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The 8-Step Content Marketing Strategy for Mobile Apps

Shivkumar M Shivkumar M has over 20 years of experience shaping technology product and GTM strategy. With B2B SaaS expertise across industries, he leads product launches, adoption, and GTM as Director of Product Marketing.
The 8-Step Content Marketing Strategy for Mobile Apps

What’s so great about content marketing? 
Every app does install ads. Social media posts are a dime a dozen. Paid promotions bombard consumer eyes for an average of 1.5 hours a day.1
Consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising. The days of buying their attention are over — you have to earn it. 
Enter content marketing. Creating content that is useful, educational, and valuable to your users makes your audience want to spend time with you. 
And holy smokes does it work. 
Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, brings in 3x more leads, and converts those leads at a rate 6x higher than other marketing methods.2
Ready to build a mobile app content strategy? Keep reading for blueprints and best practices on the nuts and bolts of creating winning content for mobile apps.  

Blueprint for a Successful Mobile Content Marketing Strategy

Step 1. Ready, Set, Goal

Without a clear plan, it’s easy to spin your wheels creating cool content that doesn’t actually accomplish anything beyond page views. So take the time to create defined goals for your content that directly relate to specific business KPIs. 
If your goal is brand awareness, focus on top SEO keywords to help potential users find your app and learn about its value. 
If your goal is to improve user retention or upsell current users, then highlight new features and products, write practical how-to guides, or create contests and giveaways for current users. 
Sarah Golinger’s article over on the Content Marketing Institute blog is a great resource for mapping your content marketing plan to your key business goals

Step 2. Different Customers, Different Content 

Step 1 of building an app is to have a clear idea of who your audience is, so it should be a given that you already have buyer personas mapped out. Not all of your content will appeal to every persona — nor should it. 
Target niche or longtail keywords that directly relate to your buyer personas at each stage of their user journey, from discovering your app to downloading it or making a purchase. 
A travel app might create a video showing the most efficient packing tips and folding techniques to appeal to a wide audience just starting to learn about the app or business. Then also create local destination guides with insider tips or lesser-known attractions for users who are closer to actually booking a trip through the app. 
In that same vein, not all content should be aimed at acquiring new users. Quality content is a great way to retain or upsell users and prove that you continue to offer value. 
Evernote is a great example: their blog regularly features high-profile users to show how they use the app, which is interesting and useful for long-term, new, and potential users. 

Highlight your recent content in email newsletters, on your social media channels, and even in push notifications to show current users how you keep raising the bar. 

Step 3. Smart SEO

The internet is a big place. Writing the most amazing content in the world won’t help you if the right people can’t find it. 
Tools like Moz or SEMRush can help you discover which keywords to target and the keywords your competitors are ranking for. But when it comes to mobile, incorporating voice search keywords into your SEO strategy is key. By next year, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.* That’s 1 billion voice searches every month.3 
To optimize for voice search, develop content around Google’s “People Also Ask” for your customers’ main questions. Structure some content in a Q&A format. Feature answers to common customer support queries. Include phrases like “near me” when applicable. 
Local keywords are also less competitive than global keywords. And with approximately 80% of mobile search queries converting into sales, optimizing your mobile content marketing strategy for local queries isn’t an option — it’s a necessity. 

Step 4. Have Fun!

Connect with readers as a human, not a marketer. How can you make your content surprising, funny, or entertaining? Try interactive content, which is better at grabbing (and keeping) mobile users’ attention — not to mention encouraging social shares and repeat visits. Think quizzes, games, surveys, calculators, interactive graphics, etc. 

Step 5. ?️Consider Podcasts

76.8% of people now listen to podcasts for more than 7 hours a week.4 
A podcast that covers the topics and trends your audience cares about is an effective and inexpensive way to establish your brand as an authority and build trust with your users. Not to mention reach new audiences and expand awareness for your app. 

Step 6. Give Your Audience a Voice

If possible, incorporate user generated content to add interest and authenticity to your own content. Use branded hashtags on social media and share user images in blog posts, or feature specific users in your content. 
Are people using your app in cool or unexpected ways? By shining a light on your users you not only deepen their relationship with your brand, but you also provide powerful social proof to new or prospective users. 

Step 7. Promote  

Everyone runs install ads. Shift some of those dollars to promote an article, video, quiz, or infographic to inform readers about your product before driving them to the App Store. 
Once they’ve read about your app and the problem it solves, they’ll be more willing to download and try it out.

Step 8. Measure Success

Are mobile users finding your content through search? Is it valuable enough that they stick around to read it — or better yet, share it? What do they do next?
Here are a few content marketing metrics to gauge success:

  • SERP rankings, especially for keywords with high commercial intent
  • Number of high-quality backlinks
  • Time spent on page
  • Pageviews per session
  • Social shares 
  • Conversion rates

Creating Killer Content: Best Practices for Mobile Apps

There’s more to content marketing than slapping an article or video on your blog and calling it a day. 
Content strategy for mobile must go beyond responsive design and adapting content for different screen sizes. It means understanding the unique pain points and habits of mobile users. 
Follow these proven best practices for successful mobile content creation

  1. Keep it short.
    Succinct content, concise headlines and subheads, brief paragraphs, bullet points. When users can quickly access and understand useful information they’re more likely to stay engaged.
  2. Feature fast-loading images.
    A good reading experience means all content should load instantly. Readers don’t have the patience to wait for images to load, especially while they’re on the go. 
  3. Include videos.
    Visual content is easier to digest and more engaging than text. Just don’t autoplay videos and default to sound off. Nothing is more annoying than videos that start blaring at 100% volume when you’re not expecting them to. 
  4. Use subheadings for easy skimming.
    If someone reads just the subheads of your content, they should still walk away having learned something valuable. 
  5. Show a progress bar.
    Show some type of progress bar so readers know how much of the article is left. If someone is looking for in-depth educational content, they might be more attracted to a 2,000-word article or a 10-minute video. But if they just want a quick answer, they’re not going to scroll through to find it. 
  6. Explain complex concepts with visuals.
    Images are faster and easier to understand than words. Whenever possible, replace paragraphs of explanations with graphics.
  7. Ban pop-ups.
    Pop-ups and other calls to action are more disruptive on mobile devices and can cause people to bounce. If you really need pop-ups, they should cover no more than 25% of the screen and include a large exit button. 
  8. Use one-step CTAs.
    Nobody wants to fill out a three-page form on a mobile keyboard. Any CTAs should be as short as possible: just a username or email address, for example. 
  9. Focus above the fold.
    You have approximately -0.7 seconds to grab a new reader’s attention. Use appealing visuals and short introductions to help readers get to the meat of your article as fast as possible. 
  10. Have a conversation.
    Write like you speak. Better yet, write like your audience speaks. Learn their lexicon: what acronyms do they use? What kind of memes do they create? How serious or sarcastic are they? Read your content out loud. If it doesn’t sound natural, rephrase it. 

Your Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

Content marketing is a low-cost way to reach your ideal audience, build awareness for your app, and drive traffic to your App Store pages. But it can feel overwhelming when you’re just getting started.
Remember that the central goal of content marketing isn’t to sell your app or services — it’s to provide value for your audience. It’s to prove that you can enhance their daily lives. Do that well, and you’ll not only earn their dollars, but their loyalty too. 
Read More About Mobile App Marketing Strategies: 
20 App Marketing Strategies Proven For User Acquisition
Mobile App Promotion Strategies for Before, During, and After Your Launch
Mobile App Landing Page: Designed to Drive Downloads

Last updated on March 22, 2024