How 3rd Party Content Can Make Your App A Star While Driving Downloads
From TV partnerships to feature film, digital podcast to radio... 3rd party content offers brands - and apps - the opportunity to become embedded in the storyline. And those product placement exposures act as brand builders, targeting consumer demographics that will ultimately lead to heightened brand awareness, and treasured downloads.
Now that doesn't mean success happens overnight or with one content partnership. In fact, just like any sort of advertising or PR campaign, repetitive exposure is what will lead to overall success. In this blog, Hollywood Branded provides insight into the 12 ways brand marketers use entertainment content to increase downloads.
Working With Content For Product Placement Integration
In a previous blog post, I walked through the 3 Key Ways Apps Can Use Influencer, Celebrity and Content Marketing to increase downloads and brand recognition. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, make sure you do as I went into detail on the types of influencers a brand marketer needs to know about, and the differences between celebrity social influencers, and celebrities.
And then... that leads us to the hot topic of the the third way apps can create fantastic brand awareness campaigns, which is through 3rd party content marketing. There are so many options here to discuss, but they all boil down to figuring out which content type will get in front of the best demographics for the app, showcasing the app's unique features, while still being within the required budget.
Entertainment content marketing has so many options. From scripted TV shows and feature films, to reality series that are water cooler conversation starters. Or those mega talk shows that are viewed around the world where the fan base races out to purchase whatever brand the host is talking about. There are smaller opportunities with local news programming and regional content that airs around lifestyle topics where apps can be integrated and discussed within the content.
So let’s start off by discussing the most affordable options...and lead into the most expensive.
Types Of Entertainment Content Marketing For Apps
1. Podcasts For Apps
Podcasts definitely fall into the ‘wild wild west’ arena as far as a practice as it is so new, but successful programs can be built on a cost per thousand audience basis that is similar to a media buy, but with really good organic conversations that are built in to the episode. We really like podcasts for talking about apps - the messaging can be controlled, and additional pre-roll ads can be bought to further push out messaging and call to action.
2. Radio Programming For Apps
Don't disregard radio as being too old-school for an app marketing campaign. I'm not talking about buying ads. What I am trying to have you think about is using radio to organically insert the app into the conversations of the DJs and hosts of the programs - so they naturally are talking about it. This is just a different way of purchasing radio time. And there can be overlays with the radio station's social media to help drive calls to action, and even event sponsorships where the radio station takes the app into local market events. Radio can be really fun and very effective.
3. Local And Regional News Programming For Apps
A smaller audience, but one that is still extremely engaged, are those who watch local and regional news programming. Again the idea would be to have the app's spokesperson on, or to have the show do a live segment featuring the app. Just like with talk shows, the news host is going to control the messaging that is pre-scripted. This is one of the most affordable options, but it also has a smaller audience than other national options. There is a secret strategy however that I'm going to share some insight on with how to really leverage local news programming to get a lot of bang for a lower dollar spend.
4. Satellite Media Tours for Apps
And that secret strategy? It's actually a really old school public relations tool that still works today. We can build packaged ‘satellite’ tours where a segment hosted by the app's spokesperson is filmed and set to look like it is in a specific environment, and then pushed out to a variety of syndicators who will pick it up and run it in various local news markets where they have slots open for some pay-for-play content to live. The really big markets aren't going to be secured on this approach, but you do get a lot of eyeballs and the cost is extremely fair. Plus it's an easy way to later build a campaign out into a broader footprint.
5. Regional Lifestyle Programs For Apps
Regional lifestyle programs are going to be very similar to the local news options, and will be among the most affordable options. These work however better for a Gen X to Baby Boomer demo versus millennial. A lot of these shows run in fringe time frames, where those who are sleepless at night or early morning risers – or even Saturday morning viewers, are going to tune in. There is programming within regional lifestyle that will fit the male demographic too – especially programming with a sport angle, like golf shows.
6. Game Shows For Apps
Some of the TV programming with the largest early evening or daytime programming are Game Shows. They also have especially strong viewers within the 55+ demographic. The Price is Right, Let’s Make A Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – all have opportunities to interweave a brand into a featured message, or even a week long sponsorship based on the category. There are also shows that are on GSN (Game Show Network) that have a national footprint and surprisingly great viewership and rates.
7. Early Evening National Entertainment News For Apps
Another GREAT option to control messaging is with early evening entertainment news – shows like Access Hollywood, Daily Mail Extra and Entertainment Tonight. Just like with talk shows, hosts can provide conversational messaging about the app, and in some instances, have a spokesperson on the show. With entertainment news programming, there is the feel of being a little more news-oriented than talk shows. Plus the option of a digital overlay with links back to the app with Call to Actions embedded not only on the show's website but also in the screen overlay.
8. Music Videos
Our team LOVES music videos. They offer fast, affordable brand integration options that reach millions of people around the globe. Check out our blog where we share more insight into music video partnerships.
- 5 Music Video Product Placement Case Studies Infographic
- Podcast And Infographic: 9 Steps How Brands use Music Video Product Placement
- Brand Partnerships Increase Product Placement In Music Videos
- The Benefits And How To Get Your Brand In A Music Video
- The Brand Product Placement In A Britney Spears Music Video
9. Feature Films
Feature films are also an option, but keep in mind that is a 12-18 month plan before it will be released, which might not fit your ‘must have it now’ marketing needs. If you can afford to wait a bit, and have a longer term marketing strategy, films are a GREAT option. You won't get major storyline, but you can have the app used on screen in a scene that is relevant, with possible verbal mention call out. Independent films are going to be way more cost affordable, and the middle tier films are also going to be good options to work with. Your big blockbuster action films are likely not going to have a relevant script opportunity, and may be too much of a struggle to get the win your app needs.
Also check out these blog posts on feature film product placement:
- Indie Film Product Placement Hidden Gems
- Why Franchise Films And Book Spinoffs Create Great Brand Partnerships
- Why Franchise Films Appeal For Brand Partnership
10. National Talk Shows For Apps
We've created some phenomenal campaigns specifically for apps with Morning & Daytime talk shows. Productions like Ellen, The Talk, Rachael Ray, The Doctors or Live with Kelly & Ryan offer the ability to align the app to a very specific market, have the hosts call out the app by name, and discuss the benefits of it through pre-planned controlled messaging, while featuring the app in action on screen. Plus, these talk shows often have a global audience!
With talk shows and local news programming, an app's spokesperson (or one we hire, including a celebrity) can often be part of the segment, and we can even build in Calls To Action, sweepstakes or social interactions within the segment.
Check out these blog posts on talk show partnerships:
Check out Bumble and Ellen to see a talk show segment in action! Talk shows range in pricing - and the most popular are going to require a really big (and sometimes scary) spend. But they are viewed by a lot of very loyal fans to the show and host.
11. Reality TV
Reality TV is a different beast altogether from your scripted TV. The costs to produce it are much lower, and TV networks are often more open to having storylines built around non-TV advertisers including apps. The fan base is super loyal, and the app can appear in an insert shot as well as in conversation with vital brand messaging included.
12. Scripted TV
The ‘big’ option is to look at scripted TV where we build into the storyline usage and discussion of the app. This is going to be the most expensive direction to go – besides some of the bigger national talk shows, and the least controllable messaging as the show writers have complete creative control. We do get to see the script before it goes to air, and we do get to help control that messaging. It's just not going to be an ad, and will be more subtle. Typically the most the brand is going to get within scripted content is usage of the product and logo exposure. No calls to action for purchases.
Most network TV shows that are scripted are no-go’s for this type of exposure for apps as they require massive multi-million dollar media buys and then another up to 7 figure brand integration fee. Cable shows offer better integration in their storylines, and price control.
Ready To Start Marketing Your App Through Third Party Content?
Working with content to create product placement campaigns is not going to result in overnight sales. But it is going to build a massive footprint for your app that will result in word of mouth association, memory and ultimately, downloads.
To further explore content marketing opportunities, download our Product Placement and Promotions 101 Guide which will help you better understand the landscape.