advertising and Media at AT&T Wireless, where he developed a number of innovative marketing programs to stimulate consumer adoption of mobile content and applications

What are the secrets/keys to successful content branding today and to creating great content that is useful to a brand’s audience/customers?

The key to successful content branding is providing valuable information to people whenever and wherever they want it. On a daily basis, the consumer is bombarded with irrelevant marketing messages. In order for a brand to successfully engage with consumers, they must either create quality content or align themselves with content meaningful to the consumer. Additionally, branded content must be contextually relevant and easily accessed via whatever medium or method desired.

For example, on average a typical consumer spends at least 139 minutes a day on their mobile device. These connected individuals represent a tremendous number of daily touch points between brands and consumers. To effectively reach these consumers, marketers need to apply content marketing programs in ways that can be distributed across any device or screen in both long and short form.

Why is it important for content marketers to get this branded content out to wider audiences?

eMarketer predicts that mobile usage will grow 23 percent this year as time spent online and with traditional media declines. Last year, mobile time (excluding voice calls) lined up evenly with time spent on desktops and laptops. This year, they believe that mobile will pull significantly ahead. With this emphatic shift to mobile devices, it is imperative to seize the opportunity and provide relevant content consumers connect with; when and where they want it.

What strategies do you recommend for content marketers to get their branded content out? What strategies have proven effective and not so effective?

Marketers should leverage every communication channel available to them to expand their branded content exposure, including paid, earned and owned media. On the paid media side, the movement toward native advertising offers some unique opportunities to provide branded content more organic to a user’s consumption. Then on the owned media side, one of the areas that my company, Zumobi, has been pioneering is the enablement of content marketing programs inside a marketer’s own native mobile and tablet apps. Our ZBi platform provides a compelling opportunity for marketers to deliver personalized content to their customer based on their expressed intentions and preferences.

What are some of the distinctive/recent challenges digital publishers/electronic content providers face today when it comes to wider distribution of their branded content and maximizing their reach/message that perhaps weren’t challenges just a few years ago?

Capturing consumer attention in an increasingly competitive digital media landscape is definitely a challenge. Also, developing and optimizing content for distribution across multiple screens is a significant endeavor. The fragmentation created by the diversity of connected devices, screens and operating systems add major complexities to business today.

What are some don’ts marketers should avoid?

Don’t assume that one size fits all when it comes to content marketing. Different consumption modes require different formats, digital assets and feeds, as well as diverse technology to really be successful in today’s evolving digital media landscape.

What are some of the challenges/limitations/opportunities publishers and marketers need to keep in mind?

Most Fortune 500 companies from major auto manufactures, to banks and CPG brands have their own mobile applications. Frequently, we’ve noticed that these were launched quickly as utility apps, with functionalities to book a hotel room, check an account balance or print out a boarding pass. These features are functional of course, but they do not provide a mechanism for the brand to communicate, cross-sell or upsell to their customers. Adding a creative and compelling content hub to their app enables brands to keep their customers engaged on a whole new level, motivating them to keep coming back for more.

How should publishers/marketers be leveraging different platforms and media to increase their reach/audience? Any creative/innovative strategies they should consider?

Brands should consider deploying a content marketing platform for apps that easily leverages existing content from outlets like YouTube, Twitter (and even their print publications) to continually inject interesting new dynamic content into their app. What many brands may not know is that this can be done without the hassles of long-term development efforts, continual app store updates or even ongoing technical assistance from IT departments. Marketers that embrace a content marketing platform can easily update their apps automatically and streamline their process in real-time. In addition, brands benefit from the app data they gather because it can be utilized to inform associated marketing efforts.

Can you provide at least one example of a digital content provider/publisher that has been particularly successful in getting its branded content out to the masses?

For last year’s “Chevrolet Technology Series” campaign, Zumobi, in partnership with Motor Trend and Commonwealth, utilized our ZBi platform to translate a special print editorial collection to the mobile environment. This provided users a unique branded content experience across Motor Trend’s iOS and Android reader apps. Essentially, the ZBi platform provided a native-ad solution for Chevrolet. The campaign achieved phenomenal success, resulting in an unprecedented 37 percent engagement rate, which showcased the fact that more than one-third of people interacted with the native mobile advertisement. Additionally, we were named a GOLD winner of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) 9th Annual MIXX Awards in IAB’s Standard Mobile Rich Media Display category.

What other often overlooked factors/criteria should publishers/marketers be considering?

Publishers and marketers must always be cognizant of our changing times. Since the advent of apps about seven years ago, the world has undergone a momentous digital transformation that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s by all accounts speeding up. Stay fresh, stay relevant and remain successful.

Any other thoughts/comments?

Consumers want information, but they also want to be entertained. When done correctly, a brand’s app can provide “infotainment” to keep the customer intrigued and engaged. After eight years in the mobile space, I’m confident that mobile content marketing will drive real results for brands and exceed expectations.

View the full QA with Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi, here on adotas.

Zumobi Featured in New Forrester Report: Mobile Advertising - It's Time To Get Personal

Dump Your Desktop Approach For Integrated, Individualized Mobile Ads Nearly a third of the world's population is equipped with smartphones, and saturation reaches more than two-thirds in...

Dump Your Desktop Approach For Integrated, Individualized Mobile Ads

Nearly a third of the world's population is equipped with smartphones, and saturation reaches more than two-thirds in major markets like Hong Kong, the UK, and the US. This creates a huge mobile advertising opportunity: Marketers can reach a sizable audience with hypertargeted messages, and all industry players — from agencies to publishers to ad tech vendors — stand to profit. But although mobile ad investment is growing and the market is ripe with vendors offering programmatic solutions, the reality of this market still lags behind the potential. This report will explain the opportunity and hurdles within the mobile advertising market today and what marketers, agencies, publishers, and advertising technology vendors have to do to help the industry reach its potential.

FORRESTER REPORT: Mobile Advertising: It's Time To Get Personal

April 16, 2014

By: Jennifer Wise with Melissa Parrish, Susan Bidel, Thomas Husson, Olivia French

To learn more access the full report here.

Zumobi CEO Talks Video, Mobile CRM Platform Launch For Marketers

Zumobi, a Seattle-based mobile media and advertising technology company that supplies integrated app content to brands and publishers, launched Wednesday the Zumobi Brand Integration Plat...

Zumobi, a Seattle-based mobile media and advertising technology company that supplies integrated app content to brands and publishers, launched Wednesday the Zumobi Brand Integration Platform for Marketers.

Zumobi operates premium mobile app network The Zumobi Network and has worked with publishing partners like Hearst Digital Media and MSN to monetize its mobile apps through its rich media platform and developer kits.

One of the traditional challenges app developers face is cracking the code on user retention and in-app engagement, but Zumobi CEO Ken Willner says this is where the company is focused on helping mobile marketers make headway. He spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: Can you bring us up to speed on Zumobi and what you do? KEN WILLNER: Zumobi has been in the mobile apps space close to eight years now and pre-iPhone. We are able to create very immersive content and brand experiences in mobile applications. The common phrasing now is “content marketing” or “native advertising,“ but essentially we’re creating content and advertising experiences that help [marketers] deliver through our platform inside of mobile applications.

What’s next? The next wrinkle or evolution of our platform is we’ve been asked over the last six to eight months by some of our brand clients about helping them enable these kinds of rich branded content experiences inside of their own apps. So the nuance here is that whereas before, we were providing a paid media opportunity, we’re now extending that to owned media and brands are using their own apps as a canvas to communicate with their customers using content and that’s the new extension of the platform.

What need does this address? Consumer-facing Fortune 500 companies like banks, airlines, hotels and pharma, [all] have their own mobile and tablet applications. They typically got those out to market quickly as utility apps, with functionality like “book a hotel room, check your account balance, print out your boarding pass.” They were always quite functional and still are, but haven’t provided a mechanism for those companies to talk to, cross-sell or upsell to their customers before – some of these CRM capabilities – and we want to enable that through this extension of our platform.

What are the components? The branded content module enables a brand to deliver RSS feeds or video or any kind of branded content to customers. The Partner Marketing module is quite important because most brands today have third-party marketing relationships such an airline and a credit card partner, or a destination hotel partner. This module is database-driven and enables these brands to enable their marketing partners to deliver offers to their user base in a very selective, targeted way and through cross-promotion. The third module is the mobile media module, which is an ad-serve product that can deliver a derivative of digital ad campaigns which might be running or even those same campaigns, inside of a brand’s own app to their own customer base. This can also include blogs or social content, but any form of content they want to deliver their own content.

Zumobi launched mobile video ad formats in the fall that brand clients Nissan and Corona have used. What’s the biggest issue with mobile video? The uptake on that unit has been pretty compelling. The thesis behind that was that mobile video in particular is pretty hot. Advertisers are quite interested in that format, but inventory is constrained. There’s a certain amount of video in mobile and on the Web in general and a lot of it is pre- or post-roll and what we wanted to do with that product was create video inventory where it didn't exist prior, so we could help publishers create an offering that brand advertisers could take advantage of, that was not a blocking interstitial. Interstitials tend to annoy users, particularly if you block all the content and it’s a midpoint between a blocking interstitial and a pre-roll so it auto plays video but in a way that can be closed out easily and does not take over a whole page. That way if a user is interested they can click through, go to a full landing page and get the whole video experience. We wanted to create a unit that didn't exist before that has all the good characteristics of delivering video for advertisers, but not the quality of taking over the content experience, which is a problem.

What’s the greatest challenge for brand advertisers with in-app messaging and content? There are a lot of form factors, devices, screens and operating systems. There is a complexity to the business in general. [One of the major problems I’ve seen is the] concepts that worked on desktop Web were immediately transported to mobile. I’m on the IAB Native Advertising committee, and I have to say that brand advertisers have woken up to the mobile opportunity and are realizing that there is a lot more that can be done on this smaller screen if you have the thought leadership and ambition to do it.

Can you talk about your customer base, impressions served and headcount? On the advertising side, I can say with confidence that 75% of (companies on the 100 Leading National Advertisers Index) have used Zumobi in one form or another. On the publisher side, we think about it in two ways. We have direct, first-party publishing relationships where we have direct relationships with the media companies where we produced the app ourselves, or we have our software development kit (SDK) inside of the app, and through our direct and extended network, we probably have a couple million premium uniques there and a couple hundred million impressions. And then we have third-party relationships where we can extend our ad units and advertising capabilities into any IAB/MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions)-compliant app. Over the last four years, we have seen significant growth – certainly in the high double-digit percentages, but I can’t really disclose profitability and revenues. We are at 28 people now.

Read the full article here on Ad Exchanger to learn more.

Zumobi Announces ZBi For Marketers, a Breakthrough In-App Content and Messaging Platform For Brands

First-of-Its-Kind Platform Enables Marketers to Easily Deliver Highly-Relevant Branded Content and Partner Promotions to Consumers Within Their Mobile Apps Seattle, Washington – February...

First-of-Its-Kind Platform Enables Marketers to Easily Deliver Highly-Relevant Branded Content and Partner Promotions to Consumers Within Their Mobile Apps

Seattle, Washington – February 26, 2014 – Zumobi, a leading mobile media and technology company, today announced the unveiling of its Zumobi Brand Integration (ZBi) Platform for Marketers, allowing companies to integrate dynamic branded content into their mobile apps in real-time without the hassles associated with long-lead development efforts, continual app updates or cumbersome technical issues. ZBi helps brands transform their utility apps into targeted channels for branded content, partner marketing and customer communication.

eMarketer reported that 83% of company executives felt that the most important function of a mobile app was communication with customers. With the new ZBi platform, brands can take their marketing strategy to the next level by leveraging anonymous data on their customer’s app usage, behavior and preferences for improved marketing insight. Through this important new CRM channel, brands can deepen customer loyalty and increase user engagement while also establishing lucrative new in-app revenue streams through exclusive marketing partnerships.

The ZBi platform, based on Zumobi’s award winning technology, enables brands to connect with their consumers in ways that are highly engaging, yet organic to the app experience through a suite of in-app content modules:

• Branded Content Module – Provides targeted, brand-relevant content and messaging to specific users based on their preferences.

• Partner Marketing Module – Presents partner marketing offers and special promotions that are of interest to the app user.

• Mobile Media Module – Extends the brand’s mobile media campaigns into their native app – including embedded video and in-steam, dynamic ads.

• Targeted Push Notifications – Alerts app users with relevant branded messages based on their preferences.

“To be highly effective in today’s digital world, brands need to harness both content and data to drive meaningful and relevant conversations with their customers,” said Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi. “Mobile apps are an increasingly important environment for customer interaction and our ZBi platform provides an excellent way for brands to enhance and strengthen their customer relationships.”

Learn more about our ZBi platform and ZBi For Marketers here.

About Zumobi

Zumobi is a leading mobile media and technology company that partners with top brands and publishers to enable integrated app content and advertising experiences on smartphones and connected devices. With over 20 early patents filed on mobile UI and technology, Zumobi has been driving innovation in mobile media since 2006. To learn more, visit www.zumobi.com or follow Zumobi on Twitter @Zumobi.

Zumobi PR Contact:

Andrea Bruch, Zumobi | Andrea.Bruch@Zumobi.com | 206.515.7690

Apps 2.0: Can Brands Lead the Mobile App Evolution?

History inevitably repeats itself. When the World Wide Web was first introduced, brands of all sizes felt a strong sense of urgency to create a web presence regardless of its partial func...

History inevitably repeats itself. When the World Wide Web was first introduced, brands of all sizes felt a strong sense of urgency to create a web presence regardless of its partial functionality, modest quality or limited scalability. Over time, as web marketers and developers became more savvy, the features and performance of webpages became personalized, continually setting new standards for acceptable website.

Fast forward to today. A similar trajectory is happening with the rise of mobile apps. The release of the first generation iPhone in June of 2007 sparked the origin of the app ecosystem where companies scrambled to quickly create an app just to say they had a mobile presence. During this first phase of mobile app creation, most were buggy and functionality was scarce. In many cases, apps were static versions of a brand’s website that were not optimized for the smaller screen and had little, if any, personalization. Breakthroughs were made when consumers could actually login and access personal information but for many the app crashed in the process.

Today, the mobile app landscape has dramatically matured as we enter the second phase of building brand engagement. As marketers, we must think about crafting consumer experiences that drive ongoing brand communication ensuring users will remain engaged and regularly return. While app functionality has significantly improved, so has the ability to deliver relevant branded content to targeted consumers via in-app communication.

For example, the same airline app that once only served a singular function of viewing to see if your flight was on time can now leverage many unique mobile features like the ability to book travel and check in to your flight, while also providing associated branded content and information relevant to the user. Everything from partner hotel and car offers to features on your travel destination like “the best kid-friendly restaurants in Kaui.” This enables the airline to promote new products or services and leverage data to drive deeper communication and loyalty with their consumers. In fact, according to a recent study from Forbes Insight and Adobe, marketing executives state that the most common use of corporate mobile apps is to communicate with customers at 83%.

This is especially important as Flurry, comScore and NetMarktShare report that consumers are spending 80% of their time in mobile apps unveiling an unlimited opportunity for marketers to continually engage with consumers. This research supports that we’ve breached the era of App 2.0 where brands can lead the way.

App 2.0 sets the stage for brands to connect with consumers in an exciting new manner that is beneficial for both parties. For example, by downloading a branded automotive app a consumer has expressed interest in the brand and are probably more inclined to welcome associated content - not just car ads, but branded mobile experiences related to the automotive industry like automotive news, informative videos, entertainment, and more. Brands can also offer their partners opportunities to promote relevant products and services to reach this key engaged audience. To further improve customer loyalty, brands can provide customized PUSH notifications to users that have registered their app. With a users permission, brands can send them reminders for things like a 10,000 mile service or when new content has been published in the app that they have shown interest in.

The ability to reach the consumer in new and helpful ways is unprecedented. Someday, in the not so distant future, I predict that apps will have the capability to inform us when, for example, our tire pressure is low or if we need to get an oil change. Apps might even be able to tell us when we need to fill up our tank with gas and, in-real time, point us in the direction of the nearest gas station. They might even include interesting articles about our favorite automobiles and the latest accessories. By delivering content that is highly relevant to consumer’s expressed interests, brands are able to communicate with consumers on an ongoing basis. With this, App 2.0 moves into the next generation of mobile app monetization and delivery strategies for brands in what has, until now, been a virtually untapped platform.

Catch the full article authored by Marla Schimke, VP of Marketing at Zumobi, here on WIRED.