Holiday App Marketing
The value of the holidays in marketing apps is clear.  The period from mid December through early January is, according to Apple, traditionally one of the most active in the app stores.  During the holidays many people receive gifts of new mobile devices or iTunes/Google play gift cards.  When each of those new phones, tablets or gift cards are activated,  station apps can be top of mind, leading to downloads and daily activity. 

The leader of the station app download effort, be it digital, news or promotion can establish the benchmark of where the app downloads and monthly active users for the family of station apps.   With those numbers in mind, the station team can define new goals for growth in the weeks ahead.  A strong six part plan can lead to a significant increase in app downloads and long term customer connections.

1.      Look Like The Holidays
An easy starting point is to “decorate” your apps and app marketing experience with imagery and language that speaks to the holidays.

2.      Leverage Your Station Inventory
Those images and promotional concepts can be offered across all platforms.  Social media posts, social media ads, website ads, and promos on air can all be coordinated to give the maximum impact.  With a drop in demand for TV inventory at some stations right after Christmas, there can often be an opportunity to leverage the station’s air time to help encourage downloads. 
3.      Newscast Promotions
Of all the promotion that a station might create, some of the most valuable might be inside their own newscasts.  The holidays often result in a period of light staffing and even lighter amounts of local news.  The planning for appropriate live demonstrations and brief packages outlining the virtues of a station app can often be ways to produce robust newscasts that tie the day’s news, weather or traffic to the apps viewers can download. 

4.      Station Content
Beyond packages or demonstrations of a station app, newsrooms can plan stories that fit their brands that speak to the new devices viewers have in their lives.  This can include stories about the season’s hottest new phones and phone deals,  the best data plans, the cheapest tablets, and the best holiday, travel or news apps viewers might try, being sure to include the station app as one of the best options. 

5.      Timeline
Stations can start this coordinated cross platform effort well in advance of Christmas morning but should plan to have a specific schedule to generate reach and frequency during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.   A calendar of the creative assets can be distributed to the news producers, digital team, and promotions members who are working over the holidays to support the deployment of the app related graphics, promos and stories. 

6.      Weather
No matter how elaborate the holiday promotion plan is for apps, stations should be prepared to turn all of their platforms towards promoting their weather app should the weather become dangerous.    Any storm can be the best opportunity to remind people of the virtues of a station’s weather app and how the station’s on air team depends on these apps to track the forecast, see the impact on the roads, and receive the latest push notifications directly from the news and weather team. 

A comprehensive holiday app promotion effort takes advantage of strong market conditions.  By catching people at the moment they are most excited about their new devices during a time when mobile content consumption often is a daily behavior (as viewers are away from TV visiting family and friends), strong holiday app promotions can lead viewers to connect with their favorite station.