Using an App as part of your Content Marketing Strategy

lavinia baciu irelandGuest post by Lavinia Baciu

With over 12,000 downloads to date the new Irish Red Cross First Aid app is a great example of an approach to content marketing,

The app links perfectly to what the Red Cross believes – ie that everybody can learn basic first aid – and the App aims to get that message out there and make first aid more accessible to the general public.

When it comes to its inbound marketing benefits, this newest a

ddition to their content marketing family is really working. From a lead generation perspective they have already received inquries about first aid training courses – increasing their reach in terms of those who know that they provide this service.

The Analytics tool within the app is allowing the Red Cross learn more about the demographics and behaviour of their users. Analytics information is also used to tailor Social Media posts with content related to content that is popular on the app. Therefore offering consumers more of the content they want to see.

The same information from Analytics was used to optimize Adwords and Facebook ad copy. Initially the ads had the general sound of ‘download your app’. But soon the ad copy was optimized to reflect why the user should download the app-‘Would you know what to do if someone was bleeding?’

It’s been only a few weeks and the app is already sitting at the head of the table of content marketing at the Irish Red Cross. People don’t get all their news from the TV or radio anymore, but increasingly rely on their phone to instantly deliver them important information. The Red Cross, along side its role in disaster relief, is an active player in preparedness matters, eg notifying the public of various emergencies. The push notifications functionality of the app allows just that –deliver useful content to those who need it and also in a real-time fashion, thus bringing the organisation much closer to its audience.

The biggest take-away from this project was how useful app Analytics can be for the marketing and communications teams if thoroughly checked and compared with other stats from Email or social media campaigns. Even more, being able to track which campaigns or traffic sources triggered the app is pure gold and it allows for proper analysis of referral sources and also budget changes so as to suit the better working referral channels.

download the app

Wake me up!

Im a bit obsessed with alarm clocks at the moment! Im fed up of hitting the snooze button and of really annoying alarm clock sounds (on my phone). I have the annoying ones because I tend to sleep through the more subtle ones!

I used sleep cycle about a year ago and for some reason stopped using it, but recently I read about Lark in the book Overthrow. Lark started off as a vibrating silent alarm clock and now has become more, its a sleep coach. How cool is that. Lark costs money and Im not quite there in investing in my sleep, although I’m really tempted as Lark is now a coach that you can use 24 hours a day, to track what you eat as well and make sure you are getting the most out of your day. (see Lark video below)

So I have re-visited Sleep Cycle and last night used it, I obsess over what my sleep pattern was! I was surprised I heard my daughter at 3am this morning talking in her sleep (normally I hear nothing!) but it turns out I wasnt in a deep sleep!! It woke me up nice and gently too which was nice. Having said that I dont feel any more refreshed today than any other day!

This morning I came across a new one called Uniqlo Wake Up, a social alarm app from Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo that incorporates the current weather, time and day of the week into its wake-up music. How great is that, it wakes you up and tells you its cold or raining outside! How great also that its a brand that is doing this! Love it. I don’t know a lot about the Uniqlo brand, but wouldnt it be great if people woke up every morning thinking about you!

What they are doing is more than offering a service, or a store, Trendwatching say that this falls under a category of brand called Brand Butlers:

“It has never been more important to turn your brand into a service. Jaded, time-poor, pragmatic consumers yearn for service and care, while the mobile online revolution (it’s finally, truly here!) makes it possible to offer uber-relevant services to consumers anywhere, anytime. Basically, if you’re going to embrace one big consumer trend this year, please let it be BRAND BUTLERS!”

I will let you know how I get on with my Uniqlo wake up

Asthma Coach App

Apps are tough for people to get right. In my very humble opinion they really have to add value to someones life, enough value that a person will download it in the first place and then use it again (and again). There are some great ones out there that we all use (most of Europe seems to be using WhatsApp!).

I saw someone post on Facebook this morning about this app, I probably should know, but I am guessing their kid (or kids) have asthma, so they thought this was (and I quote) ‘genius’.

The app allows users to record and track their asthma symptoms, medication usage and peak flow to help them control their condition. Users may also share the diary and a graph of their asthma activities with their healthcare professional if they wish. The Asthma Coach also provides users videos on how to correctly use inhalers and other devices, what to do in an emergency and how to test your peak flow.

The free app can be used by anyone with asthma and can also be used by the parent of a child with asthma to help track their condition.

Dr Basil Elnazir, of The National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght and Chairperson of the Asthma Society Medical Committee, said, “We hope that the app will help young people to engage in managing their own asthma. They form lifelong health habits in these years, so if they start to control their asthma now this will help them throughout their lives. We can’t change whether people have asthma or not but we can help to change their outcomes through management of their condition. The app will help them to do this in partnership with their healthcare professional.’

The project was enabled through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. The app also includes a pollen forecast from March-November, which is supported by Dyson.

How to access Asthma Coach:
The app is available to download from the Apple App Store –  the mobile website is available here

The Pain Squad App

This goes to prove your starting point cant be…lets make an app, it is….how can mobile make things simpler for people.

Wonderful work by Sick Kids.

The Ray Bans App

When you are thinking about consumers, you need to think about how you can bring something of value to their lives. Now clearly this is relative to their lives and what I am about to show you here is probably one of those “problems” that aren’t really problems in the greater scheme of things. But there is something nice in this, when its sunny, its nice to be able to find the places where the sun is. And its a perfect fit for Ray Bans.

What do you think?

(thanks again Goons + Loons)

Web 3.0

I read a great piece on Forbes that said Web 3.0 won’t happen because the new breed of companies aren’t thinking about launching on the web. They said in the piece:

These companies – and Instagram is the most topical example at the moment – view the mobile smartphone as the primary (and oftentimes exclusive) platform for their application.  They don’t even think of launching via a web site.  They assume, over time, people will use their mobile applications almost entirely instead of websites.

We will never have Web 3.0, because the Web’s dead.

Another example of this kind of thinking came from Telefónica Digital this week when they launched TU Me. TU Me is a pretty slick app that allows smartphone users to make calls and send messages without using up their quota of call minutes or texts, it uses instead data. For someone like me, who seeks out wifi at any given opportunity, this is great news. For those who are into this space, you will be right in thinking that this product is putting it up to existing apps including Skype, Viber and Whatsapp.

Similar to the likes of Instagram, the TU Me app isn’t looking for people to go to their site, when you go there, it just sends you to the itunes store and download the app. The whole approach is a fascinating one by Telefónica Digital . When you think about it, this app seems like a direct competitor to its O2 brand. But as they say themselves they would : “rather keep the customer than lose them to other products and services”.


Telefónica Digital chief Stephen Shurrock recognises the shift in consumer behaviour and consumption: “We’ve seen the growing popularity of communication apps on smartphones but we believe we’ve gone one better with Tu Me using our knowledge and insights of how people use their devices,”

There is a fundamental shift in things, with an estimated 77% of Irish consumers expected to have Smartphones by the end of the year, you have to be thinking about how you engage people on these platforms. Telefónica Digital have. They clearly don’t want to be the kind of company that puts its head in the sand and ignores what is going on around them, thinking it wont affect them (it already is). They don’t want to be at risk of being gone in 5-8 years (as the Forbes article suggests is possible for Google & Facebook, in what is one of my favourite quotes of recent times!):

We think of Google and Facebook as Web gorillas.  They’ll be around forever. Yet, with the rate that the tech world is moving these days, there are good reasons to think both might be gone completely in 5 – 8 years.  Not bankrupt gone, but MySpace gone

What do you think?
Download TU Me here 

Next Generation Media

Great presentation from We Are Social