This is how mobile apps are driving business growth in a pandemic world

By Karam Malhotra, Partner and Global Vice-President at SHAREit Group

Businesses across all verticals and geographies have been impacted by the pandemic. Subsequently, the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on marketing have been unprecedented. From the shift in the shopping attitudes to behaviours to preferences, brand experts and marketing teams are keeping an eye on evolving trends.

As consumers are engaging on mobile and digital channels more than ever before, brands had to quickly adapt to new expectations and engagement strategies while accelerating their digital footprint. While advertisements on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a part of the marketing mix, app brand marketers are also leveraging other popular mobile apps in their target markets to reach new audiences.

A popular mobile app with a wide user base can be a great vehicle for a brand to tell its story and target new users – app platforms like SHAREit, which is a content sharing and streaming app, is becoming popular among brands in terms of onboarding high-value users in emerging markets.

The question arises, why is advertising on an app platform gaining popularity? Not only is it an ideal way to reach audiences at scale but also efficiently. This is because the users of the app are already qualified and more likely to buy any product or service.

There are different mobile app advertising trends that are quickly gaining momentum. Ad formats like full-screen videos with interactive end cards or rich media interstitials (an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading) can be a great way for a brand to both reach an audience at scale and capture their attention. In-app ads are scaled to fit the app and therefore look much more appealing to the user than mobile web ads.

Video Ads Present Key Opportunities in Ramadan

Video ads aren’t just a trend, they’re quickly becoming the standard for mobile marketing. Cisco predicts that “total Internet video traffic, business and consumer, combined, will be 80% of all Internet traffic in 2021,” while Ericsson reports that “video traffic in mobile networks is forecast to grow by around 30% annually up to 2025” and will soon account for close to three-quarters of all mobile data traffic.

Accelerated by the pandemic, more companies are crafting advertising strategies with mobile at the heart of it, as they look to excite and recruit consumers during key moments in time. Ramadan is one such occasion on top of the marketer’s list. It is always the time when shoppers loosen their purse strings and indulge in festive buying. The pandemic may have put a damper on the festivities as many people prefer to stay in and avoid gatherings, but at the same time fast-tracked the trend of online buying as consumers pivoted towards digital mediums to make purchases.

In the run up to the Ramadan this year, we have observed a flurry of activity in the marketing war rooms of consumer brands – especially e-commerce companies in the present context. For gaming apps as well, there lies a financial opportunity in offering their platform to advertisers. In-app advertising is a monetization model that drives revenue for millions of free-to-play mobile games and other apps. In-game advertising or product placements within the game are popular but may prove difficult because once games were released, there were no opportunities to change the hard-coded ads. 

During this time, marketers may want to consider a unique strategy, where they map the neighbourhood of the consumer and approach them with ‘what’ they are looking for on each platform. This is important because certain kinds of apps will offer a specific kind of audience that will be more likely to buy a product or service. Additionally, this approach helps marketers empathize with the user during these tough times and focus on helping them, solving pain points rather than hard selling. 

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